Powerful Beyond Measure

These are words that describe the momentum occurring at Wellington Place and Rehabilitation in Temple, TX. The Wellington rehab team has made tremendous strides fiscally and clinically over the last eight months under the direction of Curtis A. Merring, OTR/L, MOT. Curtis brings an evidenced-based approach to rehabilitation. As a published clinical researcher himself, he has conducted research involving people who have experienced a stroke or SCI at University Medical Center Brackenridge and the University of Texas at Austin. Two of his most recent publications include, “Recovery nine years post stroke with Standardized Electrical Stimulation” in Occupational Therapy in Health Care, and “Muscle spasticity associated with reduced whole-leg perfusion in persons with spinal cord injury” in the Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine.

Curtis has challenged his entire rehabilitation team to take an evidenced-based approach to their treatments. Currently, all disciplines use a standardized outcome measure to document progress and produce monthly reports to the local hospital and for local community events. such as the recent Bell County Senior Expo Fair where the rehab team demonstrated the effectiveness of Kinesiotape. In addition to community outreach, the entire rehab team has made a point to attend courses and conferences providing the most up-to-date treatment strategies that are shared during their monthly rehab in-services.

Several of the unique cutting-edge treatment strategies being implemented and utilized at Wellington have created a buzz in the community that has helped boost referrals to not only the SNF but to the facility’s recently revitalized outpatient department. One of the most talked about new treatments at Wellington is Kinesiotaping. This has been implemented and applied by Rhianna Wagers-Hughes DPT, and Josh Reis PTA, in order to facilitate muscle, inhibit muscle, reduce pain and reduce edema. This treatment approach was traditionally used with sports, but is growing in evidenced-based outcomes with the geriatric population. The occupational therapy department led by Curtis Merring, Roger Rice OTR/L, and Becky Winsor COTA, has recently begun using standardized approaches to electrotherapy including a combination of Somatosensory and high intensity neuromuscular electrical stimulation to stroke patients resulting in improved active range of motion and voluntary control. Speech therapist Stephanie Kozeny SLP/CCC, is Vital Stim-certified and has improved the swallowing qualities of many residents through vital stim, strengthening exercises, and has also began using Kinesiotape to facilitate muscle re-education.

For 2012 the Wellington team has created a vision that reaches even higher marks and includes growing the outpatient rehabilitation program through developing needed community outpatient programs. One such program the team is pioneering and refining is a Wheelchair Seating System Program that is already receiving praise from the local physicians. Through programs such as this, Wellington is truly demonstrating true Ensign Ownership, and that’s what makes this team powerful beyond measure.


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