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A Leg Up with Complete Care, Right at Home

  • Author: Jo Petterson
  • Date Submitted: Jun 29, 2019

“They were emotionally able to push me like I needed to be pushed. They’re encouraging – they tell me what I need to hear.”

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.”

CCH Doctor Robert Grunfeld orthopedic surgeon at Powder River Orthopedics and Spine in Gillette, WyomingOne of her first points of contact after the emergency department was with Dr. Grunfeld, 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 Center’s 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 outpatient therapist.]”

CCH physical therapist Lisa Haugen 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.

Jo Petterson at work in Gillette, WyomingWhile 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.”

Rehabilitation Services
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
  • Orthopedics
  • Orthotics and prosthetics
  • Personal training, including postrehab
  • Pediatric therapy
  • Pelvic health
  • Post-cardiac
  • Post-surgery
  • Splinting
  • 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 Learn more about the services offered at Short Term Rehabilitation in The Legacy at

Article written by Kim Phagan-Hansel, Wyoming freelance writer