Bacharach Institute for Rehabilitation is celebrating its 90th events planned throughout 2014. As Bacharach commemorates 90 years of working to keep the community strong, it will hold a series of events over Mother’s Day Weekend, including co-sponsoring the Shirley Mae Run and Michael J. Walk and holding an all day birthday party at Bacharach Institute on May 9th.
Bacharach’s Rich and Fascinating History
Bacharach Today – Offering Cutting-Edge Treatment and Programs
Joyce Glick, Vice President of Ambulatory Care Services at Bacharach, understands the importance of physical therapy for any injury. Not only is physical therapy beneficial for recovery, but it is best utilized early after any injury for the fastest recovery.
“I believe that physical therapy should be considered as a first course of action for many sports and joint injuries rather than something to try down the line,” said Joyce.
Joyce shared a personal story that illustrates the benefits of early physical therapy for injuries. When her 14-year-old son sprained his ankle playing basketball for a local recreation league, she immediately spoke with his pediatrician suggesting early physical therapy to help with the swelling and recovery.
“I was amazed at the innovative variety of techniques and modalities that were available,” Joyce said. The therapist recommended Kinesio taping, a relatively new taping technique used in the Olympics that provides muscle and joint support without restricting range of motion. As a result of early physical therapy, her son’s ankle never had the chance to swell up and hold him back from recovery. He went on to win the basketball MVP award despite his injury.
Physical therapy is not usually viewed as a front-line treatment for injuries. Patients are told to go home and rest an injury and if that doesn’t work, then they are referred to a physical therapist. Joyce encourages everyone to ask their primary care physician about receiving physical therapy earlier in the process, saying, “Physical therapists play an important role in helping people to increase their ability to move, decrease pain and improve their quality of life.”
Through a state-of-the-art program of assessment and progressive therapy, Bacharach’s team of doctors, nurses and therapists specialize in getting injured workers back to work. With a complete menu of services supporting workplace-related performance issues, the Bacharach team has a unique expertise in vocational and industrial rehabilitation.
In addition, Bacharach's industrial rehab team provides job analysis support; ergonomic assessments; assists employers in preparing accurate job descriptions; and can survey the workspace to minimize safety risks and increase ergonomic efficiency.
Bacharach offers those injured in the workplace a range of programs designed to help them return to their jobs with a reduced risk of re-injury. For example, our work hardening program offers individuals job specific stretching and strengthening exercise programs to minimize the risk of work-related musculoskeletal disorders and increase productivity.
Imagine a roofer with a shoulder injury that has been surgically repaired. The injury took place on the job, so workers' comp manages the care. Naturally, the roofing company does not want this injured worker to return until the shoulder has fully healed, but equally important, the worker should not return until he has built up both his strength and endurance for such a physically demanding job. Here is where industrial rehab experts like Tony Ivy, PT and Laura Lee Smith, OT are so important.
“I have the equipment and materials to simulate the physical aspects of a job right here in our therapy gym. I work with the patient to gradually build up to full capacity. Only when the worker is thoroughly ready will I recommend he return to work,” said Ivy.
Our functional capacity evaluation (FCE) establishes safe levels of exertion for workers recovering from injury. In addition to establishing maximum safe levels for lifting, carrying, pushing and pulling, the FCE addresses specific questions such as: Can an injured worker return to his/her previous job with or without reasonable accommodations?; In what capacity can an injured worker work competitively?; Has an injured worker reached his/her maximal benefit from rehabilitation?; and, Is an injured worker magnifying symptoms?
“Most injured workers just want to be healthy again and go back to work, but there are some who think that the injury will put them permanently out of work,” said Ivy. “An FCE test gives the therapist and physician objective results, and can identify when an injured worker is consciously or unconsciously representing less than full effort. In fact, FCEs are considered accurate and are often used in lawsuits to document the true extend of a worker’s injury.”
Bacharach’s Industrial Rehab Program offers one-stop-shopping, with therapies and case management in one setting. Sheila Hudak, RN, CCM, Bacharach’s Workers’ Comp case manager can interact with the patient face to face as necessary, and using many years of nursing experience and skill, make accurate assessments of progress and cooperation. “There is no substitute for interaction on a personal level,” said Hudak. “Additionally, Bacharach has 16 physical therapy centers. Patients may be seamlessly shifted to a more convenient care setting as they heal and grow stronger, which is especially useful for those who return to work on modified duty while they are still in therapy.”
To learn more, call (609) 748-2080.
Kathleen Diblin, MSCCC-SLPBRS-S, Director of the Speech Language Pathology Department at Bacharach, became interested in speech pathology when she was an undergraduate student at Monmouth University. After doing a research project at a school for communication-impaired children, she knew this was the career she wanted to pursue. Later, while attending graduate school in Washington, D.C., she worked with adults and children in a private practice and developed a particular interest in swallowing disorders. In 2011, she achieved board recognition in this specialty. Today, Kathleen, with Bacharach for the past 14 years, works with adults and children with swallowing disorders.
Swallowing disorders in children are frequently caused by premature birth with associated pulmonary issues. When she works with pediatric patients, Kathleen conducts extensive testing in order to make a recommendation as to the next step in their treatment. Many times, she recommends families work with a complete feeding team including a pediatrician, gastroenterologist, neurologist, psychologist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist and feeding specialist – all specializing in pediatrics. Working with a comprehensive team ensures all the child’s needs will be met.
Kathleen shared, “We will work with pediatric patients and their parents to obtain their full medical history, as at this point, all their life experiences reflect on their swallowing ability. We assess issues such as oral movements, excess secretions, tracheotomy and PEG tube history, oral weakness and other medical complications that may be contributing to their swallowing issues.”
Kathleen also works with babies who have recently been released from the neonatal ICU. She said, “We encourage a connection between the babies and their mother. Through encouraging bonding during swallowing therapy, it offers stimulation in a non-invasive way.”
Children who have already had invasive breathing and feeding tubes, which are traumatic experiences for the baby, often have not only muscle and sensory weaknesses, but also fear and anxiety of further invasive therapy techniques. Kathleen continued, “Our field has moved toward a natural way of teaching babies to swallow that is more focused on increasing strength in a slow and gentle manner.”
Adults with head, throat and neck cancer, stroke, brain injury and Parkinson’s disease can develop swallowing issues, as well. Adult patients frequently participate in a modified barium swallow study to evaluate how they tolerate different foods ranging from applesauce and bananas to bread and cookies. The foods are covered with barium so they can be viewed on an X-ray to determine how they move from the mouth to the base of the throat and into the esophagus. This allows Kathleen and her team to determine if the patient has a muscle weakness causing the food to remain in the mouth or throat, or enter into the airway causing aspiration. Based on the outcome of her assessment, she will recommend diet consistencies that are safe for the patient in addition to individualized therapy techniques.
One therapy technique, VitalStim Therapy, involves putting electrodes on the throat in correlation with muscle and sensory weaknesses determined from the modified barium swallow study. Kathleen explained, “The electrodes used during VitalStim Therapy provide extra stimulation to the muscle while the patient is actively swallowing. Combined with exercises and eating/drinking, this additional stimulation helps that muscle to remember to provide for a stronger contraction while swallowing, providing the patient with the extra support they need. Our goal is to retrain the nerves and muscles.”
As to the results of VitalStim Therapy, Kathleen shared, “The results have been really strong – particularly with patients who have had stroke or brain injuries, there have been strong outcomes of returning a patient to oral intake. Therapy can be effective in as little as four weeks, however, other times patients need six-to-10 weeks to see results.”
Bacharach’s Wellness Programs offer those who have completed their therapy an opportunity to work out in Bacharach’s well-equipped facilities. Many patients who take advantage of this program have recently undergone surgery such as hip or knee replacement and stay for a few weeks, although some stay longer.
According to Kris McCarthy, PT, clinical director of Bacharach’s Brigantine facility, “Although this is not a formal physical therapy program, there are physical therapists on-site available to answer questions.”
The program provides former patients with the ability to continue to exercise in a familiar setting. Kris continued, “In many ways, this program is like an extremely affordable gym membership with access to our professional equipment including treadmills, upright and recumbent bikes, free weights and cuff weights, a rowing machine, arm bikes and more.”
Bacharach Wellness Programs are open to anyone who recently completed a physical or occupational therapy program at Bacharach. A Bacharach therapist will establish an exercise program to reflect the Wellness client’s goals of weight-loss, strengthening and more and review it with them over three sessions to familiarize them with the equipment and exercises before turning them over to the independent program.
In addition to its Wellness Programs, Bacharach’s Tuckerton satellite offers a gentle exercise class for those who have balance issues frequently associated with Parkinson’s disease or Multiple Sclerosis. Participants perform general exercises based on their abilities that focus on walking and balance issues. Kimberly E. Cullen, PT, DPT, CLT, who runs Tuckerton’s Wellness Program and the Parkinson’s class, said, “Those who are coming to the class consistently say that it makes a huge difference in how they feel.”
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