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Highland hospital introduces advanced therapy for those with Parkinson’s disease


HIGHLAND — HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Highland is now offering an advanced occupational therapy treatment for people with Parkinson’s disease.

The Lee Silverman Voice Treatment Big program provides patients with daily activities to help them implement lifelong habits to improve their quality of life.

St. Joseph’s Occupational Therapist Kayla Toennies recently received certification in the program, a research-based, standardized approach in exercise to improve motor function for people diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and other neurological conditions.

Following treatment, research shows improved ratings on tests of motor functioning in people with Parkinson’s disease using LSVT BIG, as well these benefits:
• Faster walking with bigger steps
• Improved balance
• Increased trunk rotation
• Improvements in activities of daily living, such as bed mobility
• Improved motor function

The program has been developed and scientifically researched with funding from the National Institutes of Health. Research suggests that people should not wait until they experience disability, impairment of function or loss of balance to start the program.

“We are pleased that because of Kayla’s commitment to advancing her professional development and advancing the clinical services offered at St. Joseph’s Rehab department, we are now able to offer this advanced therapy option to the residents of Highland and the surrounding communities,” said Tina Frank, director of Rehab at St. Joseph’s Hospital. “This therapy will greatly assist enhancing the quality of life for those who struggle with Parkinson’s disease.”

The LSVT BIG program consists of 16 sessions — four days a week for four weeks. Treatment sessions run for one hour and include assigned home program practice for carryover of skills. The program focuses on high amplitude and repetitive motions performed with maximal e¬ffort, which helps produce bigger and more functional movements for everyday activities.

People interested in participating in the LSVT BIG program must obtain a physician order. Evaluation appointments are available by calling Toennies at (618) 651-2720 or fax (618) 651-2722. You can also learn more about the LSVT BIG program at:

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