There is something new at Avera Marshall Medical Center and it's all about the kids. They added a pediatric therapy unit. Nancy Naeve Brown asked an occupational therapist about why it's so important to the region.
Occupational Therapist Amy Wing with Big Stone Therapies at Avera Marshall says, "Yeah, we saw a need here for pediatric outpatient therapy. Most communities the size of Marshall are able to offer that to kiddos. We had a lot of people in the community traveling quite a distance to get this kind of therapy for their kids. So we were able to partner, Big Stone Therapies and Avera Marshall to build this space here. You can see it's a beautiful gym that we're able to use that's been a lot of fun and meet the needs of the community.
Q: You call this area the "playground" and I bet it's fun for the kids, but you really are working. Will you explain what kinds of things you do in here?
A: With the kiddos we always want to make it fun so they don't think they're working. For instance, we have a platform swing and I will put a child on their belly and do a bean bag toss. That works on strengthening and at the same time working on visual motor control and getting good sensory input. They think they are having fun.
Q: Are balance and the core something you are always working on?
A: Definitely. Strength in general and coordination (is important) and knowing where your body is in space and being able to manipulate your body in different ways to do different activities. That can be really difficult for some kids; the motor planning piece to know what comes next, what do I do next. We can practice in a safe environment so when they go out in the community with friends and go to a playground they feel more secure because they've built their skills."
They are holding an open house at Avera Marshall in the Pediatric Therapy Wing on January 20th from 3:00-6:00 pm. It's on the 4th Floor of the hospital. Animals from the Great Plains Zoo will be there from 4-6pm.
To learn more about Pediatric Rehab Services at Avera Marshall call 507-537-9172