Home Health care provider Eastern Plumas Health Care to build a new therapy and wellness center on the Portola campus

Eastern Plumas Health Care to build a new therapy and wellness center on the Portola campus

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Lauren Westmoreland, Writer

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Eastern Plumas Health Care continues to grow in a way that benefits the community, and the next phases of growth are no exception. In a recent chat with EPHC Director of Rehabilitation Services, Jim Burson, Plumas News learned about current Eastern Plumas Health Care (EPHC) offerings, as well as some exciting news about additions and upgrades. coming. “We are excited about the changes that have and are happening here – there are great things to come,” Burson said with a smile.

Current offers of rehabilitation services

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Currently, there are a total of 14 employees in the rehabilitation services department. “This whole department only came into being about three and a half years ago. Among these staffing positions, the EPHC has five physical therapy positions, three occupational therapy positions, including a certified hand therapist and a speech therapist or speech therapist. The rest of the staff are supportive with me,” Burson said.

Something Burson really wants the community to be aware of is that Eastern Plumas Health Care understands the difficulties many have had in finding therapy services covered by MediCal insurance. “Most people in the area with MediCal need to know that our hospital offers therapy and takes out MediCal insurance,” Burson explained. About a quarter of all patients seen at the EPHC are currently using MediCal insurance. “This will hopefully help those who still travel to Truckee or Reno for these services, especially with gas prices so high!” Burson added.

In addition to other therapeutic modalities, the center on the Portola campus currently offers the services of a clinician named Amanda Ferraro, PT DPT, who has worked at EPHC for just over a year and focuses her practice on the balance and vestibular vertigo. , troubles. “There was a very strong community response,” Burson said. “We found that there are a number of people who have problems in this area.”

The EPHC has purchased special equipment such as vestibular goggles, which work much like virtual reality goggles with a computer in a set of goggles that helps identify problems and train the patient with clinician guidance.

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“It’s just one of many tools that are used here,” Burson said. “Each budget year, we buy equipment. We use commercial grade Matrix equipment in our gym.

“Between the four physiotherapy staff at the outpatient center, we can treat virtually any physiotherapy-related condition or diagnosis. We have a lot of breadth in terms of experience and skills, and that includes orthopedics and neurology, as well as general conditioning,” Burson noted.

The department quickly outgrew its temporary 1,900 square foot space in the building that served as the education center on the Portola campus, as it is able to serve more members of the community. Burson said he and other members of the department are looking forward to the new therapy and wellness center that will be built on campus.

New building of the therapy and wellness center

Burson explained the exciting plans for the future at Eastern Plumas Health Care’s Portola campus, with final designs for a large new therapy and wellness center building undergoing final engineering stages before to obtain permits.

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“The new center will be located between the Portola Medical Clinic and the Skilled Nursing Facility. Our patients will have a great view of the forest and the city park,” Burson said.

The new center will be located between the Portola Medical Clinic and the Skilled Nursing Facility. Our patients will have a beautiful view overlooking the forest and the city park. The EPHC expects to obtain the necessary permits by October this year and have shovels in the ground by spring 2023. The EPHC expects construction to take about a year and hopes to move the department into the new facility by early summer. 2024.

“We expect to obtain the necessary permits by October this year and have shovels in the ground by spring 2023.” The EPHC expects construction to take about a year and hopes to move the department to the new facility by early summer 2024.

The new center will expand the EPHC from its current 1,900 square feet to 8,400 square feet. “There’s so much potential, think about what we can offer with that kind of space,” smiled Burson.

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The wellness center will include numerous programs, with Burson planning to collaborate with area talent such as yoga instructors, massage therapists, tai chi instructors and more.

The wellness center, located on the lower floor with separate parking and entrance, will have a therapeutic pool. Variable speed currents in the pool will allow swimming and walking on a treadmill built into the pool. The latter will provide some buoyancy for those who need to practice walking, but without the full effects of gravity. “It allows people with painful joints or neurological issues to work on their strength safely,” Burson said.

It will be large enough to accommodate up to five people at a time, allowing for future community classes, in addition to individual therapy.

Burson went on to say that the wellness center will focus on just that, and that wellness is much more than just exercise. “For example, an out-of-the-box program is a follow-up program. The aftercare program is very popular in many clinics – the patient graduating from therapy will be one of many to go there, in a separate gymnasium downstairs. Follow-up will include former patients who need supervised qualified counseling to advance their practice. This can be done in the gym, pool, or meditation room adjacent to the gym, which will be a room for quieter floor exercises, such as yoga or Pilates. “The meditation suite will be enclosed in the quietest part of the building and will have an adjoining terrace overlooking the forest,” Burson said.

The wellness center will include numerous programs, with Burson planning to collaborate with area talent such as yoga instructors, massage therapists, tai chi instructors and more. “We will give them a new place where they can make their own offerings,” Burson said. “Rather than the public perception that we will be competing with local practitioners, we want to make it clear that we are providing another venue for people with these certifications and talents to achieve.

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There will also be a classroom that can accommodate 64 people in the new wellness center, which will provide space for gatherings such as nutrition classes, diabetes education and workshops on many related topics. to health and well-being. “It’s basically a public building,” Burson said. “It will be a way to share and receive wellness on many levels.”


For those interested in joining the therapy and wellness team at EPHC, there is currently an opening for a Speech-Language Pathologist. The position is full-time and offers a bonus and benefits of $5,000. Those who may be interested in joining the EPHC in this role are invited to visit ephc.org for more information.