PUBLISHED: 4:40 PM on Wednesday, September 12, 2007
SEARHC offers physical therapy services on Prince of Wales Island
KLAWOCK - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium now offers physical therapy services at the SEARHC Alicia Roberts Medical Center in Klawock. The Alicia Roberts Medical Center has hired longtime Alaska Native Medical Center physical therapist Dan Weaver to run the new program for Prince of Wales Island.

"We are thrilled to now offer physical therapy services at the Alicia Roberts Medical Center," said Cindy Gamble, ARMC Clinic Administrator. "Physical therapy is an important part of comprehensive medical care and pain management. It has been a hardship for patients to have to travel for physical therapy services, to have to wait for itinerant PT services or just go without PT services. Having a full-time physical therapist available at ARMC will greatly enhance the scope of service and care that we offer our patients."

Weaver holds a bachelor's degree in nursing and a master's degree in physical therapy. He also is a Certified Pedorthist (a person who specializes in using footwear - including shoes, orthotics and other footwear modifications - to solve problems in the feet or lower limbs). Weaver spent 12 years at the Alaska Native Medical Center before coming to SEARHC, and he holds the rank of Commander in the U.S. Public Health Services Commissioned Corps.

At ARMC, Weaver said he plans to provide services in after-surgery rehab (such as the strengthening needed after a total hip replacement or shoulder surgery), musculoskelatal injury rehab (sports injuries and work-related injuries), neurological rehab (such as after a stroke), diabetic foot care, general strengthening, and balance and gait. Weaver has specialized training in wound care, foot care, orthotics and shoe modifying/fabricating. He also enjoys working and providing outpatient physical therapy services to help people regain their strength and mobility. Weaver also said he looks forward to working with elders and providing preventive services so people with diabetes don't end up having problems that could cause them to need to have a foot amputated.

"One of his specialty skills is diabetic foot care," Gamble said. "With the growing number of patients with diabetes on Prince of Wales Island, those skills will be very useful. We are very happy to welcome Mr. Weaver to our ARMC family."

"I am really excited about joining the SEARHC community and working on POW Island," said Weaver, who enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking and biking and is looking forward to hunting deer with his son. "This is a great opportunity to provide a new and much-needed service for the community, and improve and promote the health status of the Alaska Native people of Southeast Alaska."