Grace in OT gym

Aug 10, 2021 / Spotlight

Get to Know our Staff: Grace Evasco, Therapy Services

What is your job title/your role at Scottish Rite for Children?  
I work as an occupational therapist in the Therapy Services department.  

What do you do on a daily basis or what sort of duties do you have at work? 
My primary role is an outpatient occupational therapist. I treat a pretty wide range of diagnoses, but the most common are spina bifida, cerebral palsy, arthrogyposis and upper extremity limb differences. The majority of my caseload is ongoing patients that I will see for one to two times a week for about three to four months at a time. Our main goal for outpatient care is to improve participation and independence with activities of daily living, such as dressing, bathing, toileting, etc., transfer training and play. My job as an OT in this setting is to determine what deficits are contributing to lack of participation in these activities — whether it’s strength, range of motion, cognitive, visual motor/perceptual or motor planning issue — and use fun, therapeutic play activities to improve these skills and help them become more independent. I also do equipment evaluations where I evaluate what type of bath/toilet/bed/lift equipment is the most appropriate and beneficial for these kiddos and their families to perform their daily activities as safely and independently as possible.  

I also serve as an OT for the pediatric spina bifida (PSB) clinic, as well as some of the general orthopedic, neurology and rheumatology clinics. As a clinic therapist, I get to consult with the doctors and nurses during a patient’s follow-up visit to chat about any needs regarding equipment or therapy. Our role in clinic is also extremely varied. Sometimes I get consulted about questions or minor adjustments for wheelchairs, and other times I’m teaching a child and family about exercises for hand strength. Or I’m talking to a family and giving them an overview about what care and equipment to expect after a surgery, and other times I’m making a splint for a kiddo that just had a fracture. I love this setting because it really keeps me on my toes, and I get to work directly with the nurses and physicians to make sure that the patient and the family get what they need!   

What was your first job? What path did you take to get here or what led you to Scottish Rite? How long have you worked here?
My first job was all throughout high school as the pianist at my church. At the time, I was considering whether I wanted to pursue piano performance as a career or not. After being a for-hire musician for three years, I decided it wasn’t for me and chose a different route instead, which then eventually led me to OT.  

I went to Texas A&M for college (WHOOP!) and then moved to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to obtain my master’s in occupational therapy. Before coming to Scottish Rite, I worked a few years in outpatient pediatrics primarily seeing children with autism, developmental delays and sensory issues. Although I loved this population and the patients I treated, my heart always gravitated toward more orthopedic and neurological conditions. So when the opportunity came for a position at Scottish Rite, I knew I just had to try and apply. I’ve now worked here for one and a half years, and I couldn’t be happier!

What do you enjoy most about Scottish Rite?
I love the interdisciplinary collaboration with everyone. Having come from other facilities previously, I very much appreciate how open all of the doctors, nurses, social workers, child life specialists, clerks and other professionals are to working with each other in order to get our patients the best care possible. Everyone is so respectful and supportive of each other, and it’s so refreshing to see and be a part of each day.   

What energizes you outside of work?
My dog, Fred. He’s really needy and loves to play, so even if I’m tired, I have to conjure up whatever energy I have to keep up with him. He’s a handful, but he’s really cute and snuggly, so it’s worth it.

What’s your favorite memory?
The last time I went back home to the Philippines! We usually get to stay there a month at a time during the summer, so it was really fun to live on the beach, eat lots of great food and be with all of my family members that I never really get to see or talk to. I also got my five seconds of fame on the national TV station when I was in the audience for a popular game show and got to meet a lot of Filipino celebrities. I thought I was really cool at the time! 

What three words would your friends use to describe you?
Joyful, energetic, creative (I asked multiple people in the office for this one!)

What kind of music do you like? What’s the best concert you’ve been to?
My taste in music definitely depends on my mood. I usually gravitate more toward upbeat and energetic music that you can dance to, but also love having acoustic music that I can learn on the piano/guitar/ukulele. 
The best concert I’ve been to — hands down — was the Backstreet Boys reunion tour in 2013. I was the biggest fan as a kid, so it was so fun singing (or maybe screaming …) along to all of the songs! 

What’s the top destination on your must-visit list?
Ecuador! I was supposed to go on a therapy mission trip there several times now, but all of the trips were cancelled due to circumstances out of my organization’s control. Now I’m just determined to go! Plus, I’d make a whole trip out to the Galapagos Islands out of it, too! 

You May Also Like: