Physical therapist Elizabeth Thompson helps CPN employee Andrea Gabel improve her mobility with a variety of stretches and exercises.

To meet the growing need for physical therapy services, Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s Physical Therapy Clinic added additional staff in 2017. Today, clients experience shorter wait times while clinic professionals effectively serve a greater number of people.

“We see the pediatric population all the way to the geriatric population, whether it be for developmental delay, post-op after surgery, balance issues or just overall,” said Rebecca Wilson, CPN physical therapist assistant. Wilson joined the physical therapy department last year, bringing with her four years of experience working in both inpatient and outpatient facilities.

Efficiency boost

“Now we do not have a waiting list,” Wilson said. “Once you get a referral, you’re immediately worked into the system to get on the schedule versus having that wait time … or having to be referred out.”

The expansion of in-house services also saves CPN money, and the growth in staff dedicated to physical therapy allows more patients to receive services, she said.

“We’ve been able to open up to employees as well so that employees can come here for physical therapy versus having to drive out or take off more work time to go to another clinic,” Wilson said.

“It’s good for us because our numbers are up, and I think it’s also good for the population because they’re getting treatment, and they’re able to be seen in a timely manner,” she said. “Hopefully, that’s helping them to be more independent.”

Healthy morale

Leslie Collyer, CPN Rehab physical therapy technician, noticed morale also improved among CPN employees since opening its services to all employees with UMR insurance.

“You know the (Nation’s) Chairman and Vice-Chairman have built this amazing system to care for our CPN elders and to care for Native Americans in our region,” Collyer said, “and they also take care of us as employees.”

The support of CPN allows the physical therapists and staff to focus on their jobs and clients without having to worry about administrative tasks.

“We are very happy people to work for CPN because we’re allowed to just care for people,” she said. “It’s an amazing feeling to be able to come to work every day and have that be your main objective.”

Collyer also serves as a transitional trainer by working with physical therapists and patients to develop exercises and activities to do outside of sessions, as well as providing additional services outside of physical therapy.

“Our goal is to give them all the information, all the access, let them know other things that are available to them because we get to spend a lot of time with patients,” she said. “We can find out if there are other things within our system that can help these people.

“We have time to totally change our patients’ lives,” Collyer said. “It’s really a blessing, so we’re having a good time, and we enjoy what we’re doing.”

For more information

CPN Physical Therapy Clinic is open to CPN tribal members enrolled with CPN Health Services, patients from any federally recognized tribe and CPN employees with UMR insurance.

CPN Physical Therapy Clinic
2345 S Gordon Cooper Drive
(inside FireLake Wellness Center)
Shawnee, Oklahoma