Sentara therapy expands at Y

Published 9:58 pm Friday, March 3, 2017

A new Sentara therapy center in the Suffolk Family YMCA provides more space for the patients and staff to do their work.

Sentara therapy services have been located in the YMCA for about 15 years. However, the space was only about 2,000 square feet.

As part of remodeling work, the YMCA closed off part of an old roller-skating rink, most of which became a space for the Y’s before- and after-school care programs.

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On the other side of the wall is the new, 6,500-square-foot space dedicated to Sentara therapy programs.

Officials say the new space will help keep up with the growing demand for services as Suffolk and the surrounding area grows.

“Our numbers are just taking off,” said Rich Kosiorek, the outpatient physical therapy center manager. “We’ve been needing something like this for quite some time — years and years and years.”

The new center opened a couple of weeks ago and already is getting rave reviews from patients.

“It’s real nice,” said Chris Shea, a Suffolk firefighter who is recovering from a knee injury. “I’ve been at the other place, which was a lot smaller.”

The new center combines physical, occupational and speech therapy in one space. Occupational and speech therapy were in the hospital building across the street, which frees up space within the hospital to respond to needs.

Having all three in one space especially benefits stroke patients, for example, who often need all three types of therapy, Kosiorek said.

“It’s a one-stop shop now,” he said.

Patients and staff also are able to use the pool, weight and cardio equipment for more advanced patients, Kosiorek said. Through a partnership with the YMCA, the Y also waives the joining fee for patients when they are discharged from therapy, allowing them to continue being active.

Scott Jones is currently a therapy patient and also works at the YMCA. He tweaked his neck while deadlifting and also is trying to improve the mobility in his back and shoulders.

“This is definitely a whole lot nicer,” he said of the new space compared to the old one. “It’s more wide open.”

There is plenty of natural light from a bank of windows, Kosiorek noted. They hope patients will garner the benefits of sunlight during their treatment.

Jones also had plenty of praise for the people working in the new space.

“They definitely know what they’re doing,” he said.

The new space also has a separate entrance and designated parking, both of which are on the left side of the building.