Rehabilitation Services

Audiology

One in ten Americans has some form of hearing loss. Chances are that you or someone you know could benefit from the services at Lewis County General Hospital’s new Audiology Center.

On May 3, 2010, LCGH opened the doors to its new state-of-the-art Audiology Center, with Karen Strife-Borawski as the Audiologist. Karen received her Master’s degree in Audiology from the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh, completed her externship at the Rome Developmental Center and her full-time clinical fellowship at the Children’s Hospital and Rehabilitation Center in Utica. Karen has been a full-time clinical audiologist for over 23 years in Northern New York.

People are referred to an audiologist by their physician for diagnostic testing of the auditory system (hearing), the vestibular system (balance mechanism), and/or rehabilitation of a hearing loss. The reason for these visits may include difficulty hearing, ear pain, ear infection, ringing in the ears, balance problems, speech delays or screening of newborns at risk for hearing loss. 

There will be many services offered, including but not limited to, Hearing Screenings, Impedance Testing, VNGs, and Hearing Aid Maintenance. Hearing screenings include a brief test of pure tones, or beeps, presented at different pitches and loudness levels to determine the degree and type of hearing loss present and help determine whether or not the loss is permanent or if a referral for medical treatment is necessary. Impedance Testing measures the middle ear function including acoustic reflex thresholds and helps determine the need for medical follow-up. A VNG (vestibulonystagmography) test provides physicians with information which may be important for making a diagnosis on a patient who is suffering from balance problems or dizziness. Hearing Aid Maintenance includes a cleaning and equipment check to see if the hearing aid is working according to specifications.

Full Hearing Evaluations and Hearing Aid Assessments will become available also. Full Hearing Evaluations will be available for all ages and are comprehensive hearing tests that obtain pure tone air and bone conduction thresholds, speech reception thresholds and speech discrimination ability scores. Hearing Aid Assessments are completed after it is determined through a hearing evaluation that the patient is a candidate for amplification. Different brands of hearing aids are fitted to determine the one best suited for the individual. We are here to serve you and your family from newborns to grandparents

For more information, please call (315) 376-5225.

 

The Balance Center

Balance is an important part of everyday life as we go about our activities of daily living such as driving a car, shopping, walking on stairs, or picking up something dropped on the floor.  Rarely do we think about balance until we have a problem. 

More than a quarter of all adults will experience at least one episode of dizziness and  3-5%  of all adults under the age of 65 experience serious reoccurring chronic difficulties with balance. One in six elderly individuals will experience multiple falls with 10-15% of these falls resulting in serious, potentially life threatening injuries.

When balance problems manifest themselves they can cause serious problems in your everyday life. Some indications of balance problems are: dizziness or unsteadiness, loss of strength or feeling in your legs, and/or a loss of confidence in your ability to get around.

A normal healthy person uses their sense of touch, vision, and the inner ear motion sensors that work in harmony with your brain to allow you to balance in your environment.  A person with a balance disorder may have a problem with one or more of these systems.

The Smart Equitest Balance Manager System purchased by LCGH will allow trained clinicians, with a Physician’s order, to evaluate you to determine which one of these systems you may be having problems with.  The center will utilize a multidisciplinary approach and each treatment will be customized to each individual. The goal is to maximize the patient’s ability to move safely and independently in their home environment.

According to Randy Lehman, MSPT, and Director of Rehabilitation at LCGH, the new center is a valuable diagnostic tool and treatment planning program.  Mr. Lehman went on to say, “I am excited about the positive impact that this will have on the lives of the people that live in this area.”

Balance Center Program Director Angela Millard, DPT says, “This is a wonderful program that we are starting. There are many people in the community who can benefit from it and I am looking forward to helping them.” At the end of April, Angela will be attending an intensive week long course taught by the top researchers in the balance and vestibular field.  Upon completion of the course she will receive her clinical competency in evaluation and treatment of balance and vestibular disorders.

Diane Freeman, PT, WCC, Assistant Director of the program was a driving force in bringing the balance center program to LCGH. She had previously treated patients with balance and vestibular disorders in Oregon before returning to her home town.  Additionally she has attended continuing education courses pertaining to balance and vestibular disorders. Diane says “I am very excited to be a part of this program and to be able to offer such a beneficial service to the residents of Lewis County and the surrounding areas.” 

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a health care profession which provides services to individuals in order to develop, maintain and restore maximum movement and functional ability throughout life. This includes providing services in circumstances where movement and function are threatened by aging, injury, disease or environmental factors.

Physical therapy is concerned with identifying and maximizing quality of life and movement potential within the spheres of promotion, prevention, treatment/intervention, habilitation and rehabilitation. This encompasses physical, psychological, emotional, and social well being. It involves the interaction between physical therapist (PT), patients/clients, other health professionals, families, care givers, and communities in a process where movement potential is assessed and goals are agreed upon, using knowledge and skills unique to physical therapists. Physical therapy is performed by either a physical therapist (PT) or an assistant (PTA) acting under their direction. 

PTs utilize an individual's history and physical examination to arrive at a diagnosis and establish a management plan, and when necessary, incorporate the results of laboratory and imaging studies. 

Physical therapy has many specialties including cardiopulmonary, geriatrics, neurologic, orthopedic and pediatrics to name some of the more common areas. PTs practice in many settings, such as outpatient clinics or offices, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, skilled nursing facilities, extended care facilities, private homes, education and research centers, schools, hospices, industrial workplaces or other occupational environments, fitness centers and sports training facilities. 

Physical Therapy Services offered:

Traditional Physical Therapy

Sports Injury Managemant

Isokinetic, Isotonic and Isometric Evaluation & Treatment

Functional Capacity Testing/Pre-Employment Screening/Work Hardening

Wound/Burn Care & Debridement

Modalities to include: ultrasound, electric stimulation, iontophoresis, traction, hot packs, cold packs, massage, TENS

Gait Training

Wheelchair Fitting

Splint Fabrication/Fitting

Group Therapy including Sensory Stimulation, Therex & Ambulation

Therapeutic Exercise

Balance/Vestibular Training

Pevlic Floor Dysfunction Therapy

Ergonomic Evaluation and Modification

Lewis County General Hospital Physical Therapy Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday 7am-5pm with weekend coverage as needed.

 

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapists at Lewis County General Hospital focus on rehabilitating patients in order to maximize their functional independence or adapt their environment to suit their needs.

Our evaluations provide a comprehensive and objective assessment of functional limitations and weakness. Through the use of the FOCUS and BTE work simulators, we can measure functional abilities using realistic activities. 

The BTE work simulator is commonly used with hand patients to regain lost skills following stroke, fractures, carpal tunnel surgery, trauma, or other medical conditions. A variety of attachments simulate tasks such as starting a car, opening a jar, gripping, pinching and using various hand tools such as screwdrivers.

Computer printouts allow the Therapist and Physician to track progress through detailed graphs and summaries. Treatment sessions can be compared using objective data to determine the ability to return to work.

Occupational Therapy Services Offered

Home Evaluations

Home Health Services

Activities of Daily Living Skills (ADL’s)

Assess Adaptive Equipment Needs

Address Upper Extremity Impairment

Hand Assessment & Therapy

Fluidotherapy (used to decrease edema & increase motion)

Lewis County General Hospital Occupational Therapy Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday 7am-4pm with weekend coverage as needed.

 

Speech Therapy

Speech-language therapy is the treatment for people with speech and/or language disorders. A speech disorder refers to a problem with the actual production of sounds, whereas a language disorder refers to a difficulty understanding or putting words together to communicate ideas. Speech disorders include the following problems:

Articulation disorders include difficulties producing sounds in syllables or saying words incorrectly to the point that other people can't understand what's being said.

Fluency disorders include problems such as stuttering, the condition in which the flow of speech is interrupted by abnormal stoppages, repetitions (st-st-stuttering), or prolonging sounds and syllables (ssssstuttering).

Resonance or voice disorders include problems with the pitch, volume, or quality of the voice that distract listeners from what's being said. These types of disorders may also cause pain or discomfort for the child when speaking.

Dysphagia/oral feeding disorders, including difficulties with eating and swallowing.

Language disorders can be either receptive or expressive: Receptive disorders refer to difficulties understanding or processing language. Expressive disorders include difficulty putting words together, limited vocabulary, or inability to use language in a socially appropriate way.

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs), often informally known as speech therapists, are professionals educated in the study of human communication, its development, and its disorders. They hold at least a master's degree and state certification/licensure in the field, as well as a certificate of clinical competency from ASHA. By assessing the speech, language, cognitive-communication, and swallowing skills of children and adults, speech-language pathologists can identify types of communication problems and the best way to treat them. SLPs treat problems in the areas of articulation; dysfluency; oral-motor, speech, and voice; and receptive and expressive language disorders.

Lewis County General Hospital Speech Therapy Hours of Operation: on-call basis as needed.

 

Wound/Burn Care and Debridements

The Wound Care Department at LCGH has recently seen improvements in their wound care services. Physical therapist, Diane Freeman, has been working in wound care for the past 12 years. Freeman recently became Wound Care Certified by the National Alliance of Wound Care.

We have also recently added a new negative pressure therapy system to our wound care services. Negative pressure wound therapy is a therapeutic technique used to help heal wounds, fight off infection and enhance the healing of various wound types. With these new additions, we now have the ability to implement various treatments to facilitate healthy tissue growth practicing moist wound healing principles.

The wound care process at LCGH deals not only with medical healing, but will also take great care of the patient through the entire wound healing process.  Physical therapists and nurses help the patients with wound healing education and assist with shipment of supplies through an independent company directly to the patient’s home if needed.

For more information on wound care services at LCGH, please contact Randy Lehman, Director of Rehabilitation Services at (315) 376-5231.

  

Other Rehabilitation Services:

Sports Injury Management

ADI, Instruction/Functional Activity Training

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Therapy

Gait Training

Evaluation & Treatment of Speech Language and Cognition

Shallow Evaluation & Therapy

Hearing & Vision Screening

Splint & Wheelchair Fitting

Patient Education

Drug Testing (Urine, Breath Alcohol & Hair)