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SSM Health to bring physical therapy services to Jefferson City YMCA

by Cameron Gerber | November 22, 2022 at 4:02 a.m.

SSM Health will begin offering physical therapy services at the Jefferson City YMCA Hartsfield Center next month, the groups announced Monday.

The contract allows SSM Health exclusive use of three rooms in the Hartsfield facility for therapy services and shared use of the fitness center. The SSM Health Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation team will bring a new site to the YMCA while retaining its existing location at the JCMG Orthopedic Center through the contract.

The new suite of services at the YMCA will include women's health physical therapy, in which a licensed female physical therapist handles specialized treatment for the pelvic floor or kegel muscles, covering the unique health issues women face throughout their lifespans.

The new services are set to begin Dec. 12 under a five-year lease.

The YMCA had offered a request for proposals to provide outpatient services at the Hartsfield facility, and SSM's award of the contract was announced Monday. Jefferson City Area YMCA CEO Craig Lammers said the new collaboration would bolster a partnership he said had benefited the community for many decades.

"With the YMCA and SSM Health being community cornerstones for more than 190 years combined, this partnership allows both organizations to work more closely to provide opportunities to improve the overall health and well-being of residents in our service area," Lammers said.

The two groups are no strangers to collaboration: SSM has served as the YMCA's exclusive collaborative partner in LiveSTRONG, a free research-based well-being and activity program created to help cancer patients achieve their health goals. The 16-week program sees professionals develop exercise plans for participants incorporating resistance training, balance, flexibility and cardiovascular exercise.

"We are happy to partner with the YMCA, as we are both mission-focused organizations and are dedicated to improving the overall health and well-being of residents in our area," said Becky Miller, chief operating officer of SMM Health St. Mary's Hospital. "Uniting under our faith-based missions will help us both focus on what is best for our members, patients and community."

Jason Allen, SSM Health Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation manager, said the collaboration would bring a wide swath of therapies and experienced team members to YMCA members.

"We will offer a full array of advanced therapies at the YMCA, just like we do in different locations," Allen said. "Our therapists specialize in post-surgical rehab, spine, shoulders, elbows, knees, hips, feet and ankles. In addition, many of our therapists have advanced certifications from adolescence to seniors. We'll help patients reach their full potential at the YMCA with services including back and neck pain, shoulder, hip and knee conditions, inner ear and balance issues, neurological conditions, foot and ankle pain, and women's health conditions."

Allen said the team introducing their services to the Y had plenty of experience behind them: Michelle Ruppel, the first physical therapist set to steer the programs at the YMCA, is an experienced physical therapist and current supervisor of the outpatient physical therapy clinic. She will move her practice to the YMCA next month to immediately launch the full range of her therapy services at the new location.

Megan Antonika, who worked at the YMCA for more than a decade as a fitness instructor and personal trainer, returns to work with the organization again after graduating from State Technical College as a physical therapy assistant. She is working toward specialization in women's health therapy.

Chad Pond will handle scheduling and registration for the new services after filling the role for many years with SSM Sports Medicine and Rehab.

The Hartsfield YMCA is located at 3507 Amazonas Drive. Visit jcymca.org for more information.

Print Headline: SSM to bring therapy services to YMCA

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