Pediatric Therapy Program at Exercisabilities

Pediatric Therapy Program at Exercisabilities

Why a specialized pediatric program is important when a child needs therapy.

 

Tessah Skoog, PT,DPT

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Beginning in January 2018, Exercisabilities now offers a pediatric program to meet the needs of the children in our community.  This new program creates a continuum of care from infant to adulthood in one location.  Your child can grow with their therapy program instead of growing out of it.  With a team just for kids, we now provide speech, occupational and physical therapy. We your child to be as independent as possible!

Similar Goals, Different Paths

Treatment for our pediatric program is not significantly different than that of our adult population. However, there are many things to consider when treating a pediatric client:

  • What are their strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are the parents’ goals for their children?
  • How can we get a child to actively participate in “play” that is therapeutic and purposeful?
  • What if a child won’t do what I want them to? Can I alter each activity to make it skilled and appropriate?

With the adult population, it is easier to make a plan at the beginning of your session and follow it straight through. For example, you might have an adult who has a diagnosis of post stroke. The session will focus on stretching, cardiovascular training, functional activities with sit to stands, reaching or gait training. At the beginning of the session, the client is educated on how the course of the session is likely to go, they agree, and the session is over before you know it.

Pediatric Program Takes Creativity and Passion

With the pediatric population, we need a different approach. There needs to be a variety of activities planned for therapeutic play and the child often does not cooperate the entire time. It takes creativity, energy and passion to treat a pediatric client. With ages ranging from 0-18 (and sometimes older) the pediatric population can provide challenges with how to facilitate functional activities. If you want to get a child to roll, how can you activate the appropriate muscles on the floor, on a stability ball? Use of a variety or resources is needed. It takes more than just telling the child to roll; it involves play, demonstration, and clapping when the activity is completed appropriately.

Consider a child that needs to strengthen their calves.   You want them to reach over head and go on to their tippy toes. Well, you need a mirror, a shelf or something for them to reach for. It then becomes an activity that they don’t even realize they are doing! They are on their toes reaching for their favorite toy above them because they want it so bad! A pediatric session waxes and wanes, it’s a rollercoaster. You don’t spend 15 minutes on one activity, you’re lucky to get 5 minutes!

Team of Therapists

It also takes a team.  The needs a developing child can be very different from that of an adult.  Things like learning development, speech development, social interaction, and ability to play can be impacted by trauma, cognitive or physical impairments.  Exercisabilities has an experienced pediatric team of occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy to work on all aspects of recovery and development.

But what about school therapy, isn’t that enough or doesn’t the school have an obligation to provide therapy to all children in need.  Yes, school-based therapies are important.  The goals of school-based therapies are to insure that all children get equal access to and benefit from school education.  Often, it is not enough.  For recovery and improved development to occur, frequency of intervention is key.  Accessing an outpatient skilled therapy program in addition to your periodic school-based therapies is often essential for success to occur.

Early Intervention

The overall benefit of a utilizing a separate and specialized pediatric therapy program with early intervention is to promote a higher level of independence lifelong for your child. We want each child to do as much as they can! With regularly scheduled therapies available at younger ages, strength can develop earlier, contractures can be prevented, speech can be improved, social interaction will excel, strategies for families and school can be made, and necessary equipment discovered.  As the child grows, adjustments need to be made often to make for a successful overall plan.  Pediatric therapy is IMPORTANT! Exercisabilities wants to be a place that makes all things POSSIBLE for children (and adults)!

At the end of the day, pediatric or adult, the goals are the same: to help each person reach their full potential and to improve. How we reach our goals and get to our final destination looks VERY different. Age is a number, but we need to be mindful how we meet the needs of our patients at all ages.

 


You can help with our 2018 Goals: 200 Twitter followers and 800 Facebook followers!

Follow us on  Twitter @Exercisabilitie and  Facebook @Exercisabilities

You can help with Fundraising for Exercisabilities programs in one easy step on Facebook

RAF Grant for new Pediatric Program
Ten Thousand dollar grant received from Rochester Area Foundation

You can help to fundraise for EA with a few easy steps on Facebook!  Start today!

  • Do you have a Facebook account?
  • Have you liked @exercisabilities on Facebook?
  • Have you wondered how you could help join in on helping EA with fundraising efforts to support our programs and help to grow our scholarship program, but not sure how?
  • We have the easy fundraising answer – a facebook fundraiser

Here’s the scoop

Facebook has created a new program to assist nonprofits to raise fee-free money and to assist friends of nonprofits to assist with peer to peer efforts. Here is how you can help.

On your phone: Below the donate tab, there are tabs that read home, about, etc. that scroll from right to left.  Scroll to the end to find FUNDRAISERS tab and click.  Follow the instructions.

On Computer:  You will find the fundraisers tab on the left on the main page.  Click and follow instructions.

The instructions are very easy, you can write a story of why you want to help EA, select contacts who you think will like to donate, and ask them to share your post.

Donating is so easy for your contacts!  They can use a credit card and all funds go straight into our bank account without any fees from Facebook!  This is the best fee free fundraising that you can do to help EA reach our nonprofit goals of access to ALL!  Thank you for considering assisting in our fundraising efforts at EA!  You can help us make a big difference in many lives!

Hand Therapy

Hand Therapy 

Specialized Services in Occupational Therapy

Exercisabilities provides high quality recovery from disorders of the hand in our state of the art occupational therapy gym.

We work with all major insurance and worker’s compensation to assist you in many areas of hand and arm rehabilitation. Recovery after surgery, pain recovery, mobilization, splinting, prosthetics education and use, and much more.

Call today for your evaluation for your hand therapy assessment.  We accept direct access for occupational therapy services.  507-259-7570

Rochester Area Foundation Grant will Help to Start Pediatric Program at Exercisabilities

Rochester Area Foundation Grant will Help to Start Pediatric Program at Exercisabilities

 

$10,000 grant to develop a Pediatric Rehabilitation Outpatient Program

 

ROCHESTER, Minn. – Exercisabilities was recently awarded a $10,000 grant from the Rochester Area Foundation. The grant will be used to develop a pediatric rehabilitation outpatient program at Exercisabilities.

“This grant is a blessing to the families in Rochester who are seeking access to high quality pediatric rehabilitation services” explains Melanie Brennan, Exercisabilities Director and Founder. “There is a current shortage in openings at area rehabilitation facilities for occupational therapy, speech therapy, and physical therapy, especially for children on the autism spectrum.”

 

“The money will help us purchase equipment that is unique and necessary to expand our services to children,” adds Brennan.  “We are so thankful for the Rochester Area Foundation to move this program forward to fulfill an immediate need.”

 

The Rochester Area Foundation awards bi-annual grants through a competitive application and review process from shareholder endowments held at the Rochester Area Foundation.

 

About Rochester Area Foundation

For over 70 years, the Rochester Area Foundation has partnered with donors to build and improve the quality of life in the greater Rochester area through philanthropic leadership and community partnerships.  To find out how the Foundation can connect you with the causes you care about most; call (507) 282-0203 or visit online at www.rochesterarea.org

 

About Exercisabilities

Exercisabilities is a physical rehabilitation and medical fitness facility located on North Broadway in Rochester.  Exercisabilities offers a full range of specialized services including long-term assistance with physical recovery following illness, disability, or pain, medically based fitness services for many diagnoses, and other physical and occupational therapy services for all ages. In 2017, Exercisabilities has served more than 12,000 visits meeting the needs of the Rochester Community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why is Exercisabilities a 501c3 nonprofit?

Many times a week I get asked, “why did you become a nonprofit?”  I usually say, “because we are here to care for people, and it made sense to do that as a nonprofit.”  Although, admittedly, the answer is quite broader than that.  And, maybe the question is much deeper than that.

What does being a nonprofit business mean?  Well, society usually has many different answers to this.  Factually, a 501c3 public charity is generally defined by the IRS as an organization which receives a substantial portion of its revenue from the general public or from government and has a mission that provides needed services for the good of the public.   One of the most distinct provisions unique to Section 501(c)(3) organizations is the tax deductibility of donations. 26 U.S.C. § 170, provides a deduction, for federal income tax purposes, for some donors who make charitable contributions to most types of 501(c)(3) organizations[2]. Also, many states allow 501(c)(3) organizations to be exempt from sales tax on purchases, as well as exemption from property taxes.  Although the IRS and the state of MN declare that a public charity should receive a substantial amount of revenue from public and government funding, the exact percentage amount is not defined.  In fact, it is strongly encouraged that nonprofit organizations think of themselves as a business with responsible financial management and establish income streams related to their nonprofit mission (income dollars not related to their mission may be taxable according to state and federal law) such as sliding scale fees.  At the end of the day, nonprofit’s have expenses just like any other for profit business.  Payroll, rent, administrative costs, heat, air, snow removal are all expenses that are not always worthy of donation or grant support but a reality for any organization that needs to be paid if they want to keep the doors open.  It is very important to remember that without funds to cover these real operational costs, your favorite nonprofit would not exist.  For more on this, watch this TEd Talks by Dan Pallotta.  It is a very compelling talk that will change your donor mindset forever.

As for Exercisabilities and the decision to become a nonprofit, making money for profit in the medical industry comes with many financial and ethical considerations.  First,  it is true that we seek reimbursement for all of our services.  First and foremost, we must keep the doors open and operationally must collect an income.  This reimbursement comes from many different sources including medical insurance, private payments (especially considering deductibles and co-insurances), or the county and state of MN waiver program. It took nearly $1,000,000 in 2016 just to keep the lights on and the staff paid well enough to be competitive in the work force.   For those of you who know, we did amazing work in 2016.  It would have been impossible to raise $1,000,000 without seeking reimbursement.  However, what does our reimbursement look like?  We run about 60%-70% Medicare/Medicaid casemix.  For those of you in the medical industry, this is very high.  Our Medicare reimbursement is at cost meaning that we get paid exactly what it costs us.  MN medicaid pays us $10 below our cost of providing care.  This means that we hare often receiving just at or below our cost to deliver care.  This = no profit.  But, it is enough to keep our doors open and do what we do well every day.  But, does it allow us enough to do any charity work.  No.

So why do we need donations to support our mission? There is a gap.  There is a huge gap.  There are people like R.J.  She has chronic pain.  It is debilitating and severe.  She has worked to improve it for years.  She is working hard to stay off narcotics and to live a socially fulfilling life, as well as earn a living at a job.  She has tried everything.  But what she has found works best is a great combination of gentle exercise, meditation and relaxation activities, and regular PT visits to work on many aspects of her pain both physically and cognitively.  Jared has helped her considerably to overcome her pain and return to work.  One day, her insurance said that they would no longer pay for her PT or provide any reimbursement for exercise classes – what has worked.  Without PT and access to affordable exercise instruction or equipment, she regressed.  She could no longer go to work, and no longer make a livable wage.  This is the gap that we see time and time again.  How can we help one person at a time return to a life without pain, with better mobility, with the ability to walk again. The stories could go on for days.  BW had a stroke in his cervical (neck) spinal cord at age of 58.  He was preparing to retire from a life of laboring hard at work, successful at both work and family.  He was single and his kids are all grown and moved away.  He was left as a 6 foot 8 inch tall quadriplegic.  He had some ability to move his legs, but not enough to stand or walk given his tall frame.  His arms were left unusable.  He had to move to a care home, get a power wheelchair that he could propel with his chin, and just sit there.  He became stiff and pain filled his body as the staff were unable to provide enough physical or social outlets for him to move.  He no longer qualified for Physical Therapy or Occupational Therapy as he was now on Medicaid and all his savings depleted to zero.  There were no reimbursement for him, he was stuck.  One day, he found EA!  We worked to get BW out of his house and into an environment that he could move and exercise.  His pain went away and he could work on activities out of his wheelchair that made him move.  He loved it!  He got stronger and was better able to tolerate sitting all day.  He wanted to come to EA everyday.  We have been able to shift him to the Forever strong program now and he atleast comes 2 days a week.  With our fundraising efforts, we hope to get him to us more.  We got him out of the gap and feeling a part of his community again. He is healthier and happier.

What do we need to keep filling the gap?  Our Forever Strong Program is the answer.  Once our participants are done with what their insurance or therapists say is the end of their skilled, reimbursed PT/OT, they need another step.  A next phase where they keep coming and getting stronger, more socially interactive, and can learn to maintain their high physical level that was gained in PT or OT.  If they stop, they will certainly lose everything that they gained.  If they continue, our results show that they are healthier, happier, and better able to participate in their community without falls and hospitalizations.  This can save our local medical system millions of dollars in health care costs.  The Forever Strong Program can potentially partially funded by the county waiver program through the state of Minnesota.  In 2016, we became a 245D licensed facility so that we could help our participants access these funds. Thanks to this, we have started serving 31 individuals through this partially funded program, and the rest of our cost has been supported through our generous donors and grants.  In 2017 Q1-Q3, we served 31 individuals multiple times per week. However, we were only able to provide a portion of their recommended frequency due to needing to manage inadequate donation amounts to fully support the program.  The great news is that we provided 32 hours per week and provided $260/week of donated funding which equaled $14,000!  This is a great start for our first year!  Unfortunately, we currently have a huge list and are not fully providing the amounts that are recommended by the physician and therapist due to not reaching our fundraising goals yet.  Our goal is to provide for 100 clients in our forever strong program who fall into this gap of no reimbursement and poverty level financial status.  This will require nearly $300,000 per year in fundraising efforts in order to meet our goal.  How can you help?  Become a friend, attend our fundraiser, share the word about the great work that we are doing.

Attend our November Fundraiser or donate today!  We look forward to seeing you on November 10, 2017 at Somerby Golf Course at 6PM for Rock for Recovery.  Also, look for our online silent auction and participate even if you cannot attend the gala!