HUBBELL - Our Lady of Mercy Health and Rehab facility is constantly changing to better meet the needs of its patients population. As healthcare is evolving, so is the patient population served by Our Lady of Mercy, a private and locally owned facility. To address some of these changes and improve the continuum of care provided, Our Lady of Mercy has added a full-time physical therapist to its staff.
Troy Westcott has been a physical therapist for 27 years and worked with geriatric patients for over 20 years. After moving to the Upper Peninsula from lower Michigan in 2000, he did contract work for Our Lady of Mercy for two years. When the opportunity arose to come back full-time, he was happy to take it.
"The position here kind of covers every area I have worked in during the past 27 years," Westcott said. "The nice thing that Our Lady of Mercy has now is they have added an outpatient physical therapy/occupational therapy/speech therapy room. It is a nice facility and we have the capability then to see somebody from the area - young, middle-aged or old - in the clinic but yet we have people also here as residents."
Meagan Stilp/Daily Mining Gazette
Troy Westcott, the physical therapist at Our Lady of Mercy Health and Rehab, assists a patient in the facility’s rehab area.
While Westcott will primarily see patients at Our Lady of Mercy's facility, he will also be able to work with patients in their own homes.
"There are a lot of people in our community who are elderly and maybe don't drive, they may be really fearful of going out in the winter time or it's just inconvenient for them," he said. "We have the capability that I can go to the home and give them physical therapy as well."
The timing was right for Jerry Schmitt to hire Westcott full-time. Having worked with him on a contract basis in the past, he knew Westcott's work ethic and felt having Westcott on staff would improve the continuum of care for every patient, regardless of his or her length of stay.
"Once a patient enters the door, Troy is going to do an assessment and follow all the way through until that patient leaves here," Schmitt said. "That will help us to keep the resident at their highest possible potential, and that's what we strive for with nursing care and physical therapy services. This is just going to strengthen our continuum of care."
With an evolving patient population including younger people, those who need short-term care, those in transition between a hospital facility and home as well as long-term residents, Our Lady of Mercy works with people with a wide variety of rehab needs. After conducting a study two years ago, they found that 48 percent of admissions for the year returned back to their homes. They have also seen a rise in younger patients seeking rehab care at the facility.
"It's not just for elderly people anymore. The old stereotype that most people have of a nursing home - you're old, you're going to die - that stereotype is still out there for many people but we have evolved," Schmitt said. "Half of our patients go home now and we serve people of all different ages. There's a wide range of patients who come in."
"With the way healthcare is evolving, that was what was really appealing to me about Our Lady of Mercy - we can do all of it here. We can do outpatient therapy, we can do that short-term rehab, we can take care of someone long term or we can go out and take care of that person in their home," Westcott added. "We have great flexibility here and now a nice, complete staff to provide those services."
For more information, visit olomhealthandrehab.com or call 906-296-3301.
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