MU Children's Hospital Expands Therapy Center
COLUMBIA - MU Children's Hospital opened a new kind of rehabilitation center for kids Monday. It one of the two therapeutic playgrounds in the United States. The playground is designed for children with crutches, walkers and wheelchairs to help them in rehabilitation treatments.
Obstacles on the playground provide therapy by helping children learn to maneuver over stairs and inclines. The new center cost $270,000 and was funded by MPix Coaches for Kids golf tournament, Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Radiothon, Frank W. and Emily Leonard Trust, the Matthew Carlisle Turner Fund, and the Mark T. Andrews Memorial Fund.
"There is a great need for pediatric rehabilitation services in central Missouri, with many families currently having to travel to St. Louis or Kansas City for treatment," said Timothy Fete, M.D., medical director of Children's Hospital, in a news release. "Our goal for this new center is to provide rehabilitation treatment to more kids in central Missouri. In the first year, we expect to expand our patient appointments by approximately 50 percent - to 400 patient appointments per week."
In addition to the playground, there are also speech therapy rooms, an activity room, a feeding treatment room, an indoor treatment gym, a day-treatment care room and a casting room.
The therapy center is staffed by 20 pediatric rehabilitation specialists and is open Monday through Friday.