More individuals are receiving care from Washington University Program in Physical Therapy clinicians, thanks to a new practice location that opened July 1, 2019. With the addition of Washington University Physical Therapy at The Rehabilitation Institute of St. Louis (TRISL), the Program now offers a wide range of clinical services at four separate practice sites.
Located at 4455 Duncan Ave., Washington University Physical Therapy at TRISL doubles the Program’s previous clinical practice capacity in the Central West End and combines several important rehabilitative services under one roof, increasing convenience for many patients who need multiple disciplines and offering more collaborative opportunities for clinicians and students.
“In the past, we offered only physical therapy services at our clinical locations,” says Theresa Notestine, Clinical Practice Manager at the new location. “Now we have the space and staff available to also provide occupational and speech therapies. For many patients with neurological conditions, having access to all these specialties in one place is extremely helpful.”
Pelvic health and neuromuscular rehabilitation services, previously available at the Program’s other Central West End location, 4444 Forest Park Ave., are also offered at the institute. For patients who need counseling or referrals to other supportive services, a licensed clinical social worker is also on staff.
Beth Crowner, Division Director of Clinical Practice, explains that the Program was approached more than 18 months ago by TRISL leadership. “They asked if we would be interested in acquiring their outpatient services,” she says. “For a year, we analyzed whether it would be a viable addition and mesh with the Program in Physical Therapy’s overall goals, and we determined that it would be a good fit.” The acquisition was announced in January 2019.
“Our clinical practice capacity has grown a lot in recent years,” Notestine adds. The original Central West End location was bolstered with a satellite clinic, which opened about three years ago on the Washington University Danforth campus to serve students, faculty and staff. In 2018, a location in O’Fallon, Missouri, was added to help increase the Program’s reach and increase access to care for individuals in the western suburbs.
“Now with the TRISL location, we anticipate doubling our patient volume,” Crowner says, a significant claim considering the Program’s three previous locations served more than 30,000 patients in the last year alone. To meet the anticipated need, eight of the Program’s 2019 graduates were hired to work in the Washington University Physical Therapy Clinical Practice.
“Before we acquired the TRISL location, we didn’t have the space or equipment needed to provide care for complex neurological cases,” she adds. “Now we offer full-service outpatient care for patients with neurological injuries and conditions. It’s taken us well beyond orthopedic rehabilitative services.”
In fact, the services available now include appointments with specialists in concussion, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, stroke, traumatic brain injury and Parkinson’s disease. Patients can obtain help with wheelchair seating and positioning, augmentative communications technologies, and pelvic floor rehabilitation.
“We just offer so many special things,” Crowner says. “It’s very exciting to know we have the ability to provide high-level care to anyone who walks or rolls through our doors.”