Meet Jason Bell and Dawn Ocker, physical therapists at Mercy Health Center of Lake. They jokingly refer to one another as "O2" because they are the original (O) two (2) employees who have worked at the health center since it opened in 2004.
Jason and Dawn worked together at another therapy facility when Dawn noticed construction was taking place on the campus of Lake High School near her home. She soon learned Mercy Medical Center would be opening a satellite health care facility in Lake Community Center, and physical therapy would be one of the services the center planned to offer.
Ten years later, Jason and Dawn look back on the decision to join Mercy’s team as one of the best of their career. Dawn lives in Lake Township, her children attend Lake Local Schools and she is actively involved in the community. Jason resides in Stow, but has become a part of the Lake community treating countless students and adults.
Jason estimates about 25 percent of their patients are Lake High School students, most often needing treatment for athletic injuries. He says they block off time at the end of every school day for student appointments.
"The convenience for a student to be able to come to therapy right after classes is not only a plus for the student, but for the parents, as well, who do not have to provide transportation,” Jason says.
In addition to sports injuries, Jason and Dawn provide outpatient treatment for patients with muscular insufficiency, loss of mobility, pain, joint replacements, surgical procedures, arthritis, musculoskeletal disorders and vestibular issues. As patient volumes increased, the center expanded its therapy treatment room. They also offer aquatic therapy in partnership with the Lake YMCA, which is housed in Lake Community Center.
Jason says it is very satisfying to see the progress a patient makes during the course of his therapy program. “What I love most about my job is seeing a patient move from a place of total misery that first day to back to work, back on the field, or holding grandchildren,” Jason says.
“It’s gratifying when a patient who didn’t think therapy was going to work is feeling better a couple of weeks later,” Dawn adds. “I tell my patients, 'You did all the work. We just gave you the tools.'"
This month we celebrate the 10th anniversary of Mercy Health Center of Lake! We appreciate all our physicians, therapists and staff members who have helped thousands of patients in the Hartville, Ohio, and Lake Township areas.