ESCANABA – The public is invited to tour the new John & Melissa Besse Physical Rehabilitation Center during an open house on Wednesday, Sept. 24. Tours of the new Center will be offered from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Business After Hours will be hosted at the new Rehab Center later that evening, from 5 to 7 p.m.
Last fall OSF began construction on the new 13,300 square foot facility with the help of a $2.5 million gift from the John & Melissa Besse Foundation. A gift of $1.1 million from the Sisters of The Third Order of St. Francis, along with $500,000 in unrestricted funds from the OSF St. Francis Foundation and $350,000 in donations from the community provided the remaining funds needed to complete the project. Total cost was $4.45 million.
“We are so grateful to John and Melissa Besse for all they have done for our community through our hospital,” said Dave Lord, president and CEO at OSF. “Their generous gifts to our Foundation over the past 13 years have allowed us to bring permanent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) services to the community, a larger emergency department with expanded services, and now this new Rehabilitation and Wellness Center.”
Lord said the Hospital has just over 56,000 rehab patient visits each year in its current location within thehospital. The new Center, located on the east end of the hospital campus along Willow Creek Road, will provide more space for services previously provided, as well as needed new services. New services include outpatient speech therapy, a wellness area, and warm water pool therapy, featuring a copper-ionized pool with an underwater treadmill, resistance jets and a lift.
Aquatic therapy has been shown to provide enhanced patient outcomes, particularly in children and adults with peripheral neuropathy or nerve injuries, sports injuries; foot and ankle injuries; total joint replacements; neck, back and spine surgeries; arthritis; closed head injuries and stroke; cardiac issues; spinal cord injuries; fibromyalgia; chronic pain; Parkinson’s Disease; balance/fall risk; and other issues, according to Paul Bracket, manager of Rehab Services at OSF.
In addition to the new pool, Bracket noted the Center will also feature a short track for youth and adult athletes, a wellness program for individuals transitioning from treatment to supervised preventive care, and a large central gym area for therapeutic exercise programs. Additionally, it will have 12 private treatment bays, an expanded occupational therapy area and a designated pediatric therapy area for children with physical, emotional and/or developmental challenges
OSF occupational therapists see about 200 pediatric patients each year, with that number expected to grow in the coming years, said Bracket. He said reasons children are referred to OT include: coordinationor balance issues, delayed motor skill development, low muscle tone or strength, difficulty handwriting, learning disabilities, behavioral challenges, decreased attention, decreased self-esteem, decreased visualskills and difficulty eating.
“In particular, we work with many children who suffer with autism spectrum disorder (ASD),” said Theresa Kanous, occupational therapist at OSF.
She indicated that as more parents become aware of the services available through OSF’s rehab services department and benefits they provide, the department has experienced a continued increase in the number of children it sees.