Originally published in the Pope County Tribune, September 23, 2019
The Auxiliary of Glacial Ridge Hospital pledged the money they raise during the Harvest Ball to the therapy department at GRHS. The recent remodeling of the occupational and speech therapy departments has allowed for an enclosed speech therapy room, an enclosed lymphedema room, and additional space for pediatric patient activities. Craig Curry, physical therapist and therapy services manager, said that the new area offers a better environment for patients.
Tammy Vig is an occupational therapist who is also a certified lymphedema therapist. Tammy specializes in treatments that reduce the swelling of certain body parts, which can occur after an injury or surgery; some people are born with lymphedema.
Vig said that the lymphedema treatment room is larger and more private. The previous lymphedema room was separated with a curtain, and is now enclosed and has better lighting, proper flooring and there is a table that can accommodate up to a 500-pound person. The room is also wheelchair accessible. “Tammy’s specialization has allowed for significant improvement in people’s lives,” said Curry.
The new speech therapy room is more soundproof and offers better privacy so patients can work on their speech therapy related impairments, with common treatments include swallowing, voice production, cognition, and memory. There are also fewer distractions for children who attend speech therapy, who may have found it more difficult to pay attention before the remodel.
Speech therapy has sustained growth since hiring its first full-time speech therapist in 2017. “Especially with pediatric patients, the position has grown significantly to accommodate a full-time caseload,” Curry said of Brianna Hennen, certified speech language pathologist, and added, “She is amazing at what she does.”
With the growth of the therapy department comes a need for better treatment rooms. The donation from the Auxiliary of Glacial Ridge Hospital will provide the therapy department the boost it needs to continue growing and developing their patient areas in the future.