Rehabilitation clinic now open to all students, employees and their families

April 23 2008

Mary Lou Henry, 62, was fixing her curtains at home when she fell and broke her wrist in three places. When the cast was removed after four and a half weeks, her muscles had atrophied, so her doctor recommended physical therapy.

As an employee of Indiana State University, Henry was able to utilize ISU’s rehabilitation clinic, which is coordinated through the athletic training clinical program, and is now open to all students, employees and their families.

“When I first started rehabilitation, I couldn’t even make a fist,” Henry said. “I was so worried because I had never been through this before and I thought I would never get complete use of my hand back.”

Henry went to physical therapy sessions twice a week with Sheri Walters, rehabilitation coordinator, who worked with her on improving her range of motion, reducing the swelling and strengthening the muscles.

“We have different games we’ve been playing,” Henry said. “She puts out these marbles, and I have to pick up as many as I can with my one hand. In the beginning, I could barely pick up two, but now I can pick up all the marbles she lays out for me.”

Over the four-week rehabilitation period, Henry has noticed her strength and flexibility returning.

“I have my first checkup tomorrow with my doctor, and I think he’ll be happy with the progress I’ve made,” she said.

While ISU’s department of athletic training has provided rehabilitation services for student-athletes for many years, it only recently has opened its doors to the wider ISU community.

“The athletic training clinical program was designated one of Indiana State’s Programs of Promise, which enabled it to gain additional funding through a Lilly Endowment initiative,” said Paul Plummer, executive director of athletic training services. “Because of this, and because the program has developed a reputation for excellence nationally, it was decided to make its services available to the ISU community so that everyone could benefit -- all students and faculty, staff and their family members.”

The clinic, which is located in Room B17 of the College of Nursing, Health, and Human Services building at Fourth and Chestnut streets, has in-network agreements with the nine major insurance carriers in Indiana, including Sagamore and Medicare.

Most orthopedic conditions can be treated in the clinic, from minor injuries to major trauma or rehabilitation after surgical procedures, Walters said.

“The clinic is no longer just for athletes, but also for the everyday person, whether they are suffering from an ankle sprain, chronic knee and foot pain, or back pain; or have had anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, shoulder surgery or total joint replacements,” Walters said.

The equipment at the clinic is state-of-the-art, including a machine that helps to reduce swelling that is not yet in most physical therapy clinics, she said.

“We also have the modalities that a lot of people are familiar with such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation and mechanical traction units,” Walters said.

Walters, a dual-credentialed rehabilitation specialist licensed both as a physical therapist and an athletic trainer, heads up the physical therapy team of seven full-time staff members. She also oversees the student athletic trainers who assist at the clinic as part of their required experiential learning experiences.

“ISU has nationally accredited undergraduate and graduate athletic training education programs,” Walters said. “We’ve been giving students hands-on learning experiences since the late 1960s. This is another opportunity for us to expand the experiences we are able to give to students.”

From a departmental perspective, Plummer said, this allows staff members to mentor and develop the students clinically in rehabilitation skills on a general patient population.

“This has been another example of Indiana State University’s forward thinking and giving our students every opportunity to be successful,” he said.

To receive physical therapy services, a potential patient would need a referral from a physician, just as they would for any other clinic, and then to schedule an appointment.

The first appointment consists of an examination, an assessment and establishing goals for the patient.

“Every condition is different,” Walters said, “but common goals include improving range of motion and strength, and decreasing pain. We also talk about the things a patient wants to be able to do when their therapy is complete, such as throw a ball to play fetch with a dog, return to playing the piano or participate in recreational activities.”

Clinic hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. or by appointment. Since the clinic is on campus, it is fairly easy to schedule the appointments around class and work schedules. Appointments can be made by contacting Walters at 237-2765.

ABOUT ISU’S ATHLETIC TRAINING CLINICAL PROGRAM
The Athletic Training Clinical Program has been designated one of Indiana State’s Programs of Promise, which enabled it to gain additional funding through the Lilly Endowment's Initiative to Recruit and Retain Intellectual Capital for Indiana Higher Education Institutions in conjunction with ISU's "Fulfilling the Promise" strategic plan.

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PHOTO1: Download a high-resolution photo at this link: Sheri Walters and Mary Lou Henry

CAPTION1: Sheri Walters, rehabilitation coordinator for the Indiana State University Rehabilitation Clinic, administers manual resistance to Mary Lou Henry’s hand to improve her range of motion after surgery. Henry, 62, is an employee at ISU. (Tony Campbell/ISU)

PHOTO2: Download a high-resolution photo at this link: Paul Plummer

CAPTION2: Paul Plummer, executive director of athletic training services, explains a client’s injury to her during an evaluation. ISU’s rehabilitation clinic is now open to the entire ISU community, not just student-athletes. (Tony Campbell/ISU)

PHOTO3: Download a high-resolution photo at this link: Strength and Conditioning Center

CAPTION3: Sheri Walters, rehabilitation coordinator for the Indiana State University Rehabilitation Clinic, works a patient through the later stages of rehabilitation in the Strength and Conditioning Center to help her return to her normal activities. (Tony Campbell/ISU)

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Contact: Paul Plummer, executive director of athletic training services, Indiana State University, 812-237- 4067 or pplummer1@isugw.indstate.edu

Writer: Katie Spanuello, media relations assistant director, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or kspanuello@isugw.indstate.edu

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Story Highlights

ISU's rehabilitation clinic, which is coordinated through the athletic training clinical program, is now open to all students, employees and their families.

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