Being awarded the 2012 Community Achievement Award from the Rehabilitation Program at Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo, Iowa, is gratifying enough for Jon Turnquist, a St. Ambrose occupational therapy instructor and adaptive technology specialist.
Achieving that honor based on the work of a former student is more gratifying still.
Turnquist was chosen for the award based on the creative use of adaptive technology that Katie Jo Wedeking '10, '11 MOT has introduced since being hired as an occupational therapist by the Waterloo hospital.
Bob Johnson, the director of rehabilitation services for Covenant Medical Center noted Wedeking has been especially resourceful in developing adaptive solutions to help her clients adapt to disabilities.
One of her chief resources has been her former teacher.
"She uses him as a resource still to get information and help upgrade what she is able to provide patients," Johnson said. "It is done in a way that's low cost for them. He has been a really nice resource for our patients and for Katie Jo."
Turnquist '92, '10 MOL said the credit belongs to Wedeking, who he said became an especially motivated and attentive student after a close relative developed a need for adaptive solutions.
Wedeking and Turnquist both were profiled in a recent story in the Waterloo Courier that was picked up and widely distributed by the Associated Press.
"It's great that I can support my students after they graduate," said Turnquist, whose creative solutions are on display at Jim's Place, an adaptive technology house opened by St. Ambrose in the summer of 2011. "She knew what was possible and she did it."