Meet Buffy Phillips: Mercy Therapist Calls Herself 'Gait Trainer'

Meet Buffy Phillips: Mercy Therapist Calls Herself ‘Gait Trainer’

Posted on: September 26, 2014

It’s Rehab Week 2014, and we honor the many gifted and caring rehabilitation therapists at Mercy! Today we’re sharing the story of a therapist who’s done an amazing job of caring for Mercy patients and families since 1976.

Meet Buffy Phillips, a physical therapist (PT) at Mercy Regional Rehabilitation Center whose ties with our hospital began in childhood. Her mother, Dorothy, was a Mercy Service League member, and Buffy says her mother spent countless hours volunteering with the women’s auxiliary.

During high school, Buffy began volunteering at Mercy with rehab patients and knew early on she wanted to become a physical therapist. She attended Ohio State University because of their PT program. After graduation, she began working at Mercy Regional Rehabilitation Center in September 1976 and has served patients on the unit ever since.

Canton Ohio Mercy Physical Therapy & Rehab | Meet Buffy PhillipsBuffy (pictured here with patient David Detweiler and his wife Christine) says Mercy’s rehab program is unique, because they admit more critically ill patients and have all the services available within the hospital, if needed.

Read David and Christine Detweiler’s story of stroke recovery. Buffy played a major role in David’s care.

Mercy’s center specializes in rehabilitation from stroke, brain trauma, neuromuscular and neurological diseases, pain, arthritis, respiratory and pulmonary diseases, amputation, general debilitation and medically complex and multiple trauma. A multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, physical, occupational and speech therapists, social workers and a neuropsychologist work together to develop a program to help each patient attain the highest level of independence.

“I like to think of myself as a gait trainer,” Buffy says. “I want to get people walking, because that’s usually what they want to do when they come to our center. “

Buffy has also volunteered with the American Heart Association since the late 70s and currently serves on their board of directors. Her father died of heart disease in 1997. She, along with other family members, champions the annual Bill Phillips Memorial Golf Classic in support of the American Heart Association.

Raising awareness about women’s risk of heart attack and stroke is also important to Buffy, and that’s why she’s volunteered with the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign. A highlight of her career was walking a former Mercy Rehab patient named Tabatha to the stage during the 2014 Go Red for Women luncheon, so she could share her testimony after suffering a stroke.

Mercy Regional Rehabilitation Center is accredited by CARF – the Rehabilitation Accreditation Commission. CARF Accreditation means Mercy Regional Rehabilitation Center has demonstrated that it substantially meets internationally recognized standards. For more information about Mercy Regional Rehabilitation Center, call our admission coordinators at 330-580-4716 or 330-580-4717. 



2014 Rehab Week at Canton Ohio Mercy Medical Center

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