Service to Vinalhaven
For the hardy residents of Vinalhaven, getting access to physical therapy is not easy. Many choose to do without rather than make the expensive and time-consuming voyage to the mainland, which takes an hour and a quarter by boat on a good day.
In the past, a private-practice physical therapy clinic made regular visits to the island to see patients at the Islands Community Medical Center. But when they were no longer able to make the trip, the center’s medical director, Dinah Moyer, turned to Pen Bay Medical Center for help.
As a result, since May 30 of this year, Jana Tobin, PT, who manages the Outpatient Physical and Occupational Therapy department at PBMC, has been going to Vinalhaven one day a week. She provides physical therapy at the Medical Center in a suite of offices that has its own separate entrance. Tobin takes either the ferry out of Rockland or the Penobscot Island Air service. She attempts to coordinate air travel, either with the mail plane or Kno-Wal-Lin staff, to economize on the fare.
“I see anywhere from eight to ten patients a day,” Tobin says. “They are all ages, and range from adolescents with injuries, to post-surgery patients and others with back or knee pain, to geriatric patients with balance problems.”
Tobin enjoys getting to know the residents, many of whom come from families who have lived on the island for generations: “They are highly independent. Their parents have lived there; they went off to college and came back. They are raising their children on Vinalhaven, sending them to the beautiful new island school.”
“It is a real treat to be able to go out there one day a week,” she adds. “They are very appreciative. A fair majority of those I have seen wouldn’t have pursued treatment if they had to go off-island. It’s a worthwhile day.” Jana Tobin, PT, the manager of the Outpatient Physical and Occupational Therapy
department at Pen Bay Medical Center, helps Sherry Bunin with her shoulder stiffness at the Islands Community Medical Center on Vinalhaven. Tobin goes to Vinalhaven one day a week to provide island residents with physical therapy.
This service is offered by the following organizations: