YOUNGSTOWN – Despite the challenges of 2020, Ohio Sports & Spine Institute was glad to be among Mahoning Valley’s health care organizations to remain open and to provide services and support to individuals facing health issues.
The regional medical practice and rehabilitation center maintained operations at all three of its offices in Boardman, Howland and East Liverpool while adapting to new protocols and changes.
“In March and April, we noticed many patients canceled their appointments and remained at home instead of going to the doctor, rehab or the gym, in fear of leaving the house,” says Stephanie Porter, head physical therapist at the group’s Boardman office. “Their health took a backseat role and they became less active and mobile. This is a major problem for anyone, especially for the elderly and those who suffer from chronic health conditions.”
As a result, the physicians and physical therapists at Ohio Sports & Spine provided materials and exercises for patients to do in the comfort of their homes. And for the first time in practice history, Ohio Sports & Spine provided telemedicine consultations. This enabled its physicians to monitor patients and limit their exposure to COVID-19.
The group treated many patients who suffered from the aftermath of a sedentary quarantine lifestyle, as well as those experiencing longer-term effects after having the virus.
The four physicians on staff have provided support to local hospitals by relieving the influx of patients with non-threatening emergencies, by accepting patient referrals and treating injuries at the group’s three offices.
“We’ve been able to treat many patients that might have gone to the hospital for their injuries during pre-COVID times,” says Dr. Joseph DiDomenico. “In that way, we’ve been able to provide some relief to emergency rooms that are already overflowing, by meeting the needs of patients under one roof at all three of our clinics.”
The practice also expanded its serv-ices to include pelvic floor rehabilitation. The group added Paige Genova, an occupational therapist who specializes in pelvic floor rehabilitation to lead the new practice area.
In addition to adding an occupational therapist, the group hired 12 employees last year, bringing its staff to 48 across its three offices. The group’s Howland office, which opened in 2019, continued to grow throughout 2020, its first full year of operation.
“We’ve been fortunate to see steady growth in our practice since our inception in 1990,” says DiDomenico. “We attribute our success to the investment in advanced training for our staff and our ability to adapt and overcome obstacles, including a global pandemic.