THOMASVILLE — It’s more than 12,000 square feet of space and the rooms dedicated to a variety of therapies and rehabilitation efforts that had the Archbold folks proud Thursday afternoon.
Archbold officials and others cut the ribbon on their new Advanced Therapy and Sports Medicine Clinic, with the facility soon to open to patients.
“This is a testament to Archbold’s investment in the community, a beautiful new building to provide vital therapy services to the community,’ said Archbold President and CEO Darcy Craven. “This is just fantastic. This is a great addition to the community.”
Among the features of the new building on Pinetree Boulevard are an aquatic therapy pool, speech therapy including equipment to perform swallow studies and occupational therapy.
In addition, it will house Archbold’s sports medicine program.
“I refer my patients that are in their 80s and 90s to this location," said Dr. Jackson Hatfield. "To have it all under one roof, to have a spectacular building here and know they can get full care with people who are experts in what they do is pretty remarkable to our south Georgia town. It is a special opportunity for our student athletes and even our adults who need care in the community.”
Jami Stephenson, Archbold’s director of advanced therapy and sports medicine, also pointed to the harness system helps patients learning to walk again.
“It’s got some unique features that aren’t offered in any other local facility,” he said. “We have a very high quality training staff that offers any therapy service under one roof. We can do it on site."
Thomas County Central athletic director Sam Holland and Thomasville High School AD Chris Merritt both praised the staff at Archbold’s ATSM.
“It’s priceless,” Holland said. “For this community, for the athletes of Thomasville and Thomas County to have this, colleges and universities aren't this fortunate. What we’re able to provide now, the academics, the athletics and medically, we can put forth in front of our families and the families of our athletes the security to know that they are going to have the very best, state-of-the-art 12,000 square foot facility, there is no way you can come close to describing how awesome this is going to be."
"This is great,” Merritt said. “The facility is awesome, but the staffing at the school level, that is just phenomenal. We’re bitter competitors but to have this resource in our backyard, other communities are going to be coming here pretty soon."
Dr. Cory Messerschmidt of Thomasville Orthopedic Center also extolled the new facility and its staff. The ATSM staff will be 15-20 strong, with trainers and graduate assistants.
“It’s incredibly important for sports at every level,” Dr. Messerschmidt said, “youth sports, recreational athletes, weekend warriors, everyone is trying to remain active, and having a facility with both the staff and resources to be able to help patients of all abilities get back to doing the things they love in a timely and safe manner is incredibly important. Having the full capabilities to do that I think will be incredibly beneficial to the community.”
Dr. Messerschmidt, a fellowship-trained and board-certified orthopedic surgeon, said the new facility will have not only the equipment that can help patients get better but also have the machines and metrics to measure their progress back to health.
The new ATSM building also means patients who may need more than one type of therapy or rehab.
"Often times, patients have multiple areas they are recovering from,” Dr. Messerschmidt said, "so the ability to have all-in-one area where people can work collaboratively and help patients on every facet of therapy and rehab is fairly unique and hopefully very productive and fruitful.”
The larger space is needed because of the growth the programs and services have had, Stephenson said, and the new building will allow for new services too.
As much as the new massive space is welcome, the skill of those who will be there on a day-to-day basis is just as, if not more, important, say the providers.
“It’s the people who work in it who are the important part,” Dr. Messerschmidt said.
“If you compare our staff, there is nowhere else in southwest Georgia that compares to the expertise that Archbold provides,” Dr. Hatfield said, “and now to have it all under one roof where folks can get it all in one place is really special.”
Editor Pat Donahue can be reached at (229) 226-2400 ext. 1806.