Health and Wellness Center

Thank you for your interest in completing an internship, fieldwork or volunteer position at Paraquad’s Health and Wellness Center. First and foremost, we are a non-traditional setting in the category of community-based health and wellness.

Our program is managed by an occupational therapist and consists of an occupational therapy assistant and physical therapy assistant as well as other part-time staff. We offer internship, fieldwork and volunteer positions to students of various disciplines, but typically host students from programs in occupational therapy, physical therapy or assistant, exercise science, recreational therapy, pre-occupational therapy and pre-physical therapy.

The student will experience:

  • Hands-on experience with specialized, inclusive and adaptive recreation and fitness programs.
  • Exposure to a wide range of disabilities.
  • Hands-on experience with a variety of transfers.
  • Opportunities to develop and create additional projects/programs for the Health and Wellness Center.
  • Hands-on experience leading group exercise classes.
  • Preparation for national certification exams.

A contract must be in place between the college or university and Paraquad prior to being accepted for an internship, fieldwork or volunteer position within the Health and Wellness Center. Current programs with established contacts include:

We are always open to accepting new contracts with colleges and universities in related health fields. Please send any inquiries to Melissa Smith, Health and Wellness Center Manager, at

An initial interview must be completed prior to beginning your internship, fieldwork or volunteer position. This is typically done in person at Paraquad. Phone interviews may be scheduled in place of an in-person interview given special circumstances. Interviews will be conducted by the Health and Wellness Center fieldwork coordinator.

The following documents are also required:

  • A completed internship form or volunteer form. This may be submitted via fax or email, or brought to the interview.
  • Completed Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Family Care Safety Registry worker registration form. This may be submitted via fax or email, or brought to the interview.
  • A copy of your driver’s license. Please bring the original document to the interview.
  • A copy of your Social Security card. Please bring the original document to the interview.
  • A copy of your resume. (optional)

Our experience has been that colleges and universities typically register students in the Family Care Safety Registry prior to internship or fieldwork. If you know that your college or university has not registered you, you will need to do so yourself by visiting the link above. There is a one-time fee to register. Once you register, it may take several days for your name to show up in the registry. Paraquad’s Human Resources department will refer to this registry to process your background check.

Please bring all questions with your during your interview. Time permitting, you will be given a brief tour of the facility. Expectations and projects will be explained during this process as well. If you are unable to make it to your interview, please notify the fieldwork coordinator as soon as possible to reschedule.

On the first day of your internship, fieldwork or volunteering, you will meet with a member of Paraquad’s Human Resources department for orientation. If for some reason she is unable to meet with you, your orientation will be completed with your clinical instructor in the Health and Wellness Center.

Expectations for Internship, Fieldwork and Volunteer Students

  • Completing required 40 hour work week for required number of weeks (8 to 12 weeks).
  • Arriving and leaving at designated times.
  • Communicating effectively with staff and participants.
  • Completing all required projects.
    • Participant profile(s)
    • Project of your choice
    • Presentation during your last week
    • Independently teaching community-based exercise class
    • Other projects as assigned
  • Studying and reviewing various topics to assist you prior to beginning.
    • Anatomy
    • Kinesiology
    • Transfers and body mechanics
    • Person-first language
    • Assistive technology and how to adjust armrests, footrests, etc.