Remodeled therapy gym at Four Corners Village includes kitchen to help patients regain life skills

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AZTEC — A grant from the Navajo Transitional Energy Company and BHP Billiton has helped the Good Samaritan Society Four Corners Village remodel its therapy gym.

The grant, the amount of which was not disclosed, was received in November 2015, and construction began in January. The construction was completed last week, and equipment was moved into the room this week.

Mariah Montañez, the marketing director for the Four Corners Village, said the project involved knocking down a wall and replacing a bedroom with an occupational therapy area that includes a kitchen.

"We want to make sure (patients) can prepare a meal before we send them home," she said.

Prior to the renovation, the therapy room was small. Kelsie Garcia, a physical therapist with Aegis Therapies, said the room could be crowded at times as the therapists did physical, occupational and speech therapy for residents at Four Corners Village, as well as the people who go there for out-patient care.

"You couldn't really have all the therapies, all the disciplines, in here at the same time," Garcia said.

Expanding the gym allowed Aegis Therapies, which the village contracts with for therapy, to hire an additional therapist.

The biggest change for the gym was adding the kitchen for occupational therapy.

High shelves will help patients learn how to reach for cups and fill them up with water from the sink. Food will be kept in the refrigerator for patients to prepare meals.

Montañez said the Four Corners Village serves as a transition facility for patients. For example, a patient who had hip surgery could use the occupational therapy area at the gym.

"We're in the middle where they can gain their abilities back," she said.

Administrator Rob Taylor said the village has been known for its living facility, but the therapy area is not as well known in the community. He said the remodel will provide a large benefit to the patients.

"This is a service that we've always provided and never really marketed," he said.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.

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