Before Jo Petterson hit the ground, she knew her fall coming out of her
camper on the last day of vacation in the Big Horns wasn’t good.
As her family scrambled to pack everything up so she could get medical
attention, Jo struggled with deciding if it was best to seek treatment
in Buffalo, make the long drive to Billings or head home to Gillette, Wyoming.
“We [her family] had a major trauma 10 years ago and my husband didn’t
have this circle of care I have received. I just wanted to be home. “
Several hours later, Jo waited in the Campbell County Memorial Hospital
Emergency Department to find out just how much damage she had done to her leg. A bad break
in her tibia would ultimately lead to a five-hour surgery and months of
follow-up care. But from the moment Jo entered the hospital, through the
surgery with orthopedic surgeon
Dr. Robert Grunfeld and onto rehabilitation services, she said she’s had incredible
care from doctors, nurses, therapists and everyone she’s encountered.
“I’ve never been in a situation where I needed these types
of services,” Jo said. “We have the full circle of care here
from the minute you step into the emergency department until now. It’s
a complete circle I didn’t realize we have.”
One of her first points of contact after the emergency department was with
Dr. Grunfeld, with
Powder River Orthopedic and Spine, a Campbell County Medical Group
clinic, who performed the reconstructive surgery on her leg.
“We’re like the autobody repair shop taking care of the initial
damage,” Dr. Grunfeld said. “The vast majority of surgeries
I do require intense physical therapy and occupational therapy afterward.”
Dr. Grunfeld recommended Jo to utilize The Legacy Living and Rehabilitation
Short Term Rehabilitation where rehab specialists could work with her one-on-one for a few weeks
before having to make the transition home.
Emily Swanson, Jo’s physical therapist assistant at The Legacy could easily access
all of Jo’s records and medical history through the hospital’s
medical record system, making it easier for her to glean important information
and understand Jo’s situation. While at The Legacy, Emily worked
with Jo on skills she would need once she returned home and helped her
find the assistive equipment that worked best for her.
“It’s the convenience of having all that information at a click
of a button,” Emily said. “It was an easy hand-off [to her
Those three weeks at The Legacy followed by several days of physical therapy
each week have helped Jo on the healing journey.
Lisa Haugen, her current therapist at Campbell County Health’s
Rehabilitation Services has helped Jo continue her recovery process.
“There’s been tears because they push just enough to know it’s
working,” Jo said. “They were emotionally able to push me
like I needed to be pushed. They’re encouraging – they tell
me what I need to hear.”
Her therapist Lisa also helps keep Dr. Grunfeld abreast of Jo’s progress
and any areas of concerns she sees.
“It makes the doctor aware of where they’re at on the recovery
process,” Lisa said. “It helps him determine if they’re
ready to get back to work or driving.”
For Dr. Grunfeld, the continuum of care at Campbell County Health is a
real asset to the patient. He enjoys working closely with therapists,
nurses and others who help his patients continue their recovery process,
and he says he’s seen that circle of care aid in the patient’s recovery.
“Seeing patients the day or day after the injury and following them
through the process, they look like a different human being as the weeks
and months go by, and they make progress,” something that Grunfeld
said he’s able to keep up on because of the ongoing communication
between him and the others working with the patient.
While six months later Jo is still in the recovery process and knows there’s
much more to do to get back to where she was before the fall, she says
she’s thankful for all the people at CCH who have helped her along
the way. Jo is also grateful for the support of her employer,
Long's Plumbing and Heating, during her treatment and recovery.
“I’ve come a long way, but I still have a long way to go,”
Jo said. “It is a long, longer than I ever thought for recovery.”
You have a choice when it comes to your
therapy. CCH’s comprehensive team of physical, occupational, and speech
therapists; orthotics and prosthetics specialists; and functional and
athletic health professionals is the most comprehensive in the region,
treating patients in their homes, in the hospital and in our outpatient
rehab facilities. Modalities and methods include:
- Aquatic therapy – only at CCH
- Body-weight supported gait training – only at CCH
- Baltimore Therapeutic Exercise (BTE) machine – only at CCH
- Cancer Rehab
- Cardiac Rehab
- Cognitive rehabilitation
- Cupping, dry needling and kinesiotaping treatments
- Neurologic rehabilitation for stroke and concussions
- Orthotics and prosthetics
Personal training, including postrehab
- Pediatric therapy
- Pelvic health
- Sports Medicine
Sports training – Excel and ICAN Excel athletic training programs
- Swallowing studies
- Vestibular rehabilitation
- Work health, return to work evaluations and therapy, industrial rehab
- Wound care
Call Rehabilitation Services at 307.688.8000 to talk with our professional
staff to see if you could benefit from one of our rehabilitation therapies.
Learn more at
www.cchwyo.org/rehab. Learn more about the services offered at Short Term Rehabilitation in
The Legacy at
Expert Orthopedic & Spine Care In Gillette, Wyoming
The Board-certified physicians at
PROS take an innovative and comprehensive approach to the treatment of acute
and chronic orthopedic pain. Have your procedure in our modern
operating rooms at Campbell County Memorial Hospital or
Powder River Surgery Center.
See the PROS for:
- Foot and ankle surgery
- General orthopedic surgery
- Joint replacement surgery, including hip and knee
- Shoulder, elbow, and hand surgery
- Spine surgery, including minimally invasive procedures
- Sports medicine
For a consultation, call 307.686.1413 or visit
Article written by Kim Phagan-Hansel, Wyoming freelance writer