jason hokkanen saunders physical therapy edina

Jason Hokkanen, COTA/L

Industrial Rehabilitation

Clinic: Maple Grove

Education: BS, Communication – University of Northwestern, St. Paul, 2008. Occupational Therapist Assistant – Anoka Technical College in 2016

Joined Saunders: 2016

Jason Hokkanen, COTA/L

Jason joined Saunders Therapy Centers in July, 2016. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication from University of Northwestern- St. Paul in 2008. He received his Associate of Applied Science Degree Occupational Therapy Assistant from Anoka Technical College in May, 2016.

Before working at Saunders, Jason had work experience in residential care, manufacturing, postal service, property management, and more. His life experience brings a deeper level of knowledge and understanding to his industrial rehabilitation clients. Jason pushes clients to achieve their best with humor, warmth, and creative job simulation ideas for complex job requirements.

Q&A with Jason

Why did you become an occupational therapist assistant?

My mother-in-law suffered a TBI when I was in high school, and I remembered she got Occupational Therapy at Knapp Rehab at HCMC with a system they had called EZ Street, which was meant to help people get back into daily life with things like grocery shopping, crossing busy streets, etc. I remember thinking this would be a cool job at 15.  I then performed a lot of different jobs but in my early 30s decided to go back to school for OT and got a job at Saunders after graduating, where I get to simulate people’s jobs!

What can patients expect when they see you in the clinic?

Clients that come here have already been through a lot, so I like a “relaxed garage atmosphere.” I am a joyful person. I will coach you and push you. I will cheer you on.  I will tell dad jokes.  So, kind of a mix of optimism and energy.  And bantering – I love to banter – I can take it as well as I can dish it!

When you’re not working, what do you like to do for fun?

I love to spend time with my wife and kids, chatting with my adult daughter. I enjoy church and church-related activities like being in the gospel choir. I enjoy having bonfires, and playing basketball. Going on vacations. Go to drive-in movies. I like to find odd roadside attractions. I enjoy finding new restaurants, bakeries, and ice cream shops. I enjoy Netflix and Karaoke.  I love when my nieces and nephew come over.

What are your favorite ways of staying healthy?

I like to shovel, sled, and cross-country ski in the winter. I enjoy walking, biking, and rollerblading in the warmer months.  Most of my fitness is due to the hard work that I have done over the years though.

Where is your hometown?

Cologne, MN

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I still haven’t completely settled on that question!  I remember when I was younger though wanting to be an actor and a professional wrestler.

What is your favorite thing about living in Minnesota?

I love the 4 seasons – or 11 seasons as some websites like to joke.  I love the extreme hot and extreme cold.  The big dumpings of snow.  The heavy rains. The droughts.  The beautiful fall colors.  And the beautiful days!