Doctor of Occupational Therapy
Occupational Science/Occupational Therapy
Kimberley Persons, DHS, OTR/L, CLA
Stephanie de Sam Lazaro, OTD, MA, OTR/L
Jessica Miehe, DNP
Early childhood screening (ECS) is required with 30 days of starting kindergarten in the state of Minnesota. However, due to lack of access and barriers to access many current kindergartners have not been screened within the deadline. Low SES and minority students face barriers to access such as transportation and caregiver trust. This project was designed to create an ECS program at the St. Paul City School to address the barriers to screens that the students and families faced. Having the ECS program on-site at the school is more convenient for families and allows them to stay in the environment they are comfortable in. The model for this ECS program was to create a partnership between St. Paul City School and St. Catherine University. Occupational therapy and prelicensure nursing students will be completing screens under the supervision of St. Catherine faculty. In the process of this project a GHR Grant was submitted and approved to fund the purchase of tools and equipment needed for the ECS program. Training materials were also created to train the students who will be completing the screens. As a result of this project a mutually beneficial relationship between St. Catherine University and the St. Paul City School was established. St. Paul City School will be reimbursed by the Minnesota Department of Education for each screen they complete and St. Catherine University students will gain valuable experience and knowledge by completing screens. Creating onsite ECS programs can be a viable way to address barriers to access that low SES and minority families face. Occupational therapists can be valuable members on an ECS team. By assessing needs communities and organizations can work together to solve complex problems in a mutually beneficial manner.