One-stop shop offers providers and therapy in a single location
Atlantic Health System’s pediatric rehabilitation and physical therapy program reopened in a brand-new space at 55 Madison Avenue in Morristown.
Larger than the previous center and filled with state-of-the-art therapy equipment, the open-gym facility is able to treat a wide variety of physical and developmental concerns ranging from smaller injuries like sprained ankles to ongoing mobility therapy for conditions that include cerebral palsy, genetic disorders and muscular dystrophy.
The center will also have speech and language pathologists on-site to treat children who have difficulty speaking and eating. The specialists emphasize language articulation, oral motor development, and feeding and swallowing skills.
“Atlantic Health System is pleased to be able to offer our community a state-of-the-art rehabilitation space that will enable our accomplished multidisciplinary team to better customize programs and work together to ensure the mobility and long-term independence for our young patients,” says Walter D. Rosenfeld, MD, chair of pediatrics, Goryeb Children’s Hospital and Atlantic Health System.
The Multidisciplinary Team
A trained team of physical and occupational therapists work in tandem with specialists and pediatricians for optimal patient outcomes. Michelle Sirak, MD, a Goryeb Children’s Hospital pediatric physiatrist focused on physical medicine and rehabilitation, often serves as the team leader, creating individualized treatment plans, including home exercise programs.
In addition to its new equipment, the building is home to a number of specialists, which enables patients to schedule physical therapy and see their doctor in one convenient location. The new rehabilitation facility will also offer specialized adaptive equipment and a variety of group training sessions, including feeding, handwriting and sensorimotor groups, which may encourage even greater progress.
“Being in close physical proximity to other physicians and therapists enables more frequent communication among treatment providers that will ultimately benefit our patients,” says Ellen Dean-Davis, MD, a pediatric orthopedist for Atlantic Medical Group. “For families, the singular location helps reduce the number of times they need to travel to the building because they can schedule their rehabilitation and a physician visit or follow-up on the same day.”
The new center will also offer the Schroth Method for the treatment of scoliosis. The Schroth Method is a unique, nonsurgical method involving active therapeutic exercises intended to improve scoliotic posture, halt curve progression, reduce pain and improve quality of life for the patient. Therapists must be specially trained and pass a certification exam to practice this technique, which generally has a high level of success.
“We know many children struggle with scoliosis and while surgery may be appropriate for some of them, the Schroth Method is a nonsurgical option that may help children avoid surgery,” says Laura Taylor, the physical therapist trained on the method.
Other conditions the team treats include the following: apraxia; autism; behavioral, motor and sensory feeding difficulties; cerebral palsy; chromosomal abnormalities; delayed motor development, dysphagia and feeding disorders; genetic disorders; hearing impairments; juvenile arthritis; muscular dystrophy; orthopedic diagnoses; prematurity; scoliosis; seizure disorders; speech-language disorders; spina bifida; torticollis; and traumatic injury.
Dr. Michelle Sirak and Dr. Ellen Dean-Davis are part of Atlantic Medical Group, a multispecialty network of health care providers. Dr. Sirak can be reached at 973-971-6505. Dr. Dean-Davis can be reached at 973-971-7830.