United States

Update from Florence Western Medical Clinic

February 17, 2010

Carly Panchura

One of the wonderful services provided for free at the Florence Western Medical Clinic is physical therapy. The program began in early 2009 with the initiation of an exercise class for patients. As the needs of patients were assessed, it grew into a weekly physical therapy session offered on Wednesdays from 1-2pm. Our physical therapist, Ms. Charmayne Cahn, has 18 years of experience in settings ranging from nursing homes to acute care facilities, outpatient care facilities, and home health.

The exercise sessions group patients together based on need –back pain, hip pain, stroke, arthritis, etc. During the individual therapy sessions, Ms. Cahn structures the session based on her needs assessment of what is required that week. She very often provides health education including how to prevent back injuries, proper ways to lift items, how to decrease and manage pain, the differences between using cold versus heat compresses, etc. Patients in need of assistive devices bring their canes or walkers with them, so that Ms. Cahn can assess their gait and provide solutions if necessary.

Currently 7 patients are coming in weekly for the service, ranging from age 40-80. She sees a mixture of men and women and a wide range of diagnoses. Patients who feel they are getting relief come back the following week, some scatter their visits if they are managing their issue at home.

Ms. Cahn certainly has other jobs but is a huge advocate of giving back to the community. She enjoys helping people get better and become more functional, and loves to teach exercise and well-being. She has been providing this service to patients at the Florence Western Medical Center for over a year and has thoroughly enjoyed it.