Meet a Therapist: Ann Fahey, OTR, CHT

ER - Madison

8 min Average

Meet a Therapist: Ann Fahey, OTR, CHT

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What made you decide to become an Occupational Therapist/Hand Therapist?

I had a friend while in high school whose older sister just graduated from college and was working in Occupational Therapist (OT) at a Milwaukee hospital. After hearing my friend talk about her sister's job, my interest in Occupational Therapy began. Her sister invited us to stay with her for a weekend and let me tour her department and observe her work. That was the beginning of my journey into Occupational Therapy. 

My mother, who had MS, was also a driving force guiding me into a medical profession that focused on rehabilitation. After beginning my career working with patients with neurological diseases, my interests expanded into the specialty area of orthopedic OT working in Hand Therapy and eventually becoming a Certified Hand Therapist.

What is the most important advice that you give to a patients?

If you take control of your therapy program by being committed to your Home Exercise Program; it is the key to a successful outcome. 

What is your favorite quote or motto to live by?

Knowing that "it is through the struggle that you make the most gains" helps keep the faith in yourself and your program is a mantra I like to use often.

Tell me about one of your memorable patient success stories.

Feedback on how a patient is doing after they have been discharged is so appreciated and rewarding to therapists. My favorite success story is a patient with lateral elbow pain who was involved in competitive archery, but developed significant pain when using a bow. It even made normal day to day activities a challenge. We worked on many areas addressing the patient’s pain including strengthening his scapular muscles and exploring adaptations to the bow that eventually led to first place in an annual archery competition. 

What is your special Talent?

I view myself as one with many interests, and no one special talent. I love spending time with family and friends, hosting holiday gatherings at our home, long walks with my labradoodle - Finn, traveling with my husband, visiting our grown children and supporting their careers. I look forward to our son's wedding this summer and the next stage of my life - hopefully someday - grand parenting.

What motivates you on a daily basis?

Every day is an adventure. If I can do something that makes a difference for one person - it is a good day and worth whatever it takes to get there.

If you could play any sport or instrument what would you play and why?

I would love to learn to play the harp. Who does not love listening to a harp? It’s so therapeutic.

Ann is a Hand Therapist at the Therapy-Monona

Learn more about Hand Therapy at UnityPoint Health – Meriter.