Your Healthcare Connection: Olympia Orthoapedic Associates Physical Therapy Gets your Life in Motion

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The team at the Eastside physical therapy clinic works in close concert with the physicians at OOA to achieve the best outcomes for patients. Photo courtesy: Olympia Orthopaedic Associates.

There are many reasons someone might need physical therapy. They range from post-surgical rehabilitation to pre-surgical strengthening sessions to therapeutic stretching and flexibility work. No matter the reason, however, the Olympia Orthopaedic Associates Physical Therapy clinics, staffed by trained specialists, are ready to help. Their one goal? Helping you feel, and move, better.

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The bright, light Westside OOA clinic staff work as a team led by clinic director Kate Sisco (3rd from left, front row).

OOA has three main physical therapy clinics throughout Thurston County. The largest is housed within the Westside Clinic near Capital Medical Center. The second is housed within OOA’s Eastside Clinic near Providence Saint Peter Hospital. And the third, the newest, is located in Hawks Prairie area of Lacey, adjacent to the new Rapid Orthopaedic Clinic, or ROC, which serves walk-in, acute orthopaedic injuries.

Kate Sisco is the clinic director at the Westside location and a skilled hand therapist as well. In her role, Sisco ensures a patient’s care team are all on the same page, from the surgical team to a primary care physician to the therapist themselves. “I serve as a liaison between the surgeons here at Oly Ortho and a patient’s therapist, even if they are not within one of our clinics,” Sisco explains. “We can provide the best quality of care with consistent protocols because we are all in communication all the time.”

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OOA physical therapists bring a broad range of experiences to the clinic, giving patients specialized options for their specific needs. Photo courtesy: Olympia Orthopaedic Associates.

And nowhere is this communication more seamless than within OOA. With the surgeons and therapists all under one roof, it’s more simple than ever for the care team to coordinate, consult and adjust a care plan when needed. Patients can feel the difference, too, noting the communication is clear and efficient, resulting in specific and effective therapy sessions.

“Really, at the root of our mission,” shares Sisco, “is to provide what is most is convenient for the patient, whether it’s at the Eastside, Westside or Lacey clinic or in a physical therapy clinic outside the OOA family. Our seamless facilitation, open lines of communication regarding therapy operations and protocols for care throughout the area ensuring the patient receives the best care they can.”

Lisa Bowling, Clinic Director at the Eastside clinic, agrees. Her 38 years of experience in the field make her a wealth of knowledge on best practices and patient care. When asked about what she finds most beneficial about the OOA model of housing physical therapy within their orthopaedic clinics Bowling shares, “The ultimate benefit is that our therapists are on the front end of the knowledge base. We have direct access to the surgeons and doctors which eases the pathway to more information for concerns related to a patient, developing custom therapy protocols or asking questions on existing protocols. We keep on the front end of their specialty.”

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The newest clinic in the OOA physical therapy family is located adjacent to the ROC in Hawks Prairie. Photo courtesy: Olympia Orthopaedic Associates.

All three clinics are excited to be fully staffed and revamped, ready to serve patients better than ever. The new Hawks Prairie clinic is an example of the expanding therapy services, allowing ROC patients to walk over after their walk-in appointment and therapist can often see them right away. This immediate care can often make a big difference in an acute injury situation. And this isn’t just happening at the ROC. Sisco and Bowling are working hard to meet all patient’s needs, including accommodating walk-up patients from the physicians within their own clinics. While some days are jam-packed in the PT department, the therapists work diligently to try and see patients with acute, same-day needs whenever possible.

Sisco notes that the PT departments are following the advancements within the bigger Olympia Orthopaedic Associates organization as they establish multiple “Centers of Excellence” within the group. OOA’s Centers of Excellence include Foot and Ankle, Hand and Upper Extremity, Neurosurgery, Spine, Joint Replacement and Sports Medicine.

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The Westside clinic is the largest of the three Olympia Orthopaedics clinics. Photo courtesy: Olympia Orthopaedic Associates.

“We are hiring specialists,” shares Sisco, “to match with our Centers of Excellence.” These include hand therapy experts as well as a developing team of foot and ankle therapy specialists to match the high-level surgical procedures being offered at the Foot and Ankle Center. “By having PTs with foot and ankle expertise, the therapists can follow post-operative care more precisely and the surgeons and the specialized therapists create close working relationships – real partnerships – within their specialty teams.”

This philosophy of close teamwork makes the OOA Physical Therapy clinics unique among the wide number of clinics throughout the region. “It sets us apart from other clinics,” explains Sisco. “If a situation arises with their care, it can be easily addressed. Complications that arise from time to time can be discussed face-to-face with the patient’s surgeon who is usually just down the hall.” Continued learning is a real focus for all the PTs at OOA and they can sometimes be found watching surgeries at the Outpatient Surgery Center in an effort to better understand their patient’s needs.

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Located on Lilly Road near Providence St. Peter Hospital, the Eastside clinic is convenient for Lacey and Olympia residents. Photo courtesy: Olympia Orthopaedic Associates.

Bowling agrees there are some unique advantages to their internal locations. “The PT department has been involved in the Oly Ortho same-day joint replacement program from the get go,” Bowling shares. “It’s a real change from the typical rehabilitation after surgery to pre-habilitation model. We are now educating patients and caregivers before their surgery, teaching exercises, training their ‘coach’ or family member, and preparing equipment before-hand.”

As a result of this team approach and pre-planning, the need for extensive post-operative care has dropped. “It’s great to feel proactive and get ahead of a problem instead of always working after the fact. We are giving patients the power to be able to manage and understand their care and what they are dealing with. And, compliance with protocols is better because patients really feel like they know what to do and why.”

No matter which Olympia Orthopaedic Associates Physical Therapy clinic you visit, you’ll receive top-notch care provided by trained PTs who partner closely with the surgical and medical teams working with their patients. “We are really proud of the staff we’ve hired for our clinic,” shares Bowling. “We have therapists ranging from new graduates to people like me who have been at it for 36 years, all bringing a great diversity of experience that is shared among the team. If we run into an obstacle, we pull together and work as a team. Our communication as a team is one of our strengths and results in the best outcomes for our patients.”

To learn more about Olympia Orthopaedic Associates Physical Therapy, visit them online or call 800-936-3386.


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