VitalStim therapy is new and effective
Sept., 23, 2013
by Tom Ollig

Last month, we asked the question, “In an average month how many out-patients use St. Mary’s rehabilitation services?”

The correct answer is 150, and the reader who gave the closest answer was Mrs. Jim Paradis.

This month, we want to tell you about exciting technology at St. Mary’s that provides a wide range of therapy services to patients with neurological disorders, including swallowing therapy for patients with oral-pharyngeal dysphagia (swallowing disorders). VitalStim therapy is a new therapeutic intervention that has been quite effective in many of our patients.

VitalStim therapy is a special form of neuromuscular electrical stimulation that helps habilitate and/or re-educate the throat muscles needed for swallowing.

Cleared by the FDA in June 2001 and available to clinicians since 2003, this non-invasive therapy has been used successfully to help thousands regain the pleasures of an oral diet and a higher quality of life. In addition, this therapy has been found to be very safe with no adverse effects to the patient.

St. Mary’s Care Center’s regular speech language Pathologist Krista Petersen is certified to provide VitalStim therapy to patients suffering from the debilitating effects of swallowing disorders, and she has seen firsthand what a difference it can make in the lives of the patients and their families.

VitalStim therapy does not replace the traditional dysphagia that St. Mary’s Care Center has been providing, it is simply a modality added to the therapy to make it even more effective.

St. Mary’s Care Center Therapy is currently accepting new referrals and would welcome the opportunity to schedule a brief meeting or telephone conversation to discuss VitalStim therapy.

The first to answer correctly the following question will win a special prize. (St. Mary’s employees and family members are not eligible)

This month’s question, Of Americans who reach the age of 65 or older, approximately what percentage will need long term care and services?

Be the first to email the correct answer to Tom Ollig at tjollig@bhshealth.org, or call him at (320) 485-3139 and leave your answer, name, and phone number.

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