Friendship Health, a leader in skilled nursing and post-acute care, is proud to announce that therapists Megan Broce, OTR and Leanne Spangler, LPTA are now Certified Lymphedema Therapists (CLT).
Lymphedema is best described as chronic swelling or edema. This swelling may occur when lymph (excess fluid, proteins, and other substances) increases in the body tissues. Lymphedema is caused when the normal drainage of fluid is disrupted by a blockage or removal of the lymph nodes, which are responsible for collecting and carrying the lymph back to the bloodstream. This can happen anywhere in the body, but especially occurs in legs, arms, neck and abdomen.
Diane Bell, Director of Rehab at Friendship Health’s North campus stated, “Lymphedema impacts approximately 10 million Americans. A Certified Lymphedema Therapist possesses a broad knowledge of the lymphatic system and can safely work with patients to best manage individual needs.”
“This is a very rare certification in Skilled Nursing Facilities,” said Jennifer Maxey, Manager of Rehabilitative Services at Friendship Health South. “We are so proud of Megan and Leanne for putting in the effort so we could expand the services we provide to the greater community.”
Broce came to Friendship in April of 2014, where she started as a Registered Occupational Therapist.
“As an occupational therapist, I have worked with numerous patients uncomfortable with excess fluid (edema) throughout their bodies. Edema often leads patients to have difficulties with completing activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing and even walking to the bathroom. With very little resources on edema, I was motivated to become certified in lymphedema to better assist these patients reach their independence.”
Spangler joined the Friendship team in January of 2010. She began as an LPTA with a special interest in neurologic disorders. Leanne carries Certification as a Dementia Practitioner, has received recognition as a clinical instructor, been nominated for a clinical award by her peers and was the first Liaison with the wounds team.
“I saw a direct correlation between unmanaged edema and skin breakdown. I knew this was a field that would benefit our community. I wanted to not only help prevent complications that came from unmanaged edema but also provide the education needed to help self-manage this condition.”
At Friendship, Broce and Spangler now offer comprehensive and individualized programs including:
· Specialized manual massage techniques called complete decongestive therapy, which allows for the fluid to be manually pumped up and out of the body.
· Individualized sizing and use of a multilayered compression garment, pump or wraps to maintain the decongested limb.
· Education regarding an appropriate exercise program and diet recommendations to facilitate the elimination of waste from the body.
· Maintenance of range of motion and function of the affected limb and involved joints.
· Instruction on appropriate skin hygiene to involved areas to decrease risk of complications.
· A home maintenance program to manage the area independently upon completion of rehab services.
To learn more about Friendship’s Lymphedema Therapy program, please contact Diane Bell at 540.777.5749 or Jennifer Maxey at 540.777.8460.