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LRHC opens joint care center

Lake Region Healthcare’s Orthopedic Joint Care Center opens this week in the main hospital building in Fergus Falls.

The JCC specializes in knee and hip replacements, with a comprehensive before and after care program designed to ensure a successful recovery both at LRH and at home.

“It’s a very exciting time for Lake Region Healthcare, as well as our community,” said Larry Schulz, CEO of LRH. “Our Joint Care Center utilizes only the newest technology and techniques all in a completely modified area built specifically for pre- to post-op care.”

One unique aspect to this joint care program is the initial preparation that takes place before the actual surgery. Pre-operative preparation starts in the surgeon’s office with an orchestrated process to educate, set expectations and outline personal responsibility for the patients.

LRH’s JCC is located on the second floor of the hospital and hosts four joint care rooms, along with group rehabilitation space. A “lake” theme adorns the space with local photography of the lakes area and an ambulation board with local lakes serving as goals.

“We want people to feel at home and feel comfortable while they’re recovering, which is why we developed a way of tracking goals related to lakes. Patients who walk, for example, 25 feet have reached Lake Alice, and when they walk 50 feet, they’ve reached Ten Mile Lake. We want them to strive to reach those goals in a relatable manner,” Schulz said.

The JCC will use a group approach to rehabilitation and recovery. Patients are also encouraged to have a “coach” to help them along the process.

Typically, this is a family member or friend dedicated to working with the patient pre and post operatively by coaching them through the therapy exercises.

Patients are also encouraged to wear their own clothing, rather than hospital gowns. This idea reinforces that they are not sick, but healthy individuals recovering from an elective surgery.

“Our biggest goal is helping our patients get back to a normal life. No one necessarily wants to spend time in the hospital, but we’ve tried to make our program as comfortable as possible, while including the education on how to speed up recovery time away from the hospital as well,” Schulz said.

LRH’s JCC is supported by its surgeon, Dr. Jason Glynn; physician assistant, Kory Nordick; doctoral nurse practitioner, Aaron Lindstrom; several rehabilitation therapists and a joint care coordinator, Brenda Daniels, who facilitates patient care from pre-operation to discharge and recovery.

The public is invited to a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11 at the Joint Care Center located on the east end of the hospital’s second floor.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.