DeSpain named new occupational therapy director

   Jackie DeSpain spent one day as a student at the J.D. McCarty Center and it proved to be a pivotal moment.
   “I decided that day that I wanted to work here,” DeSpain said. “I remember walking into the center and immediately falling in love with it.”
   True to her goal, she got a job at the center. Now, 12 years later, the occupational therapist is still passionate about the McCarty Center and the opportunity to work with patients and families.
   DeSpain also was recently named the new director of occupational therapy, following the retirement of the department’s longtime director, Maria Greenfield.
   DeSpain said she is excited about the position and the chance to enhance and expand what the department offers to patients and families.
   She came to the center in 2008 during her clinicals as a student at Caddo Kiowa Technology Center’s Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant program. Prior to that, she had earned her bachelor’s degree in health science from Southwestern Oklahoma State University.
   DeSpain, a native of Boise City, said she knew she wanted a career in the medical field and chose occupational therapy after shadowing an occupational therapist who worked in schools.
   “It was everything I wanted in a career,” she said.
   DeSpain said she enjoys working with children and families and is grateful for the chance to make a positive impact in a child’s life through occupational therapy.
   DeSpain started working at the McCarty Center in 2010 as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant. She later earned her master’s degree in occupational therapy from Texas Woman’s University in 2013 and became a registered and licensed occupational therapist.
   The McCarty Center still captivates DeSpain.
   “I love the uniqueness of the center.”
   She said she enjoys the variety of ages that the center serves, the programs offered to patients, including the center’s inpatient and outpatient therapy services, and “the relationships with families and watching their kids progress and grow.”
   DeSpain said she’s also impressed with her colleagues and grateful for the chance to lead the occupational therapy department as they continually look at enriching the practices, training and services they offer to patients.
   “We have a really awesome team of occupational therapists and I want to be a good leader of them,” she said.

Jackie DeSpain photo