What Rehab Services are Available?
Whether recovering from surgery or an injury, the highly respected therapists at The Rehabilitation Department at Weeks Medical Center provide services that maximize functionality and promote well-being. With its convenient location at the hospital’s main campus in Lancaster, the licensed staff of ten physical, occupational and speech therapists help patients reach their goals in order to return to a healthy and productive lifestyle.
Weeks’ therapists work with patients of all ages to provide the highest in-patient and out-patient quality care. All of the therapists are licensed and several are trained in specialties like sports medicine and hand therapy. Long-term experience and dedication is one of the hallmarks of this busy department. Many of the therapists have been practicing for between 10 and 30 years.
The physical therapists at Weeks assess and treat musculoskeletal and neurological disorders with the primary goal of:
- Improving movement and function
- Expanding movement potential
- Relieving pain
The physical therapist team includes Carol Haas with 30 years experience as a therapist; Jeanne Kenison with 25 years; and Steve Woodson who is a certified athletic trainer as well as a physical therapist in practice for 18 years. Nadine Gilcris, licensed physical therapy assistant, rounds out the team.
The speech therapists work with people who have difficulty talking, understanding language, swallowing, reading, writing and stuttering. Patient diagnoses include stroke, head injury, head and neck cancer, Parkinson’s, developmental disorders, and related disorders of communication and swallowing. Paul Lister and Jennifer Sciana provide speech therapy to patients in Coos and Northern Grafton County.
Occupational Therapists promote independence through therapeutic activities that are meaningful to the patient. These functional exercises and education help patients overcome their injuries. Environmental factors are assessed and modified as needed, including:
- Adaptation of the home and living environment
- Training in the use of adaptive equipment
- Fabrication and application of orthotic devices and splints
Occupational therapists include Scott Baxter who is also the department manager and has been working at Weeks for ten years; Ray Bennion, certified hand therapist, has worked at Weeks for two years; Terri Richardson, school OT in the Lancaster and Whitefield school system; and John Goodwin OT Generalist.
What to Expect as a Rehab Patient
The administrative staff, Patti Rexford and Sheila Tobyne, work with the medical staff to set-up timely appointments with the therapists. During the initial visit, the physical, occupational, or speech therapist will:
- Complete a comprehensive evaluation of the patient’s condition
- Prepare a treatment plan specific to the patient’s needs
- Provide the patient with therapeutic exercises
- Offer functional training in self-care
Therapists treat a wide variety of injuries and post-surgical rehabilitation on both the upper and lower body. Below is a list of the more common rehabilitation-related issues that are treated by the Rehab Department:
- Arthritis, Tendonitis & Bursitis
- Muscle strains and tears
- Back pain
- Rotator Cuff Tear/Repair
- MCL/ACL tears/sprains
- Joint replacement
- Youth & Adult sports injuries
- Knee sprains
- Chewing/swallowing disorders
- Speech problems
Joint Replacement Rehabilitation
The Rehab team works with the orthopedic post operative rehab program for patients who have had hip and knee joint replacements. After joint replacement, patients are encouraged to start physical therapy within 24 hours of surgery. Depending on the patient’s age and overall health, rehabilitation can range from a few days to a couple of weeks to be sure the patient is comfortable and confident when they are discharged from the hospital. In the majority of cases, rehabilitation can be done in the very same hospital room ensuring continuity of care.
Occupational therapists are also part of the rehabilitation process and review precautions with the patients related to everyday activities. They also educate patients about the adaptive equipment that is available and the proper way to do the activities of daily living. Patients are discharged with clear instructions for in-home care.
Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation
The therapists at Weeks work hand-in-hand with the hospital’s Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation teams. The Cardiac Rehabilitation Program is a six-week, out-patient program that serves patients who have had cardiac-related medical issues such as heart attacks, bypass surgery, coronary stenting, stable angina, heart valve repair or a transplant. The combination of exercise and education programs assist patients in regaining and retaining their health.
The OT for COPD program is a comprehensive outpatient exercise and educational program specifically designed for patients with chronic lung disease. The goal of the program is to help patients with lung disease and breathing problems achieve a better and more enjoyable quality of life through exercise, education and support.
The Rehab team at Weeks is committed to positive outcomes by helping patients achieve their goal of returning to an active and healthy lifestyle. Our surveys indicate superior patient satisfaction with the care they receive. When you chose to have your rehabilitation therapy at Weeks, you will have access to some of the best therapists in the North Country.