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Back to Blog Main Page Meet the Team: Casey McKee, OTR/L
By: Peter Schnellenberger

Meet the Team

Oct 7 2021

Casey McKee is an Occupational Therapist who works at MossRehab Elkins Park with patients who have neurological impairments. In her practices, she incorporates the latest robotic technology, many that feature therapeutic gaming, for greater patient engagement.

What made you decide to become an Occupational Therapist?

When I was younger, my father was in an accident that crushed his hand. Working in historic renovation, his hands are his sole means of income. While his initial prognosis was poor, occupational therapy (OT) helped restore nearly 80% of his hand functionality. Without this recovery, his livelihood would have been significantly compromised as well as his sense of identity and self-esteem. Observing my father’s progress along with an inherent desire to help others were major factors in wanting to become an occupational therapist.

What are your educational background and work experience?

I earned my Bachelor of Science in therapeutic recreation and a Master of Occupational Therapy at Temple University. Prior to going to OT school, I was a certified therapeutic recreational specialist. For the past five years, I have worked full-time at MossRehab’s outpatient occupational therapy department in Elkins Park. Previously, I worked with patients with various diagnoses in both subacute and long-term care settings. I hold an advanced certification in LSVT BIG®, an intensive approach in treating people with Parkinson's disease and other neurological conditions in restoring their capabilities for walking, balance, and activities of daily living. Recently I completed MossRehab’s Vestibular Intensive Program in preparation to attend Emory University’s vestibular certification competency course.

What made you decide to work here

Being one of the top rehabilitation facilities in the nation, MossRehab provides many opportunities for clinicians to learn and grow in their profession. I have access to the latest evidence-based practices, research, and opportunities to explore and trial innovative assistive technology not offered by other rehab facilities. A lot of thought, consideration, and research goes behind the caliber of assistive technology available for patient rehab at MossRehab.

Who are your patients?

I see patients with various neurological impairments including, but not limited to, stroke, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease. Challenges vary per individual.  Some have deficits in strength, coordination, or sensation as well as impairments in balance, perception, and cognition. These factors often limit patient's ability to participate in everyday tasks. That's where occupational therapy comes in.

Can you explain your role as an Occupational Therapist? 

I use a combination of robotic training, therapeutic exercise, neuromuscular retraining, compensatory and adaptive equipment education to facilitate a patient’s ability to achieve personal goals. My therapy changes based on a patient’s functional level throughout the continuum of care. No two therapy sessions are the same. The one thing I can say about working at MossRehab is that no one uses a cookie-cutter approach. 

What kinds of therapeutic equipment do you use in therapy?  

MossRehab has various types of robotic equipment that I use in my therapy practices. There is the ArmeoÒSpring, a robotic device that provides arm weight support in helping patients with upper body weakness perform higher repetitions of self-initiated movement. When patients no longer require arm weight assistance, they may progress to using the ArmeoÒSenso. This device enables patients to practice self-directed arm therapy in a 3D workspace with less support. For patients with hand weakness, I may use the AmadeoÒ robotic hand trainer that offers passive, assistive, and active modes to support various stages of recovery. I have seen an improvement in motivation and therapy participation with some of my patients using these and other robotic devices.

What do you think about the therapeutic gaming element of some robotic equipment?

Some therapy equipment features gamification that gives patients the opportunity to engage in computer-based games and virtual reality during rehabilitation. The stimuli offered by therapeutic gaming motivates many individuals to work harder and longer. Often, patients benefit from high repetitions of a particular movement pattern. 

What inspires you on the job?

My patients and co-workers. It is truly humbling to work with patients at such a vulnerable time in their lives. Despite many obstacles, the majority have a positive attitude and are ready to work every session. It is hard to have a bad day when surrounded by that kind of energy. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing patients progress within a single course of care and overtime through multiple courses of care. In addition, I feel extremely fortunate to work with some of the most intelligent, creative, and compassionate people in my field. We are a close-knit team in outpatient therapy. I believe we provide excellent care due to our collaborative approach.

What is your favorite thing during your leisure time or on vacation?

I play in multiple soccer and basketball leagues. In addition, my husband and I love to travel and explore new places and food everywhere we go.

Who has made a strong influence on your life or inspired you?

My mother has been the biggest influence in my life; she inspired me to enter the healthcare profession.  My mom has been a nurse for 30+ years, the past 15 in oncology. She is the hardest worker I know and goes above and beyond for her patients, family, and friends. My mom is genuinely the most selfless person I know, always putting the needs of others before her own. She taught my sisters and me the value of hard work, never to give anything less than our best effort, and, above all else, to be kind.

Favorite food(s)

Chicken chalupa (with nacho cheese) … any kind of taco, really.

Something people don’t know about you?

I was once on a competitive speed skating team.

Life motto? 

When you can’t find the sunshine, be the sunshine.

Read about MossRehab’s Portfolio of Therapeutic Gaming Equipment

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