Vernon Memorial Healthcare, Viroqua, 2020 Community Benefit

Robotics and Occupational Therapy Changing Lives

Tucker enjoying his "Go Baby Go" car
Vernon Memorial Healthcare (VMH) has a history of collaboration and support with the communities it serves.  In June 2019, VMH collaborated with Westby High School Robotics Team to give Tucker, a local boy with a rare disorder called “15q Duplication Syndrome-Isodicentric Type”, the chance to laugh and enjoy play time that other children are able to do.
Go Baby Go is a national, community-based research, design, and outreach program that provides modified ride-on cars to children (birth to age three) who experience limited mobility.  Working with Go Baby Go and through the dedicated time, safety and movement knowledge of VMH Occupational Therapy staff, as well as the knowledge and technology skills of the Westby High School Robotics Team, Tucker was gifted a fully functioning toy car he is able to drive and enjoy movement he wouldn’t normally be able to do on his own.
This was not only a great outcome for Tucker, but also allowed the students to see how their work in robotics could help changed the future of medicine. VMH Occupational Therapy Manager, Amy Evenstad said, “For our OT department, this was an opportunity to collaborate with high school students in a whole new way. By creating a summer school class centered around the project, students were introduced to healthcare and biomedical engineering careers in a functional and practical manner. We are able to educate on health careers and provide hands-on learning related to disabilities and adaptive play.”  
The full story of this collaboration can be found at