Firelands Lee C. Jewett Sports Medicine Center: Bringing Quality Sports Medicine Care Close to Home

January is always exciting and optimistic as people welcome in the new year, reflect on the past and think about a fresh start or what new opportunities the future holds. For Shelly Jordan, PT, Cert. MDT, CWCE, director of physical and occupational therapy, and her team of physical and occupational therapists, this new year is especially exciting. Eighteen months of construction and anticipation have come and went and now Shelly and her team are treating the patients of Firelands Regional Medical Center at the new state-of-the-art Lee C. Jewett Sports Medicine Center. 

The layout of Firelands' South Campus where the therapy services was housed, can be hard to navigate, but that will no longer be an issue. 

To better serve the patients of Firelands Regional Medical Center, adult physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, athletic training as well as multidisciplinary and integrated programs have moved into the new 25,000 square foot center. Firelands' board-certified sports medicine physicians and athletic trainers will also work out of this space, creating an extremely robust, full-scale sports medicine offering.

Matthew D. Hamlin PT, ATC, CWCE, STMT-1, TPI certified, supervisor of outpatient physical therapy, gives a quick introduction to the new sports medicine center and some of the new programs, equipment, and services now available.

Physical Therapy GymPhysical Therapy Gym

The gym is divided into two main areas; cardio and controlled weight machines. In the controlled weight machine area, patients will find numerous specified equipment and specifically two shuttle recovery machines.

"The shuttle allows for the patient to perform early jump training without their full weight," stated Hamlin.  "We can lay them on their back, put 25 pounds on the machine and have them work on jumping and landing. This allows those interactions with the ground to develop their proprioception and strength training early on versus waiting four to five months until they're fully developed. Now we can do those things earlier so they develop more naturally."

Running down the center of the area is a blue and white track surface next to a lush, bright green turf flooring area. Here knee and hamstring injury patients will work on ballistic movements like starts and stops, where they want to go from nothing to as fast as they can. The two vastly different flooring surfaces provide great capability for balance testing and conditioning as well.

"From a therapy aspect, the patient can perform a balance test on the lines of the track then transition to the turf," said Hamlin. "That's one of the toughest things for people to do balance-wise; to go on an unsteady surface like you would be outside where it's not all even, and now we can challenge them in that way. There are some other avenues to having this besides just sports performance."

Pool and Water TherapySwimEx and Plunge Pools

Here patients will find an impressive state-of-the-art- 92-degree SwimEx therapeutic pool with an underwater treadmill. This 4-foot deep pool is multifaceted with easily removable floor grates allowing for 5 and 6 feet deep wells when needed. 

"Patients can be unweighted— we can put a vest or belt on them and completely decompress their back, knees, or whatever we needed to," explained Hamlin. A motorized paddle wheel will create an adjustable current that is used on low to help maintain posture and balance while walking or cranked up to create an endless pool for swim training.  

Accompanying the SwimEx is a hot and cold plunge pool which is ideal for contrast baths for athletes. The cold plunge pool has a water temperature of around 50 degrees and 100-plus degrees for the hot plunge. 

Sports Performance Enhancement Programs 

Athletic Performance Screening is one of the numerous programs to help develop athletes and prevent injuries. A certified strength and conditioning specialist utilizes research-grade force plate and SPARTA systems software to document, analyze, critique, and improve athletic performance. 

If athletes looking to improve their 40 time and overall speed, the Running Motion Analysis is a great place to start.  

Reflexion Reaction Time Training is a program used to sharpen peripheral vision, reaction time, and quick decision making.

Golf Fitness and Analysis ProgramGolf Fitness and Analysis

The program offers physical screening, motion capture, swing analysis, and exercise prescription.

"Patients will complete a physical screen performed by a TPI certified therapist to identify physical limitations with the golfer that would preclude them from performing an efficient swing," said Hamlin. "Additional video analysis of the client's golf swing will be interpreted by a local golf coach, and then specific exercises and drills will be prescribed in order to decrease physical limitations, improving swing plane and increasing efficiency within the golf swing."

This will allow golfers of all skill levels and physical capability to improve their game, work with their limitations, and ultimately enjoy more golf. 

Examination and Treatment

In the new center, there are four private physical therapy exam rooms to ensure a confidential interaction between the patient and the provider. Down from the exam rooms is an evaluation and modality area with an adjacent provider charting area to allow providers to efficiently document progression while supervising their patients. Further along the hallway is a large 10-bay modality area, which allows for electrostimulation, cold packs, cold compression, and ultrasound as well as cervical and lumbar traction.    

Occupational Therapy Kitchen

The occupational therapy department has a dedicated bathroom, kitchen, and laundry area that allows patients to develop daily living skills in a safe environment with supervision. In the occupational therapy gym, patients will find one of the newest and coolest investments in the department— the driving simulator. The STI SIM Driving Simulator can assist therapists in making decisions on when patients are safe to return to driving. The simulator has a stock GM steering wheel, brake, and gas pedals along with over 190 different driving scenarios that a patient can complete. Driving conditions can be modified from easy, moderate to hard, and data is collected regarding speed, crossing the midline, along with correct stopping/braking.

The speech-language pathology department continues to offer comprehensive assessment and treatment services to individuals experiencing a variety of speech, language, voice, fluency, cognitive, and swallowing disorders.  Speech therapy treatment programs use specialized instruments and assessment methods to analyze and diagnose the nature and severity of impairments, including swallowing disorders.  The move to the new center allows dedicated space for cutting edge evaluation of swallowing using Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES). FEES uses flexible endoscopy to visualize swallow function in an outpatient setting.   In addition, the speech therapy treatment space features a soundproof room that will eliminate outside distractions creating an ideal environment for stroke and head injury patient rehab where concentration is extremely important.

"There's a lot to offer to the community here that you're not going to find anywhere between Toledo and Cleveland," said Hamlin. "If you wanted to do specific sports performance activities, you would have had to go east or west, but now you can get set up on a program and stay home, which is pretty cool."

The Firelands Regional Health System Lee C. Jewett Sports Medicine Center is located at 2801 Cleveland Road in Sandusky. For more information on available services, call 419-557-7040.