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Hospital: Alternative programs will remain

WINDBER – Drums will continue to signal Chan Soon-Shiong Medical Center at Windber’s commitment to treating mind, body and spirit, despite restructuring that eliminates the department of integrative health.
The former department’s group drumming, yoga, aroma therapy, meditation, music therapy, acupuncture and other holistic medical programs will be directed through the physical and occupational therapy departments, said Holly Rigby, senior vice president and chief operating officer.

“We did some reorganizing in the hospital to increase efficiency,” Rigby said.

“We pulled (integrative health) into another department as part of our program to take the walls down between the areas.”

Massage, acupuncture and kinesiology, for instance, all relate to physical movement and are used to enhance traditional physical therapy, Rigby said.

“It is still very important to us, that is an area we want to grow,” Rigby said. “It is important to who we are and the uniqueness of our community.”

The restructuring eliminated the position of integrative health Director Jeanne Brinker, a registered nurse.

Programs such as music therapy and pet therapy will continue, Rigby stressed.

Many of the integrative health programs have been hallmarks for Windber as a designated Planetree hospital _x0013_ committed to healing mind, body and spirit.

The number of administrative and management jobs have been trimmed over the past year, as the hospital focused resources on direct-care workers, hospital President and Chief Executive Officer Barbara Cliff said.

“There was some strategic realignment to maximize coverage closest to the patient,” Cliff said.

“We remain very committed to Planetree and to integrative medicine. We continue to have those services available for our patients.”