Ecumen Bethany Community’s Rehabilitation and Outpatient Therapy Gets Chuck Back in the Boat

Chuck woke up one morning paralyzed by a rare nervous system disorder that required long hospitalization, followed by in-patient and out-patient rehabilitation at Ecumen Bethany Community in Alexandria, Minn. Chuck recalls how Ecumen therapy staff supportively pushed him toward his goal of being able to climb into a boat and go fishing.  “If the staff wasn’t so good,” he says, “the result wouldn’t be so good.”

Chuck tells his story in the video below: 



Ecumen Lakeshore in Duluth Wins Aging Services of Minnesota Innovation Award for Medication Management Program

Ecumen Lakeshore in Duluth, Minn., in partnership with Thrifty White Pharmacy, has received the Aging Services of Minnesota’s Leading Change Innovation Award for a medication management program that has helped reduce hospital readmissions.

The program is designed to ensure that patients leaving short-stay rehabilitation at Ecumen Lakeshore know when and how to take their medications and what to do if they have problems.

As part of the discharge process, a nurse and an occupational therapist do an evaluation to make sure patients ready for discharge can read and understand their medication labels and can open the bottles.  Then a nurse holds a meeting with the patients and their families to discuss any issues and conducts a pharmacy education session.

The pharmacy education, developed by Thrifty White and Ecumen Lakeshore, includes an interactive web-based session with a registered pharmacist.  The nurse uses an iPad to connect with the pharmacist, who then explains to the patient and family how to take all the prescribed medications and answers their questions. 

The patient receives an action plan for medication management before discharge and a 30-day supply of medication through Thrifty White.  Then the pharmacist follows up in 72 hours for a check-in and does another follow-up in three weeks.

Just making sure that patients fully understand the basics of their medications and how to take them reduces readmissions, said John Korzendorfer, executive director of Ecumen Lakeshore.  “So often,” he explained, “people are so glad to be going home that they have trouble focusing on anything else.  The detailed discharge procedure, the iPad pharmacy education and the pharmacist’s follow-up all work to minimize mistakes or lapses in memory.”

The innovation award was presented at the 2014 Aging Services of Minnesota Institute on February 5, 2014, in Minneapolis.  Korzendorfer said Ecumen is looking at ways to adapt the Lakeshore program to short-stay sites throughout the company.

Ecumen Pathstone Living Adds State-of-the-Art Treadmill To Its Rehabilitation Equipment

Ecumen Pathstone Living in Mankato, Minn., has added a LiteGait® Treadmill to its transitional care center allowing older adults to more safely begin rehabilitation walking programs after injuries, surgeries and hospital stays. 

 The treadmill’s suspension technology reduces the risk of falling, allowing older adults in rehabilitation programs to resume walking with more confidence.

 “Thanks to the help from several generous donors, we can now offer this state-of-the art equipment as part of our rehabilitation program,” said Beth Colway, Ecumen Pathstone Living’s development coordinator.  “This new treadmill opens up additional options for our physical therapists to help older adults recover from injuries or surgeries and return to living in their homes.”

 Beth said the new treadmill cost just over $20,000 — fully paid for by donations.

 With some older adults, regaining the ability to walk after hip fractures or other lower body injuries can be extremely difficult. Some never regain the ability to walk because they can’t endure the necessary physical therapy that incorporates walking and weight bearing activities. By utilizing LiteGait®, Pathstone therapists can offer programs that safely increase the possibility of walking again.

 LiteGait® explains the capabilities of its treadmill this way: “Our patented system maintains the patient in a secure, upright position.  By reducing the risk of falling, LiteGait provides a safer therapy environment.  More than just and extra pair of hands, LiteGait’s most important effect is the confidence it inspires in patients.  In a process that is often difficult and painful for both patient and therapist, LiteGait® encourages a sense of accomplishment, progress, and ultimately, success.”

 LiteGait® can assist with numerous types of therapy, including postural support for sitting, standing, walking and running, pain-free movement that encourages walking with normal gait mechanics, partial weight bearing, upper body mobility, balance and coordination, neurological gait training, geriatric conditioning, fall prevention and weight control programs. 

 In the photo, Grace Carlson, a resident of Ecumen Pathstone Living Short Stay Care Center, is assisted on the new LiteGait® treadmill by Becca Gish, a physical therapist.


Ecumen Pathstone Living, which has been serving the Mankato area for more than 75 years, provides services including skilled nursing care, short-term rehabilitation, memory care, and assisted living apartments. Pathstone also offers home care, adult day services, and catering services. More than 500 people each day benefit directly from Pathstone services. Ecumen Pathstone Living is owned by Ecumen, the most innovative leader in senior services.  In 2004, Ecumen Pathstone Living opened its transitional care center providing short-term therapy and rehabilitation, which now serves approximately 350 adults each year. 

SVP Steve Ordahl Tells the Star Tribune How Ecumen Got Ahead of Change in Senior Housing

The Star Tribune recently interviewed Steve Ordahl, senior vice president of business development at Ecumen, about his insights into how senior housing development has changed in the past decade, and what he sees ahead for the marketplace.

Steve retires January 15, 2014, after guiding Ecumen’s development and diversification efforts for the past 10 years and helping make the company a leader in creating new options for seniors.