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Cabarrus College of Health Sciences Receives Grant from the NorthEast Foundation

CONCORD — Cabarrus College of Health Sciences was recently awarded a $23,997 grant from the NorthEast Foundation to purchase 3D printer technology for the master of occupational therapy program.

Dr. Nancy Murphy, program chair, authored the grant after seeing first-hand what a difference 3D technology can make when providing occupational therapy services to clients. In support of client centered, customized treatment, this technology is expected to become an essential tool for best-practice provision of occupational therapy services.

“With this technology, students will have the ability to critically analyze client needs, design and customize the creation of personalized adaptive equipment, orthotics, and prosthetics that will improve client function in performing daily living activities,” Murphy said.

For example, a client needs a specific type and size of splint for their hand. Using 3D technology, the client’s hand can be scanned and a customized splint created using the 3D printer. Not only can this technology promote a client-centered approach, but also support more cost effective treatment.

Currently, the program  participates in a student-administered occupational therapy clinic, located at the Community Free Clinic in Concord. With the addition of 3D technology, students will now be able to innovatively address the specific needs of the clients who visit the clinic.

Murphy said she is excited to infuse 3D printing into the program’s curriculum as the occupational therapy profession strives to be on the leading-edge in exploring innovative, clinical applications of this technology.

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