Statewide Honors Given to Western MA Occupational Therapist (Video)

 

 

 Video courtesy of ABC TV News Channel 40


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The 2008 Commissioner's Distinguished Service Award & A State Senate Citation  

Cooley Dickinson Hospital Media Release - May 21, 2008
 
BOSTON, Mass. - On May 6, 2008 Tina Champagne, occupational therapy and counselor staff supervisor at Cooley Dickinson Hospital was awarded the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH) Commissioner's Distinguished Service Award for Reducing and Eliminating Restraint and Seclusion . She also received a second award, a Senate citation, for her local, state-wide and national advocacy and innovative work in these areas.

At the award ceremony at the State House in Boston, Commissioner Barbara Leadholm praised Champagne for her, "dedication in reducing restraint and seclusion locally and nationally, developing promising alternatives, such as, sensory rooms. Your body of work preventing restraint and seclusion has crossed local borders and informed many states and organizations of the latest research, helping to make Massachusetts a national and international hub of alternative advancement."

 

Champagne was lauded for her dedication and leadership in affirming the goals of the DMH's strength-based and prevention-focused principles. Specifically, she received the award for bringing a host of integrative therapies and environmental strategies to acute inpatient mental healthcare settings as well as initiating and integrating the use of more safe, humane and recovery-oriented options for mental health consumers. Champagne says she is, "truly honored to have been recognized."
 
Champagne is an occupational therapist who is considered a pioneer in her field.  In 1999, Champagne developed the region's first sensory modulation room at Berkshire Medical Center and in 2003, created a similar therapeutic space at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. This unique space, located on the inpatient psychiatric unit, is equipped with tools such as aromatherapy, music, self-help books, rocking chairs, mindfulness and guided imagery CDs, and weighted blankets. Champagne says that "while in this room and guided by a modified approach to treatment, people can discover a new-found way to self-regulate that in many cases, has decreased the need for restraints.  In fact, at the end of the first year of implementing the sensory room at CDH, the unit's restraint rates reduced significantly."  Champagne adds that modifications to the physical environment are just one of the many approaches she has helped to make available for people with mental health issues.

Since 2005, Champagne has worked with University of Massachusetts Amherst Mechanical Engineering Department conducting numerous formal research studies in the area of weighted modalities. That same year, Champagne helped to develop and initiate a Cooley Dickinson Hospital-wide response, known as code SAM (sensory approaches and methods), to help patients who are experiencing anxiety or distress.  Champagne says a quality improvement study has shown that "early response to those in distress has lead to a decreased use of restraints and an increase in patient satisfaction."

More recently, Champagne has collaborated with students and professors from the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Nursing, Baypath College and American International College Occupational Therapy departments and says these "expanded research opportunities have become fruitful in helping to begin establishing an initial body of research in the area of sensory modulation/integrative interventions, and in demonstrating the significance of interdisciplinary collaboration."

 
In 2006, Champagne was awarded the Catherine Trombly award by the Occupational Therapy Association of Massachusetts (MAOT) given to a MAOT member who has made a significant contribution to occupational therapy practice while exhibiting excellence in a special practice area, education, research, administration and service.

Employed at Cooley Dickinson Hospital since 2001, Champagne has also been recognized by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health for providing leadership to hospitals in the areas of facilitating culture change in mental health service delivery, program development and for initiating a broad range of therapeutic interventions designed to offer more person-centered, trauma-informed and recovery-focused care. In addition to her work at CDH, she is a professor, consultant, public speaker, researcher and has authored numerous publications.

Last Updated ( Monday, 29 September 2008 )