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Through the Lens of a Doctor: Dr. Chris Cockrell Works Daily to Provide Individuals With the Tools Needed to get Back to Work

Dr. Chris Cockrell, D.P.T., Physical Therapist, works at our NeuroRestorative Siesta, FL, program. He graduated from Florida State University with a bachelor’s in exercise, science and nutrition. He then went on to get his degree in Physical Therapy in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, at the Hogeschool Van Amsterdam, which provided a unique opportunity to study in the Dutch Physiotherapy system and volunteer with the 2000 Dutch Paralympic swim team. Dr. Cockrell works closely with the Siesta team on personalizing care plans to fit each individual’s needs. “I find joy in empowering individuals with the tools, skills, and mindset they need to take the lead in living their life to the fullest, both in functional mobility and self-advocacy,” said Dr. Cockrell.

When an individual comes to the Siesta program, Dr. Cockrell and the team seek to tie in their hobbies and vocational goals or provide the tools to get them back to work and in their community. Sometimes individuals even find new interests like fishing, construction, or woodworking. For example, our program has acquired donated small boats, which allows individuals to assist in restoring the boats, which physically helps, but also planning the restoration, and organizing materials needed, also helps with speech and cognitive skills.

As the projects and interests have grown, the program is creating a workshop area out of a large storage shed. The person leading the project graduated from our program that previously built and restored homes for a living. Hanging drywall, putting in insulation, and planning out the needed materials for a ramp at the entrance are all real-world activities that help with movement, memory skills, and much more. “Individuals have thrived by getting their hands back on the tools they know and enjoy. Most of all, they love to share the knowledge and skills they have developed from their vocational history,” said Dr. Cockrell.