An airy new facility awaits those who need outpatient therapy services at Mt. San Rafael Hospital in Trinidad. Located at the corner of E. Main St. and Bonaventure Avenue, the new therapy center sits in a much more visible location than its previous home inside the hospital’s Rural Health Clinic building two blocks up the hill.

“We have four private rooms for physical therapy compared to one before and the speech therapy room is much bigger,” said Arlyn Boyte, Director of Therapy Services at Mt. San Rafael Hospital. “Pretty much all the equipment in the gym is new.”

The hospital bought the building several months ago and it underwent a complete renovation, having previously served as a hair salon. In recent weeks the new center opened its doors to patients. The large open therapy gym is freshly painted and shiny industrial air conditioning ducts run across the high ceiling. Boxes holding new equipment are still being unpacked near the front door.

The Coronavirus pandemic slowed operations down significantly, as patients cancelled and/or put off treatment. But patients are returning for outpatient therapy now, though not yet to pre-Coronavirus levels. “I think patients are more confident because we are a little bit away from the hospital,” said Kim Lucero, the hospital’s Director of Planning and Development. But that really doesn’t need to be a concern. “All over the hospital, all the clinic areas and that includes therapy services, we have a very stringent cleaning protocol.

“We have an infection prevention team that makes sure we keep our employees and patients safe,” Lucero said. “All our staff are wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), and so I would encourage people to not put off any sort of medical visit.”

The therapy services staff includes physical therapists, physical therapist assistants and speech pathologists. “They are really an amazing team with a lot of experience,” Lucero said.

“We really pride ourselves on doing one-on-one therapy,” said Director of Therapy Services Boyte. “All our sessions are one hour per patient. And there is very good continuity of care. One patient is assigned to one physical therapist and one physical therapist assistant which they will see for the duration of their care.”

Other services include dry needling, which treats neuromusculoskeletal pain and movement impairments, and is performed by a certified physical therapist. Orthopedic manual therapy, balance skills coordination and neuromuscular training are also available to patients. Additional focus is placed on women’s health.

Mt. San Rafael Hospital is a private not for profit 501(c)(3) with a board of directors, and is administered by the Trinidad Area Health Association.

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