SIDNEY — A new Parkinson’s-specific home health therapy program is now being offered in Sidney area.
Until now, there has not been a dedicated Parkinson’s home health therapy program. Therapy Advantage, a home health therapy company based out of Worthington, with a local office in Sidney, is pleased to welcome Gina Boerger, physical therapist, and Shannon Condon, speech-language pathologist, to their team.
They each have extensive experience working with patients with Parkinson’s in both inpatient and outpatient settings, and both are certified in the LSVT BIG and LOUD program. LSVT is an evidenced-based therapy protocol, and is considered to be the “gold standard” of treatment for Parkinson’s physical and speech therapy.
“We are excited to bring this program to the home health setting. It is so needed,” said Boerger, of Fort Loramie.
“I have specialized in working with Parkinson’s patients for the past 7 years,” she continued. “Sometimes patients are unable or unwilling to leave their home to get the Parkinson’s-specific treatment they need. Maybe they can’t drive; maybe their spouse is in poor health and they must stay home and care for them; maybe their symptoms have progressed and it is just too taxing for them to leave their home now. There can be so many reasons. It is frustrating when they can’t get the therapy they really need just because they can’t get there.”
Condon, of Greenville, adds, “We have felt the growing need from our Parkinson’s community to fill this void. Gina and I also lead a local Parkinson’s support group. We have run this group for six and a half years and we have seen the needs of our patients grow over the years. Therapy Advantage also has this vision and they are the right company to grow this program. We want to make sure all patients have access to quality therapy in their home if they need it.”
“I loved working with Parkinson’s patients in the outpatient setting, but, we had some patients that could no longer get to us,” Boerger said. “There weren’t any other options for them. I had several very powerful ‘signs’ that happened to me in a very short time frame to help guide this decision. The final sign, the sign where I said, ‘Okay, I will do this,’ was when a former patient of mine contacted me. I hadn’t heard from her in over five years. I knew she had lost her husband and I had heard she had to move to an assisted living center near her daughter. She didn’t think I would remember her, but I did because she was one of the first patients I took through the LSVT program when I was first certified in 2012. She left me a voicemail at work.”
Boerger said thinking about this voicemail still gives her a lump in her throat. “(The woman) said, ‘Gina, I need to get to you and I am trying to find a ride.’ I called Toni when I drove home from work that day, without even formally consulting my husband, and accepted the position. I just know that I am supposed to do this. I can’t NOT do it because just because I am comfortable. Patients and families need this. Shannon and I are committed to making this program the best it can be.” Boerger said..
“We will still maintain a very close working relationship with Versailles Health Care Center,” Condon said. “We appreciate being able to stay involved with the Power Over Parkinson’s group there. Versailles has an awesome outpatient Parkinson’s program and that won’t change. They are the best at what they do. We are looking forward to partnering with them to help other patients where home health therapy may be more appropriate. Likewise, we hope to progress our home health patients to the next level and get them ready for outpatient therapy if they need it.”
“We are so lucky to have Gina and Shannon join our team,” said Toni Thorne, PT, director of rehab for Therapy Advantage. “They have such a passion for what they do. The Parkinson’s community is lucky to have them. We are thrilled to be able to offer these patients the best possible therapy to optimize their lives and successfully manage their Parkinson’s symptoms.”
Thorne is co-owner, along with her husband Rob, of Ohio’s northwest region of Therapy Advantage, which is based out of Sidney. Therapy Advantage’s main office is located at 965 N. High St., in Worthington.
“We want everyone with Parkinson’s to know that they are not alone in this journey,” Boerger said. “We plan to provide them with the appropriate support and follow up to facilitate successful lifelong management of their Parkinson’s. We know each day can be better than the day before.”
Patients interested in this Parkinson’s home health program will need a referral from their physician for home health therapy. Referrals can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by fax to 614-784-0401.
Anyone with questions about the program may call Thorne at 937-441-5100.