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Rehabilitation Services

We're here for you!

Sakakawea Medical Center provides rehabilitation services at the following locations; please call the number below each location to schedule an appointment.

SMC Beulah Rehabilitation Department
(located in Coal Country Community Health Center Beulah Clinic)
1312 Hwy 49 N
Beulah, ND 58523
7018733271

SMC Hazen Rehabilitation Department
(located at the Sakakawea Medical Center)
510 8th Ave NE
Hazen, ND 58545
7017487276

Coal Country Community Health Center
(Center Clinic)
111 Main St E
Center, ND 58530
7017487276

Sakakawea Medical Center’s rehabilitation programs focus on restoring function and improve quality of life through care and skillful personalized applications of therapy services for all ages. Our therapists take pride in helping people and take the time to get to know our patients, listen to their concerns, answer any questions and help each patient make informed decisions that are right for them.

With advanced hands-on therapy techniques, programs and equipment, Sakakawea Medical Center’s therapists promote the health, independence and quality of life for patients. We offer physical and occupational therapy programs and are committed to high quality, comprehensive care.

Rehabilitation Services offers

  • Services for ALL age groups and conditions
  • Inpatient care for both acute and swing bed patients
  • Services to patients in their home who are homebound, offering privacy and convenience
  • Outpatient therapy services for those recovering from illness or injury, with treatment prescribed by the doctor
  • Orthopedic Services for fractures, post-surgical and sports medicine
  • Wound Care – burns and other open wounds may be treated with whirlpool, sterile dressings, topical medications, the goal is to promote optimal healing
  • Neurological – recovery for stroke, spinal cord, and nerve injury therapies
  • Pain Relief Measurers – exercises and life-style changes to assist patients with long term conditions
  • Therapy for Children – preschool and school age children with posture, movement and other physical disorders (services can also be provided at home or at school)

Physical Therapy

Whether you’re recovering from an illness or injury, coping with a chronic condition or want to improve your physical performance, physical therapy can help. At Sakakawea Medical Center, we offer both inpatient and outpatient services tailored to your unique needs

Physical therapists use temperature, dry needling, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, massage and exercise to treat a variety of medical conditions and injuries. A therapist may specialize in treating specific areas, such as the back, neck, knee or shoulder. Some physical therapists focus on sports injuries, strokes, spinal cord injuries, amputations or other conditions.

Physical therapy is designed to

  • Restore motion and decrease pain
  • Correct deformities
  • Increase muscle strength, flexibility and endurance
  • Decrease swelling
  • Improve balance, coordination and walking
  • Prevent injury

Physical Therapy Treatments

Exercise — Physical therapy nearly always involves some kind of exercise that is specifically designed for your injury, illness, condition, or to help prevent future health problems.

Exercise is anything you do in addition to your regular daily activity that will improve your flexibility, strength, coordination, or endurance. It even includes changing how you do your regular activities to give you some health benefits. In addition, exercise can include stretching to reduce stress on joints, core stability exercises to strengthen the muscles of your trunk (your back and abdomen) and hips, lifting weights to strengthen muscles, walking, and many other forms of activity. Your physical therapist is likely to teach you how to do an exercise program on your own at home so you can continue to work toward your fitness goals and prevent future problems.

Manual Therapy (Hands-On-Therapy) — Each patient receives a thorough evaluation of all components of the body associated with the dysfunction or pain. Upon completion of the evaluation, the therapist will use different techniques to get the patient to a healthier position and decrease pain. A plan of treatment will be prescribed and, once the patient can tolerate it, a specific exercise program will be implemented to restore normal function to the injured area to obtain lasting results. Our goal is to get you feeling better and give you the tools to stay better.

Manual therapy can include

  • Massage — applying pressure to the soft tissues of the body, such as the muscles. Massage can help relax muscles, increase circulation, and ease pain in the soft tissues.
  • Mobilization — slow, measured movements are used to twist, pull, or push bones and joints into position. This can help loosen tight tissues around a joint and help with flexibility and alignment.
  • Manipulation — applying pressure to a joint. It can be done with the hands or a special device. The careful, controlled force used on the joint can range from gentle to strong and from slow to rapid.

Physical therapy almost always includes education and training in areas such as

  • Performing your daily tasks safely.
  • Protecting your joints and avoiding re-injury
  • Using assistive devices such as crutches or wheelchairs.
  • Doing home exercises designed to help with your injury or condition
  • Making your home safe for you if you have strength, balance, or vision problems.

Specialized treatments — some of our physical therapists are specially trained to be involved in other types of treatment, including

  • Vestibular rehabilitation, which helps your inner ear respond to changes in your body position. This is helpful if you have problems with vertigo, or a feeling that you or your surroundings are spinning or tilting when there is actually no movement. Rehabilitation (rehab) can help you get used to the problem so you know when to expect it. And rehab can train your body to know how to react.
  • Wound care. Wounds that are very severe or don't heal well, often because of poor blood flow to the area, can require extensive care. This may include special cleaning and bandaging on a regular and long-term basis. Sometimes oxygen treatment or electrical stimulation is part of the treatment.
  • Women’s Health. Physical therapists can provide instruction in exercises to help control urinary incontinence or to relieve pelvic pain.
  • Functional Dry Needling / Trigger point Dry Needling (TDN) – A relieving treatment for muscular tightness and spasm which commonly follows injuries, degenerative processes, stress and overuse of the muscle. Small, thin needles are inserted into the muscle at the knots known as trigger points which are causing the pain referral.
  • Decongestive Lymphatic Drainage. A special form of massage to help reduce swelling when the lymphatic system is improperly draining fluids from your tissues.

Additional treatments — Other treatments can include but are not limited to the following

  • Cold and ice, to relieve pain, swelling, and inflammation from injuries and other conditions such as arthritis. Ice can be used for up to 20 minutes at a time. In some cases, ice may be used several times a day. Some therapists also use cooling lotions or sprays.
  • Heat, to help relax and heal your muscles and soft tissues by increasing blood circulation. This can be especially helpful if a joint is stiff from osteoarthritis or from being immobilized. Heat can also relax the muscles before exercise. But heat can also increase swelling in an injured area if it is used too soon.
  • Ultrasound therapy, which uses high-pitched sound waves to ease muscle spasms and relax and warm muscles before exercise, to help relieve pain and inflammation, and to promote healing.
  • Electrical stimulation. In general, this is the use of electrical current to create an effect in the body. Electrical stimulation is sometimes used at low levels to reduce the feeling of pain. It can also be used to cause muscles to contract (tense). And it is being studied as a way to help with healing of wounds and broken bones.

Occupational Therapy

Sakakawea Medical Center’s occupational therapy program helps people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations).

Occupational therapy at SMC focuses on the assessment and treatment to develop, recover or maintain the daily living and work skills of people with a physical, mental or cognitive disorder. Our therapist helps patients identify and eliminate environmental barriers to independence and participation in daily activities.

In addition, we provide specialized care for a wide variety of arm and hand injuries. Our therapist is trained in custom splint fabrication, the only OT providing the service in this area.

Occupational Therapy can assist with pain and/or injury for the following

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Arthritis
  • Post-fracture, post-surgical rehabilitation
  • Finger, hand, wrist, elbow pain

Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes.

Occupational therapy services can typically include

  • Individualized evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals
  • Customized intervention and treatment programs to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals
  • Performance skills assessments and treatment
  • Outcome evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan.

The occupational therapist at Sakakawea Medical Center often works closely with physical therapy, speech therapy, nursing, social workers and the community.

Occupational therapy services may include comprehensive evaluations of the client’s home and other environments (e.g., workplace, school), recommendations for adaptive equipment and training in its use, and guidance and education for family members and caregivers. Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team.

Meet Our Therapy Team

Kayla Allmendinger, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist

Kayla Allmendinger has worked at Sakakawea Medical Center as an occupational therapist since December of 2010.

In 2003, Kayla graduated from North Dakota State College of Science with an Associate’s degree in Occupational Therapy Assisting. She worked as an Occupational Therapist Assistant in Mobridge, South Dakota before getting her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy at the University of Mary in 2006.

Kayla worked as an occupational therapist at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Dickinson, ND and at Knifer River Care Center, Beulah, ND before joining the rehabilitation team at Sakakawea Medical Center

Jennifer Flemmer, PT, DPT

Physical Therapist

Jennifer Flemmer began her practice at Sakakawea Medical Center in June of 2015. Jennifer grew up in Park River, ND and went on to receive her undergraduate degree in Athletic Training at the University of Mary in 2012. In May 2015, Jennifer graduated with her Doctoral degree from the University of Mary in Physical Therapy.

Jennifer is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and has had advanced training in pelvic floor physical therapy and pediatric physical therapy.

Jennifer Hetzler, MPT

Physical Therapist

Jennifer Hetzler has been practicing at Sakakawea Medical Center since June 2004.

Jennifer graduated from North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND with a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology and went on to receive her Master's Degree in Physical Therapy at the University of Mary, Bismarck, ND.

Jennifer worked for St. Alexius Medical Center in Bismarck, ND providing physical therapy services at the critical access hospital in Turtle Lake, ND and outpatient clinic in Washburn, ND prior to her position at Sakakawea Medical Center.

Bonnie Knell, PT, DPT

Physical Therapist

Bonnie Knell has been practicing at Sakakawea medical Center since August of 2007.

Bonnie graduated from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks in May of 2005 with a doctorate in physical therapy. Bonnie worked as an acute care physical therapist for Altru Health System in Grand Forks before joining the rehabilitation team at Sakakawea Medical Center.

Nicholas Miller, PT, DPT

Physical Therapist

Nicholas Miller has been practicing at Sakakawea Medical Center since June 2012.

Nicholas graduated from the Physical Therapy program at the University of Mary, Bismarck, ND in April 2011 and had received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Athletic Training from the University of Mary in April 2008.

Nicholas worked as a physical therapist for Applied Medical at Stanley, Williston, Bismarck, Dickinson and Richardton, ND. He briefly worked for Trinity Health in Minot, ND before joining the team at Sakakawea Medical Center.

Lisa Fletcher, PT, DPT

Physical Therapist

Lisa Fletcher has been practicing as Sakakawea Medical Center since August 2016. A native of Minnesota, Lisa attended the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks and graduated from the Physical Therapy program in May 2016.

Lisa is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and the North Dakota Physical Therapy Association.

Leah Kessler, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist

Leah Kessler has worked at Sakakawea Medical Center as an Occupational Therapist since August of 2018. Leah graduated from the University of Mary in 2014 with her master’s degree in occupational therapy. Leah became a Certified Lymphedema Therapist in 2018.

Leah worked at Glendive Medical Center in Glendive, MT before joining the rehabilitation team at Sakakawea medical Center.

Steven Ziegler, PT, DPT

Physical Therapist

Steven Ziegler has been practicing as Sakakawea Medical Center since December 2008.

Steven graduated from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks in May 1991 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Therapy. He received his Master’s in Management Degree from the University of Mary, Bismarck, ND in April 1999.

Steven worked as a physical therapist for Dakota Hospital Sports Medicine in Fargo, St. Alexius Medical Center in Bismarck, Sakakawea Medical Center in Hazen, and as an Associate Professor in the Doctorate of Physical Therapy program at the University of Mary in Bismarck. He continues to guest lecture and be a clinical instructor for the University of Mary.