Seaton woman thankful for MCH Skilled Care program

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Virginia Ewing of Seaton was recently a passenger in a car when the driver became unresponsive.  The car crossed the center line, hit a culvert and flipped end over end twice before landing right side up.  Virginia was taken by ambulance to the nearest hospital, Cottage Hospital in Galesburg, and then transferred to OSF in Peoria for trauma care.  In the accident, Virginia suffered several injuries including: six broken ribs, broken sternum, cracked ankle bone, a severe laceration on her thumb, and multiple bruises.  After receiving her advanced care at OSF, Virginia chose to be transferred to Mercer County Hospital to allow her to be close to family and friends during her lengthy recovery.

Sue Sutton, Social Services Manager, worked with OSF personnel and Virginia's family to arrange her transfer to the MCH Skilled Care unit. Upon admission, Virginia's primary physician, Dr. Travis Figanbaum, was updated with her latest medical information and assumed supervision of her care.

"I was treated so well by everyone at Mercer County Hospital.  I received wonderful care which helped me to recover from my injuries.  My family and friends could visit me anytime because I was close to home," said Virginia.

Virginia received physical and occupational therapy to regain her strength and endurance to perform basic daily functions.  Her physical and occupational therapy regime included Theraputty for her hand, walking, and lifting weights. In the accident, Virginia also lost four teeth.  MCH staff coordinated her care with Dr. Gary Olson to assess her dental needs and scheduled an appointment for Virginia to be taken to his office for treatment.   

"Exercise is vital to strengthen injuries like Virginia's thumb.  She worked really hard in therapy and the mobility in her thumb is now excellent.  Occupational and physical therapy work together to help patients like Virginia regain her strength and mobility after an injury or illness," commented  Janis Klink, Occupational Therapist.

Virginia made great progress in her recovery and was able to return home to complete her healing process. Her recovery will continue to be monitored by Dr. Figanbaum through appointments at Medical Associates Clinic in Aledo.

"I am so glad Dr. Figanbaum could be my physician for my recovery.  It's so convenient to have my follow-up appointments in Aledo," said Virginia.

Patients may be transferred from any hospital to Mercer County Hospital for Skilled Care.  

"Patients always have the choice to receive care where they want to go and they should tell their care providers," commented Sue Sutton.  

Upon the request for transfer from hospital staff, patient or a family member, Sue evaluates each patient to determine if they meet the qualifications for Skilled Care.  The first qualification is the completion of a three day acute care hospital-stay.  Patients must also qualify for at least one of the following therapies: physical, occupational, IV, or speech. Mercer County Hospital staff  provide knowledge, professional, and most of all compassionate care to help each patient progress in their recovery.  

Near the end of their hospital stay, each Skilled Care patient receives a letter giving them a  48-hour notification prior to being discharged. At that time, Sue organizes a care conference with the patient, their family, nurses, physical and occupational therapists to  review their individualized care plan. She also assists in scheduling various services needed after discharge including: home health nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy,  Lifeline, mobile meals, Alternatives for Older Adults, Helping Hands, nursing homes or assisted living facility transfer, and other organizations depending on  the patient's needs.  To learn more about Mercer County Hospital's Skilled Care program contact Sue Sutton at (309) 582-3713.