Grand River Health and Safety Center expands services |

Grand River Health and Safety Center expands services

Samantha PalGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson

PARACHUTE With a brand new facility and much more space, the Grand River Health and Safety Center will be able to offer more services to patients in the Rifle area.The 5,000-square-foot space was specifically designed for rehabilitation, physical and occupational therapy and occupational health services, said Kris Daler, Grand River Medical Center director of public relations.The clinic had been operating as part of the Battlement Mesa Medical Center for two years, but had outgrown the space, according to Daler.Well be able to serve our patients and customers better by having a one-stop shop, Daler said.

Occupational health services benefit employers and employees by performing post-offer/pre-employment testing for jobs that require physical work, according to occupational health coordinator Cinda Munroe.Daler said its better for employers to be proactive and make sure that employees can do the job, and testing helps them hire a healthy and safe workforce.We can detect old injuries so that the employer is not responsible for rehabbing an old injury, Munroe said.The services also benefit the employee because they find out if they will be capable of performing the demands of the job, she said.The Center also performs medical physicals, musculoskeletal evaluations, drug and alcohol testing, on-site hearing screenings and respirator fit testing.Because of the high demand for oil and gas industry workers in the area, the Center was able to expand and offer more employment testing services.They were able to provide the volume, Daler said of the oil and gas industry. And with them inflating the demand we were able to expand quicker. Its an example of where the oil and gas industry has allowed us to do something we couldnt otherwise do, and it benefits everyone else.Munroe said they were approached by many of the companies in the industry and asked to put together an occupational health program.At least 60 to 70 percent of the employees being screened are from the oil and gas industry, Munroe said, but its becoming very popular with other jobs too.Even salesmen are getting tested before theyre hired, Munroe said. Munroe thinks pre-employment testing is a small fee for employers to pay if they can avoid paying workers compensation for pre-existing injuries.

At the new facility there are two physical therapists, one occupational therapist, one physical therapist assistant, a nurse practitioner, a lab tech and the occasional athletic trainer.Some therapists are still working at the old facility in Rifle, where the space is being used for therapy and other medical services.Dana Brokken has been a therapist for seven months and has been going back and forth between the new and old offices.If you saw the old facility, it was basically a two-room operation, Brokken said.For Brokken, the new facility is more spacious, and more space means more equipment available for patients.Now they have a traction table, which helps patients with disc problems deal with pain, and a new column of weights. Clients also have the option of massage therapy.With a bigger facility we can offer more therapists, and patients will have less difficulty getting appointments, Brokken said.And with faster service, patients get on the road to recovery faster, and thats the biggest reward for Brokken.Physical therapist Chris Schlegel has been treating patient Jim Watson for quite some time now.He has improved the quality of my life with his knowledge and expertise, Watson said of Schlegel.The location of the Center is also convenient for Watson, who doesnt have to travel too far for therapy.The Grand River people are very hospitable and I would recommend them to anyone, said Watson.Contact Samantha Pal: 384-9105,

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