ACH PT program expanding

Published 7:42 am Sunday, February 3, 2002

By By Robbie Byrd, News Editor
Gregg Petty, director of Atmore Community Hospital's Physical Therapy unit is very excited, as he should be.
His department is expanding from an office and work area of 508 sq. ft. to one over 3,000sq. ft.: almost 6 times their current size.
"We're excited," Petty said. "This has been a long time coming and I'm excited to be a part of."
The new facility will provide four private rooms, instead of the one room patients currently share. It will also provide a dedicated room for whirlpools, a conference room for physical therapy education, a work hardening' program, health and gym equipment for patient and employee use, as well as a pediatrics and urinary incontinence care room.
The hospital has also purchased a "C-Arm" mechanism which allows them to do live x-ray viewing for all types of surgeries, including hip and joint pinning and replacements.
The renovation project began Nov. 19, and contractors believe to have the work finished in 2-3 weeks.
Because of the expectation for growth, the hospital decided it was time for a new PT area.
"They've done some a great job with treatment," said Bob Gowing, director of ACH. "There's definitely a need for more space."
"We're getting more concerned about patient confidentiality," Petty said. "The patients have been very patient, and we have listened to them and they told us they wanted more room and privacy. We wanted to give them something back."
The new area will be located on the back side of the hospital, complete with parking spaces designated for PT patients. Petty hopes to have an awning placed over the drop off area after renovation is complete.
With 3 full time physical therapists, 1 part time and a full time assistant, the department hopes to be able to do more with its expanded space.
"We want to get into sports medicine," Petty said. "With this space we can do that."
The C-Arm flouroscopic x-ray machine will also help expand the ability of ACH to do more surgeries and diagnostics in house that normally they would have to travel elsewhere to do.
"This gives us the capability to do many more of operations and surgeries here," said Laurie Wallace, radiology manager at ACH. "We can use for it many different types of things."
While the C-Arm will be used for surgical purposes only, Wallace said that does not mean it will lie dormant.
"We can use this for pacemakers, cancer treatment patients, and lots of other surgeries where the doctor needs a live view," Wallace said. "It's more than just for orthopedic purposes."
The Physical Therapy department plans to hold an open house for its patients, as well as anyone interested in the department. No time has been set pending completion of the renovation.

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