St. John West Shore Hospital patients requiring outpatient physical therapy (PT) or occupational therapy (OT) will be heading in a slightly different direction as the outpatient clinic has moved from its location behind the hospital to the Westlake Family Health Center located at 26908 Detroit Road in Westlake. But the short drive will be worth it since patients will now receive treatment in newer, more spacious offices. In fact, Jane Keehan, Director of Rehabilitation for St. John West Shore Hospital, estimates that the offices have nearly doubled in size from their original location. “In the past few years, we have significantly expanded our service offering such that we literally outgrew our old space,” said Keehan. “We are now at a point where we can treat any type of extremity/joint/spine pain or injury. In addition to general therapy, we also have a certified hand therapist and work capacity evaluator to assess work-related injuries. And very recently, one of our occupational therapists became a lymphedema-certified therapist. We expect patient volume will grow as word spreads about our team, since there aren’t many hospitals that can offer these types of specialized therapies.”
Laura DeMart is the St. John West Shore occupational therapist who recently underwent the extensive training that allows her to specialize in the treatment of lymphedema, a chronic swelling which occurs when lymphatic fluid builds up in the soft tissues of the body, usually in an arm or leg. Unlike a temporary swelling due to a bruise or sprain, lymphedema occurs when there has been damage to the lymphatic system, which may have been caused by surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or an injury. In some cases, lymphedema may result from a congenital malformation of the lymphatic system.