We CARE Foundation to Support Pediatric Therapy Facility for Children with Special Needs

TYRONE – Leaders from Tyrone Regional Health Network (TRHN) and ProCare have announced the creation of the We CARE Foundation.

The purpose of the foundation is to provide therapeutic equipment, address facility issues and other items needed to provide speech, physical and occupational therapy services to area children with special needs.

Easter Seals is discontinuing the pediatric therapy services it provided in Altoona. TRHN and ProCare, in partnership, are set to provide the services effective Feb. 16 to insure there will be no gap in services when Easter Seals vacates.

However, the departure of Easter Seals also meant the departure of the majority of therapy equipment, office furniture, toys and other resources at the Altoona facility.

Stephen Gildea, chief executive officer at Tyrone Regional Health Network and Jim Foreman, CEO at ProCare, said community support will be needed to address a long list of needs at the facility.

“Word is out about the needs and some people have already offered to help,” they said. “We greatly appreciate this goodwill.”

The We CARE (Children and Adult Rehabilitation Excellence) Foundation provides a formal vehicle to receive contributions from the community whether the support is monetary or in-kind.

“We were able to get the foundation set –up in short order working with Jodi Cessna, executive director of the Central Pennsylvania Community Foundation (CPCF)”, said Gildea.   CPCF will administer the We CARE Foundation.

“A lot of therapy equipment needs to be purchased,” said Foreman.  Examples of some of the equipment needed includes exercise mat tables, equipment used to complete initial patient evaluations, such as goniometers (used to measure joint range of motion), dynamometers (used to measure grip strength) wobble boards, balance balls and balance beams. Even items such as walkers and children’s chairs are needed.

Therapy with children also involves a lot of play so a variety of toys used in therapy are needed as well. Computers for electronic medical records must also be purchased.

There is also a sensory integration room that needs to be outfitted. The room is needed for children who have issues processing all of the different sensations that come from the world around them. This requires special equipment to address each child’s unique sensitivity. A few examples of equipment needs for this room include swings, sand tables and special lighting.

A family resource room that had a variety of educational and informational resources for parents such as books, literature and CD’s also needs to be restored.

Gildea said there is a therapy pool that needs to be repaired and some other facility issues that need to be addressed including work on sewer lines.

Donations to the We CARE Foundation are welcome and appreciated. Checks may be made payable to We CARE Foundation – CPCF and mailed to the Central Pennsylvania Community Foundation, 1330 11th Ave., Altoona PA 16601.

Questions about the WE CARE Foundation may be directed to Stephen Gildea at Tyrone Regional Health Network at 814-684-1255, Ext. 1302. For more information about the Central Pennsylvania Community Foundation, visit www.centralpagives.org.

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