A Publication of WTVP

The wonderful quality of life we enjoy in central Illinois is often attributable to our thoughtful care and compassion for each other. These long-standing community values assure hope and support when it is needed most. Coupled with world-class innovation and leadership, our region offers opportunities for health and well-being not found elsewhere.

As an example, the Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation’s mission to improve function and quality of life spans over 63 years. The Institute began in 1949 helping polio victims, veterans and geriatric patients. Our prestigious “Peoria Plan” for rehabilitation became the model for rehabilitation in centers across the country. After the Salk vaccine brought an end to the polio epidemic, the Institute devoted itself to the treatment of injury and chronic illness and to the physical health and well-being of our aging population.

In 1987, the Return to Work Center began, and today, it offers a wide range of support for employees and employers including ergonomic analysis, pre-placement screening and functional assessment training. In addition, IPMR continues to support the central Illinois community through many other endeavors.

STAR Program for Cancer Rehabilitation
IPMR has offered lymph edema care for cancer survivors since 1997. Our new STAR program is the first of its kind in the area, and this comprehensive cancer rehabilitation program allows us to expand our services for survivors. Cancer treatment can be very toxic and may cause significant pain, fatigue and disability. Through the IPMR STAR (Survivorship Training and Rehabilitation) program, the goal is to minimize these effects and ensure the best quality of life. Our comprehensive team includes our medical director, Dr. Lisa Snyder, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, oncology massage therapists, a nutritionist, an acupuncturist and a psychologist. Together, they help survivors live well.

Senior World
Since 1981, IPMR’s Senior World adult day care program has given families and caregivers a positive alternative for loved ones who do not need continuous nursing care. Healthful daily routines include living assistance, therapeutic activities, exercise and socializing in a secure and professionally supervised environment. While we will continue operating the program from a convenient location in downtown Peoria, we will soon also run Senior World out of a new facility adjoining the Brandon Wood Retirement Center in Morton. Our updates are almost complete, and we look forward to opening next month.

Looking to the Future
At IPMR, we are embracing technology to improve the patient experience and increase therapeutic value. New buzzwords like patient-centric and outcome improvement simply describe business as usual here. We have been improving outcomes and value for years, as evidenced by current patient outcomes that exceed nationally recognized benchmarks. The patient has always been at the center of our mission.

Today, we are finding new ways to use technology to increase patient engagement, and through a joint venture with VirtuSense Technologies, a local robotics company, have helped develop two products that turn subjective analysis into objective clinical data for improved treatment and better outcomes. These new technologies will change the way physical and occupational therapies are delivered, allowing IPMR to screen, diagnose and treat patients worldwide. Stay tuned for more details on how these technologies will assist local employers and improve the well-being of central Illinois patients. iBi

Rick Zehr is president of the Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.