DARKE COUNTY – A new home health therapy program for people with Parkinson’s Disease is now being offered in the local area.
This is the first program of its kind in the area for people with Parkinson’s Disease who cannot easily leave their homes. Therapy Advantage, a home health therapy company, welcomed Gina Boerger and Shannon Condon to its team. Boerger and Condon have worked together for a decade. During that time, they developed a passion for helping those with Parkinson’s Disease and their families. They have extensive experience working with people with Parkinson’s Disease in both inpatient and outpatient settings.
Boerger is a physical therapist and certified in the LSVT BIG program. Condon is a speech-language pathologist certified in the LSVT 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. Both have celebrated much success in their careers developing individualized therapy programs for people with Parkinson’s Disease and expanding their own knowledge of the disease. They created the Power Over Parkinson’s support group and have run it for more than six years at Versailles Health Care Center.
“We are excited to bring this program to the home health setting. It is so needed!” Boerger, of Fort Loramie, said. “The LSVT protocol is effective and intense. Unfortunately, sometimes patients are unable or unwilling to leave their home to get the Parkinson’s-specific treatment they need. There can be so many reasons, such as lack of transportation, a spouse in poor health or progressing symptoms that make the effort too taxing. It is frustrating when they can’t get the therapy they really need just because they can’t get there.”
Condon, of Greenville, added, “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 love working with people with PD in the outpatient setting. Unfortunately, we had some patients that could no longer get to us. There weren’t any other options for them,” Boerger said.
Boerger thinks she experienced many “signs” pointing her toward this change. She reports that the final sign came when a former patient contacted her after five years.
“She said, ‘Gina, I need to get to you, and I am trying to find a ride.’ And that still gives me a lump in my throat because this woman had been widowed and moved into an assisted living facility since I had treated her. That’s when I knew I had to start this program,” Boerger said. “Making a career change is always difficult, but I just know that I am supposed to do this. Patients and families need this. Shannon and I are committed to making this program the best it can be.”
Condon said, “Therapy Advantage is a great avenue for the LSVT BIG & LOUD protocols because it allows us to partner with a variety of nursing care providers and really gives access to anyone who needs it. We are excited to continue to work with the outpatient therapy providers that we know and trust to maximize independence for patients that advance.”
Toni Thorne, physical therapist and director of rehab for Therapy Advantage said, “We are so lucky to have Gina and Shannon join our team! 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 PD symptoms.”
In closing Condon said, “It is always hard for people to believe the success that Gina and I have seen from our patients with PD over the years. Truly, the protocol combined with our passion ensures that every patient sees improvement. It just works for us and we love doing it.”
Boerger finished by saying, “We want everyone with Parkinson’s to know that they are not alone in this journey. We plan to provide them with the appropriate support and follow-up to facilitate successful, lifelong management of their PD. 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 [email protected] or by fax to 614-784-0401. Anyone with questions about the program should call Toni at 937-441-5100.