A $4,607 contribution from the Hutchinson Regional Medical Center (HRMC) Auxiliary funded specialized training for seven therapists responsible for treating patients with Parkinson’s disease.
LaVerna Shaw, past president of the HRMC Auxiliary, said the funding decision was based in part by the growing number of people afflicted with Parkinson’s disease. “Approximately ten million people worldwide are living with Parkinson’s disease, including 60,000 Americans, which prompted the Outpatient Rehab Unit within the hospital to seek specialized certification for seven therapists responsible for treating these patients,” Shaw said.
Lori Hartnett, Director of Rehab Services, said the program is called the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT). Research for LSVT began in 1983 at the Lee Silverman center for Parkinson’s disease in Scottsdale, Arizona. In 2002, the LSVT program was developed and can only be provided by specially-trained therapists.
“Successful utilization of LSVT improves voice, communication, and swallowing for patients with Parkinson’s disease,” Hartnett said. “Approximately 90 percent of people living with Parkinson’s disease have difficulty with their speech.”
LSVT can be provided by a LSVT Certified Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist, or both depending on the individual goals and needs of the patient,” Hartnett continued. “Beginning LSVT before physical changes occur can have the best impact on quality of life.”
Many auxiliary members volunteer their time daily throughout the hospital to assist patients and family members at the hospital. The Auxiliary manages the Gift Shop and profits generated through the store and other special events and sales are used to expand and enhance the hospital’s services.
Ken Johnson, President and CEO of Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System, thanked the Auxiliary for their generosity for the contribution and said HRMC could not function without the hard work of the Auxiliary.
“The Auxiliary is an indispensable part of the hospital’s operation and could easily be called our greatest ambassadors,” Johnson said. “Also, the contribution is timely as our patient count for Parkinson’s disease is on the rise.”
Entities within HRHS are Hutchinson Regional Medical Center, Hospice and HomeCare of Reno County, Horizons Mental Health Center, Health-E-Quip and the Hutchinson Regional Medical Foundation.