Executive director of Kawkawa Camp and Retreat Wayne Stewart receives treatment from physiotherapist Jon Froese.

Executive director of Kawkawa Camp and Retreat Wayne Stewart receives treatment from physiotherapist Jon Froese.

New physiotherapist eases physio services crunch in Hope

Previously, patients had to travel to Chilliwack to receive services not offered by the Fraser Canyon Hospital.

Hope has a new physiotherapist in town that will serve the community on Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m in the Fraser Canyon Clinic.

Physiotherapist Jon Froese, from CBI Health Group, opened the physiotherapy clinic on Jan. 10, assisted by a $6,000 Fraser Health’s micro grants for equipment and space, which they disbursed in October.

Froese was born in Hope and has worked at the Fraser Canyon Hospital from 2000 to 2004 as a rehabilitation assistant before returning to university to graduate with a master’s degree in physiotherapy in 2006.

Their services will complement the physiotherapy department at the Fraser Canyon Hospital.

“It’s been something that we know the community has needed for some time,” said Fraser Canyon Hospital’s site medical director Joshua Greggain.

To Greggain, CBI provides service in a different axis of physiotherapy.

Greggain said that while the physiotherapy department can serve patients in the hospital and the Fraser Canyon Lodge, and hosts some outpatient classes, he has noticed a lack of outpatient services for patients suffering shoulder, back and work injuries and car accidents.

“The physiotherapists in the hospital are trained to help [with] mobility … specifically when in hospital, but they don’t necessarily have all of the training to cover all of the things that are needed for a physiotherapist,” said Greggain.

The new physiotherapy services will also handle private pay, ICBC and work accident cases, which Fraser Health does not. Previously, patients from Hope had to travel to Chilliwack because they could not seek treatment locally.

“A whole bunch of other patients that were typically never  have been able to be seen in Hope would have to travel,” said Greggain. “And so they get an opportunity to stay in their own community for rehabilitation services.”

If the clinic gets enough patients, Greggain said CBI might increase their hours to twice weekly.

Asked what happens if a person injures himself or herself, in an injury that is completely his or her own fault, Greggain said the hospital would be unlikely to see that patient.

“If you went skiing and had an injury, they would likely not be to take you right now,” said Greggain.

Greggain said that the Fraser Canyon Hospital has worked hard to recruit physiotherapists, but few have signed up. Due to this lack of physiotherapists, the hospital focuses on post-operative patients and seniors with balance challenges.

“It’s been difficult to get full-time physiotherapist to work in the hospital, in that environment,” said Greggain. “For the past several years, there’s been funds available for physiotherapists and we’ve only been able to recruit one.”

The hospital also currently has two physiotherapy assistants and one contract physiotherapist.

People looking for physiotherapy services can call 604-824-0001 to request an appointment in Hope.