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An OTR Creates Significant Impact Through Inventive Pediatric Treatments and Mentoring Students

Impact Award winner and OTR Panos Rekoutis sets high expectations when working with his pediatric clients, looking to accentuate every child’s strengths and empower them to work hard on improving weaknesses.

Panos Rekoutis

Panagiotis (Panos) Rekoutis, PhD, OTR/L

Co-Owner, ReDiscoverKids OT, PLLC

Director of Occupational Therapy, Manhattan Children’s Center

Adjunct Faculty, New York University, OT Department

Location: New York

Certified in 1999

2021 NBCOT Impact Award Winner

Making an Impact With Pediatric Clients

“Panos has more gadgets than Batman!”

“Panos can create a whole session’s worth of activities with just a spoon!”

These are the sentiments from parents of children who have worked with NBCOT 2021 Impact Award winner Panagiotis (Panos) Rekoutis. An OTR for almost 30 years, Panos was drawn to helping people with disabilities at a young age, having grown up in a house with a functionally deaf parent.

Panos sets high expectations when working with his pediatric clients, looking to accentuate every child’s strengths and empower them to work hard on improving weaknesses. He uses his playful personality to engage and motivate his clients, who look forward to their sessions with him and are reluctant to leave when the sessions end. If gadgets and resources are not available for his sessions, Panos has no problem with creativity. His colleagues at the Manhattan Children’s Center have appropriately nicknamed him “MacGyver.”

Panos’s goal is to make long-lasting, impactful changes that can support his clients throughout their lifetimes. He has helped numerous children, teens, and young adults become more independent in their daily lives and everyday function at home, at school, and in the community. His clients’ families trust Panos wholeheartedly and rely on his guidance and consult.

“Dr. Rekoutis (Panos) personifies what a well-rounded, evidenced-based occupational therapist should be. He has a deeply caring personality, a keen and unwavering interest for scientific knowledge, and innovation.”

Katherine Dimitropoulou, PhD, OTR/L

Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine (Occupational Therapy)

Columbia University

Making an Impact With a New Generation of OTRs

Panos also regularly wears another professional hat—that of educator and mentor. For more than two decades, he has actively supervised staff therapists in sensory clinics and special education schools. The OT departments that he has led are well-respected for their collective efficiency, cohesion, professionalism, and harmony. He has also mentored dozens of Levels I and II fieldwork students.

Panos encourages clinicians and students to develop and grow by maximizing their strengths and conquering their weaknesses. He employs the same mentality and approach to everyone he works with: be playful and relaxed but set high goals and provide the necessary scaffolding and support for everybody to be successful.

As a fieldwork coordinator in special education settings, Panos has nurtured and prepared numerous students for successful careers in pediatric occupational therapy practice settings. His goal is always consistent: make your fellow occupational therapists better, more knowledgeable, happier, and more confident so they can facilitate lifelong changes with their young clients.

Five OTRs pose with therapy gym equipment.
Panos with colleagues from Manhattan Children's Center.

Creating Lasting Impact

In the New York City health care community, Panos is recognized and esteemed as a highly efficient and caring therapist and a respectful and supportive mentor. He continues to advance and promote the OT profession by using evidence-based standards in his everyday practice and engaging in research projects that aim to validate OT clinical knowledge. He is constantly advocating for updated scientific knowledge, which has motivated his colleagues to pursue higher degrees and activities to strengthen their professional practice. His research has focused on parents’ perceptions of occupational therapists and the impact of motor activities on students with autism spectrum disorders and teenagers excelling through enormous adversity.

While interviewing parents for his doctoral research on families with children on the autism spectrum, one of the parents described a successful occupational therapist as a clinician who is “direct, yet gentle and sensitive; optimistic, yet realistic.” These are descriptors that accurately define Panos.

“We have seen tremendous improvements and growth [in our son] and we know we have Panos to thank for much of it.”

Parents of a Pediatric Client

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