Orthopedic Associates Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Center awarded the "Organization Award" by Community Mental Health

O r g a n i z a t i o n  A w a r d

By Telly Delor

In May of each year, the Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Center at Orthopedic Associates (OA) provides staff support for the St. Clair County Community Mental Health (SCCCMH) Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies Run for recovery. The proceeds from this run support the SCCCMH Lifeline Fund which is used to help individuals served by SCCCMH meet urgent needs that do not qualify for other sources of public funding. The OA staff are on-hand before the race to help tape and stretch runners who may need assistance. After the Run, OA staff offer additional stretching and massages. The OA staff also provide relaxing massages at the SCCCMH Open House each year.

"Our Agency is able to host Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds events each year due to the commitment of our trusted community partners. OA’s Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Center is an integral component of our 5K Run for Recovery and our Annual Open House in the fall, remarked Debra Johnson, Executive Director at St. Clair County CMH. “Their expertise affords us an opportunity to provide a quality racing experience for our run participants and an opportunity for our Open House guests to engage in a relaxation technique that can help them de-stress and simply feel better. These services align with our integrated approach to behavioral health care, where both mental and physical health are treated as one unit. We are extremely fortunate to have the OA staff on-site at our events and as a member of our community.”

In addition to volunteering at the SCCCMH sponsored events each year, OA staff also provide support to many other community organizations, including: the Blue Water YMCA’s Leprechaun Loop, Sunrise Run, Run to Remember, and Jingle Bell Run; Visiting Nurse and Blue Water Hospice Home’s Hospice Run; St. Clair County Council on Aging; Blue Water Volleygrass Festival; Robinson Tennis Tournament; Musical Miles; and the OA Fun Run. “Having a community minded organization who is willing to provide their specialized services to so many events in our area is a mark of a healthy community,” said Johnson.

When asked how the staff felt about having received the SCCCMH Organization Award, Maureen Muzzarelli, Director of the OA Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Center, said, “We are so very proud to be receiving this award, especially because it reflects a partnership with SCCCMH, connecting the mind and body within our community.” Muzzarelli added, “These two entities are so interconnected that, although they appear separate, they are wholly interdependent. One cannot attend to one without affecting the other. Our approach to treating the musculoskeletal system is to understand and incorporate the mind’s influence on the body and vice versa. We believe the emotional state manifests itself in the body. To ignore that phenomenon would be not fully caring for our patients.”

Orthopedic Associates, located in Port Huron, was recognized as “A Top 100 Places to Work” in Michigan.  Employing 109 staff members in all, OA’s Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Center has 25 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and support staff working to improve strength and mobility for the almost 13,000 patients seen at OA each year. Orthopedic Associates was also listed as the Regions most preferred Orthopedic Specialist Center from 2009 - 2012.