November 26, 2013

ECH keeps patients active during recovery

ELIZABETHTOWN — Recreational therapy can be a major aspect of a holistic approach to recuperation.

Just ask Marshall Dumas and Jerry Beck, two local men who have benefited from activities and attention at Elizabethtown Community Hospital.


In-patient rehabilitation helps patients recover from hospitalization due to joint replacement, illness, injury, surgery, stroke and other ailments.

Some patients can choose a smaller, more localized hospital to continue their recovery and rehabilitation while being closer to friends, family and their home community.

Inpatient rehab at Elizabethtown Community comprises individualized physical, occupational and recreational therapy.

To assist in making their lives more meaningful during extended stays, ECH Certified Activities Director Kamala Hulburt works with them to ensure that their personal interests, hobbies, social life and activities can be maintained.

Therapy helps with the patients’ motor skills, physical abilities, manual dexterity and overall psychological well-being.


Hulburt utilizes her bachelor of fine arts background for art-oriented projects, such as painting, drawing and sculpture. She recently achieved certification through the National Certification Council for Activity Professionals.

“I once worked with a patient who had lost the ability to see. I learned that she had been an artist — a painter, I believe. So, I simply found another outlet for her passion. I began sculpting with her.

“We used clay and moldable elements so that she could continue with her love of creating and using her hands. We simply did it using a different medium.

“You could see the change in her demeanor almost instantly.”


Marshall Dumas, who lives in Lewis, benefited from the program.

“I was not just stuck in my room, just thinking and looking at the ceiling for many hours of the day,” said the 49-year-old double-stroke survivor.

Dumas, a former steel-mill worker, said his problems began after he hurt his back in 2000.

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