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Massena Hospital opens its outpatient center

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MASSENA - After several months of waiting for approvals and working to comply with new regulations, Massena Memorial Hospital opened the MMH Outpatient Center Wednesday at 269-273 Andrews St., the former Seaway Orthopedics building.

Mark P. Brouillette, the hospital’s senior director of ancillary services, said Massena Memorial purchased the building on Dec. 21, 2012, and, after working with four different state Department of Health bureaus, received approval for physical therapy and MRI services on Feb. 28, 2013.

Since then, he said, the hospital has been working to come into compliance with new Department of Health rules and regulations.

“We were one of the first in the state to comply with the new regulations,” Mr. Brouillette said.

Part of that process, he said, included renovating an in-building therapeutic pool so it was in compliance with new Department of Health codes. It had to undergo three tests before it could be approved, he said.

Staff members spent Monday and Tuesday learning the new computer system and re-registering patients. The first patients were be seen Wednesday.

Christy Cecot, physical therapist and MMH Outpatient Center supervisor, said there is a variety of physical therapy equipment for patients to use.

Among them, she said is the Baltimore Therapeutic Equipment that can measure the strength of different parts of the body, such as the upper body, lower body, neck and back.

“It’s one of our new services,” Mr. Brouillette said.

“It’s basically a big magnet,” which sends electricity to increase or decrease the amount of torque to gauge resistance, Ms. Cecot said.

Employers can use it for capacity testing, to gauge if prospective employees can handle a lifting occupation.

It can also be used to test functional capacities for disabilities.

The machine allows physical therapists to measure a person’s strength and range of motion, and stores data so physical therapists can compare the latest results with previous results.

“It can document it so you know what they’re capable of before returning to work or disability,” Ms. Cecot said.

An in-building therapeutic pool with temperatures of 90 to 92 degrees and depths from 42 inches to 72 inches is also available for patients’ use.

The pool can be used for patients who have problems with their spines, necks, back or hips because it takes the load off those areas.

“It’s weightless exercise. They’re not fighting gravity,” Ms. Cecot said.

They also offer hand therapy and make hand splints, as well as shoe inserts, she said.

The MMH Outpatient Center sees patients of all ages, primarily for orthopedics, joint replacement surgeries, general exercise and work conditioning.

Referrals come from general practitioners, nurse practitioners, primary care physicians, orthopedists and neurologists.

“We accept all insurances. That’s a big change; it’s a good change,” she said.

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