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St. Rose therapists receive BIG training, help Parkinson's patients
biz slt BIG Parkinson therapy
Sister Mary Vuong, center, St. Rose occupational therapist, leads Harold and Velda Hudnall in BIG Therapy exercises. Sister Mary and two other St. Rose therapists have BIG training to help patients such as Harold who has Parkinsons. Velda is learning so she can help her husband with his exercises. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

Therapists at St. Rose Ambulatory & Surgery Center have offered guidance to the local Parkinson’s Support Group but they wanted to take it up a notch.
The result is special training in an exercise program to help patients with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and other conditions.
The program is called BIG, which is not an acronym. It refers to the literally “big” movements that address unique physical impairments, explained Pam Perry, St. Rose Rehab Services program director.
“We are educating patients about the value of these big movements,” said Perry, licensed certified occupational therapist assistant. “The goal is to encourage patients to use bigger movements automatically in everyday living.”
For example, when Parkinson’s patients walk with small steps they think they are walking with normal steps. Through the program, therapists teach them to walk “big.”
“Bigness is what the patient feels in order to have movements that are within normal limits,” Perry said. “The long-term, positive effects can be remarkable.
“Our team can inform patients about the value of increasing the scope of their limb movements,” Perry elaborated. “We concentrate on a variety of areas, including rotation, gait, improved speed of arms and legs, balance and quality of life.”
In addition to Perry, two other St. Rose therapists successfully completed training at Kansas City, Mo. They are Sister Mary Vuong, registered occupational therapist; and Kim Partlow, licensed certified occupational therapist assistant.
Each recently completed all requirements and earned BIG certification.
“This is another example of how St. Rose supports our continuing education efforts,” Perry commented. “We are always seeking ways to add to or refine our skills to provide high-quality patient care.
“The three of us chose this program, in part, to enhance our contribution to the Parkinson’s Support Group,” she added. “We are excited about the BIG program and believe we can make positive changes in the daily lives of our patients.”
The next group meeting is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22 in the St. Dominic Room at St. Rose.
BIG is an adjunct of the Lee Silverman Voice Training, which is called LOUD.