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Pieter du Toit & Rachel Everett 21 Nov 2018
Americans celebrate Thanksgiving in November. So this year, we decided not to have our typical OZC Christmas Party. Instead, we celebrated Dr Jill Winegardner's work here at the OZC, before she returns to the USA. Jill started working at the OZC in 2010 and has made a massive contribution to our centre and to the field of clinical neuropsychology.
Prof Barbara Wilson, OBE, who has known Jill for the past 30 years, made a speech about how she introduced Jill to the OZC. She told us how Jill left the USA to work within the British NHS, because she could not do the type of rehabilitation work she wished to do within the American health system. Now that her time with us have come to an end, she will be taking some of what she has learned here to set up rehabilitation programmes in Cleveland, Ohio.
Sue Brentnall reminded us of how Jill introduced therapy dogs to OZC, and we fondly remembered Lambchop, our very first therapy dog.
Jill told us that these have been the most amazing nine years of her life. She told us about how she intends to import the way we work at OZC to the USA and how she plans to return to visit us again. As it happens, Jill also became a British citizen on the day of the leaving party, so we also celebrated this. Jill will cherish the memory book we gave her and the huge card with clients' quotes. Needless to say, her other gifts generally had dogs on them!
Another thing that came out of this celebration for Jill, was the creation of an art nook and a "Thankful Tree" in which clients (and staff) can post notes (leaves) about things they have been thankful for. We, staff and clients, are truly thankful that we have had Jill with us for this time and wish her all the best for the future.