Award recognises Peel’s mobile occupational therapist for innovation

Occupational therapist Jodie Heath was presented with the inaugural Innovators in Practice Award on Thursday night, by Occupational Therapy Australia, the peak national body for occupational therapists.

Ms Heath’s business, Down South Therapy Services, was established 10 years ago and has since been providing a unique family-centred service for individuals and families. 

She was recognised for the development and introduction of a community-based outreach and mobile occupational therapy service for the Peel Region. 

The Innovators in Practice award recognises and acknowledges the innovation of an outstanding occupational therapist working within Western Australia.

Ms Heath said she was thrilled to be given the award for making a difference in the local community.

“We travel out and about… which is quite unique, there really isn’t any other mobile-based practices,” she said.

“So I guess we’re an innovative practice, in that we’re able to visit individuals in the home and in the community and at schools.”

They service the South Metro, Eastern Corridor, Kwinana, Rockingham, and Peel.

She said the mobile service was particularly important for regional areas.

“We go out to Waroona on a weekly basis, we travel out to the Murray region, Pinjarra,” she said.

“This is the first time such a prestigious award has been offered and provides an opportunity to showcase the ground-breaking and innovative work being undertaken by West Australian Occupational Therapists” OTA’s WA manager Lea Rawlings said. 

“Jodie is highly regarded by her clients and she goes above and beyond in her role to support students, parents and teachers.

“Her services has enabled more people to access occupational therapy services in a range of environments depending on their preference, whether that be in a school, home, day care setting or community services.”