In the beginning . . .


Occupational therapy seeks to restore lives to their fullest potential. We are honored to continue our founders' work as we recognize that a healthy mind is the cornerstone of daily occupations.

William Rush Dunton, MDimages.jpg
*One of the six Founders of occupational therapy.
*Willard and Spackman's OT cites Dunton's work.

"All patients should have occupations that they enjoy, that sick minds, sick bodies [and] sick souls may be healed through occupation." William Rush Dunton, 1919

Adolf Meyer, MD
*Significant early supporter of occupational therapy.
*Published "The Philosophy of Occupational Therapy."

"Just as our heart beats in a rhythm, so do we respond to the rhythms of day and night, sleeping and waking, and hunger and satiation, all centered on the fundamental activities of human life." Adolf Meyer

Susan E. Tracy - Occupational Therapy Pioneer

Susan E. Tracy is credited with being the first to train nurses in occupational therapy in a series of lectures at the Adams-Nervine Asylum on Centre street in Jamaica Plain. Her 1906 lectures were followed by a 1910 book, Studies in invalid occupation: A method for nurses and attendants. During World War I, she trained nurses in occupational therapy to work with returning disabled soldiers.

Kansas City Times June 1, 1918
To Teach Crippled Soldiers.
Detroit Women Nurses Will Educate Maimed Fighters.

From the Detroit News.

Preparation for the task of re-educating United States soldiers disabled in the war has begun in Detroit with the organization of a school in invalid occupation to train pupil nurses for work in the government reconstruction hospitals for maimed soldiers.

Miss Susan E. Tracy, director of the experiment station of invalid occupation, at Jamaica Plain, near Boston, has been engaged by the Detroit Community Union to train a class of fifty Detroit nurses for the work of teaching crippled soldiers simple trades by which they may make a living even though confined to their beds or wheel chairs for the remainder of their lives.

"Even though confined to their beds for life, soldiers may be taught to manufacture small articles of furniture, and clothing, from the sale of which they can easily make enough money to support themselves," Miss Tracy says. "After this war the task of re-educating maimed soldiers will be one of the greatest problems with which this country will have to contend. Enough nurses should be trained so that no time will be lost in teaching our crippled boys how to be independent and busy."

The articles which disabled American soldiers will be taught to manufacture, Miss Tracy says, are cane seats for chairs, bed slippers, tea trays, baskets, ladies' purses, pocketbooks, baby shoes, lamp shades, flower and plant stands, match scratchers, bill folders, leather caps, gloves and many other articles of clothing and furniture.

Occupational Therapists . . .We Make Things Happen!