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ERCC Rehab staff member earns Specialized Treatment Certification

Elkins, W.Va. — An Elkins Rehabilitation & Care Center rehab staff member has become one of the few in the region who is certified in a very specialized treatment offered at the facility. 

ERCC’s rehab clinical manager and occupational therapist, Lona Markley, recently obtained her certification in lymphedema treatment. She is now one of the only certified lymphedema therapists in the area.

Lymphedema is the accumulation of fluid caused by damage to the lymphatic system. This damage is generally results from cancer radiation, surgery, or injury.

“This treatment is crucial to the healing process,” Markley said. “It improves not only the physical well-being of the patient but their mental outlook as well.  I look forward to assisting and serving our residents here at ERCC and community members in our outpatient clinic.”

Components of treatment for the condition include exercise, skin care, compression therapy, and manual lymph drainage. Manual lymph drainage is light skin-stretching massage that helps move the fluid from the affected limb or area into healthy lymph node areas.

Markley completed 135 hours of training to obtain the certification. During this process, she learned how to address issues caused by damage to the lymphatic system by rerouting the fluid to healthy parts of the body so it can be absorbed into the blood stream. She also studied ways to wrap areas of the body to promote healing and how specific exercises improve the body’s ability to pump the lymphatic fluid.

“Receiving this certification was not an easy task, and we are really proud of Lona’s hard work and dedication,” said Tara Shaver, ERCC administrator. “We can now assist our residents and outpatients with this specialized treatment.”

Markley is an employee of Odyssey Rehabilitation, which provides rehabilitation services at ERCC.

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