Lake View Pediatric Rehabilitation Program opens its doorsUntil late last July, Lake County families had to pack up their kids and take them to Duluth for rehabilitative services for conditions like ADHD, autism, spina bifida and developmental delays. But parents began to wonder why there couldn’t be a local alternative.
By: Tammy Francois, Lake County News Chronicle
Until late last July, Lake County families had to pack up their kids and take them to Duluth for rehabilitative services for conditions like ADHD, autism, spina bifida and developmental delays. But parents began to wonder why there couldn’t be a local alternative. That’s when they approached Greg Ruberg, Director of Rehabilitation Services at Lake View Memorial Hospital. Ruberg said parents asked him to see if it was possible for the hospital to develop a program in Two Harbors where kids could get care in their own home town and among their own neighbors.
At first, he said, they weren’t sure where to house the program. The cost of renovating a space was prohibitive, but with a little shuffling, and the cooperation of a couple of employees who agreed to move their offices, the Lake View Pediatric Rehabilitation Program was able to settle into a comfortable, bright space on the first floor of the Lake View Clinic building.
“Our team goal is to provide services for people right in our community,” said Ruberg, “if people have a need here, we want to meet the need. It’s one of the benefits of a small hospital; we can take comments and make changes.”
One of the pediatric rehab program’s first clients was Sally Murphy’s grandson, five year old Tanner. To receive the services he needed, Murphy was driving him to Duluth twice a week. The trips, she said, began to take a toll on Tanner, who was experiencing respiratory problems and was sick for 30 of the 90 days he received care out of town.
“We decided to pursue Two Harbors. We heard they were thinking about (the program) and when we approached them with a patient who was ready and waiting, they said ‘ok,’” Murphy recalled. She said she has been very pleased with the care Tanner has received from the team of local therapists at Lake View.
If not for the sign on the outside of the building, visitors to the pediatric rehabilitation program might not know they’re in a hospital. The rooms are spacious and there are colorful tunnels for crawling, bouncy rubber balls to throw and catch, mats on the floor and a pint sized table and chairs—just right for pint-sized patients. The child-friendly, playful atmosphere is key to helping kids, said Ruberg.
“With adults you can ask them to do a task in a particular way and they do it. Obviously that doesn’t work for kids. We use a play-centered approach.” The staff also work together to ensure that the kids are receiving all the services they need.
“We provide very comprehensive therapy with an integrated approach so everyone is working toward the same final goal,” Ruberg added.
The pediatric rehab program serves kids from birth through adolescence with physical, occupational and speech therapy under one roof. Murphy says it has been good for Tanner to have the program in town.
“He can see all of his therapists twice a week and we’re pretty excited about his progress,” she said, “they have been very accommodating and very creative.” In addition, she said she likes the fact that Tanner is working with people in his own community.
“He’s part of the community and it’s nice for people to get to know him and for him to get to know them. This wouldn’t happen in Duluth,” Murphy said.
The pediatric rehab program at Lake View Memorial Hospital in Two Harbors is in the process of developing brochures outlining services, but in the interim, more information is available by calling 218-834-7310.