Pediatric Playground Fuels HMH Advanced Therapy Services

March 17, 2017

HMH Foundation credits support from WesBanco, the WHAS Crusade for Children, the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. – At a ceremony Tuesday, Hardin Memorial Health debuted a new one-of-a-kind indoor therapeutic playground for Central Kentucky children in need of advanced therapy services.

The new 1,500 square-foot playground, located in the HMH Therapy and Sports Medicine Center on Ring Road, features equipment designed to support physical, occupational and speech therapy.

“The ropes, stairs, doors and ‘toys’ all have an intended purpose to help our young patients improve,” said Dan Martin, HMH’s Director of Rehabilitation Services. 

WesBanco, the Hardin Memorial Health Foundation’s (HMHF) first corporate donor, served as the project catalyst, providing the funds to build out and equip the playground.

When Jim Rickard, WesBanco’s Market President for Kentucky and Southern Indiana, learned about the children waiting to receive therapy, the decision to fund a playground unlike any other in the area, was an easy one.

“We wanted to invest in the health and future of our community’s children,” said Rickard. “Giving to the new Hardin Memorial Health Foundation helped us do that in a very meaningful and unique way.” 

In 2016, the HMH Therapy Center had 2,399 pediatric visits for occupational therapy; 1,897 pediatric visits for speech therapy; and 1,725 pediatric visits for physical therapy. Martin says HMH is on track to exceed those numbers in 2017. “The new playground and therapy center expansion will help to meet the growing demand,” said Martin.

HMHF Board Chairman Joe Prather said his group raised over $100,000 for pediatric therapy. That includes a grant from the WHAS Crusade for Children to purchase concussion management software called the Bioness Integrated Therapy System (BITS®). 

The BITS® uses visual motor activities, visual and auditory processing, cognitive skills and endurance training to measure a student athletes progress should they sustain a head injury. 

Prather touted WHAS Crusade for Children’s long-standing support to HMH’s pediatric therapy.  

“The WHAS Crusade for Children’s commitment to Central Kentucky’s kids and HMH is exemplary,” said Prather. “Since 2002, they have invested over $600,000 in HMH.”

Prather also thanked the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels (HOKC) for supporting HMHF. HOKC’s recent gift allowed HMH to purchase the Solo-Step Fall Prevention System, installed at the HMH Therapy and Sports Medicine Center on Ring Road, and also the only one of its kind in the 10- county HMH service area.

The new system includes a harness suspended from the ceiling and installed over a portion of the walking track, in addition to parallel bars provided for additional therapy. 

Suitable for children and adults, the Solo-Step provides standing balance, prevents falls and helps in step training. It can improve therapy results for patients after a stroke, amputation or spinal cord injury or those with a neurological disorder. 

Both the WHAS Crusade for Children and HOKC provided gifts to HMHF last year for equipment in the expanded HMH Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

“We cannot say enough about these two wonderful charitable organizations and the generosity of WesBanco,” said Prather. “Thanks to their support, the Foundation is helping to strengthen HMH and provide the most advanced care available close to home.”