An interview with Lauren Grawe, Director of Outpatient Rehab at Brothers of Mercy

An interview with Lauren Grawe, Director of Outpatient Rehab at Brothers of Mercy


The Russell J. Salvatore Outpatient Rehabilitation Center is celebrating its

1-year anniversary on January 16th!

Mr. Salvatore generously gifted this state-of-the-art facility to the Brothers of Mercy Wellness Campus so that members of the entire WNY community could benefit from BOM’s rich tradition of excellence in restorative therapies.

Branding Manager Kelly Wurster sat down with Outpatient Clinic Director Lauren Grawe to discuss details about the clinic’s exclusive programs. 

Tell us about what makes this state-of-the-art Outpatient Rehabilitation Clinic unique to the area and also unique to the Brothers of Mercy Campus:

Lauren: Well, this is unique to the community because we are one of the only clinics in the greater WNY area that offers Speech, Occupational and Physical Therapy…all in a convenient outpatient setting. And unlike most clinics, you  don’t need a ‘bundle prescription’ for all 3 of these therapies– we treat single prescriptions for things like just speech or just occupational therapy.

And this is unique to the Brothers of Mercy Wellness Campus because our 4 decades of experience pioneering inpatient therapy in WNY can now be shared in an outpatient setting, available to the entire WNY population! Beginning in the late 1960’s, developing innovative, restorative therapy programs to help their patients became the life’s work of some of our Brothers. Most people don’t know that we were the 1st freestanding inpatient rehab facility in WNY! And we’re proud that our vast experience serving the aging population with our renowned 5-star care can now be shared with all ages.

For those who may be unaware, can you explain exactly what ‘Outpatient Therapy’ actually means?

 Lauren:  Outpatient therapy programs are for anyone that doesn’t need an extended, inpatient rehab stay at our skilled nursing facility. With these programs, you remain at home and come to the clinic for your therapy appointments.  We are open to the entire community – all you need is a prescription from your doctor for ST, OT, or PT.

Can you talk about  what types of outpatient therapy  are offered?

Lauren:  We offer three types of therapy: Speech, Occupational and Physical.

1) Speech:  some common things that we treat are injuries stemming from strokes or that affect the brain, vocal cords or tongue; issues with  memory, word-finding or cognition;  trouble with swallowing, etc. This is offered to all ages – and includes pediatric speech therapy. We can even work with you to develop an after-school schedule!

2) Occupational: We treat things like hand injuries, nerve injuries, carpal tunnel, grip strength…anything fine-motor-related. Outpatient Occupational therapy is ideal for patients who are functioning, and looking to fine-tune their abilities to a more optimal level.

3) Physical Therapy: We cover a lot of different areas in PT – some that most people don’t even know about. Some of our therapy programs treat ailments like:

  •  Dizziness & Vertigo:  People suffering from this should talk to a Doctor. If they are diagnosed with BPPV (a type of vertigo) and get a prescription, we can treat these symptoms…our program has been having great success!!
  • Chronic pain: So many people have chronic pain (about 75% of patients who walk through our door), but are unable to attribute it to a specific injury….so they just live with it. If you speak to your doctor, they can prescribe PT. This is a more conservative option to pursue before exploring more invasive pain management techniques like injections of surgery.
  • Sports Injuries: Sports injuries include but are not limited to: ACL tears/repairs, meniscus tears/repairs, rotator cuff tears, ankle sprains, tennis elbow, groin pulls, Achilles tears, etc. If you’re dealing with any of these, we can help!

Tell us about the unique custom-splinting you offer…

Lauren:  This is a specialty of our Occupational therapist, and is very important for parents of young athletes to be aware of. The benefit is that it affords athletes the ability to return to sports, while providing protection from re-injury. Our clinic is only 1 of a few that offers on-site custom splinting. Your doctor would just need to provide a script for custom splinting.

This is all great information for our readers! Can you tell us some more details about the Anniversary Open House Next week?

Lauren:  Yes! This event is a 1-year Anniversary Open House for our Russell J. Salvatore Outpatient Clinic. It’s open to the entire community on Wednesday, January 16th from 3:00-5:00pm  at 10570 Bergtold Rd. in Clarence. We will have refreshments, a fabulous giveaway from Russell himself, a presentation from Russ, swag bags and more! We’re offering a short educational seminar on how our exclusive therapy programs can help treat common ailments like back pain or vertigo. We’ll have all of our therapists on-hand, available to speak one-on-one about ways we can get you to start feeling better sooner. So if you think you have a condition that may be helped, please be sure to attend! You can call our Clinic at 759-7680 for more details or to have any of your questions answered!