Mark Twain Medical Center Fields Seasoned PT Team

San Andreas, CA…November 3, 2016 — With almost 150 years of experience among them, the Physical Therapy team at Mark Twain Medical Center is unique in many ways. Sandra Buecher, DPT, MBA, is manager of the Physical Therapy Department, overseeing a staff of six. This close-knit group of professionals aligns education with people skills, each seeing an average of seven clients a day – totaling some 500 a month. “Everyone is licensed,” she emphasizes, “There are no techs or aides – and that sets us apart from other local facilities.”

The MTMC Physical Therapy team includes, from left, Leo Castleberry, Karen Peterson, Genevieve Dominguez, PT Department Manager Sandra Buecher; not pictured, Gerald Ballard and Patty Oliver.

Her team includes Gerald Ballard, who has some 50 years in Physical Therapy and handles inpatient services. Karen Petersen has been in the field for 36 years; Leo Castleberry for 32 years and Genevieve Dominguez for 10 years. Along with Sandra, they provide general PT treatment helping clients regain motor skills and mobility. Patty Oliver has 13 years experience specializing in hand rehabilitation and Occupational Therapy.

She notes a seasoned PT team is unique in health care these days. “Most people are surprised to learn the PT license is a Master’s Degree. Our education standards continue to rise, which likely explains the shortage of licensed physical therapists. You currently need a Masters Degree to sit for the licensing exam. Many programs have already transitioned to a Doctorate degree, and soon you will need a Doctorate to sit for the exam. There is a huge demand for physical therapists and not enough graduates.”

The PT team at MTMC helps clients increase and maintain muscle strength and endurance; restore and increase joint range of motion; increase coordination and flexibility; relieve pain and decrease inflammation and muscle spasms – and much more. Physical Therapy visits must be prescribed by a physician and can be billed to a variety of insurance plans.

Clients receive one-on-one attention that is not equipment based. “We find out what our clients need to do and find a way to make it happen. For example, if running a vacuum cleaner is the goal, we use a stick to work on motor skills related to that motion. If they need to sit at a computer for hours, we help them set up a work station that won’t re-injure their back. And we concentrate on regaining balance and strength when they simply want to enjoy a walk with their dog.”

Sandra notes, “Once treatment is completed, we hope to never see our clients again for the same problem. Our goal is to get them back to what they were missing out on and empowering them to manage day to day activities on their own.”
“Watching people get better is the best part of this job,” she adds.

About Mark Twain Medical Center
Founded in 1951, Mark Twain Medical Center is a 25-bed, critical access hospital providing inpatient acute care, outpatient services and emergency services. The Medical Center’s Medical Staff represents a broad range of specialties that ensure access to high quality medical care in a rural community. In addition to being a major provider of health services, Mark Twain Medical Center is also one of the area’s largest employers. More than 300 people are employed at the hospital and its five Family Medical Centers. The Medical Center is a member of Dignity Health, the fifth largest not-for-profit healthcare system in the nation. For more information, please visit our website at Mark Twain Medical Center is also on Facebook.