Penn Highlands Offers Outpatient Speech, Occupational and Physical Therapy in One Location

Viki Bell of Clearfield is shown exercising during a session of Cardiac Rehab at Penn Highlands Clearfield under the guidance of Jason Yale, exercise physiologist at PH Clearfield. (Provided photo)

CLEARFIELD – We all love “one-stop” shopping, but did you know Penn Highlands Clearfield can offer all your physical, occupational and speech therapy in one location?

Shelley Spicher, director of rehabilitation services at Penn Highlands Clearfield, discussed the many services offered at both the Clearfield and Philipsburg offices.

Spicher said the office in Clearfield offers both in-patient and out-patient services. The physical therapy department includes amputee rehabilitation, joint replacement therapy, neurologic rehabilitation orthopedic and sports injury treatment, pediatric therapy, reduced activity tolerance programs, stroke rehabilitation and management and vestibular (vertigo) rehabilitation.

The occupational therapy program offers services to improve activities of daily living, hand mobility therapy, lymphedema management, pediatric therapy, stroke management, urinary incontinence programs and programs to improve vision and cognitive function.

Spicher said the speech therapy is particularly promising. She said the program offers cognitive rehabilitation, expressive and receptive therapy, language programs, pediatric therapy, stroke management and the Vital Stimulation swallowing program.

The office also offers cardiac rehabilitation and pulmonary rehabilitation. These programs offer a variety of services for patients of bypass surgery, congestive heart failure, heart attacks, stent placement, valve replacement, asthma, bronchitis, COPD, emphysema, lung cancer/lung transplants and pulmonary fibrosis.

“We want the residents to know they can get all these services right here, in one place,” Spicher said.

“You don’t have to go to this place for your physical therapy, and then drive to another place for your speech therapy and yet another place for your occupational therapy.

“A lot of people don’t realize that we do out-patient services as well as in-patient.”

Spicher said a big advantage to the rehabilitation center is that the appointments are one-on-one.

“It’s one patient working with one therapist at a time,” Spicher said. “It’s not a room full of people, it’s just you and your therapist.”

Spicher said the hospital has been seeing some very positive results with the “Loud and Big” program.

“Loud and Big” is designed to help patients with Parkinson’s Disease and other neurological issues. It combines both speech and occupational therapies to improve function of the patient’s mind and muscles.

“We’ve seen some very significant results in our patients,” Spicher said. “It’s four days a week for four weeks and then there is some maintenance activities that patients will do in order to keep up with the progress they’ve made.”

Spicher said patients looking to enroll in the program can get a referral from their doctors.

“The goal is to get to the patients before the debilitation becomes too great,” Spicher said. “We start very early to prevent the progression of the disease.” She said patients with questions can call and speak to a certified therapist.

She said there has also been a big push for cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation.

“We see a lot of cardiac and pulmonary patients, but it’s important that patients know that they’re not just exercising,” Spicher said.

“We monitor their heart rates and rhythms, we monitor their blood sugar; the goal is to allow these patients to have a more independent life. It’s a program designed to reduce the fear and anxiety for both the patient and the family.”

Spicher said many patients with heart or breathing conditions have a lot of anxiety about doing certain activities because they get tired or out-of-breath, so they avoid them.

“We educate them on ways to reduce the risk factors and to reduce the stress,” she said. “We use breathing techniques and methods to increase energy conservation. They learn how to simplify daily tasks, build strength and to pace themselves so they don’t get fatigued.”

She said the patients participate in a 12-week program and that Penn Highlands offers the only outpatient pulmonary program in the area.

For more information, call the Clearfield office at 814-765-2285 or the Philipsburg office at 814-342-8287.

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