New Mexico Association Honors Gail Stockman’s Service, Volunteer Work

By Christina Pope
It’s one thing to receive an award; it’s quite another to have an award named after you. Gail Stockman now has that honor.
Gail Stockman
Gail Stockman
The InnovAge Greater New Mexico PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) occupational therapist was sitting in the audience at the annual meeting of the New Mexico Occupational Therapy Association in September when a new award was announced. It was established to recognize extraordinary volunteers giving service to NMOTA – New Mexico Occupational Therapy Association and the profession. And it was named for someone widely admired and respected.
When Gail’s name was called, she received a standing ovation from the room full of 250 attendees. She is now the namesake of the NMOTA Gail Stockman Award for Meritorious Service.

“I was completely surprised,” Gail says. “As they described this person, I kept trying to figure out who it was.”

Gail has devoted a significant portion of her career and unpaid time to being a clinical educator. She has mentored more than 30 occupational therapy students, which requires 12 weeks of full-time advising and training. She has served on the New Mexico Board of Examiners for Occupational Therapy and volunteered for seven NMOTA annual conferences.
“I love teaching,” Gail says. Before coming to InnovAge five years ago, Gail served on the faculty of the University of New Mexico occupational therapy graduate program. She still teaches classes on death and dying and aging in place.

“One of the tasks I challenge students with is to create a realistic plan for a homebound person on a limited budget,” she says. “What we have to work with at InnovAge isn’t the norm. We get to do what is right for that person.”

Gail works closely with her home care colleagues and loves the team concept of PACE. Her main responsibilities at InnovAge are the pre-PACE and 6-month assessments and meaningful occupational training with participants.
“I think the best part is the participants,” she says. “I get to hear their stories, and I really enjoy it. I have 200 grandparents.”

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