Massena Memorial Hospital Auxiliary donates funds to aid physical therapy departments
Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - 9:02 am

Lorraine Miller of Massena works her knees with Massena Memorial Hospital Physical Therapist Matt Hayes on a recumbent stepper. This is one of several machines purchased by the MMH Auxiliary for the physical therapy department.

Massena Memorial Hospital Auxiliary members Cheryl Novak (seated), Ann Keenan (middle), and Debbie Willer (right) check out some of the new equipment the Auxiliary recently purchased for the physical therapy department.

MASSENA -- The Massena Memorial Hospital Auxiliary recently donated money for both the MMH physical therapy departments, located in the hospital and the outpatient center at 269 Andrews St.

The auxiliary donations will help upgrade and standardize some of department’s equipment.

This donation of equipment allows patients to receive similar care at each site.

“The equipment might be not something that is really flashy or high-ticket items, such as a new hospital bed, surgical equipment or an X-ray machine, but it is much needed. The patients and the community really benefit from the auxiliary’s donation. We appreciate it,” Physical Therapy Director Eileen Fregoe said in a news release.

The auxiliary purchased more than $34,000 in equipment for the physical therapy department over the past two years.

Auxiliary members review each department’s equipment wish lists when deciding what to purchase. More than $125,000 has been donated to the hospital from the auxiliary in the past three years, auxiliary former auxiliary president Kay Romeo said.

When auxiliary members heard the physical therapy department wanted to update its equipment at both locations they knew they wanted to make it happen.

“It gives us great pleasure to donate money to purchase equipment, so the hospital’s talented staff can use it to improve patients’ health,” Romeo said in the release.

Some of the materials purchased by the auxiliary include:

• A fluidotherapy machine – Used for physical and occupational therapy, this machine generates constant fluid, dry heat. This unit is used to help patients suffering from hand conditions. Fregoe explained that one patient, who suffers from tight hand muscles is now able to use his hand functionally after using this equipment.

• Two exercise bicycles – These two bicycles use air resistance to allow patients with hip, knee, or ankle pain to perform prescribed exercise.

• Rehab training staircase – For the physical therapy outpatient center, it allows therapists to instruct patients in negotiating stairs after an injury or illness, or when using an assistive device, such as a cane.

• Electrical stimulation/ultrasound units – An electrical stimulation unit and ultrasound machine designed to reduce pain, swelling, or improve muscle function. This equipment is used about six hours out of an eight-hour day, by almost every physical therapy patient.

• Hydrocollator unit– This device is used to keep the hot packs in the physical therapy departments at a constant temperature, and are used to give deep-penetrating heat.

• Recumbent stepper –This machine helps strengthen leg muscles while a patient is seated. This device is useful for people in wheelchairs or who have a limited ability to apply weight to their legs. It is used for everything from lower back pain to knee conditions. Fregoe said it is one of the most used devices in the physical therapy department.

The hospital’s physical therapy department treats inpatients and outpatients, and also offers occupational and speech therapy. The outpatient physical therapy center has an aquatic therapy pool and treats outpatient clients. New patients are welcome to schedule appointments at the hospital’s physical therapy department by calling 315-769-4336, or the outpatient therapy center by calling 315-769-8950 ext. 21.

A referral from a physician is required for treatment.