WELLSBORO - Bigger, brighter and better equipped, a new center offering physical and aquatic therapy has opened near the intersection of Route 6 and Mount Zion Road. The community is invited to tour the facility from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday.
Therapists will be on hand to tour guests and discuss provided services, and refreshments will be served.
The new center is staffed by the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hospital physical therapy team (now affiliated with Susquehanna Heath) previously located on Water Street in Wellsboro - specialists in orthopedic therapy, vestibular and balance therapy, back care, and lymphedema treatment, the team provides complete physical therapy care for all ages.
Featuring an innovative 15- by 15-foot warm-water therapy pool, the new center offers aquatic therapy, a boon for patients with difficulty tolerating weight-bearing exercise. The therapy pool has an underwater treadmill as well as two unique propulsion units that produce fully controllable and continuous water currents. Its state-of-the-art filtering and sanitizing system keeps the water sparkling clean with nominal chlorine use, minimizing the potential for chemical irritation.
"Aquatic therapy programs utilize buoyancy, fluid resistance and hydrostatic pressure to relieve pain, improve mobility, and help develop strength and balance," said Dave Milano, director of physical therapy and rehab at the hospital. "Patients with balance or coordination problems, or sore backs and joints will find the pool to be a very effective and comfortable alternative to land-based therapy. We're excited to be able to offer aquatic therapy services here in Wellsboro."
Lymphedema care from certified lymphedema specialist Cindi Zigarski, physical therapist, also is offered at the new center.
Known as Complete Decongestive Therapy, CDT treats challenging cases of chronic edema, which sometimes arises as a complication of radiation treatments, surgery or trauma. While lymphedema can be debilitating, it often can be effectively treated with gentle, non-invasive methods, such as manual lymphatic drainage (progressive, gentle massage), compression bandaging, instruction in proper skin care, use of compression garments, remedial exercises and self-manual lymphatic drainage.
For more information, call 723-0120.
YWCA thanks sexual assault nurse examiners
The YWCA of Northcentral PA would like to thank local sexual assault nurse examiners, also called SANEs, who provide exceptional care to men, women and children in the wake of abuse and violence. As medical professionals, they collect fingernail scrapings, document ligature marks or gunshot wounds, and swab for potential DNA evidence while making the health and safety of their patients the top priority.
Following trauma such as sexual assault, domestic violence, elder abuse and neglect, child maltreatment, human trafficking and other forms of intentional or unintentional injury, forensic nurses and sexual assault nurse examiners provide skill and respect that is vital to victims in crisis.
"I find the sexual assault nurse examiners in our community to be an amazing group of women," said Lynn Bies, manager of Wise Options, a 24/7 emergency shelter and hotline for those facing domestic violence, sexual assault and crime. "Whether it is a child where there is suspected abuse or an adult that has been raped, the compassion and care these women provide is so important. SANEs allow victims to have power and dignity in a time where all that has been stripped away from them."
Perhaps the most difficult job of the nurse examiner is the examination itself. The nurse hears the victim tell the traumatic details of what they have just been through a process that can be as frightening as the act itself.
"Victims deserve competent and compassionate care and SANEs provide that," Bies said.
In addition to medical care, nurse examiners provide emotional support as they share the burden of fear that a parent goes through after bringing their child to the emergency room because of the suspicion of sexual abuse.
They hear the shame and pain as a woman tells them of her repeated rape by someone she thought was her friend. But in hearing the details of the abuse, sexual assault nurse examiners offer help and support that significantly increases the reporting of the crime and improve the likelihood of prosecution of the perpetrator.
"I cannot say enough how important these women are to our community," Bies said of the work done by the nurses.
State 'appreciates' local doctor
The state Department of Health awarded Dr. Grace Shu, of Williamsport, its Certificate of Appreciation on Nov. 14 at a meeting in Harrisburg.
The award recognizes Shu's years of dedication to Pennsylvania and her participation as a key stakeholder in Pennsylvania's HIV prevention and treatment planning process with the Division of HIV/AIDS. Attendees included Department of Health Acting Secretary Michael Wolf, Deputy Secretary Martin Raniowski and HIV/AIDS division Director Kenneth McGarvey.
Shu serves on the Pennsylvania HIV Prevention Community Planning Committee and is a commissioner to the Governor's Advisory Commission on Asian American Affairs.
With respect to international issues, Shu is chief adviser to the City of Williamsport on international affairs and the senior adviser to the China Center for Disease Control, China AIDS/STD Prevention & Control Center.
UCF College of Medicine, Geisinger Health System form learning collaborative
The UCF College of Medicine in Florida has established a Learning Collaborative with Geisinger Health System, a Pennsylvania-based, not-for-profit health services organization nationally known for developing innovative models of care.
Through the partnership, UCF and Geisinger, in collaboration with other local and national partners, will develop and model new approaches to health care and clinical education.
Through public-private partnerships, the college and others at Medical City at Lake Nona are looking to establish a "green field" of innovation that combines Medical Education, research and patient care. As part of that effort, Geisinger and UCF will leverage Medical City as a natural laboratory for developing a variety of initiatives, including patient-centered wellness programs, public health initiatives and best practices in medical education and advanced health information technology.
As part of the Learning Collaborative, Geisinger will provide advice and expertise on ways to create seamless health care delivery options in an environment of education and research that improve quality and decrease costs.
"Geisinger and the UCF College of Medicine share a common commitment to transforming healthcare in this country," said Dr. Glenn D. Steele Jr., president and CEO of Geisinger Health System. "In order to do that, we must find new ways to coordinate and organize care within the constructs of medical education and patient engagement. We believe this collaboration will be a source of positive change within the health care community and for the residents of Central Florida."
"This community helped create the UCF College of Medicine," said Dr. Deborah German, vice president for medical affairs and founding dean of the medical school. "Our focus is to provide a health care resource for Central Florida that addresses community needs and complements and integrates with existing providers. This partnership will help us train doctors and scientists to be health leaders for the 21st century."