Grand Valley, area colleges create specialized rehab clinic

A new clinic that provides a variety of neurological services for patients in need of continued care has opened in partnership with Grand Valley State University, Calvin College and Western Michigan University. 

The 4,500-square-foot clinic will provide speech pathology, audiology, social work, and physical and occupational therapy services for children and adults with Parkinson's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, head and neck cancer, sensory integration issues, autism and traumatic brain injuries. 

A public open house will take place on September 29 from 4-7 p.m. at 1310 East Beltline, Grand Rapids.

Barb Baker, associate professor of physical therapy at Grand Valley and part-time physical therapist at the clinic, said there's no other clinic like it in Grand Rapids. 

"It's interdisciplinary, it's intercollegiate and it will serve the underserved population in the area," Baker said. "There is great excitement in the Grand Valley Physical Therapy Department over this venture."

The clinic will provide hands-on learning experiences for students at each institution, including students enrolled in the physical therapy program at Grand Valley. 

"This clinic is meeting an enormous need in educating students because neurological placements for students are limited," said Baker. 

The space includes a waiting area, a group therapy room, seven clinical rooms, two soundproof audiology booths and a physical therapy gym, complete with a treadmill, hand bike, rock climbing wall, therapeutic swing and other donated equipment.

Steven Vanderkamp, director of the clinic, said, "we will all be working very closely together to make sure all of the clients’ needs are being addressed under one roof. We have top-notch health professionals and faculty from three universities on board to provide specialized services."

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