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Meet the 2011-2012 Hand Therapy Fellow

Greg Caffiero, OTR/L is the 2011-2012 HSS Hand Therapy Fellow. Carol Page, PT, DPT, CHT is Manager of Strategic Improvement for the Rehabilitation Department and directs the fellowship program. Questions about the program can be directed to Carol at pagec@hss.edu.

Carol: What led you to pursue the specialty of Hand Therapy?

Greg: My first experience in hand therapy was during my level II fieldwork at Staten Island University Hospital where I started learning how to fabricate custom thermoplastic splints for various uses in treatment of the upper extremity. After I saw how creative and hands-on this career could be, I knew I would eventually pursue a certification in hand therapy. Prior to the fellowship I had been working as a traveling Occupational Therapist for many years. I was able to see so much of the country and fortunate enough to spend most of my time in Hawaii. At this time in my life I felt the fellowship was a perfect reason to return home to New York and pursue the specialty of hand therapy.

Carol: Why did you choose to participate in a Hand Therapy Fellowship program?

Greg: My overall goal was to become the best hand therapist possible. I felt that formal, mentored training was my best option to gain the knowledge and skills that I would need to achieve my goal. Hospital for Special Surgery is known as the leader in orthopedics, and I wanted to be taught by the best.

Carol: What are your impressions of the Hospital for Special Surgery Hand Therapy Fellowship program?

Greg: My first impressions of the fellowship program included professionalism, staff motivation both at work and outside of HSS, and the high level of skill and proficiency of the therapists. Throughout the months that I have spent there, my impressions have evolved into realizing how every therapist in the department has a vested interest in the program and plays a role in helping their fellow become successful in the field of hand therapy.

Carol: How will you apply what you’ve learned?

Greg: First, I plan to take the CHT examination. I then plan to direct my career as an Occupational Therapist into specialty of hand therapy. I have gained so much knowledge throughout the past 9 months. I feel comfortable that I can impact my patients in focused, positive ways with the skills I have gained in the Hospital for Special Surgery Hand Therapy Fellowship program.