Putting the Fun in Physical Therapy

When Melissa Newman was told that her four-year-old daughter, Marissa, would need weekly sessions with a physical therapist and an occupational therapist, she knew it would be a major time commitment.

So Melissa, a Lancaster resident, was excited when she learned that she wouldn’t have to drive Marissa to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital every week for therapy; instead, she could schedule it close to home at Fairfield Medical Center.

Marissa is just one of the many children who receives occupational and physical therapy at FMC’s Outpatient Therapy Services, or OPTS.

“Having these services here in our community has made the weekly therapies much more manageable,” Melissa said.

One of the key things Marissa uses for her therapy is a pediatric climbing wall, which is customizable for each patient based on skill level and goals. The wall helps children improve fine motor skills, strength and balance.

“Marissa enjoys the climbing wall, but it’s also really challenging with her low muscle tone,” Melissa said.

FMC’s OPTS offers Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy at 1143 E. Main St. in the Kroger shopping plaza. The pediatric therapy services are designed to help children build confidence as they reach their full developmental potential while still having fun.

In 2014, OPTS was able to purchase 11 new pieces of equipment to help pediatric patients who have injuries or developmental delays. The items were purchased through a $20,000 donation from the Aladdin Shriners Hospital Association for Children, Inc., which has gifted more than $250,000 to FMC in the past 40 years.

Carolyn Gilliam, physical medicine manager of OPTS, said she’s thankful for the support of the Aladdin Shriners Hospital Association for Children, as it has allowed OPTS to expand its services for young patients like Marissa.

“Considering that up to 50 percent of our patients at any given time are young children and young adults experiencing everything from developmental delays to sports injuries, this equipment is imperative to their success,” Gilliam said.

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