Physical Therapy Numbers Soar

(GARDEN CITY, KAS.) When reviewing the numbers of new physical therapy associates at St. Catherine Hospital (SCH), the growth in this specialty is obvious. Recently, the hospital has hired 8 additional team members.

One of those new associates is Physical Therapy Assistant, Melissa Dauber, who has lived in Garden for some time. I have been a physical therapy assistant for 35 years and Im impressed with the level of care people are getting here and how much each of my colleagues puts the needs of our patients first, she said. Our community is fortunate to have such a high quality hospital.

The addition of the Inpatient Rehabilitation Department has attracted many new professionals because we offer a higher-level, neurological-based setting, said Jessica King, physical therapist and director of rehabilitation services. Southwest Kansas benefits from this because each associate has different backgrounds and specialized training in neurology. Expertise in neurological deficits is important for illnesses such as Parkinsons disease, multiple sclerosis and stroke, King explained. This expertise also can help those who have experienced amputation, a fall and TMJ issues, which involve the jaw.

Yet another reason for growth in physical therapy is the addition of four athletic trainers and two new orthopedic surgeons; Dr. Greeson and Dr. Morren. In addition, St. Catherine therapists have specialized training in making customized splints and braces. When an orthopedic injury or surgery is involved, physical therapists are primarily responsible for restoring strength, range of motion, mobility and function. They also play an important role in pain reduction in the knees, shoulders, ankles, necks, backs, arms and hands.

However, physical therapy is only one part of a three-pronged service. Occupational and speech therapies are crucial elements too, King said, noting St. Catherine is the only area outpatient facility that offers all three. One not-so-common treatment need is lymphedema. St. Catherine has the only lymphedema clinic in southwest Kansas.

The three disciplines are equally important after an illness or injury, she said. For example, after a stroke, all three disciplines work together on a plan of care specific to the individual to get them home as soon as possible. We continue these strategies on an outpatient basis and will conduct home assessments when necessary. Other common reasons people seek therapy include weakness, post-surgery needs, difficulty walking and sleeping, dizziness and recovery from a heart attack.

The bottom line, King said, is the proper therapy is going to get you back to your prior level of function and help you recover more quickly than you could on your own. Our mission at St. Catherine is to help you return to your home, job, and to activities you enjoy. We want to help you prevent future injury through education and maintenance programs.

SCH takes pride in hiring from within the community and encourages students to return home and work by offering educational opportunities such as clinical rotations. Two have already returned, and four therapists were raised in the Garden City area. The Physical Therapy Department now includes: Six physical therapists; two occupational therapists; one certified occupational therapy assistant; eight physical therapy assistants; three speech/language pathologists; two rehab techs; one clinical liaison; one licensed clinical social worker; and one business office manager.

To make an appointment, call 620-272-2106; a doctors referral is not necessary for therapy services.


About St. Catherine Hospital
St. Catherine Hospital was founded by two pioneering physicians and the Dominican Sisters in 1931 and is a Joint Commission-accredited, award winning regional health care center that provides a full-range of medical specialties in southwest Kansas. Exceptional care, extraordinary people - its what makes the St. Catherine Hospital difference. For more information, please visit St. Catherine Hospital website.

About Centura Health
Centura Health connects individuals, families and neighborhoods across Colorado and western Kansas with more than 6,000 physicians and 21,000 of the best hearts and minds in health care. Through our 17 hospitals, two senior living communities, health neighborhoods, physician practices and clinics, home care and hospice services, and Flight For Life Colorado, we are making the regions best health care accessible and affordable in every community we serve. We believe you can inspire the people you care about to live healthier lives by encouraging them to do the little things that can make a big difference. Were Centura Health, and were here for your health. For information on Centura Health or any of the facilities in our network, please visit the Centura Health website.

Media Contact
Shawna Deal
St. Catherine Hospital, Centura Health
Community Relations Coordinator
620-272-2529 (desk)
620-805-9959 (cell)