Butler County Health Therapy Department provides services for those who have suffered functional loss due to an illness or injury. Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Speech Therapy services are available to patients of all ages from infant to adult to geriatrics. The therapy team at Butler County Health work together with patients and families to design a care plan to meet each patient's individual goals and needs. Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Speech Therapy focus on helping people overcome life challenges so that they can adjust and live a productive life. However, each therapy is unique in which part of recovery it affects.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy (OT) is concentrated on the promotion of health and well-being through occupation. This means how individuals occupy their time such as eating, sleeping, dressing, job duties and leisure activities.

If at any point in life an illness, injury or disability prevents someone from effectively or independently functioning in one more of these occupation areas then OT services are needed.

The ultimate goal of Occupational Therapy is to restore function for patients from infants to the elderly.

Occupational Therapy may address:

  • Self-care skills (feeding, dressing)
  • Life skills (cooking, medication management)
  • Optimize access and use of supportive technologies
  • Accessibility
  • Transition to adulthood
  • Leisure participation
  • Hand therapy (carpal tunnel, post-operative therapy)

Treatment may include:

  • Complete decongestive therapy for Lymphedema
  • LSVT BIg (Parkinson's movement training)
  • Wheelchair evaluation
  • Dynamic balance training
  • Fine motor development (grasping objects)
  • Sensory processing (tacticle sensitivities)
  • Use of adaptive equipment
  • Vision perception training
  • Splinting

Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy (PT) is a healthcare specialty that includes the evaluation, assessment, and treatment of an individual with functional mobility limitations.

PT is needed when health problems make it hard to move around and do every day tasks. PT assists individuals from pediatrics to geriatrics, who have sustained disabilities, impairments or limitations in their overall physical function.

These limitations can be the result of disease, injury, pathologic processes or post-operative recovery. The focus of Physical Therapy is on restoring mobility of an individual.

Physical Therapy may address the following diagnosis:

  • ACL reconstruction and/or meniscal repairs
  • Rotator cuff repairs
  • Ligamentous sprains
  • Ankle sprains and Achilles repairs
  • Joint replacement
  • Sports injuries
  • Back and neck injuries
  • Tendinitis/bursitis
  • SI/pelvic dysfunction

Treatment may include:

  • Strengthening and flexibility exercises
  • Coordination and balance exercises
  • Heat or ice therapy
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Iontophoresis
  • Traction
  • Massage
  • Ultrasound

Speech Therapy

Speech therapy treats swallowing, language, and speech disorders in individuals of all ages from birth to senior citizen status.

The focus of Speech Therapy is to improve the safety and quality of life for individuals affected by disorders resulting from such things as stroke, Parkinson's Disease, ALS, traumatic brain injury, vocal cord dysfunction and developmental abnormalities.

Speech Therapy may include:

  • Vocal abnormalities
  • Receptive and expressive language disorder
  • Articulation and phonological disorder
  • Hearing impairments
  • Language disorder
  • Pragmatic/social language disorder
  • Motor speech disorders
  • Fluency disorders
  • Cognitive or other developmental delays
  • Swallowing and tongue thrust

Treatment may include:

  • Vital Stim (electrical stimulation of the throat muscles)
  • Diet analysis for safety of swallow
  • LSVT loud (Parkinson's voice training)
  • Therapeutic exercise
  • Cognitive (thinking) therapy
  • Articulation training
  • Language training
  • Compensatory strategy training
  • Assessment for use of assistive technology for severe speech and language disability
  • Respiratory Muscle Strength Training

We offer Modified Barium Swallow Studies (MBSS). An MBSS is completed through x-ray technology with a Radiologist and Speech-Language Pathologist to evaluate why one is having trouble swallowing. An MBSS can also help determine appropriate strategies or diet/liquid textures to consume to help with eating and drinking.

Parkinson's Empowerment Group

Are you or a loved one living with Parkinson's disease? Discover a supportive community that understands your journey. Butler County Health invites individuals with Parkinson's, their families, and caregivers to join our Parkinson's Empowerment Group.

What We Offer:

Supportive Environment: Connect with others who are navigating the Parkinson's journey. Share experiences, insights, and learn from each other's stories.

Expert-Led Discussions: Led by experienced physical, occupational, and speech therapists, our group sessions cover a wide range of topics to empower you in managing Parkinson's disease.

Meeting Details: We meet on the third Tuesday of each month from 10 to 11 am in the Pioneer Room at Butler County Health Care Center.

No Cost: Attendance is absolutely free of charge. Our goal is to provide a valuable resource to the community.

Topics We Cover:

  • PD Medication and Side Effects: Understand the medications commonly used to manage Parkinson's symptoms and their potential side effects.
  • Tips for Living with Motor and Non-Motor Symptoms: Learn practical strategies for navigating both motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
  • Assistive Technology Resources: Discover how technology can assist in enhancing your daily life and maintaining independence.
  • Community Awareness: Stay informed about community resources, events, and opportunities that can enrich your Parkinson's journey.

Join us at Butler County Health's Parkinson's Empowerment Group and empower yourself to live well with Parkinson's.  For more information or to register for the program please contact Butler County Health Therapy Department at 402.367.1250.

Meet our Therapists

Lindsey Crook

Lindsey Crook, PT, DPT

Lindsey Crook is a native of Shelby, NE, graduating from Shelby High School. She received her Associated of Science Degree from Central Community College, graduating with honors. In 2010, Lindsey graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from the University of Nebraska-Omaha.  She received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy Degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2013. Lindsey has practiced in a variety of settings including inpatient, outpatient, skilled nursing facility and home health. She holds certifications in orthotic fitting and kinesiology taping. 

Katie Daro

Katie Daro, MOT, OTR/L

Katie Daro is a native of David City, NE, graduating from Aquinas High School. She received her Bachelors of Rehabilitative Studies from College of Saint Mary in 2015. She graduated with her Masters of Occupational Therapy in 2016, also from College of Saint Mary. Her clinical experience includes acute hospital care, inpatient rehabilitation, pediatrics, and aquatic therapy. She’s worked in a variety of locations including western Nebraska and Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. 

Laini Eddy

Laini Eddy, M.S., CCC-SLP

Laini Eddy is a native of Burwell, NE, graduating in 2014. In 2018, she received her Bachelor’s of Science in Communication Disorders. In 2020, she graduated with her Master’s of Science in Speech-Language Pathology. Her undergraduate and graduate research experience has a focus on sustained silent reading and speech and gesture differences in individuals based on levels of task difficulty. Laini’s post-graduate research experience involves working as a research assistant in a project focusing on personality, temperament, and sociability in individuals impacted by the Covid-19 Pandemic. Laini has experience working with the geriatric and adult population focusing on speech, language, voice, dysphagia, and cognitive-linguistic communication skills in addition to working with children at a pediatric setting. 

Kyle Eller

Kyle Eller, PT, DPT

Kyle Eller is a native of David City, NE, graduating from Aquinas High School. He received his bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Nebraska Wesleyan University in 2010. In 2013, he received his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from UNMC where he was awarded The Student Professionalism Award. Kyle has practiced in a wide range of areas including inpatient, outpatient and school settings. He has a particular interest in post-operative rehabilitation and sports medicine, as well as treating other orthopedic conditions. He holds membership with the American Physical Therapy Association and is a Certified Specialist in Soft Tissue Manual Tool (STSM) and Functional Dry Needling.

Natalie Dunn

Natalie Hartman, PT, DPT

Natalie is a native of Valentine, NE, graduating from Valentine High School in 2007. She received her Bachelors of Science from Chadron State College, graduating in 2011. She graduated with her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from UNMC in 2013.  Natalie has practiced in a variety of settings in Kearney, Fremont and Omaha, including inpatient hospital, acute rehab, skilled nursing, outpatient and aquatics, with special interest in orthopedic conditions, Parkinson disease and neurological rehab. She has training in Graston technique and is certified in LSVT-BIG for Parkinson rehab. 

Kristine Polacek

Kristine Polacek, PT, DPT

Kristine Polacek is a native of David City, NE, graduating from Aquinas High School. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nutrition, Exercise, and Health Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2015.  In 2018, she received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy Degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Kristine’s clinical experience includes outpatient pediatrics, outpatient orthopedics, and acute rehabilitation. She has a particular interest in working with children with a variety of developmental disabilities and musculoskeletal issues, as well as treating all patient populations with orthopedic condition.

Melissa Truska

Melissa Truska, PT, DPT

Melissa Truksa is a native of Yutan, NE, graduating from Yutan High School. She attended Doane College for her undergraduate degree for physical education with an emphasis in athletic training. She attended the University of Nebraska Medical Center, where she received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2007. Her career began in an outpatient setting, where she was exposed to patients with complicated chronic lower back pain and SI joint Dysfunction. Melissa joined BCH in August of 2021 and specializes in Postural Restoration. She has a passion for assessing and treating postural compensation patterns and a particular interest in working with lower back pain, neck pain, TMJ and SI joint dysfunction.

Andy Valenti

Andy Valenti, PTA

Andy Valenti is a native of Brainard, NE, graduating from East Butler High School in 2004. He began his journey studying Exercise Science at the University of Nebraska in Omaha before his acceptance into Clarkson College. In 2013, he graduated Magna Cum Laude from Clarkson College earning his Associate of Science, Physical Therapist Assistant degree.  He has special interest in Parkinson’s disease, post-operative rehabilitation, geriatric care, temporomandibular disorder, and other orthopedic conditions. Andy holds certification in the Parkinson’s Wellness and Recovery program, and is a PWR! Gym Therapist.

Staci Worm

Staci Worm, MOT, OTR/L

Staci Worm is a native of David City, NE, graduating from David City High School. She received her Bachelors of Rehabilitative Studies in 2014.  In 2015, Staci received her Masters in Occupational Therapy from the College of Saint Mary. Staci has field work and a special interest in pediatrics. Staci is trained in Handwriting Without Tears (HWT) and Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Feeding. She has also received specialized training in Sensory Integration, Sensory Modulation, Pediatric Vision Rehabilitation Pediatric Development, Therapeutic Listening and Astronaut Training.

Hannah Wurl

Hannah Wurl, OTD, OTR/L

Hannah Wurl is a native of Brainard, NE, graduating from East Butler High School. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Doane College. In 2013, Hannah received her Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from Creighton University.  Hannah’s clinical experience includes skilled nursing management and patient care, program development for dementia care, neurorehabilitation, Parkinons’ disease movement training and lymphedema therapy. Hannah holds certification in the Parkinson’s disease wellness and recovery programs titled LSVT BIG and PWR! Gym Therapist and is a certified Lymphedema Therapists.

The Parkinson's Empowerment Group at Butler County Health targets so many aspects and symptoms of Parkinson’s. It improves a person’s posture, mobility, balance, and coordination, as well as cognition and ability to multi-task. I also like the flexibility of the program and being able to adjust exercises from each position to fit the need of each individual patient.  

Andy Valenti, Physical Therapist Assistant

My strategy in nutrition coaching is to focus on the positive – what things could we add to increase the variety of healthy foods in your routine?  By focusing on adding more healthy choices, you will not feel deprived as you gradually leave out less nutritious choices.  My goal is to help you get a personalized approach to wellness that you can achieve and maintain with your current lifestyle.

Sandra Burwell, Registered Dietitian

Butler County Health has felt like home to me from the beginning of my employment.  I have spent more than 5 years working in an environment that has challenged me to pursue my nursing skills in many different areas such as the Emergency Department, Obstetrics, Inpatient Care, Outpatient Care and as Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Coordinator.

Tara Palensky, RN

BCH Roots to Shoots Pediatric Therapy Clinic eliminates the need for long commutes to distant facilities like Madonna, allowing Aria to maximize her therapy sessions and educational opportunities.  It is significant for Aria’s overall well-being as it reduces the stress and agitation she had from extended travel.  The staff is like our family to us.

Jennifer Prothman

The communication between us and Leia’s Roots to Shoots therapists is excellent.  We are given the tools and resources to practice techniques at home for ongoing progress and development so she can continue to thrive.  The entire staff at Roots to Shoots goes above and beyond what needs to be done; from teaching her to wear something as simple as a mask, to helping her feel comfortable riding in another vehicle like a school bus.  They are our angels.

Stacey Bykerk

I feel having a 3D mammogram was a blessing for me since it detected my Stage 1 cancer.  The technicians were very helpful as they explained how the machine worked compared to the 2D method.  A big difference is that the 3D machines moves above your head from one size to another and gives a more complete image of the breast.  The testing time also seemed shorter than the standard mammogram.

Judy Dubs

I had a bunion on my foot and I wanted it removed,  but I really didn't want to travel too far to have the procedure done.  So when Butler County Health started providing Podiatry Services, I made an appointment right away.  Dr. Carlston is professional and personable.  He took the time to explain what happens during the procedure and afterwards.

Jill Pokorny

Being able to have my blood drawn at Butler County Health saves me a weekly trip to Omaha.  It is simple to schedule an appointment that works with my schedule and the staff is quick and efficient at drawing my blood samples.

Tanner Zeilinger