Susquehanna Health is offering patients suffering from Parkinson's Disease and other neurological conditions enhanced therapy treatments.
Several clinicians are certified to provide the speech therapy and occupational therapy programs, according to health system officials.
LSVT LOUD is the speech therapy program that improves vocal loudness by stimulating the voice box and speech muscles.
Joy Proctor, a certified physical therapist at Susquehanna Health, and Jenna English, a Susquehanna Health outpatient rehabilitation aide, work with a patient completing LSVT BIG exercises.
LSVT BIG targets limb movement and functional training to improve flexibility, mobility and balance.
Thomas Hoy, director of Inpatient Rehabilitative Operations, noted that Parkinson's Disease patients often struggle with what he called "soft speech."
BIG, he said, helps patients speak more loudly.
The therapy works by use of a computerized program.
"They talk into a microphone," he said. "It gives them a visual display of how loud they are speaking."
Visual feedback, Hoy noted, can be invaluable for enhancing the therapeutic process.
The goal is to speak loud and improve breathing and speech functions that were impacted by the illness.
BIG, while not a computerized program, goes a step beyond traditional therapy to improve limb movements by using exaggerated motions.
"Many patients are self-limiting," Hoy explained.
BIG, he noted, pushes patients a bit harder at the very outset of therapy than more traditional rehabilitative approaches.
Most patients are motivated to improve their conditions, but those that take a positive approach to therapy and the steps necessary to get better are more likely to see benefits.
"We have already experienced positive outcomes with patients participating in these therapies and look forward to expanding on the success to help others in the community," Hoy said.
Stroke, multiple sclerosis, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy patients all can be helped from the therapies.
Treatment plans are designed based on a particular patient's needs, according to Joseph Wood, director of Therapy Services.
"Each of these specialty services are provided in various settings to patients including during acute therapy, inpatient rehabilitiation and outpatient rehabilitation," he said.