By Kimberly Jones, Fort Polk WTU Occupational Therapist and guest blogger
As the Fort Polk Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) occupational therapist, I am an integral member of the WTU team, and play an important role in every Soldier in transition’s recovery. Through constant interaction with the unit command, cadre, and the Soldier’s primary care manager and physical therapist, I am able to impart insight into the Soldier’s functional abilities and recovery timeline. I am also the primary provider for evaluation and treatment of upper extremity dysfunction, and perform an initial intake interview with every WTU Soldier within 14 days of admission to the Unit.
Additionally, my role includes performing non-clinical and administrative duties, including but not limited to: attending WTU meetings, goal setting classes, writing temporary profiles, consulting with the PT on relevant positive profiles, assisting Soldiers with Special Compensation for Assistance in Activities of Daily Living (SCAADL) and Traumatic Service member’s Group Life Insurance (TSGLI) form completion in conjunction with the Primary Care Provider, issuing adaptive equipment to facilitate independence with Activities of Daily Living (ADL) and patient education on specific diagnoses and conditions.
Fort Polk is located on approximately 198,000 acres in west-central Louisiana, about 75 miles north of Lake Charles, Louisiana’s sixth largest city. The Fort Polk WTU (Warrior Transition Unit) is housed in the WTU company headquarters, a brand new building, expressly designed and constructed to meet the needs of Soldiers in transition and those who are tasked with assisting them.
Fort Polk was initially created as a base for the Louisiana Maneuvers in the 1940s. During the 1950s, it was home to the 1st Armored Division, and was utilized as a basic training installation during Vietnam War years. In the 1970s, and through the ’80s, it was home to the 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized), and the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment in the 1990s. Fort Polk is now home to the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC), the 4th Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, 115th Combat Support Hospital, 1st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, the 162nd Infantry Brigade, U.S. Army Garrison, and Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital.