The Gift of Health and Healing, Close to Home for Connie Tate

May 5, 2017

For Connie Tate, having top-notch medical care close to her rural home is priceless.

Connie lives in Hunter, North Dakota, and with just a 15-minute drive, she can conveniently receive life-changing treatment at Sanford Health Hillsboro Clinic.

“Having medical care in our community is the most important thing,” Tate said. “When you can have it in a little hometown like this, the personal connection you create with the staff is priceless.”

Connie started physical therapy at Sanford two years ago after injuring her rotator cuff. She was playing with her grandchildren and heard something tear in her shoulder.

The injury kept her from doing day-to-day tasks like getting dressed, pulling something out of a cupboard and even reaching behind her back. Those little things became a big deal, and she knew it was time to get help.

After surgery to repair the tear, Connie started working with Kristen Schulz, a physical therapist at Sanford Hillsboro.

Physical therapists work in conjunction with physicians to provide individualized treatment plans that help patients reduce pain, regain mobility and strength and recover muscle and joint function – as quickly and as safely as possible – following surgery, injury or illness.

That’s exactly what Kristen did for Connie during the several months they worked together. Kristen taught her exercises and stretches to regain mobility and maintain flexibility.

“Kristen got me back to 100 percent,” Connie said. “Every week, I found myself being able to move it a little further until I could do everything I did before.”

Connie’s experience was so positive she is working with Kristen again for a completely different issue. In June 2016, she was in a car accident and has since struggled with whiplash and recurring headaches.

Through unique therapies like the Graston Technique and dry needling, that help reduce chronic pain and loosen injured muscles, Connie has seen some improvement. She plans to continue her physical therapy.

“I trust Kristen,” Connie said. “She is always so friendly, professional and very caring. I just can’t say enough good things about her.”

At Sanford Hillsboro, Connie said she receives excellent care from every doctor, therapist, and caregiver she sees.

“The quality of people working here is exceptional and the programs are vital,” Connie said. “We just absolutely have to keep that in these smaller communities.”

For Connie, having care available close to home has made the difference between seeking help and living in pain.

“I probably would not have stuck with therapy if it meant traveling twice as far to Fargo,” she said. “With the expense of running to Fargo a couple times a week for therapy, I would give up sooner.”

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