Hand Therapy Fellowship


The Mission of the URI Hand Fellowship Program 

To inspire and empower the Occupational or Physical Therapist with advanced knowledge, clinical reasoning and practice skills necessary to develop and implement a plan of care as a clinical specialist in the field of Hand and Upper Extremity Rehabilitation. This Fellowship aims to prepare a clinician to earn the designation of Certified Hand Therapist (CHT).



Our hand therapy fellowship is a 12-month structured didactic and clinical mentoring program designed to lay the foundation for the practicing clinician in the specialty of hand and upper limb rehabilitation.


Program Director

Jennifer DeYoung, MOT, OTR/L, CHT



All program modules are online (allowing for participation throughout our company regardless of location), and there are four required live two-day weekend labs, currently based in Atlanta. As this program continues to grow, other lab locations may be available across our regions.


Program Structure and Plan of Study

Each fellow provides patient care at one of URI partners’ leading outpatient facilities including 150 hours of 1:1 mentoring with a CHT.


The program consists of four short pre-course introductory online modules that are completed prior to the first course:

Introduction to Online Platform Training and Effective Technology

Research, Statistics, and Evidence-Based Practice in Hand Therapy

Outcome Measures in Hand Therapy; and Introduction to Case Studies


In addition there five live two-day weekend labs: Orthosis Fabrication and Upper Extremity Manual Therapy Certification.

Capstone Projects: case studies, scholarly projects and CHT exam (when eligible).


Course Descriptions

Foundations in Upper Extremity Practice

This course provides the Fellow with a review in upper quarter anatomy and biomechanics, as well as assessment and current best evidence in therapeutic management of common upper quarter injuries. This course will also include a review of tissue healing/wounds, burn and infection management, sensory testing and re-education with considerations for pain, therapeutic exercise principles, therapeutic use of modalities, an introduction to manual therapy techniques, and the use of orthoses in managing conditions. Static/immobilization orthoses management will be introduced.


Upper Extremity Pathologies and Interventions

This course reviews wrist and hand kinematics in greater depth and pathologies/conditions that occur in bone and soft tissue systems. Current best evidence in assessment and therapeutic intervention will be reviewed for conditions including tendinopathies, edema and joint stiffness, arthritic conditions, vascular conditions, Dupuytrens contracture, soft tissue tumors, shoulder impingement, adhesive capsulitis, shoulder instabilities and therapeutic management of these conditions. Static progressive/dynamic orthosis management will be introduced, and manual techniques will continue to be addressed in a weekend lab format.


Complex Upper Extremity Conditions and Interventions

The purpose of this course is to review conditions, assessments, and current best evidence in surgical management and rehabilitation of complex trauma, joint replacements, and nerve and tendon injuries.  Static and static progressive/dynamic orthosis management relevant to the rehabilitation of these injuries, as well as a continuation of manual therapy techniques, will be addressed in a weekend lab format.


Upper Extremity Interventions in Special Populations

This course reviews principles of pain science and managing the pain-sensitive patient; and reviews the care for special populations such as work and community programs, athletes, musicians, geriatrics and pediatrics. We will conclude with case study presentations, scholarly project presentations, and exams in both UE Manual Therapy Certification, as well as a practice CHT exam.


Orthosis Fabrication and Management Lab

Biomechanical and fitting principles, material selection, and assessment principles challenge the clinical reasoning skills of the clinician in custom orthosis fabrication, as well as in the selection and fitting of prefabricated orthoses. The orthoses reviewed coordinates with conditions studied throughout the program.


Upper Extremity Manual Therapy Certification Lab

This lab series coordinates with didactic material covered in the program. Live, hands-on review of special tests, and joint and soft tissue mobilization techniques, combine with practical assessment skills to prepare the clinician to effectively screen the cervicothoracic region, and treat the shoulder complex through hand.


Capstone Projects

Case Study: Fellow will write and present a PowerPoint presentation case study via WebEx

Scholarly Project: Media production of a CHT prep review module, future cohort instructional module, or other project promoting the practice of hand therapy as approved by the Program Director.

Certified Hand Therapist (CHT) Examination when eligible.

Mentoring Model

One-hundred fifty (150) hours of 1:1 mentoring by a CHT (of the participant’s same discipline)


Program Goals

Provide a Fellowship program that is consistent with the description of Hand and Upper Extremity specialty practice

Deliver high quality evidence-based Hand Therapy specialty education in a blended environment that prepares the clinician to become a Hand and Upper Extremity specialist and ultimately become a Certified Hand Therapist

Provide consistent program delivery to Fellows in multiple regions of the company

Provide a superior mentorship component


For more information, please contact us at HandFellowship@upstreamrehabinstitute.com