Pelvic health staff grows at Oaklawn Physical Rehabilitation

A sophisticated team of pelvic health specialists is at work at Oaklawn Physical Rehabilitation Services as the service completes its second year of operation in Marshall.

The expansion increases Oaklawn Hospital’s ability to help men and women facing such issues as incontinence, low back pain, pelvic joint pain, sciatica and other dysfunctions.

“We have shaped our service around an exceptionally talented group of therapists,” said Mitch Zigler, director of the rehabilitation program. “We’re very proud of how this program has been enhanced.”

Physical therapist Carla V. Pejakovich recently joined what has become a three-member physiotherapy assessment staff, specializing in pelvic health services.

The program is based in the service’s offices at 13697 15-Mile Road in Marshall. The clinic’s staff also has included physical therapist Erin Camburn, as well as Leslie Hagerty, a physical therapist assistant. Christopher Tapscott serves as manager of the office.

“Carla’s additional expertise will be of great importance to our program, because she brings a wealth of knowledge and experience,” Zigler said. “She has an excellent reputation in the community for understanding pelvic health, and adding her to our staff creates an superb synergy.”

Women who have recently delivered babies, have had full or partial hysterectomies or who are concerned about ongoing pelvic pain are candidates for pelvic health checkups.

“A service like this is important in any community,” said Hagerty. “It allows us to treat dysfunctions that men and women experience, in a non-invasive and conservative way, so patients can find ways to avoid medication or surgery and associated complications.”

“It is a rarity that I have a female client that doesn’t improve with therapy and intervention,” Pejakovich said. “That’s the exciting part, because it’s terribly rewarding.”

Pejakovich’s specialties deal with pelvic floor health with women, treating bladder and bowel dysfunctions; incontinence, urinary urgency and frequency and pelvic floor weakness. Her work also focuses on low back pain, pelvic joint pain, sciatica, various forms of pelvic girdle pain and dysfunction as well as positional dysfunction.

Camburn completed a pelvic health internship at Lakeland Hospital in St. Joseph and joined Oaklawn in 2010, the year of her graduation from Andrews University. She has completed six continuing-education courses in pelvic health and is working toward her practitioner certification through the Herman & Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute. 

Hagerty, who joined Oaklawn in 2008, is a graduate of Kellogg Community College and is working toward a bachelor’s degree in physical therapist assisting through Siena Heights University. She plans to pursue a doctorate in physical therapy, has taken seven continuing-education courses in pelvic health and also is working toward her practitioner certification.

Pejakovich, an Illinois native, received a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy in 1996 from Northern Illinois University, and worked in outpatient orthopedics at Lakeland Health Care – formerly Watervliet Community Hospital – in Watervliet from 1996 to 2004.

From 2004 until recently, Pejakovich worked in outpatient orthopedics at Physiotherapy Associates in Marshall, first as staff therapist and then as clinical director for seven years. In 2007, Pejakovich completed a course in female pelvic health in Seattle, Wash.

Oaklawn Physical Rehabilitation Services maintains centers in Marshall at 13697 15-Mile Road, in Albion at 300 B Drive North and in Olivet at 202 N. Main St. The Marshall site is the base for the pelvic health program.

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