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Mercy's AIM Therapies no longer providing care for patients with chronic conditions

CHI Mercy Health AIM Therapies in Roseburg (SBG photo)

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- Parents of children who receive long term therapies are looking elsewhere for treatment after Mercy Medical Center announced it will no longer provide care for patients with chronic conditions.

While AIM Therapies will continue to see children and adults with acute conditions, patients like three-year-old Dominic, who needs occupational and speech therapy, are considering treatment in Eugene.

Dominic's mother says a year of treatment at AIM for her son's selective mustism and a sensory processing disorder has shown great improvement, but now she's worried about his future progress.

"My child has a long term condition that he needs a lot of help with, including other children that have long term conditions," said Brianna Bernardino, Dominic's mother. "Without these therapy programs that are here to help, the children have no chance for a future. They're going to be struggling."

We reached out to Mercy Medical Center and they issued the following statement via email reply:

AIM Therapies will continue to see children and adults for acute conditions, as the primary role of rehabilitative therapy is a set number of interventions intended to help resolve short-term health issues. Patients with chronic conditions, who have a new acute condition or change in the stability of the long term condition will be reviewed and evaluated as to the possibility of improvement in a shorter term period.
A number of factors were involved in the decision to revise our program at AIM Therapies, one in particular is that one of the therapist that was providing children’s services has resigned and is leaving the community. Our parent company, CHI, is really struggling financially and all of the hospitals in the system have been asked to reduce expenses and not replace positions whenever possible.
It is important to recognize that rehabilitative therapy is a partnership between the therapist and the patient/caregivers. Our treatment goal is to help educate and teach the patient or caregiver the on-going skills necessary to continue the rehabilitation process once the acute therapy interventions are completed. For a resource, there appear to be more than nine other therapy programs in the county, however, it’s unclear whether they (have or do) treat children with short-term or chronic conditions. In addition, there may be patients for whom the needed specialized therapeutic services or equipment have not been and are not now available locally. We would recommend that parents contact their health insurer about programs that are covered, and for school-aged children, ESD is probably the best avenue.

Mercy officials also said a children's therapist providing those services is leaving at the end of this month.

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