The DMU Physical Therapy Clinic: ama-a-a-azing space

DMU President Angela Walker Franklin, Ph.D., cuts a ribbon to celebrate the renovation of the Physical Therapy Clinic.

When it comes to describing DMU’s renovated and sun-filled Physical Therapy Clinic on eighth floor of the DMU Clinic, patients say it best.

“We have received great comments from patients regarding the state-of-the-art facility and the healing environment that it provides,” says Kari Smith, D.P.T., BCB-PMD, PT Clinic manager and associate professor of physical therapy. “Developing the PT Clinic layout has been a real pleasure to design a space that meets our current needs for patient care, student clinical education and community wellness classes.”

Adds colleague Shane McClinton, D.P.T., OCS, FAAOMPT, CSCS: “The new clinic is a refreshing space that provides a one-of-a-kind patient experience with one of the best views in Des Moines. DMU has elevated physical therapy to a whole new level.”

DMU’s physical therapists treat a wide range of conditions.

The new space complements the diverse expertise of DMU’s physical therapists. Conditions they treat include athletic, work or accidental injuries; post-surgical issues that require rehabilitation; dizziness and vestibular problems; incontinence and bowel dysfunction; lymphedema; and chronic, back, muscle, joint, pelvic and pregnancy-related pain. The PT Clinic is an ideal facility for these services as well as the clinic’s classes, which include active adult exercise, core strength with Pilates, yoga for healthy aging and tai chi for arthritis and fall prevention.

“One of our main goals was to provide a space utilizing as much natural light with an open-design concept that still allows for patient privacy and comfort,” Dr. Smith says.

The clinic includes a gym with east-facing windows and advanced equipment to retrain balance and improve patients’ confidence in their mobility. Harness equipment installed in a track on the ceiling allows patients to push themselves physically without fear of falling. The harness can decrease a percentage of a patient’s weight, too, to assist in walking for those with pain or neurological conditions.

The DMU Physical Therapy Clinic features special equipment used to enhance patient mobility.

The PT Clinic also features six semi-private exam rooms, four private rooms and a Therapy, Education and Multipurpose (TEAM) room with conference tables and chairs that can be wheeled out of the way for the exercise classes.

“The view out of the TEAM room inspires me whether in Pilates, yoga or the active adult class,” says Martha Davis, a class participant and former physical therapy patient. “Patient rooms are spacious and private, providing a comfortable space for discussing and receiving treatment.”

That’s beneficial to clinicians as well as patients. “The larger exam rooms allow for easier treatment and adaptability, as I can move around the patient more easily,” says physical therapist Kate Cardamon, M.P.T. “I can move the patient from the treatment table to the floor to be able to perform exercises on a yoga mat.”

The views from the clinic create a “wow” moment for patients, says physical therapist Nick Maiers, D.P.T., CMT. “I have visited several outpatient clinics across the Midwest, and nothing compares,” he adds. “Having confidence that your facility optimizes the patient experience feels really great. I can’t wait to share this space with more and more members of the community.”

The clinic also optimizes the experiences and education of DMU’s physical therapy students. “We’re fortunate in that the clinic provides us with an independent student room equipped with desks and computers where we can document and collaborate with other students on internships,” says Masato Fukushima, a third-year student in the program. “With all the equipment and space we have, I feel like this facility is a more than optimal place for students to complete their internships.”

Phil Blumberg, M.H.A., executive director of the multispecialty DMU Clinic, says the enhanced space reflects the larger facility’s mission.

“There are upgrades taking place throughout the DMU Clinic that are part of an overall initiative to enhance patient care. We’re doing this by addressing the current and future needs of our community and creating an environment conducive to our student’s learning by exposing them to the latest in health care design and delivery,” he says.

Learn more about the DMU Clinic and Physical Therapy Clinic via the links above, or call 515-271-1717 to make an appointment with a physical therapist. You can’t beat the views or the care!