OT Collaboration Flourishes in Chile
OT Collaboration Flourishes in Chile

OT Collaboration Flourishes in Chile

The Department of Occupational Therapy recently had a series of meetings and clinical site visits in Punta Arenas, Chile, in collaboration with University Magallanes (UMAG). Three second-year students, Makenna Brown, Stephanie Anasi and Katie Pascuzzi, and their faculty advisor Al Bracciano, EdD, OTR/L, FAOTA, professor of occupational therapy, visited Chile as part of their clinical fieldwork. 

The group toured UMAG Simulation Center and discussed methods of collaboration and expanding the occupational therapy curriculum. Site visits included a public school-based setting, rehabilitation center, regional hospital, private day treatment center, school for developmentally disabled children and adults, and the Magallanes Federal prison.

Each of the visits offered a wealth of experiences for the students. One site visit helped the potential for exploring and establishing clinical rotations for Creighton occupational therapy students, which would involve UMAG administrators coming to Creighton to meet with health science faculty and students.

“There has been a great deal of interest and work in developing and strengthening our collaboration with UMAG and occupational therapy in the Patagonia/Magallanes region,” said Bracciano, who also coordinates the Creighton Alaska Pathway program.

“UMAG is very interested in working more closely with our program at Creighton and at the University of Alaska Anchorage, due to the similarities and common issues that Alaska shares with the region, which include provision of health care services; staffing needs; the impact of climate change on the environment and industry; and health issues such as diabetes, alcohol and substance abuse, nutrition, and an aging population.”

Bracciano further explained that UMAG needs assistance with developing and expanding OT services to injured workers and industry, patients with upper extremity orthopedic conditions, technology, programs for oncology and shared academic programs. He said UMAG appreciates the support and friendship that has developed between the two institutions and looks forward to expanding the collaboration to allow for more students and faculty to experience each other’s culture and professional practice areas. 

UMAG is a public institution with a solid tradition in the Chilean university system with more than 3,000 students enrolled. UMAG constantly strives to modernize its academic work and processes while considering the professional skills needed in the future. UMAG continues to express interest in exploring areas for collaborative research across all areas of study, including engineering, nursing, medicine, occupational therapy and physical therapy.