Outdoor therapy center opens Friday

The Permian Basin Rehabilitation Center will be opening a new outdoor therapy center Friday, offering its patients opportunities to acclimate to real-life daily situations.

PBRC’s new outdoor center will provide therapy services, such as speech, occupational and physical therapy in an outdoor setting for patients suffering with issues such as cerebral palsy, extreme prematurity, deafness, spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease, strokes and more.

“It’s hard to replicate what is out in the real world inside a carpeted building,” PBRC Director of Development & Marketing Kathy Norwood said. “You can’t make gravel and pavement and curbs and climbing apparatuses inside a nice building.”

The center includes different surfaces for patients to walk on, a 14-foot wide trampoline, a car to practice activities such as getting in and out of it, buckling the seatbelt and loading and unloading groceries. Norwood said all of the different equipment is to help patients work on their goals to function better in the everyday world.

“Another reason that it was dreamed of is because a lot of patients didn’t go outside as children,” Norwood said.

PBRC broke ground on the center in July last year, but Norwood said they’ve had the idea since February of 2010. It was after PBRC members started doubling their pledges every year to the center and donations from individuals, corporations and foundations that they were able to raise enough money for the center. Norwood said the project cost around $1,100,000.

Every patient at PBRC who is able to go outside will be using the facility, Norwood said. The experience of being outside would be good for the patients, she added, due to the fresh air and exploration of the center.

“Just being successful, doing something that’s hard and conquering it makes you feel good,” she said.

The opening ceremony for the outdoor therapy center will be at 9:30 a.m. Friday at 620 N. Alleghaney Ave.

If You Go

>> What: Outdoor Therapy Center grand opening.

>> When: 9:30 a.m. Friday.

>> Where: 620 N. Alleghaney Ave.