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August 30, 2011 > Growing Outpatient Rehabilitation Program Helps Patients Rebuild Strength and Fitness

Growing Outpatient Rehabilitation Program Helps Patients Rebuild Strength and Fitness

Two years after Washington Hospital's Outpatient Rehabilitation Center moved to a freestanding building less than a block from the hospital, the program has grown to provide physical therapy, occupational therapy and strength training services to more patients than ever.

"The environment here is wonderful, making it a great place for patients to receive therapy and staff to do their work," says physical therapist Sharmi Mukherjee, DPT, the program's manager. "Our therapists and other staff enjoy being here, and their positive outlook translates into an amazing rapport with patients. There is a real family feeling."

Patients love the one-on-one treatment they receive at the Center. In fact, some patients develop such a bond with their therapists and other staff that they stay in touch and often stop by to say hello, even after they have been discharged from care.

"We tell them we'd rather see them come by as friends, not as patients," jokes Mukherjee.

Patients like the spacious, 5,500-square-foot rehab gym, seven comfortable rooms for individualized treatment, and the latest therapy equipment. All of this makes it possible for the highly trained staff to offer the most up-to-date therapeutic services so patients can achieve the best possible recovery.

"Our goal is to help patients return to the level of function they had before their injury or illness, or to achieve an even higher level of function," states Mukherjee. "Consistent with Washington Hospital's Patient First Ethic, the staff's guiding principle is always to put the needs of patients first."

Another reason for the program's state-of-the-art care is ongoing training. Therapists stay abreast of the latest techniques and technology by taking continuing education classes about important developments in the field of rehabilitation. To keep everyone up to date, in-services are held so therapists can share what they've learned with the rest of the staff.

Close working relationships and open lines of communication are maintained with the physician community including primary care physicians and orthopedic and spine surgeons. Patients require a physician referral before receiving physical or occupational therapy.

There is one area of service at the Outpatient Rehabilitation Center that does not require a physician referral. The Legacy Strength Training Program is a specialized, time-efficient program for building strength, flexibility and well-being.

"If it benefits patients, we encourage them to transition to Legacy at the end of their traditional physical therapy regimen," explains Mukherjee. "The one-on-one program helps people maintain the strength they have regained. It offers an extra level of comfort and is especially appealing for seniors and others who may be intimidated by fitness gyms in the community."

The program is a proven, scientifically based method known as "slow motion" exercise. A certified personal fitness coach stays with each individual, calibrating the equipment and leading them through the exercises. Each machine targets a particular major muscle group, and people lift weights in a series of low impact, ultra-slow movements that cause the muscles to work harder, producing better results than traditional strength training. Because each exercise takes about two minutes, workouts last only about half an hour.

The Legacy Strength Training Program can benefit people with a wide range of conditions, including those recovering from back, knee and hip surgery or with chronic conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson's disease and chronic fatigue. People with degenerative disc disease, obesity or lower back pain are also good candidates, as well anyone who wants to get back in shape after a sports injury or women during and after pregnancy.

Learn More

If you have questions about the Washington Outpatient Rehabilitation Center or would like to learn more about its programs, visit or call (510) 794-9672. To learn more about the Legacy Strength Training Program, visit

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