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Excellence in care

Aspirus Keweenaw Outpatient Therapies moves to new location in Houghton

December 2, 2009
The Daily Mining Gazette

HOUGHTON - Aspirus Keweenaw Outpatient Therapies has a brand new location in Houghton and the staff couldn't be more excited.

"We put a lot of thought into the layout and overall feel of the facility," said Occupational Therapy Supervisor Sharon Fisher. "We wanted to make it feel inviting for our patients and highly productive for our staff. From the entrance to the placement of therapy areas to soft, warm color scheme, our facility is designed for comfort and results."

The new outpatient therapies center opened Nov. 2 in the Ridgecrest Plaza near Walmart and Applebee's. The facility was formerly located on Sharon Avenue where the service split space with the fitness center.

Article Photos

Aspirus Keweenaw Outpatient Therapies is seen at its new Houghton location next to Applebee’s and Walmart.

"We decided to move for more space and privacy," Fisher said. "We wanted to continue focusing on patient-centered care and what each individual needs to get back to their normal activities. It is highly customer centric."

Patients will find the new 3,200-square-foot facility spacious with ample parking in front and remote door controls for easy wheelchair access.

Automatic double doors in the entry way lead to the receptionist's desk and adjoining waiting area. There are two private exam rooms, one equipped with a traction table.

Additional treatment tables are situated in the open gym area, which also includes exercise equipment such as a Nu-Step, treadmill, upper and lower body bicycles, a total gym and a cable column machine.

"We don't have a lot of the weight equipment you might see in some physical therapy clinics," said Physical Therapist Chris Hurley. "We're looking at treating our patients with exercises that are more functional to mimic normal movements. Function is the key objective."

Hurley recently received a manual therapy certification from the North American Institute of Orthopedic Manual Therapy. He is also a sports certified specialist and orthopedic certified specialist. He received his Masters of Science in Physical Therapy in 2001 and a clinical doctorate in Physical Therapy from Simmons College in 2004. Since then, Hurley has participated in 24 additional professional classes.

Fisher stresses the commitment to excellent care that continues to thrive every day at Aspirus Keweenaw Outpatient Therapies.

"There is a constant drive to invest in staff training, technology and patient care space in order to provide the most advanced and up to date care in the area," she said. "As a result, our patients see results quickly and their length of stay in therapy is shorter."

For the practice of Outpatient Therapies, a team of physical and occupational therapists and assistants work together to provide each patient with comprehensive care.

From a physical therapy standpoint, Hurley reports he sees a variety of diagnoses, most of which are musculoskeletal in origin.

While he utilizes traditional physical therapy techniques, Hurley said he specializes in hands-on manual therapy.

"Some people may think of it as a more holistic approach," Hurley added.

As far as post-operative patients, Aspirus Keweenaw treats many rotator cuff repairs, total hip and knee arthroplasties, arthroscopic knee repairs and various types of spinal surgeries.

"We also partner with Aspirus, Inc. orthopedic physicians to expand our treatment options," Hurley said. "They're affiliated with both our Laurium and Houghton clinics."

In addition to physical therapy, the clinic also offers occupational therapy services. There are two occupational therapists on staff at Houghton's Aspirus Keweenaw Outpatient Therapies - Sharon Fisher and Tiffany Paavola.

Fisher is certified in lymphedema treatment, hand therapy and neurodevelopmental technique and has been with Aspirus Keweenaw for nine years. Paavola is certified in wheelchair fitting/evaluations and lymphedema treatment.

Fisher describes lymphedema as extreme swelling of an extremity, such as an arm or a leg.

Lymphedema treatment consists of gentle massage in combination with a compression garment to reduce swelling and associated pain.

The facility also offers a complete kitchen for occupational therapy patients who are having difficulty with activities of daily living. This enables patients to perform a variety of cooking and other homemaking skills to achieve the highest level of functional independence.

At the completion of therapy, once independent with their personalized program, patients are offered a free 30 days to continue to utilize the facility's equipment.

Aspirus Keweenaw Outpatient Therapies is located in the Ridgecrest Plaza at 960 Razorback Drive in Houghton.

For more information, call 482-8201 or visit

Editor's note: This feature is part of a paid advertising package purchased by Aspirus Keweenaw Outpatient Therapies of Houghton. Businesses interested in being featured on the Business page may call Yvonne Robillard at 483-2220.



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