Speake and Dunbar receive Oncology Rehabilitation Certification
There are currently 12 million cancer survivors in the United States, and
in West Plains, over 400 new patients began treatment at Ozarks Medical
Center (OMC) Cancer Treatment Center in 2015. The need for comprehensive
care for patients with cancer has become profoundly important. OMC has
responded to this need by offering a comprehensive Oncology Rehabilitation Program.
The OMC Oncology Rehabilitation Program is focused on providing rehabilitative
programs for patients with all types of cancer diagnoses and in all phases
of treatment. The goal of the program is to help the cancer patient obtain
maximal physical, social, psychological, and vocational functioning. The
program involves restoring health and wellness to patients living through
cancer, and living after cancer. The program focuses on decreasing side
effects of chemotherapy and radiation and maximizing patients’ level
of function as they progress through and recover from treatment.
An Oncology exercise program is available to help the patient work on core
issues of decreased aerobic activity, decreased muscle strength, fatigue,
and impaired physical functioning. Even for patients being treated on
a palliative basis, oncology rehab programs nation-wide have improved
Quality of Life survey scores by as much as 64%.
Two physical therapists from OMC Rehabilitation Services have recently
been certified in Oncology Rehabilitation. Theresa Speake PT,CLT has been
a therapist at OMC for 25 years. She received her BS in Biology at Truman
State in 1988, and her Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy in 1990
at the University of Missouri. She has been a certified Lymphedema Therapist
since 2000, and received her Oncology Rehabilitation Certification in
Julie Dunbar MSPT,CLT has been at OMC for 13 years. A graduate from the
University of Central Arkansas in 1995, she received her lymphedema certification
in 2006, and Oncology Rehabilitation Specialty in May of 2015.
OMC Rehabilitation Services employs four therapists who are certified in
the management of lymphedema, however the goal is to prevent lymphedema
from occurring. Seeing a patient prior to a cancer surgery allows the
patient to be educated about the early warning signs of lymphedema. Also,
post-surgery appointments educate the patient in self-management techniques
to remove excess fluid from the area to prevent lymphedema, and appropriate
exercises to regain range of motion.
In addition, OMC Rehabilitation Services has Speech Language Pathologists
trained in Myofascial Release, specifically for the patients with cancers
of the head and neck, to assist in improving their ability to swallow
or changes in voice quality due to surgery and/or radiation.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact OMC Rehabilitation
Services at 417-257-5959.