Molly Kimmel took the reins of MonTECH in April, when Montana was eyeball-deep in the global pandemic and the program’s loan program was temporarily suspended in accordance with shelter-in-place directives. Not the way she envisioned starting her new job as director; still, it hasn’t been a bad thing either. “It’s a strange time to transition to a new job, but it’s not a bad time,” she reasons. “2020 is going to be about maintaining, and figuring out how to address new needs with COVID-19.”
Molly was an occupational therapist in Missoula’s St. Patrick Hospital for the past nine years. She is a certified stroke rehabilitation specialist, an instructor in infant massage, and the current Montana State Coordinator and Occupational Therapy Core Faculty for the Utah Regional Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (URLEND) program. (Say that five times fast…) As a practicing OT, she developed a strong affinity for assistive technology. “You get to see people experience the difference a piece of equipment can make,” she says.
As MonTECH’s director, she can take that experience and passion to another level. “I’ve always wanted to find a way to be more involved on a systemic level, along with an individual level.” Looking ahead, Molly takes the view of a true OT, focused on helping Montanans regain or maintain as much independence as possible. “We’ll work on building relationships not just with partners across the state, but also with potential consumers,” she explains. “What environments are they in? What is occupying their time? How can we be involved and support that? I don’t know what that looks like yet, but I think there’s a lot of opportunity!”
(You can contact Molly Kimmel, Director of MonTECH, at firstname.lastname@example.org.)