National Occupational Therapy Month

Meet Occupational Therapist Tara Weaver

Tara Weaver

I love working with children, parents, and teachers to identify where a child is having struggles and helping them make goals and achieve those goals through what a child is best at-play! I enjoy furthering my education by learning more about sensory processing, autism, and Occupational Therapy in the school system.” ~Tara Weaver, OTR/L

Tara is an Occupational Therapist with Encore Rehabilitation-Cullman. She has been a clinician for almost three years. She earned a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from The University of Alabama at Birmingham and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Sociology from Birmingham-Southern College. Tara is also Certified in Beckmann Oral Motor Training and Handwriting without Tears K-5. She enjoys volunteering, attending church, being active, and spending time with her husband, Blake, and their dog, Lady.

We are proud to have you on our rehab team, Tara! Happy National Occupational Therapy Month!

Encore Rehabilitation-Cullman
1701 Main Avenue SW
Cullman, Alabama 35055
Find Encore Rehabilitation-Cullman on Facebook by clicking here

Luke Waldrep is Athlete of the Month for Addison High School and Encore Rehabilitation-Cullman

Meet Leslie Perry, COTA/L, CMLDT

Teresa Kines -“Back to Daily Living”

Meet Occupational Therapist Ariel Tucker


Occupational Therapist Ariel Tucker of Encore Rehabilitation-Cullman #EncoreRehab

When I started college, I knew I wanted to be in the medical field and serve individuals with a variety of abilities. Occupational Therapy allows me to do both of those things and I can help individuals reach their highest level of independence. I love that I can work with people of all ages and in a variety of settings.” ~ Ariel Tucker, OTR/L

Ariel received her Occupational Science and Therapy master’s degree from Grand Valley State University (Michigan) and has been with Encore Rehabilitation-Cullman for one year. She enjoys running, kayaking, baking, traveling, and exploring with her Golden Retriever, Luca. With three half-marathons under her belt, she plans to run her first full marathon soon.

We are proud to have Ariel with us at Encore Rehabilitation-Cullman! Happy National Occupational Therapy Month, Ariel!


Encore Rehabilitation-Cullman
1701 Main Avenue SW, Suite G
Cullman, Alabama 35055
Find Encore Rehabilitation-Cullman on Facebook by clicking here

Meet Rachel Ryan, COTA/L

Elizabeth Hill is Athlete of the Month for Cold Springs High School and Encore Rehabilitation-Cullman

Meet Tammy Bryson, COTA/L, of Encore Rehabilitation-Cullman

Janet Pollard, OT – “I was born to be an Occupational Therapist”

Occupational Therapist Janet Pollard with Encore Rehabilitation-Winfield #EncoreRehab

Occupational Therapist Janet Pollard with Encore Rehabilitation-Winfield

“People ask me how I knew I wanted to be an Occupational Therapist. I tell them that I was born to be an OT. I was born with a genetic disorder called Syndactyly that affected my hands. If not surgically repaired at an early age, it would have impaired my finger growth, dexterity, and overall hand function. I spent multiple summers in the hospital having plastic surgery to reconstruct my hands. Even though I was very young, I remember the traumatic experiences such as skin grafting and suture removal. The best memories of my time in the hospital were when this lady would come to my room and do cool activities with me such as painting, coloring, and paper mache crafts. She even took me to the play room and we played air hockey. I had no idea that she was a therapist because she used “play” as therapeutic activities to get me to move my hands and perform skills that I would need to master in my future occupation.. a student in school.  The impact of my childhood experiences and the desire to help others is what led me to pursue a career in Occupational Therapy.

“One of the most fulfilling parts of my job is the opportunity to watch a patient’s view of themselves change as they progress toward independence. OT helps turn the ‘I can’t’ into ‘I’ll try’ and then ‘I did’. Occupational Therapy has allowed me to see the whole person and have a unique view on the care team. I am happy to be an educator, a coach, an advocate, and a partner for all of my patients and their families.” ~ Janet Pollard, OT

Janet is a graduate of Carbon Hill High School. She earned an Associate of Science degree from Walker College in Jasper, Alabama. She is a 1997 graduate of The University of South Alabama with a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy. Janet is currently employed as an occupational therapist at Encore Rehabilitation in her hometown of Winfield. She has been a clinician for twenty two years and has practiced with Encore Rehabilitation for the past four years.  At Encore Rehabilitation, Janet has the opportunity to work in a variety of settings, with diverse populations, and use creative treatment approaches.

Thank you for using your skills and talents to bless others, Janet! Happy National Occupational Therapy Month!

Encore Rehabilitation-Winfield
199 Carraway Drive, Suite A1
Winfield, Alabama 35594
Find Encore Rehabilitation-Winfield on Facebook by clicking here

Lee Morton – I can finally get pain relief!

Thomas James, Athlete of the Month for Encore Rehabilitation-Fayette

Kathy Horton is moving again, PAIN FREE! Thanks, Encore Rehabilitation-Columbiana!


Meet Tammy Bryson, COTA/L, of Encore Rehabilitation-Cullman

Tammy Bryson, COTA/L with Encore Rehabilitation-Cullman #EncoreRehab

Say hi to Tammy, Bryson, COTA/L, with Encore Rehabilitation-Cullman!

Tammy has been a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant for 13 years and enjoys her career. She says, “As I have been in the school system, I have seen many children progress and reach goals that seemed so difficult for them in the beginning. Helping a child be successful as they attain their developmental milestones is very rewarding to me.

Tammy received her degree from Wallace State Community College in Hanceville, Alabama. Her expertise is in pediatrics, autism, and sensory-related disorders.

Tammy is married with two children. She enjoys cooking as well as making farmhouse furniture with her husband. She is active in her church where she enjoys many volunteer activities.

Happy National Occupational Therapy Month to Tammy and all our dedicated Occupational Therapists and Assistants! 

Encore Rehabilitation-Cullman
1701 Main Avenue SW, Suite G
Cullman, Alabama 35055
Find Encore Rehabilitation-Cullman on Facebook by clicking here


Happy National Occupational Therapy Month!

Black background with red hearts reads April is National Occupational Therapy Month

Happy National Occupational Therapy Month!

Encore Rehabilitation would like to wish all of our
Occupational Therapists and Assistants
a Happy National Occupational Therapy Month!

Our Occupational Therapy Teams help individuals and families with achieving their maximum independency. Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants help people of all ages to participate in the things they want to do and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations).

These everyday activities include:

  • Movement
  • Bathing / Showering
  • Communication and Handwriting Skills
  • Rest and Sleep
  • Social Skills
  • Eating, Swallowing, and Feeding
  • Dressing
  • Child Rearing
  • Toileting and Toilet Hygiene
  • Health Management and Maintenance
  • Meal Preparation and Clean up
  • Driving and Community Mobility
  • Care of Pets
  • Shopping
  • Care of others
  • Home Establishment and Maintenance
  • Improved Strength and Endurance
  • Safety Procedures and Emergency Responses.

Thank you to all our Occupational Therapists and Assistants for the quality care and deep compassion you give to our patients!

How Occupational Therapy can help Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Physical Therapy instead of Surgery

Dry Needling: What is it? How does it work?


How Occupational Therapy Can Help Relieve Rheumatoid Arthritis


There are many people who struggle with Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Here is an excerpt from the article, “10 Simple Adjustments to Relieve RA Hand Pain”, that could help you resume your daily activities that RA was keeping you from.

How an Occupational Therapist Can Help –

“According to an analysis of numerous research studies published by the Cochrane Collaboration, there’s a lot of evidence that working with an occupational therapist when you have RA can help you use your hands for everyday tasks more efficiently and with less pain. The occupational therapist’s goal is to ensure that you can participate in any activity you want while still protecting your joints and getting hand pain relief.

For starters, an occupational therapist teaches people with RA about disease self-management, Dodge says – offering instruction on joint protection techniques, how to use assistive devices, how to conserve your energy, and exercises that will help you do activities with less pain.  [They] may also explain how to use heat and cold as part of your pain management strategy.

The occupational therapist can also show you how to modify specific activities so you can still do them. For example, if you’re a woman who enjoys knitting, an occupational therapist can provide suggestions for adaptive equipment and offer techniques that allow you to enjoy your hobby more safely.”

10 Tips to Try Now

If you need hand pain relief from RA, use these suggestions from Dodge and Amini to modify activities to make them less painful:

  1. Build up handles on utensils and tools so that less force is needed to hold them while performing tasks. Pipe insulation is handy for enlarging handles.
  2. If you’re unable to lift a gallon of milk with one or both hands, buy half gallons or have someone pour half into a small pitcher.
  3. Rather than carrying bags in your hand, place straps over your forearm or shoulder. Rolling bags alleviate the need to lift and carry them.
  4. Use both hands when lifting objects, and keep your forearms close to your body.
  5. When possible, use your palms to grasp objects rather than your fingertips. Replace standard door knobs with door levers.
  6. Wear rubber gloves to enhance your grip when opening jars.
  7. Use electric appliances when possible.
  8. Use your entire body to move heavy objects rather than pushing with your hand, such as when opening a door.
  9. Use a rolling cart to move items around the house.
  10. Purchase pots and pans with two handles and slide them over surfaces instead of lifting them. Silicone sheets can be placed on delicate counter surfaces to protect them from hot pots.

**To read the entire article from Everyday Health, click here!

Encore Rehabilitation Locations offering Occupational Therapy:

Encore Rehabilitation-Athens  256-232-1221
Encore Rehabilitation-Bay Minette   251-239-5395
Encore Rehabilitation-Bessemer West    205-481-7125
Encore Rehabilitation-Cullman   256-775-3737
Encore Rehabilitation-Decatur   256-350-6331
Encore Rehabilitation-Foley   251-270-2505
Encore Rehabilitation-Haleyville   205-486-2753
Encore Rehabilitation-Hartselle   256-773-0138
Encore Rehabilitation-Hoover   205-682-7650
Encore Rehabilitation-Inverness   205-408-4123
Encore Rehabilitation-Jackson   251-246-1214
Encore Rehabilitation-Mobile I65   251-459-8402
Encore Rehabilitation-Mobile Providence   251-634-2214
Encore Rehabilitation-Saraland   251-675-3933
Encore Rehabilitation-Spanish Fort   251-625-2170
Encore Rehabilitation-Vernon   205-695-0689
Encore Rehabilitation-Winfield   205-487-0540
Ocean Springs Neurological Vestibular Rehab   228-818-1207

If rehabilitation is in your future, choose Encore!

Part 3-Chinese Medical Professionals Tour Encore Facilities-Corporate Office Visit

MLB Bound! Jonathan Gettys-Athlete of the Month for Encore Rehabilitation-Dothan

“I Feel Like a New Person!”- Finding Headache Relief after several years of pain