Margaretville Hospital PT department expands services

Margaretville — Margaretville Hospital continues expanding the services of its Physical Therapy Department and recently welcomed a second doctor of physical therapy to its staff.
Dr. Carly Finch, PT, DPT, a Roxbury native, became a member of the hospital’s Physical Therapy Department in December. She joins Department Manager Dr. Sasha Cyrelson, PT, DPT; Joe Sullivan, PT assistant; and Mindy Small, OTR-L. They also receive assistance from inpatient staff.
The hospital’s PT department offers a wide range of services.
“We treat anything,” commented Dr. Cyrelson.
She said that typical cases involve back and limb pain or injury trauma. People who have suffered strokes, head injuries or who are recovering from surgery are often patients, as well.
“Or job is to help patients achieve their highest level of function,” Dr. Cyrelson explained.
When it comes to Physical Therapy in general, Dr. Cyrelson said it’s important to realize one essential point.
“We treat pain to help patients get out of pain. We also teach patients methods of self-treating pain. We show patients what they can do at home. In the long run, that’s what they take with them,” she explained.
Dr. Cyrelson said that one of the keys to successful Physical Therapy is starting treatment early.
“I wish people would come to us sooner, rather than later,” she remarked. “The important thing is to prevent a smaller problem from becoming a chronic, unfixable problem.”
She noted that when people have sprains, strains or other injuries, they can ask their doctors to prescribe Physical Therapy.
“Patients can be an advocate for themselves,” Dr. Cyrelson stated.

Expanded PT Department
Margaretville Hospital’s PT Department was recently expanded and remodeled. The fund-raising efforts of the auxiliary have provided the facility with a full array of strength training and cardiovascular equipment, general exercise equipment and hot and cold treatments. The staff also provides massage treatment and Occupational Therapy. Some alternative therapy methods, such as electrical current treatments, are also available.
Dr. Cyrelson said, “Thanks to the auxiliary, all of our equipment is less than five years old. It makes our jobs a lot easier.”
Dr. Cyrelson said that a patient’s first session typically involves spending a full hour with a therapist. During that time, a complete diagnosis is made and a plan of action is determined.
She explained that PT is a supplement to medication. Ideally, the work done in PT helps patients become less dependent on medicine for pain relief.
Subsequent visits are usually 45 minutes. Dr. Cyrelson said that the length of a PT program depends upon patient needs. Some patients are done after a single visit while more typical treatment plans run 6-8 weeks.
The manager noted that patients can receive up to 10 PT treatments without a physician’s referral, but a referral is necessary if insurance will be assisting with payments. Patients still need a prescription to obtain these services.
As part of its wellness initiative, after patients have completed their course of therapy at Margaretville Hospital, they may join the physical therapy department’s gym program for a nominal monthly fee. This enables them to continue exercising and to utilize the exercise equipment in a safe environment under the general supervision of the therapy staff.

Roxbury native joins staff
The hospital’s PT staff has gained a reputation for the quality of care provided. Its two doctors of physical therapy both have longtime ties to the area.
Dr. Cyrelson has 13 years of PT experience. A native of Woodstock, she began working at Margaretville Hospital five years ago. She received both her master’s and her doctorate from Temple University. She specializes in the treatment of orthopedic injuries.
The staff recently added another doctor of physical therapy when Roxbury native Carly Finch was hired.
The 2004 salutorian of Roxbury Central School, Dr. Finch began working at Margaretville about three months go. She is a graduate of Ithaca College where she earned a master’s degree in clinical science and a doctorate in physical therapy.
Dr. Finch said she knew from a young age that she wanted a career in the medical field. She chose physical therapy because she likes the fact you really get to know your patients by spending an extended amount of time with them during each visit.
“I think sometimes patients don’t realize what we do and they don’t understand,” Dr. Finch explained. “We can teach them the long-term benefits of receiving physical therapy.”
Dr. Finch said when she began her employment search she learned of the local opening and was pleased to return to her roots.
“I wanted to be close to my family and I love the Catskills,” said Dr. Finch of her decision to begin her career near her hometown.
She is the daughter of Brenda Finch-Hasay of Roxbury and Duane Finch of Newcomb. Dr. Finch is also the granddaughter of Charlie and Eleanor Mager of Arkville and Jim Finch of Roxbury and the late Glady Finch.
With her lifelong ties to the area, Dr. Finch said she gets special satisfaction from helping friends and neighbors with their medical needs.
Margaretville Hospital’s Physical Therapy Department is open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Friday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. For additional information, please call 845 586-2631.
Margaretville Hospital and Mountainside Residential Care Center, an 82-bed nursing facility, are members of HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley.