Richmond, VA. (January 29, 2018) – HCA Virginia’s Johnston-Willis Hospital is now offering a specialized treatment program to help patients whose symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are interfering with daily activities.
Specially-trained therapists will assist individuals living with speech and movement impairments based on an approach known as Lee Silverman Voice Treatment, or LSVT – named after a Parkinson’s patient whose case inspired the development of the two evidence-based treatment protocols.
LSVT LOUD focuses on increasing vocal loudness with data supporting improvements in articulation, intonation, facial expression and voice quality. In addition, LSVT BIG is an intensive amplitude focused approach to improve walking speed, balance, trunk rotation, arm/leg movement and reaching endurance and other daily living activities.
“The goal of this program is to help patients recognize their new movements or speech as normal, thereby contributing to functional changes in all aspects of their lifestyle,” said Ryan Mauzy, director of rehabilitation services at Johnston-Willis Hospital. “We’re proud to offer this specialized care and hope it will serve a great need for those living with Parkinson’s disease in our community.”
The treatment program is individualized to each patient and follows a standardized protocol that must be administered by certified physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists. Johnston-Willis has multiple certified therapists in its inpatient and outpatient facilities that will enable them to serve numerous patients with a wide range of impairments, functional limitations and goals.
“The combination of inpatient and outpatient neurological programs will allow us to provide consistent evaluations and treatment in our inpatient rehabilitation program, and provide a smooth transition to outpatient for completion of the protocol,” said Mauzy. “We are partnering with home health companies to ensure clinical expertise to provide a seamless transition for patients who begin the protocol in our inpatient setting and are not yet ready for the outpatient program.”
According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, about one million Americans live with Parkinson’s disease, and approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with the disease every year. Incidence of Parkinson’s disease increases with age, but an estimated four percent of people with the disease are diagnosed before age 50.
“We have brought this program to Johnston-Willis as a result of the limited resources and fewer specialized services in our surrounding area for patients with Parkinson’s disease,” said Zach McCluskey, chief executive officer of Johnston-Willis Hospital. “As a hospital known for its renowned expertise in neurosciences care, we believe we can provide a valuable service to individuals with Parkinson’s.”