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Local business renovates, focuses on rehab

POLSON — Focusing on short-stay rehabilitation for the community, Polson Health and Rehabilitation Center is renovating to the tune of $700,000. The facility is west of Providence St. Joseph’s Medical Center, at 9 14th Avenue West. 

It’s not the same old place; they’re doing a total facelift inside — new paint, new flooring, flat screen TVs, new tiles, new showers and matching furniture for the rooms and a new nurses station. 

Outside, the entrances are being redone and residents will enjoy a new patio and patio furniture. 

 “Everything is 30 years old,” PHRC Administrator Debbie Siegfried said.

“It’s our way of letting the community know we heard them.” 

Administrators and staff are fighting a less than stellar reputation that preceded them.

Tammy Barr, business manager for PHRC, meets with families at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center “because they are afraid of us.”

“We’re changing the minds of people in the community one family at a time,” Barr said.

“The care’s good, and the food’s fabulous,” Siegfried added.

To meet the goal of short-stay rehabilitation, 13 therapists are employed at the facility — physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, wound care therapy and IV therapy — six days a week. 

Patients come to PHRC after hospitalization to get stronger, steadier and ready to go home. A larger rehabilitation room was created on the western side of the building, where a dining room used to be.

“We used to never send people home; now we send three to four people home per week,” Siegfried said. 

It’s not just install residents in a bed and keep them there.

“We want them up and moving,” Barr said. 

For a homier atmosphere, some therapists bring their animals to work. The staff and residents adopted a feral cat, who’s now the building’s kitty and even took in a dog when a patient had nowhere for the dog to go. During the school year, kids visit the facility, making crafts, singing or just visiting, Barr said.

Besides daily activities and therapy, staff and residents visit the frozen yogurt store, go to Flathead Lake for picnics, visit the Summerfest Car Show, join the crowd at the Polson Farmers Market and drive through town to see the Christmas lights in the winter. 

“The residents keep us busy,” Barr said. 

The management is stable since Siegfried is a 10-year veteran, and Barr has been at PHRC for five years. 

The facility is under the EmPres Healthcare Limited LLC umbrella. 

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