Swing Bed Program meets local patient’s needs

On March 3rd, John Lang was relaxing in his home when he suddenly recognized the signs of a stroke.  He called his wife, Joleen, who immediately called 911.  The Pottawatomie County EMS responded within 5 minutes and transported John to Via Christi Manhattan where the Primary Stroke Team greeted him at the door and immediately began treatment.  Once the Primary Stroke Team was able to treat the stroke, they transferred John to the Via Christi Manhattan Inpatient Rehab Unit where he underwent Inpatient Rehab for one month.   Once John’s Inpatient Rehab was complete, he chose to continue his care in Wamego Health Center’s Swing Bed Program.  When John was asked why he chose Wamego Health Center, he answered by saying “I wanted to be close to home.  Also, if I absolutely have to be in a hospital, Wamego Health Center is the place I would want to be.  The atmosphere is the next best thing to family.”  Since arriving at Wamego Health Center on April 4th, John has worked closely with the Rehab and Nursing departments to gain mobility and prepare for his return home.

John is no stranger to Wamego Health Center. He and Joleen moved to Wamego in 1961. In 1969, John joined the Hospital’s Board of Directors where he completed a 20 year term.  During his 20 year board term, John was a strong advocate of local healthcare and the importance of healthcare to the community.  John has been a patient at Wamego Health Center a few other times for therapies related to knee, back, and shoulder surgeries.  John reports he appreciates the personalized care provided by the staff and nurses.  “All the nurses and nurse aids have great humor and are always very quick to respond”.

“The atmosphere is the next best thing to family.”




John currently receives Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Speech Therapy at Wamego Health Center. Mary Jane Damme, Occupational Therapist, has been working with John on activities of daily living. Her main focus is to help him regain his ability to participate in activities such as making coffee and reading the newspaper. Mary Jane has implemented very practical, yet hands on exercises for John to work on during his time at Wamego Health Center. John reports that he appreciates Mary Jane’s willingness to try new exercises and realizes that she has taken the time to explore and implement the best therapies for his treatment, such as “mirror therapy”, which very much impressed him.

Ashley Ingram, Physical Therapist, focuses more on walking, balance, getting in and out of vehicles, and going up and down stairs. The physical therapy exercises she has provided to John have been personalized with the main goal being preparation for John’s homecoming. John reports that Ashley is very strong and competent. With a chuckle he states “she really makes me work hard, I tend to work up a sweat when I’m working with Ashley”.




Kate Conwell, Speech Pathologist, brings a cognitive link to all of the therapies John receives. She has worked with hospital staff to bring a computer to John’s room so he can actively research the effects of a stroke and how Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Speech Therapy will help him regain the mobility necessary for a good quality of life. The same computer allows John to check and reply to  e-mails and research Home Health Options. As his Speech Pathologist, Kate uses oral motor exercises to help John regain strength in his mouth and face. John appreciates that Kate is willing to bring new and “novel” ideas to his therapy sessions. He describes Kate as a hometown girl and states that he has enjoyed seeing familiar faces during his stay at Wamego Health Center.

In addition to the Rehabilitation Services John receives, the nurses and physicians at Wamego Health Center have played an active role in John’s recovery. John’s caregiver team meets on a regular basis ensuring his care is as personalized and effective as possible. Theresa Hamilton, Swing Bed Coordinator, takes extra steps to ensure that ongoing communication takes place between John, his wife Joleen, and the medical team of providers, therapists, and nursing staff. Theresa also ensures that John and his wife are aware of all his insurance benefits both during and after hospital care, and provides education of all available resources, such as Home Health or any other home services which he may benefit from, once he returns home. The Swing Bed Team’s primary goal is to work with John assisting him to attain his goal of returning safely to his home environment, where he will be able to enjoy life back home with Joleen.


For more information about Wamego Health Center’s Rehabilitation Services and Swing Bed Program, visit www.wamegohealthcenter.org or call Theresa Hamilton, RN at 785.458.7103.