(O’FALLON, IL)  – HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital Outpatient Therapy Services are excited to welcome Robin Bertram OTR/L, CHT, CEAS, Certified Hand Therapist as a new member of our quality-driven outpatient therapy team.

As a Certified Hand Therapist, Bertram is one of only 6,284 credentialed worldwide, and 5,891 in the United States. To become a Certified Hand Therapist, therapists must practice for at least three years, gain 4,000 hours of experience and pass a comprehensive exam.

“We are very excited to be able to continue to offer this specialized service line at St. Elizabeth’s. Robin has demonstrated a very strong commitment to become an expert in her field with this certification,” noted director of therapy services Tom Dibadj, PT, DPT. “We continue to have highly educated therapists to provide excellent care to our community.”

Hand therapy is the art of evaluating and treating injuries and conditions of the upper extremity, namely the shoulder, arm, elbow, forearm, wrist and hand.  It uses therapeutic interventions to help return patients to their highest level of function. Hand therapists may also utilize IASTM, or Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization to further improve movement of patients after injury.

Hand therapists like Bertram, through advanced continuing education, and integration of knowledge in anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology, become proficient in treatment of pathological conditions resulting from trauma, disease, congenital or acquired deformity.

The main job of a hand therapist is to bridge the gap from medical management of upper extremity conditions to successful recovery, allowing individuals to function normally in their daily lives. 

“It has been my passion to improve my patients’ quality of life through improving and restoring function, health and wellness, and ergonomic education and modifications.  I am invested in every patient to give the best possible quality care I can to make his or her life better,” Bertram said.  “It’s the little things in life.  When someone can’t do something that we take for granted and they are able to accomplish those tasks after working with them.  I am blessed to have a job I absolutely love that is so rewarding.”

Patients with conditions both chronic and neurological benefit from hand therapy through education on joint protection and energy conservation.  Some of the problem areas a hand therapist can help with are wounds and scars, strength and range of motion, tendon and nerve injuries, amputations, and restoring function.

Bertram also performs and specializes in functional capacity evaluations, functional job descriptions, and development of essential function testing. She provides onsite training on body mechanics, proper posture, ergonomics, stress management and health and wellness, as well as specialties in treatment of upper extremity and hand disorders.

The hand therapy services are offered in both O’Fallon and Belleville. For more information about this or any of the outpatient therapy services offered at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, the public can call the location most convenient to them: O’Fallon 618-607-55103 or Belleville 618-234-9152

Media Contact

Kelly Barbeau

Manager, Marketing & Communications
HSHS Illinois
Office: (618) 234-2120, Ext. 41270

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