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Patient at work as bartender

Friends and customers celebrate Dianna Stoltz's return to work in the Blue Note Lounge.

Give Her a Hand!

St. Louis Blues Hockey Fans Celebrate Bartender's Return to Work

Outpatient therapy builds upon what we've done in the hospital, so that patients continue to progress and attain their goals.

"It's remarkable to see Dianna back at work,” said St. Louis Blues Hockey season ticket holder Gary Wolfe. He and his wife, Margie, are delighted to see their favorite bartender back in the Blue Note Lounge at Scottrade Center. Last January, Dianna Stoltz was driving on I-55, when her car hit the back of a semi-truck and slammed into a concrete barrier. The force shattered her face and left leg and snapped her upper left arm.

“I was in the hospital for weeks,” recalls Stoltz. “When I left, I was in a wheelchair and unable to walk without support. I also couldn't even lift my hand or wrist.”

For patients recovering from traumatic injuries, therapy in and out of the hospital is critical. “Outpatient therapy builds upon what we've done in the hospital, so that patients continue to progress and attain their goals,” says Jennifer Page, MD, medical director of Acute Rehabilitation.

Three days a week, Dianna was in outpatient physical therapy learning to walk again. Then, she began occupational therapy focused on her limp hand, which had extensive nerve damage. “We first put Dianna in a splint to allow her to lift her fingers and grasp simple objects,” says certified hand therapist Joan Guccione, OTR, CHT. “We also built up her grip and arm strength and improved her flexibility and reach.”

Guccione has 25 years of experience in helping patients with traumatic hand and tendon injuries and carpal tunnel problems. She was one of the first occupational therapists in the country to be certified as a hand therapy specialist. “Hand injuries and compression problems take time to heal and reverse,” she says. “I sometimes call it the ‘Hand Olympics. 'We work with each patient to identify which motions are critical for work and daily activities and then customize therapies to meet those needs.”

Out of work for six months, Stoltz was cheered on throughout her recovery by family and friends. The Wolfes even visited Stoltz while she was in the hospital and now consider her a close friend. “Look at her now,” says Margie Wolfe. “You can't tell she couldn't even lift a glass or walk last year. It's a miracle.”

Stoltz lifts a pitcher high into the air with her once injured arm. “Cheers!” she says with a laugh. “I'm doing just fine now!”

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For information, please call our Health Access Line at 314-ANTHONY (268-4669) or 800-554-9550 or visit find a physician online.

Working as trusted partners, the physicians and employees of St. Anthony's Health System will deliver care distinguished by its demonstrated quality and personalized service. We will be visibly engaged in improving the health and well­ being of the communities we serve in South County and beyond. We will stand together, proud to set the standard for independent community health systems.