Mercy Health Love County - News

Outpatient Therapy Moving Into New Building

Posted on Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Therapy Plus: Hospital Board of Control president Darlene Beardsley, front row center, is joined by the physical therapy unit’s Brenda Beard (l) and Latronda Lornes, and (back) respiratory therapists Ron Kimery and Carolyn Garner in the doorway of the planned conference room segment of the new 3,500 square foot building. The therapy module is being lowered to the foundation on the right. The units will be joined and acquire a brick façade prior to opening in August.
Outpatient therapy will leave Mercy Health/Love County’s cramped ‘A’ Wing and settle into an expansive new building a few feet east in August.
The 3,500 square foot Therapy Building will house a gym, a lift-equipped whirlpool, and office/treatment rooms for physical, occupational, speech, and respiratory rehabilitation.
An enclosed entryway will connect the Therapy Building to ‘B’ Wing of the hospital. Doors will be automated for wheelchair access.
“We’re looking forward to having more space,” said Brenda Beard, a physical therapy assistant with 28 years of experience, the last eight in service at the hospital.
Beard and other therapists are eager to move the shared treadmill and stationary exercise equipment from an ‘A’ Wing room into the new building’s 22’ by 50’ foot gym.
“We’ve enjoyed working together in one small room, but it’s been crowded. Now we will be able to see more patients,” said Carolyn Garner, a 30-year respiratory therapist with Mercy Health System, the last six in Marietta.
The cardio workout area will have free-weights, medicine ball, and big screen TV using Wii exercise games.
Other equipment and therapies in the new building will help patients build up impaired breathing or retrain stroke-damaged muscles for speaking, eating, cooking, walking, lifting, dressing, toileting, and other activities of daily living.
Beard said she anticipated being able to group appointments for patients with the same diagnosis.
A conference room in the Therapy Building will serve patients and their families and enable the hospital to invite the community for media presentations on health care.
The venerable ‘A’ Wing will be returned to acute care patient rooms, as when the hospital opened in 1972.
But two of them also will become “negative pressure” rooms, enhancing the hospital’s capacity for isolating infectious diseases.
“Both will have their own air exchange systems to keep air-borne infection from spreading while patients are being diagnosed or treated for tuberculosis or other hazardous outbreak,” said Richard Barker, CEO and administrator.
In 1990, ‘A’ Wing was turned into a hospital-owned medical clinic. When the clinic moved into an adjoining new building in 1998, the institution was able to begin offering outpatient therapy.
Over the next dozen years patients in Love and surrounding counties have sought out the rehabilitative resource to build up their bodies while recovering from medical events such as surgery, stroke, back injury, and heart or pulmonary disease.
Darlene Beardsley has been president of the Hospital Board of Control during the 20 years of advances.
“We’re extremely proud that we’ve come this far in offering our citizens an opportunity to have their health care locally and not have to drive somewhere,” Beardsley said.
“The people of Love County have always supported the hospital very, very well and we’ve been grateful and made the hospital better for them.”
Also on the Board of Control are Jack Testerman, Bob Brannan, Steve Smith, and Andrea Locke.
The hospital is owned by Love County and has a management agreement with Mercy Memorial Health Center, an owned facility within Mercy Health System of Oklahoma.
The Therapy Building consists of joined modular units with a brick façade to match the hospital.