2016 was a year of growth in patient visits and new staff for Mason General Hospital & Family of Clinic’s Rehabilitation Services (RS). This increase necessitated a physical expansion of the department complete with the addition of four new treatment rooms and new flooring. To celebrate this growth the public is invited to an “Open House” on Monday December 19, 2016 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Mason General Hospital.
RS treats patients of all ages for a wide variety of diagnoses, including orthopedic musculoskeletal conditions, neurological diseases, vertigo, sports injuries, pediatric developmental delays, speech and language problems and swallowing issues. They also provide treatment for post Labor and Industry (L&I) injury, post motor vehicle accidents, and teach balance and fall prevention.
The new clinical space accommodates the increasing occupational, physical, and speech therapy patients and now allows for quicker access for new patient appointments. Since 2015, overall patient visits have increased by 19 percent. During the same time period outpatient pediatric visits increased 72 percent, from an average of 90 patient visits a month to currently 154 visits. The increase in pediatric visits was due in part to the hiring of additional staff. The new staff hired mid-way in 2015 included Joyce Vipond, occupational therapist, and Julie Balazs, speech therapist. In 2016 Erika Feitz, physical therapist, came on board to complement the pediatric providers.
“Building relationships with local pediatric providers was also a key to the success of the pediatric services,” said Cheryl Wood, PT, director of Rehabilitation Services. “With four new patient treatment areas and our full staff of seven physical therapists, one assistant; two occupational therapists, an assistant; one speech language pathologist, and four support staff members – our therapists now have a greater option for treatment space – which optimizes patient outcomes.” New hires in 2016 include Feitz, Jeff Frisse, physical therapist; Keith Schmidt, physical therapist; Larry Messenger, physical therapist; Nicole Jaramillo, occupational therapist assistant, and Tyler Dunnington, office assistant.