In the News
Specialized Women's Health Physical Therapy Now Provided
Sonya Asgharifar, PT, MS
Physical Therapy Care & Aquatic Rehab of Fort Bend is excited to announce that Women's Health services are now offered. Sonya Asgharifar, PT, MS has joined the practice and specializes in treating women with obstetric, gynecological and urological issues.
For some women, pregnancy and the accompanying fluctuating hormones can cause musculoskeletal changes and many women develop pelvic girdle pain, weakened core muscles as well as problems with spinal and joint mobility and function. Our goal is to help relieve symptoms during pregnancy and after delivery while providing the education fundamental to a healthier life.
Women can also experience pelvic floor dysfunction and pelvic pain causing urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Millions of women in America deal with these issues and many are embarrassed by their symptoms and consequently suffer in silence. With our specialized therapy, we focus on improving the quality of our patients' lives and we do so in a compassionate environment where discretion is emphasized.
Patti Kocich, PT
"We are constantly seeking ways to expand our services to meet specific needs," said Patti Kocich, President of the company. "Women's Health is an important component of physical therapy that is not readily available in our area. As Fort Bend expands, the demand for this service is also growing and we are now able to fulfill that need."
"As a company, both of our clinics provide general and specialized physical therapy services close to home for the communities we serve. We focus on the quality of care provided rather than the quantity of patients seen at our clinics. Patient education is implicit to our programs and our individualized approach to each patient helps us create dynamic therapy plans that produce results."
We'll Win In A Landslide!
During the month of October Physical Therapy Care & Aquatic Rehab is celebrating National Physical Therapy Month by issuing a Fitness Challenge. Patients and their families are invited to join a team to see if they can log more miles that their therapist.
John Hutton, Jr., a nine-year old wheelchair patient at the clinic has taken up that challenge and has declared that he is going to win.
His grandmother Cheryl Jackson (Granny) is also convinced that they will win and claims it will be a landslide victory.
"Our goal is to get our patients involved in more than rehab. We want them open their world to exercise outside of therapy and to experience the joy that activity brings," said Dr. Marlene King, John's therapist.
The program logs activity in miles or minutes daily for the month of October and the teams are divided into Therapists, Adults and Pediatrics. Winners for first through third places will receive a gift card from Academy.
So far John is showing the most heart and determination. When he is at the clinic there are no excuses allowed and he has to work hard.
"It took until he was 3-1/2 years old for us to get an accurate diagnosis of John's condition," explained Granny. "We found this clinic by the grace of God and we've been coming here for six years. He's content. He knows everyone here and he loves Ms. Marlene."
"Although we had to move into Houston to be near the Texas Medical Center, we won't give up this clinic," she adds.
"The spirit of this challenge is to incorporate daily exercise in our schedules and John is our best ambassador for this," laughed Patti Kocich, President of Physical Therapy Care & Aquatic Rehab of Fort Bend. "We also want to spread this healthy lifestyle to our patients' families and the greater community and we are excited that John's family is competing."
John's world has opened up to multiple styles of exercise to include karate, baseball and organized 5K walks. However the experience that he loved the most was working out with retired professional football player, Joe Anderson, arranged by WeSeeAbilities.org. During the one-on-one session, John prepared for serious effort by first stripping to his undershirt and then declaring "I'm ready".
When he goes home from therapy, he does his exercises and Granny works out with him.
"I can't sit on the couch while he is working," she laughs. "I expect him to work hard and so I work hard too. He is in pain all the time so how can I complain if I have an ache? We are a team and we are going to do whatever it takes to win this."
John's discipline and work ethic are paying off. "When he first got into the pool here, John looked like a frog. Now he swims like a fish!" Granny says proudly. "He spins his wheelchair and sometimes he goes too fast. People who don't know him tend to get worried but I say don't worry till I worry."
John's joyful nature shines through and raises spirits everywhere he goes. "God allowed John to be special and this is his journey: He will walk," predicts Granny.
"I also want him to spread his wings and soar because he has greatness in him."
Everyone is cheering for Team John and so far it looks like he's right - he will win and it will be a landslide.
Helping To Improve Safety On The Job - A Licensed WorkSTEPS® Provider
- We are one of the select-few licensed providers for the WorkSTEPS® program in the Greater Houston area.
- We help companies both large and small assess the ability of potential hires to safely accomplish the tasks of their job.
- This physical screening is performed after the job has been offered but before hiring.
- It is legally compliant and has proven an effective tool in reducing Workers' Compensation claims and related costs.
The program measures the physical strength and ability of the potential employee to perform the job safely. An objective physical assessment is performed by a licensed physical therapist. This is followed by a battery of physical tests designed for the potential employee to demonstrate his or her ability and strength to safely perform necessary job functions.
We are passionate about keeping people healthy and so we use this opportunity to enhance safety both at home and on the jobsite by teaching and reinforcing proper body mechanics.
Laura Cousar Now WorkSTEPS® Certified
Laura Cousar, PT recently completed specialized certification via WorkSTEPS®. She is now a certified provider of WorkSTEPS® Employment testing and WorkSTEPS® Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCE).
WorkSTEPS® is used by businesses to ensure that employees are functionally able to accomplish the physical requirements of their jobs.
"With the opening of our second clinic serving the Katy/Fulshear area, we are adding new staff and developing our skills to meet the growing demand," said Patti Kocich, President of the clinic. "I am so thankful to have such a competent therapist now able to assist in these areas,"
"Thanks Laura for stepping up to the plate, putting in the hours of training, studying and testing."
Helping Our Neighbors in Katy/Fulshear
A BIG thank you goes out to Physical Therapy Care & Aquatic Rehab's Cynthia Hicks, PTA. Cynthia, along with Danielle Silva of Faith Pediatrics Rehab spent many HOT hours on Saturday, August 9, participating in the Family Fun Day Fundraiser.
The purpose of the event was to help raise funds for children with autism and was sponsored by Lifetime Learners Child Development Center (our new neighbors for the Katy/Fulshear clinic).
In addition to helping in this worthy fundraiser, Cynthia and Danielle provided education on the value of physical therapy, aquatic therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy for children with autism.
A hot time was had by all!!!
Buttercup: A "Service" Dog for Harris
Harris was born with Spina Bifida, a condition that effects his strength and mobility. He attends weekly therapy at Physical Therapy Care and Aquatic Rehab of Fort Bend and works very hard at each session.
Harris is being home-schooled this year and his mom thought that having a "service" dog would be a great addition to his daily life.
Through a friend, they heard about a Golden Retriever that was expecting. The breed is known for being great service dogs.
Harris visited the expectant mom weekly and saw Buttercup on the day she was born.
"Buttercup was the size of a hamster," Harris explained.
At eight weeks old, Buttercup came home with Harris and the love and friendship blossomed.
Harris' family assisted with all the training that is required of a young puppy. Now Buttercup is 5 months old, and the benefits to Harris are unfolding.
"Harris cherishes the companionship Buttercup brings, especially during the day when his siblings are at school," his mom explains. "Many times he chooses to cuddle and brush Buttercup instead of playing video games. Harris is also learning responsibility by feeding her and taking her out."
Harris practices balance as he bends to pet Buttercup
"Physically, Buttercup also provides Harris training in gross motor and fine motor skills. Harris grips a sock for a game of tug-o-war, or controls his hand to feed Buttercup his vitamins. He has to practice balance and stability when he squats to get his bowl, or holds the leash to take him for walks."
"Also, Buttercup is very astute to Harris's disabilities and walks very differently when Harris has him on the leash."
Buttercup and Harris, more than just a boy and his dog!
The results are in and Physical Therapy Care & Aquatic Rehab of Fort Bend, located in Richmond, Texas is an acknowledged favorite for doctors and their patients.
In a recent independent survey, doctors that refer patients to the clinic were asked to rank it based on three issues: Clinical outcomes for patients referred; satisfaction of care from patients; and communication, timeliness and content from the treating therapist.
On a scale of one to five where five ranks as "Excellent", this independent, physical therapist-owned clinic earned a ranking of 4.7 overall.
"Patients choose us because they believe that we provide the highest standard of care," said Patti Kocich, President of Physical Therapy Care & Aquatic Rehab of Fort Bend when discussing the results of the survey.
"Because it is important to us to make sure that we are in fact delivering on our promises, we contracted with an independent organization to conduct this survey."
Asked to describe the patients that choose her clinic, Patti said "they believe in independently selecting a team of their own healthcare professionals. They place great value on our individualized approach and patient-centered care."
"They also love the fact that our highly qualified and experienced staff provides great explanations and that we surround them with a support staff that provides terrific customer service and the positive experience they need."
"The foundation of our success is built on communication and a team approach," she continued. "We take time with our patients, making sure that they understand the issues involved, adjusting their therapy as they progress and helping them to become motivated to succeed."
"We believe it is vital to work closely with our patients' doctors, providing them with reports on a regular and timely basis. This works to create a wonderful dynamic that helps to accelerate recovery."
Patti is happy to report that "the patient-centered care that we offer is recognized and valued by our patients and their doctors."
Physical Therapy Care & Aquatic Rehab of Fort Bend is pleased to have vestibular specialist, Stacy Koscinski, PT, MS on their staff. In practice since since 2000, Stacy specializes in treating patients experiencing imbalance and dizziness caused by abnormalities of the vestibular organs. Her extensive experience also includes time in Vermont where she expanded her practice to treat orthopedic patients and started a vestibular program at a local clinic.
Balance and dizziness difficulties can be caused by a variety of disorders and patients can experience dizziness, vertigo, imbalance and spatial disorientation. As people age, the probability of experiencing this problem increases and it can directly affect their quality of life. Many become fearful, captives in their own homes, and many times, this leads to falls which can result in more medical complications and expenses.
The majority of these problems are caused by the vestibular organs of the inner ear, with the most common diagnosis BPPV (Benign Paroxismal Positional Vertigo). Patients suffering from BPPV find it difficult to maintain posture and coordinate balance. New patterns of movement emerge as they try to compensate and head movement becomes minimized. These adaptation techniques feed on the problem as the patient experiences muscle stiffness, and pain in the head and neck in addition to a worsening of the problem.
In outlining her approach, Stacy said "I begin with a comprehensive evaluation of the vestibular and central system. Then I design a customized treatment plan which may include CRM (Canal Repositioning Maneuver), balance, retraining and VOR (Vestibular Ocular Reflex) exercises for the clinic and at home. The secret is to keep the therapy plan dynamic, updating it as the patient improves."
"Stacy fits right into our clinic since she believes in individualized care focused on the patient," said Patti Kocich, President of the clinic. "In addition to her expertise in the field, her strength lies in the fact that she listens closely to her patients."
"I derive great satisfaction in the improvement that I see in my patients. When they come to the clinic, so many of them are prisoners in their homes, unable to work or go out due to their fear of falling and sense of dizziness," said Stacy. "I feel that physical therapy grants them independence, confidence and freedom."
Practice What We Preach
It all started when Patti Kocich, President of Physical Therapy Care & Aquatic Rehab of Fort Bend decided to check another item off her 'bucket list': complete the Gateway to the Bay Triathlon on April 10, 2010 in Kemah, Texas.
"I like setting myself goals and challenges because it keeps me fresh," said Patti, putting this goal in perspective by pointing out that "a triathlon seemed more of an endurance test involving a variety of sports."
But this was a personal goal for Patti, wrapped up in her commitment to her patients. "When we come to work each day we motivate our patients to 'believe' and challenge them to 'achieve' so I decided why not practice what we preach!"
As Patti started to work out, two relay teams were formed at the clinic to support and compete with her. Each athlete chose their favorite sport. Jolinda Garcia and Bridget Norton agreed to swim Cynthia Hicks, as well as Sal Doceti committed to cycling; and Keith Brandt and Angela Walker signed up to run. Richard Scoby the professional trainer on staff jumped in to help by holding one hour training sessions after hours on Fridays for six weeks. In addition, the competitors trained for their sport in their own time, some increasing their workouts dramatically.
The enthusiasm was so infectious during training at the clinic that others joined in. Staff member Mary Moreno trained with them and ran with Patti as she got out of the bay and ran to the transition station.
Alison Carlino, professional photographer and patient at the time, started a photo journal. "As a fellow businesswoman, I was impressed with Patti's leadership in motivating her staff and fostering a team spirit," she explained. By capturing their training as well as the event, she also wanted to "honor the people that have nursed me back to health,"Crossing The Finish Line
Endurance and determination must be the clinic's motto for it showed in each competitor. Things were not going to be easy for Patti to compete having broken two toes the day before. The weather was not helping since it was cold and rainy and the water in the bay was choppy with 15-20 mph winds. Standing on the edge, Sal looked down at the waves and laughed when he thought of Patti, Jolinda and Bridget battling them.
"How big were the waves?" said Bridget, "that depends on your vantage point. Still, even with choppy waves, the best place to be is in the water!"
The riders both ran into trouble but would not accept defeat. Sal, recovering from a bad cold, refused to stop after he struggled up the bridge on the first lap. Cynthia was ahead in her race when her bike chain slipped off on her second climb up the bridge. Refusing to give in, she ran the bike up and coasted down. Then, by reverse pedaling, she would make five or six strokes on the flat until the chain fell off again.
"I did this for five or six miles, praying all the way when along came an angel," Cynthia tells the story. The other racer got off his bike to help and showed her how to switch the gears to make the chain stay on.
"I got back on the bike and counted one, two, and on up to ten strokes and, hallelujah, the chain stayed on," she says with all the joy of the moment still in her voice. At that point she decided it was necessary to give 200%. With five miles left and afraid to switch gears she finished 20 minutes behind the leader passing off to Keith who made up ground by knocking 1½ minutes off his training time.
The enthusiasm is still brimming at the clinic as they make plans for their next goal, another triathlon. However Patti's next item on the 'bucket list' is a trip somewhere for which she laughingly says "there is no preparation required."