Barton opens physical rehabilitation department |

Barton opens physical rehabilitation department

Sara Thompson / Tahoe Daily Tribune

Sara Thompson / Tahoe Daily TribuneRene Hoogendijk, rehabilitation services director, points out features on the new pool in Barton Memorial Hospital's Rehabilitation Department. The facility opened last week.

It took more than a year to construct the 5,500-square-foot Rehabilitation Department inside Barton Memorial Hospital, but it was worth the wait.

The facility took six years to complete from conception to construction, said Rene Hoogendijk, rehabilitation services director.

The department opened last week, and has been receiving a lot of compliments, Hoogendijk said.

Instead of curtains dividing a patient’s space, the new 120-square-foot walled rooms give clients more privacy, Hoogendijk said.

The department’s services include physical therapy, occupational therapy, hand therapy, and speech and language therapy. The staff consists of seven physical therapists, two occupational therapists, two speech therapists and a certified hand therapist.

It also features the SwimEx 700-T therapy pool, which has an underwater window where therapists can place cameras to film a patient’s range of motion and progress while they are in the pool.

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The wave currents also help patients achieve a speedy recovery during pool therapy. The top speed for the current is 50 mph, which is strong enough to have a 50-pound child water ski on it, Hoogendijk said.

The pool can fit two people at a time who are at similar rehabilitation levels, Hoogendijk said.

The depth of the pool can be adjusted to four, five or six feet, Hoogendijk said. It also has blue, red and yellow colored platforms to instruct patients on what type of motion they should be doing. For example, the red pads are for patients to jump back and forth on, he added.

The department will hold a public open house in September, and offer tours of the new facilities and the healing garden.

Here are some of the programs the new facility accommodates and is developing:

– Barton’s Sports Medicine Fellowship program, which was accredited earlier this year, will make its permanent home in the new department.

– The new Spine Program includes manual therapy, core stabilization and post-operative physical therapy.

– The new Running Program includes biomechanical lower extremity evaluation, including video analysis, running shoe recommendations and orthotics.

– The new Bicycle Fitting Program, which is still in development, includes road bike and mountain bike fitting and recommendations. This can prevent potential injuries, such as knee cap injuries, Hoogendijk said. The VO2 Max performance testing program is also in development.