Physical Therapist Luke Larson Recognized for Extraordinary Dedication

SMCH Physical Therapist Luke Larson was recently recognized by a patient and her family for going above and beyond to improve her quality of life. Larson received the SMCH Exceptional Experience Award for working with this patient, Mackenzie, to develop a solution that would allow her to complete bed-to-wheelchair transfers independently.

“Luke, my dad, and I tried to come up with things that could make the surface of my bed firm enough to transfer,” Mackenzie recalled. “Eventually, we decided a plastic structure would work best.”

After a little research, Larson ordered the necessary materials, took measurements, and began experimenting. Finally, by using a heat lamp, he was able to soften and mold the plastic into the shape they needed.

Mackenzie explained, “My injury is more an ongoing process of independence versus a typical return to daily life, so we’ve covered a wide variety of skills and exercises in my sessions. Using a slide board for bed-to-chair transfers has been a long-term goal of mine. It was something I tried several years ago but couldn’t accomplish.”

Laura Johnson, Physical Therapist, and colleague of Larson, said, “Luke worked on this project during both his scheduled work hours and his time at home. He even made visits to the patient’s home to ensure it would suit her needs. I’m certain I’m unaware of the extent to which Luke has dedicated time, effort, and compassion to this situation.”

Mackenzie said, “It has been a long process with a lot of problem solving and we aren’t done yet! Thankfully, Luke is very dedicated to the cause. Some days can be a struggle but it’s nice to have someone encouraging you and making you look forward to therapy.”

Stewart Memorial Community Hospital Rehabilitation Services in Lake City offers a wide array of cutting-edge treatments to help their patients and community live healthy, fulfilling lives. Their highly qualified physical therapists utilize state-of-the-art technology and specialized equipment to treat everything from chronic pain and joint disorders to pelvic pain and vertigo. Visit or call (712) 464-4244 to learn more.