United Helpers Now Offering Respiratory Therapy


CANTON – Thanks to a partnership between United Helpers and Canton-Potsdam Hospital, residents of Maplewood Health Care & Rehabilitation Center and RiverLedge Health Care & Rehabilitation Center have access to respiratory therapy as part of their in-patient therapy programs.


The respiratory therapy program, known as Critical Pathways is designed to help reduce the amount of time patients with COPD, respiratory failure or other related illnesses spend in the hospital.


The vision of this program is to establish a continuum of care for COPD patients in St. Lawrence County with United Helpers, as well as other medical service providers and acute care partners also participating. 


“This model has been successful in improving health, quality of life, and reducing hospitalizations in other parts of the country,” said United Helpers Vice-President of Quality Improvement & Clinical Services Stacey Cannizzo. “It is an integral part of providing high quality care in a rural environment.”


Providing those therapy services for patients at RiverLedge and Maplewood is United Helpers Respiratory Navigator Matthew King, CRT.


“I use an evidence-based software program to direct the delivery of care,” Mr. King said, noting that includes assessments, therapeutic treatments and measuring outcomes. “The hospital, as well as local home health care providers are using the same software, which ensures a continuity in care from the hospital to our facility to the patient’s home.”


Referrals to Mr. King come from Canton-Potsdam Hospital, as well as nursing staff at either RiverLedge or Maplewood.


While many of Mr. King’s patients are receiving long-term care, he said that’s not the case for everyone. “I’ve worked with patients as young as 50-years-old who were just here for a temporary rehabilitation stay,” he said.


“What I do is often integrated into a patient’s physical and/or occupational therapy program,” Mr. King said, adding several other staff members from both RiverLedge and Maplewood have received additional training in support of the Critical Pathways program.


“The goal of our program is to reduce the amount of time these people are spending in the hospital and so far, I think it has been a success,” he said.


Mrs. Cannizzo agreed. “This program has been in place since January and I can honestly say it has far exceeded my expectations,” she said.


Both Maplewood Health Care & Rehabilitation Center in Canton and RiverLedge Health Care & Rehabilitation Center in Ogdensburg offer short-term and long-term care. If you think the Critical Pathways Program could benefit you or a loved one, please contact Navigator Nicholas Maneely at (315) 714-3110 ext. 504.

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