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Healthy Bodies, Minds, Spirits

Healthy Body, Mind and Spirit

At AIDB, Health and Clinical Services isn’t just somewhere to go if you have the sniffles or a headache. It is much, much more.

“The goal of Health and Clinical Services is to incorporate the tools, strategies and techniques that help ensure those we serve - from children as young as 3 all the way to senior citizens - realize their limitless potential,” Executive Director Karissa Twymon said. There are ten different departments working collaboratively. Among them are nursing, audiology, psychology, speech, occupational and physical therapy, senior services and more.

Many long-standing partnerships and cutting-edge programs produce life changing results. A prime example of this impact is found at the world-renowned Marianna Greene Henry Special Equestrian facility, where 300 to 400 deaf, blind and multi-disabled children are introduced to the world of horsemanship. While participating in therapeutic riding, trail rides and even a popular rider’s club, AIDB students also improve their balance and motor skills, verbal skills, self-esteem and confidence.

“You may have a student who is really quiet and withdrawn, but when you get them on a horse, you can start to pull more out of them,” Twymon said. “They engage and communicate more. It is an interesting process to watch. They are getting therapy and don’t even realize it. They’re just having fun.”
There is something especially geared towards senior citizens as well. Through a partnership with the East Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission’s Area Agency on Aging, AIDB Senior Services offers outreach services such as vision and hearing screenings, health fairs and assistance with filling out Medicaid paperwork.

These services are provided for clients ages 55 and older throughout Alabama. Senior Services also offers programs to address depression, self-care and other critical age-related issues. AIDB has additionally benefited from partnerships with the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Schools of Optometry and Dentistry that have insured state-of- the-art care for its students for more than 40 years. UAB School of Optometry instructors and senior students conduct regular low vision clinics while UAB School of Dentistry instructors and students visit campus an average of three times a month to perform cleanings, fillings and simple extractions.

“These partnerships have been beneficial for both parties, and we are very appreciative of them,” Twymon said. And yes, they do take care of headaches and sniffles and will now do so in the Alabama Power Foundation Nursing Clinic, a new $1.24 million, 4,900-square-foot facility. “Our goal is to ensure the best outcomes for our students and clients,” Twymon said. “We believe that begins with a healthy body, mind and spirit.”