BENNINGTON, Vt. — Michaelia St. Jacques, an occupational therapist at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center's Outpatient Rehabilitation department, has completed advanced training and certification for hand therapy. She now is a certified hand therapist with the Hand Therapy Certification Commission.

Until St. Jacques was certified, local patients had to drive more than 15 miles for this specialized treatment. The next-nearest therapist was more than 20 miles away.

St. Jacques received her undergraduate degree in biology at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams. She completed her master's in occupational therapy from The Sage Colleges in New York.

She is a member of the National Board of Certified Occupational Therapists, the American Occupational Therapy Association and the American Society of Hand Therapists.