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UTHSC Program Community Engagement

OT students with Church Health patients

The students and faculty members in the UTHSC occupational therapy program regularly engage with the community and provide service in a variety of ways. Giving back to the surrounding community is a win-win for everyone involved. Students and faculty have an outlet to serve and apply what they are learning for the benefit of others. The occupational therapy (OT) students are supervised by faculty members and provided feedback throughout their community-based learning experiences. Making a difference by interacting with individuals in the local community motivates students to ensure their skills are developed. Experiential learning at this level allows students to know, explore, and understand concepts far beyond what a classroom activities alone can facilitate.

Last year, our faculty and students engaged in 1,200+ community service hours.


Community Partners

Church Health

The UTHSC Department of Occupational Therapy in collaboration with Church Health offered a free program for adults and seniors with uncorrectable vision loss. The Vision Loss Self-Management Program was a series of weekly meetings that included group activities and discussions around these topics:

  1. Problem solving skills and goal setting;
  2. Assertive communication and building social networks;
  3. Physical activity and exercise;
  4. Managing difficult emotions and stress reduction;
  5. Partnering with healthcare providers;
  6. Utilizing community resources and planning for the future.

TigerLIFE - The University of Memphis TigerLIFE Postsecondary Education Program

  • To learn about therapeutic group interventions, the MOT students host groups at the TigerLIFE program at the University of Memphis.
Multi-National Ministries
multinational ministries

Multi-National Ministries provides a number of services to refugees and immigrant families living in Memphis. 

  • OT faculty and student provide free on-site developmental screenings as an outreach of the UTHSC Rachel Kay Stevens Therapy Center.
Perea Preschool and Elementary School 

Perea Preschool and Elementary School

  • OT faculty and students provide free kindergarten readiness workshops for parents and on-site developmental screenings for Perea students as an outreach of the UTHSC Rachel Kay Stevens Therapy Center.


Compass Intervention Center

Compass Intervention Center

  • During the site visits, small groups OT students interview consumers using the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM). Based on the results of the interview, students complete a resource packet that includes community resources tailored to the clients’ individual needs. The packet is presented to the facility to give to the consumers.
Merge Memphis

Merge Memphis exists simply to assist underserved women to live in dignity, safety, and peaceful surroundings alongside other like-minded women working towards a better life of self-sufficiency and self-worth.

Clare's House

Clare's House serves homeless women and children in a caring environment, through life skills training and support, leading to self-sufficiency.

Room in the Inn (RITI)

In 2021, RITI Memphis opened the Mid-South’s first Recuperative Care Center for people experiencing homelessness – a 21 bed unit offering recovery services for those who are released from hospitals across the Mid-South.    

Referrals to the Recuperative Care Center are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and come from area hospitals, emergency rooms, and clinics for patients who no longer require medical care but are in need of time and space for recovery and resources for sustainable housing and healthcare.  


May 26, 2022