Therapy Department

Therapy Department

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Butler County Health Care Center 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 Care 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 disfunction, and developmental abnormalities.

Speech disorders may include:

  • Vocal abnormalities
  • Receptive and expressive language disorder
  • Articulation and phonological disorder
  • Hearing impairments
  • Langauge 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
Meet Our Therapists
Meet Our Therapists

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, MOT,OTR/L

Katie Daro is a native of David City, 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. 

Natale Dunn, PT, DPT

Natalie is a native of Valentine, Ne and graduated 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. 


Laini Eddy, M.S., CCC-SLP

Laini Eddy is a native of Burwell, Nebraska, 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, 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.


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 truksa, 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 BCHCC 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.

jennifer westemeyer, ma, cCC-SLP

Jennifer Westemeyer is a native of Ankeny, Iowa, graduating from Ankeny High School. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Communicative Sciences and Disorders in 2017. In 2019, Jennifer received her Masters of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology. Jennifer's graduate research included creation of the NameThat! emotions therapy tool for person's with Right Hemisphere brain damage. Jennifer has field work experience from Mercy One, Des Moines with inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, as well as pediatric outpatient setting at Tripler Army Medical Center.


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. Andy practiced as a PTA in the skilled nursing care setting for 4 years in Omaha before starting his career at BCHCC in January of 2018.  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, 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 experience from Columbus Community Hospital Wiggles and Giggles, outpatient pediatrics and Nebraska Methodist Hospital on the inpatient rehab floor. 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, 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 Therapist s.  

Cardiac & Pulmonary Rehabilitation
Cardiac & Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation services are beneficial for patients recovering from a heart attack, heart surgery or who have chronic lung or heart disease. Cardiac Rehabilitation focuses on strengthening the heart while Pulmonary Rehabilitation focuses on improving breathing. The goals of both Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation are to create individualized plans to help regain strength, prevent conditions from worsening and improve a patient's health and quality of life.

Cardiac Rehabilitation

Cardiac Rehabilitation is a planned program of health education, counseling, and training to help people with heart conditions enjoy better health.

Cardiac Rehab is a program for people who have endured:

  • coronary artery bypass surgery
  • heart attack
  • angioplasty or stent placement
  • congestive heart failure

Our Cardiac Rehab department will help you to:

  • regain strength to return to your usual activities
  • develop a healthy diet
  • exercise regularly
  • help manage stress and your emotions

Cardiac Rehab is covered through most insurance companies and Medicare, depending on specific diagnosis. For more information about Cardiac Rehabilitation, please call (402) 367-1255.

Pulmonary Care

Breathing problems can be in the form of chronic lung problems like asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema, but can also include those who suffer from heart problems, cystic fibrosis, lung cancer or the after-effects of an accident.

Respiratory Treatment
Butler County Health Care Center has  Respiratory Therapists on staff who aid in the treatment of chronic lung illnesses. Upon physician referral, a respiratory therapist performs procedures that are both diagnostic and therapeutic. Treatment of patients with breathing disorders may involve the use of equipment to administer oxygen. Treatment may also include administration of medications in aerosol form.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation
Pulmonary rehabilitation takes place on an individual basis. Patients suffering from chronic lung problems work to improve their breathing to its fullest potential so they can achieve an optimal lifestyle. This often involves low-impact aerobic exercise sessions and counseling. A physician's referral is necessary for this program. Please contact Cindy Yound, RN, RRT at (402) 367-1255 for additional information.

Program Certification

The BCHCC Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation program is certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR).  Programs that are certified by AACVPR are recognized as leaders in the field of cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation because they offer the most advanced practices available.  AACVPR program certification is the only peer-review accreditation process designed to review individual programs for adherence to standards and guidelines developed and published by AACVPR as well as other professional societies.  Each program is reviewed by the AACVPR program certification committee and certification is awarded by the AACVPR board of directors. AACVPR program certification is valid for three years.

Roots to Shoots Pediatric Therapy Clinic
Roots to Shoots Pediatric Therapy Clinic

Roots to Shoots Pediatric Therapy Clinic specializes in meeting the therapy needs of children.  The space has two treatment rooms, a feeding room and a large therapy gym.  The multi-use area creates elements of therapy in a fun and safe environment for children.

The center piece of the gym is a tree constructed by an artist that has completed work for Henry Doorly Zoo, as well as Walt Disney World.  The branches of the life-like tree serve as anchor points for the therapeutic swings, hammocks, and harnesses; while the trunk of the tree is home to a third treatment room called the sensory room. This room contains equipment that allows therapist to control the amount and type of stimulus to which children will be exposed.  The gym also includes a raised platform that partially surrounds the tree.  The platform provides additional treatment space, as well as a destination for children using stairs, ramps, ladders, or rock climbing wall.  The slide provides a quick, fun reward for children to return to the ground level of the gym.

The feeding room is designed to simulate a home kitchen area and will assist children who may have difficulty with the many aspects of feeding or eating. Speech and Occupational Therapists will work with children in this area who have troubles with swallowing or tolerating various food tastes or textures.

Occupational Therapy

Pediatric Occupational Therapy helps children to gain independence while also strengthening skills of development such as fine motor, sensory motor and visual motor that children need in order to function and socialize throughout their day. Occupational therapists evaluate the child’s ability to engage in play and daily routines to challenge and develop skills appropriate for the child’s developmental level. The following are examples of impairments in children who may benefit from occupational therapy services:
-Difficulty paying attention or following instructions
-Poor hand-eye coordination to engage in play activities
-Behavioral disorders or acting out in various environments
-Inability to use daily items such as pencils, toothbrushes, or feeding utensils
-Sensory Processing Disorders such as poor tolerance of sounds, smells, or touch
-Difficulty cutting, writing, stringing or engaging in tasks with both hands
-Inability to use buttons, tying shoes, zippers, or snaps for dressing
-Need for use of assistive technology for dressing, toileting, or cooking tasks
-Need for assistive mobility or seating devices including wheelchairs, high chairs or strollers

Physical Therapy

Pediatric Physical Therapy provides customized care for children with developmental, neuromuscular, or orthopedic conditions to enhance or restore their functional mobility, allowing them to participate in age appropriate activities. Interventions used in physical therapy are aimed at addressing and providing growth in the following areas:
-Improve balance and coordination
-Help reach developmental milestones such as crawling and walking
-Adaptation of daily activities and routines
-Soft tissue related issues such as torticollis or plagiocephaly 
-Assess equipment needs and help with proper fitting
-Improve functional strength to assist with mobility
-Orthotic and prosthetic management
-Treat neurological conditions involving either high or low muscle tone impairments

Speech Therapy

Pediatric Speech Therapy treats all aspects of communication throughout a child’s development from first words to socialization and interaction with peers and family. Speech therapists also provide intervention for swallowing to ensure adequate nutrition for growth and development. The following are examples of impairments a speech therapists may address through pediatric therapy:
-Hearing delays associated with cochlear implants, otitis media
-Fluency disorders associated with the disruption of the fluency of speech
-Voice differences associates with pitch, vocal loudness and vocal quality
-Expressive Language difficulties associates with ability to communicate wants and needs
-Receptive language difficulties associated with the understanding of spoken or written language
-Pragmatic language difficulties such as social understanding and appropriate use of language 
-Childhood Apraxia of Speech
-Auditory processing and comprehension
-Tongue thrust
-Oral motor weakness of the tongue, jaw, lips and facial muscles
-Articulation difficulties associated with pronouncing sounds to make works.