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February 1, 2023

News from The Boston Home

Spotlight on Students

The Boston Home (TBH) has long been committed to mentoring the next generation of healthcare professionals by sharing our expertise in long term care, rehabilitation, and assistive technology. With the start of 2023, several new students began placements at TBH. Please join us in welcoming them!

Victoria Magallanes is a second-year Master of Science in Speech Pathology student at Northeastern University. From January through April, Victoria will be completing the fourth and final clinical placement of her program at TBH under the supervision of Alex Burnham, Director of The Boston Home Institute and Rehabilitation Services. 

Victoria is pleased that her placement at TBH will give her the chance to work with adults with multiple sclerosis (MS) for the first time. Previously, she worked with adults with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) at Boston Children’s Hospital. Victoria looks forward to helping residents with assistive technology for communication, such as the TD Pilot eye tracking device that TBH resident Laurie recently began using with her iPad. She also looks forward to learning more about feeding and swallowing concerns with MS and to assisting with cognitive assessments. Although she is just a few days into her placement at TBH, Victoria says she is committed to working with the neurodegenerative community in her career as Speech Pathologist: “It really is the people I have met that motivate me—people who are living with such difficult conditions, but still are able to stay so positive. I would love to be able to bring them joy through my work. And, I have seen how easily someone could become isolated when they are not able to communicate. I want to be able to help them stay connected and involved, which is so important.” Originally from California, Victoria says she is still adjusting to Boston winters. When she is not studying, Victoria enjoys painting, reading, and exploring the city.

Momo Omotoso is a first year electrical engineering student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). This January, Momo spent his four-week Independent Activities Period (IAP) as an Assistive Technology Intern in the TBH Wheelchair Enhancement Center, under the mentorship of Assistive Technologist Corinne Curran. Originally from London, Momo moved to Texas during high school before coming to the Boston area for college. In getting to know TBH, Momo quickly formed a connection with resident Sarah C., who grew up in Scotland. Sarah was delighted to talk with Momo about life in London and the UK. Momo has been impressed with the warm welcome he has received and says the staff and residents at TBH “feel like one close family.”

Momo is new to the field of Assistive Technology and says he has enjoyed seeing how creativity and ingenuity can improve residents’ lives: “Corinne is so talented at problem solving and coming up with ideas to help residents. I am happy to have the chance to work with her, and to contribute to this community.” Although his schedule at MIT keeps him busy, Momo also finds time for basketball, playing bass, and hanging out with friends.

Jonathan Solisochoa is pursuing his Physical Therapy Assistant certification at Bay State College. Jonathan is currently completing a 10-week rotation at The Boston Home (TBH), which is his final requirement before he plans to take his certification exam. In his first few weeks at TBH, Jonathan has been assisting the Rehabilitation team, guiding residents with stretching and strengthening exercises. In particular, he has enjoyed working with Physical Therapist Clarissa Perez, learning to use positioning and gravity to help residents who are not able to hold a stretch on their own. Jonathan shared that one of his goals for his placement at TBH is to work on developing his communication skills as he works with residents who have varied communications needs and abilities.  Once he has completed his degree, Jonathan plans to work in post-operative physical therapy, joint replacement and home-care. When he is not at TBH, Jonathan enjoys sports such as basketball, soccer and biking, as well as spending time at home in Revere with his golden retriever.

Abel Rodriguez is a second year student at Northeastern University’s Bouvé College of Health Sciences, majoring in Health Sciences with a concentration in Physical Therapy. Abel comes to The Boston Home (TBH) on his first placement in Northeastern’s co-op program. Although Abel ultimately plans to work in sports therapy, he chose to do his co-op at TBH because he is interested in learning more about assistive technology. “Just seeing everything that happens in the Wheelchair Enhancement Center and Seating Clinic is such a great opportunity,” says Abel, “Where else could I have that kind of experience? I never really knew how much could go into operating a wheelchair.” Since he will be at TBH through June, Abel has been taking time to learn more about rehabilitation and seating, before selecting a special focus for his co-op. He has enjoyed shadowing Seating Specialist Faith Saftler, assisting the physical therapy (PT) team as they work with residents who are able to take steps using the parallel bars in the rehab gym, as well as learning how to operate lifts and other equipment. Abel has been impressed with how much residents are able to do in PT despite their disabilities, as well as the kindness, independence and optimism of the resident community. Abel is originally from Long Island, and is an accomplished musician. He plays the violin, guitar, bass and piano, and says he would be happy to perform for residents during his co-op at TBH.

The Hatch Family

Establishes a Legacy

For more than 30 years, David W. Hatch dedicated himself to the advancement of The Boston Home, first as a volunteer and MS advocate then as a resident. On January 18, 2023, his son David and daughter-in-law Deirdre presented The Boston Home with a check of $50,000 for the inception of the David W. Hatch Endowment Fund. The presentation took place in the David Hatch Cyber Café, which David was instrumental in establishing as an early proponent of assistive technology. The Cyber Café’s Moon River mural is an homage to David’s love of family and music, capturing a song he and his wife Norma cherished throughout their 58-year marriage. Thank you to the Hatch family for their dedication to serving adults with advanced neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis. Stay tuned to learn more about how the David W. Hatch Endowment Fund will honor David’s legacy through exciting initiatives supporting quality of life for residents of The Boston Home. If you would like to support David's legacy at The Boston Home, the Hatch family welcomes contributions to the David W. Hatch Endowment Fund.

Celebrating "Love, Mindy!"

After a ten-year journey of writing her life story, Mindy C. celebrated the launch of her book "Love, Mindy" on Sunday, January 29th. Many family and friends were in attendance to congratulate Mindy and her writing partner Cindy Walsh, The Boston Home's former Director of Clinical Services, on the book's publication. The first printing of "Love, Mindy" has already sold out. However, a second printing is planned. If you would like information about how to order a copy of "Love, Mindy" please contact us.

Pino Pilots Munevo DRIVE

Smart Glasses

Last week, Pino, who lives at The Boston Home, worked with Assistive Technologist Corinne Curran and Physical Therapist Kim Davis to demo Munevo DRIVE smart glasses. Designed for power wheelchair users who are unable to use their hands to drive, the smart glasses are calibrated to the individual user, then respond to the driver's subtle head movements to drive.

Our thanks to Richard Dove and Melissa Coombs of Rehab Marketing for helping Pino learn to use Munevo DRIVE. Assistive technology plays an important role in helping residents of The Boston Home maintain their independence as they adapt to changes in the progression of multiple sclerosis and other neurological disorders.

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