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Dr. Darlene Volmy-Kindt, Licensed Physical Therapist
Providing Healing for Mind, Body and Soul
December 10, 2020
In 2018, the Community Health Center of Buffalo, Inc. made a major decision to invest in the construction of a comprehensive Physical Therapy Department located on the 4th floor of CHCB’s Buffalo facility, overlooking Benwood Ave.
As part of an ongoing vision to offer connected, collaborative services, conveniently located under one roof, CHCB Inc. Physical Therapy is fully equipped to service a wide population of patients including children, adults, pregnant women, elderly, and those that are physically disabled.
With the primary goal of providing compassionate quality care that helps patients reach their goals and restore quality of life; services include Physical Therapy; Massage Therapy; Manual Techniques/Joint and Spinal Mobilization; Weight Loss/Fitness Training; and Functional Work Capacity Evaluation, to name a few.
A sample of diagnoses treated include Low Back Pain & Sciatica; Chronic & Acute Pain Management; Post-operative/ Surgical Recovery; Major Joint Replacements; Musculoskeletal Injury (e.g. ACL, meniscus, rotator cuff); Vestibular Dysfunction (e.g. dizziness); Neurological & Balance Impairments; Muscle Pain & Spasms; Sprains & Strains; Joint Stiffness; Weakness; Difficulty Moving (e.g. neck, arms, legs); Difficulty Walking; Bursitis; Neuropathy (e.g. nerve pain, numbness, tingling); Arthritis & Osteoarthritis.
And while the physical space provides the latest in rehabilitation and exercise equipment, CHCB, Inc. is most pleased and proud to offer patients comprehensive PT treatment under the caring, empathetic expertise of Dr. Darlene Volmy-Kindt, DPT and her talented staff member Sadiyah Jackson, Medical Assistant.
A native of Lockport, NY, Dr. Volmy-Kindt attended the State University of New York at Buffalo where she developed a lifelong interest in the scientific aspects of human movement on the way to earning a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science. Dr. Volmy-Kindt continued her training at Buffalo’s D’Youville College where she focused on exercise prescription; acute and chronic pain; manual therapy techniques; and women and adolescents health and wellness, leading to her Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) and Licensed status.
Dr. Volmy-Kindt describes her approach to treatment as being “evidence-based and patient-centered, with a strong emphasis on therapeutic exercise, postural/core stability, functional manual therapy, movement training, patient education and empowerment.”
She has treated patients of all ages (from 3 weeks old to 100+) in a variety of clinical areas including outpatient clinics, post-operative, orthopedics, intensive care units, home health, schools, hospitals, sports and fitness facilities, adult daycare centers, skilled nursing facilities and nursing homes.
To learn more about Dr. Volmy-Kindt and her approach to caring for patients at CHCB, Inc.’s Physical Therapy Department, Karla Thomas, CHCB, Inc. Director of Marketing, recently interviewed Dr. Volmy-Kindt for her “Community Buzz” radio program heard Wednesdays at 10:30 AM live on Legendary Mix 1080 WUFO and Power 96.5 FM https://www.power965radio.com/WUFO (The following is an excerpt from that interview.)
Q. Can you talk about your background and your role at the Community Health Center of Buffalo?
Dr. Volmy-Kindt: I completed my undergraduate degree from the University at Buffalo in Exercise Science. I did my graduate work at D’Youville College where I completed a doctorate in Physical Therapy. And as of two years ago, I became the Director of Rehabilitation at the wonderful Community Health Center of Buffalo, and I started up this clinic and we’ve been going strong for a good two years and counting.
I treat patients ranging from injuries to their backs, shoulders, necks. I treat migraines and headaches. I also treat pregnant women. I treat children as young as a month old who might have something called Torticollis or Wryneck. It’s when they are born and their neck is shifted to one side, I work with them to correct that.
I also see patients that have injuries from gunshot wounds. I treat patients who suffer from strokes. Patients who are trying to lose weight. We have a weight management program we recently started. I also treat patients with neurological conditions such as cerebral palsy. I basically treat patients from the womb to the tomb; whatever diagnosis they have that is causing pain or discomfort, I treat it.
I’m always willing to learn. If it’s something I haven’t seen or treated before, I’ll be honest with the patient and I’ll contact my colleagues and do some more research on it to make sure that the patient receives the best care possible.
Q. People are under such stress. A lot of people in our community, especially Black women for the most part are carrying the world on our shoulders, are suffering from migraines that basically are triggered by dealing with the stress of dealing with the collateral damage called COVID. And when I say ‘collateral damage’, I mean they are trying to work from home; their children are at home doing home schooling; they’re trying to feed them breakfast and lunch during the school day; they’re trying to monitor and make sure they are keeping up with the work that they are doing for school from home. So, to know that anyone is suffering from migraine headaches, that there is a different kind of therapy that is helpful for you is just a wonderful thing; and that therapy is being offered at the Community Health center of Buffalo. How long have you been practicing?
Dr. Volmy-Kindt: I’ve been practicing for four years since 2016.
Q. It’s hard to find physical therapists who look like us so that they understand our underlying morbidities. Because, one of the things that people don’t understand is that an underlying morbidity for people who have our melanin is our skin. So, our experience is just very different. So, when we come to you, there are different stressors that are affecting our health.
Dr. Volmy-Kindt: I agree 100 percent with everything you’ve said. What I have noticed with a lot of my patients is that what tends to be causing issues such as migraine, or back pain, or neck pain is the stress that we as Black women have to carry. Others can experience the same thing, but I primarily serve the members of the underserved population and so what I’ve noticed is that a lot of the pain that they are carrying or come in with is attributed to the amount of stress that they have on a daily basis.
So, I try to remind my patients that working here at the CHCB physical therapy clinic, we will work on healing for the mind, body and soul. So, it’s not just them coming in and me just treating them for what they have and having them leave. We talk about how they’re feeling if they are open in talking about it.
And believe it or not, I have seen so many patients come in with chronic pain that they tried to go to therapy for, and they come in and after six to eight weeks of working with me, that pain is gone or is decreased dramatically. And it’s because we address the mind and the soul in addition to the physical.
Q. Dr. Volmy-Kindt’s clinic is located on the fourth floor; literally across the hall from my office. And I want to tell you that I have seen people rolled down the hall; and then the next time I see them, they are rolling themselves. And then the next time I see them, they are pushing the wheelchair; and then the next time I see them, they’re using a walker; and then they go to a cane. Then, they are walking down the hall. And the next thing you know, I don’t see them anymore. And the reason is because of the wonderful therapeutic work and the overall way that you address things. It’s head to toe. It’s that kind of tender loving care that speeds the recovery of people. Because, a lot of people don’t realize that poverty is painful, and poverty can give you a headache. It can give you a migraine. And times like these when you are blocked in the house with kids, that can be a stressor! Members of the community should talk to your doctor about a referral. You can become a patient of Dr. Volmy-Kindt’s by calling 986-9199, and tell them you would like an appointment.
Do they have to have a prescription from their own doctor to come or can they call and just have an appointment scheduled?
Dr. Volmy-Kindt: They need a prescription or referral from their own doctor, whether it be from one of our physicians here or their primary physician from somewhere else. But they are allowed to receive physical therapy wherever they would like to go.
Q. At the Community Health Center, we accept most all insurances. I can’t think of an insurance that we don’t take. I will say that we don’t do car accidents, we also don’t do worker’s comp because those things are worked through third party insurances and are very complicated. Those issues are not as frequent as the other issues that we are talking about.
Can you talk a little a bit about what I call your “Lab.” You just do all kinds of things in there and I want people to understand the scope of your work. This is not just some little room somewhere with a few pieces of exercise equipment in it. So, can you talk about where do your work.
Dr. Volmy-Kindt: I do this work all over this clinic. We have so many pieces of equipment such as the parallel bars. I typically use the parallel bars with patients who want to work on walking again. For being able to stand, we have them use that and then they walk between the parallel bars. I also use that so my patients can get some leg exercises in.
We also have a variety of the heavy machines. We have a treadmill; we have a couple of arm and leg bikes. We have an elliptical trainer. We have a lot of weights ranging from one pound to 50 pounds. We have a lot of bands for patients who may not have weights at home so they can use bands for resistance training.
We also have a few mat tables where we can adjust ourselves to whatever height the patient or the therapist might be at. We can move a patient on that and then do some manual therapy whether it’s a deep tissue massage or mobilization. Or, if we’re working on stretching, the patient can do that on that table or one of the other two. We also have sinks available to wash your hands; a lot of hand sanitize stations all around.
We have a TV in the waiting area. We have magazines there. We also have medicine balls, footballs ranging from small, medium to large. We have stairs. I have patients who have difficulty getting up and down the stairs and they want to work on that. We have an electric stimulation machine that can promote healing to the area and decrease pain. We have an ultrasound machine that also helps with healing to the area and decreasing pain and inflammation in an area.
Q. Maybe I should have asked you what you don’t have! That is an extensive array, and with all of that equipment, you also get the knowledge and the level of expertise that Dr. Volmy-Kindt brings to everything that she does. I also had an experience where Dr. Volmy-Kindt used electric stimulation on my leg. She calls it love, but you can’t get that everywhere.
I also want you to talk about the weight management program and what’s included and do you need a prescription from your doctor to participate in it?
Dr. Volmy-Kindt: What I have noticed is that as I kept getting my patients stronger and better, I really work my patients. It’s like a boot camp where we work with them in an appropriate range, whatever they are able to tolerate. A lot of them were saying they feel great, they were losing weight just from coming to therapy. So what I started for my patients who are interested and they have been going to their primary physician and asking for a referral for strengthening and conditioning.
So, we’ve been able to use those referrals and address these strengthening and conditioning issues for our patients. And we also have a scale so every week they weigh in and I have one of my assistants who keeps totally confidential what patients have told her they weighed in at. And then we see where the patient is at the end of the month and we have a sit-down to talk about whether they are on the right track, or whether they are regressing or if they have been stagnant with their weight. And we just direct it from there. We’ve only been doing this for a couple of months and so far, it’s been going pretty well.
Q. Are you connected to any dietitian? I know we have a Nutritionist on board.
Dr. Volmy-Kindt: Oh yes, we have Nutritionist Kevin Constanzo, and Nutritionist Bruna McPherson who recently joined us to provide nutrition education and develop educational materials for the Diabetes Management Program at CHCB Inc.’s Cheektowaga office
Kevin helps with all of that here at our Buffalo office. This is his scope and process. I always refer patients to Kevin who want to know if they are eating the right things, so he addresses that with the meal planning and things, and I address the physical.
Q. I just want to bring up quickly diabetes and high blood pressure and just how important regular exercise is. Even if you are just going for a walk for 10 minutes a day, it well help you, and with the weather now changing, we need to get prepared for what is to come.
Dr. Volmy-Kindt you are a wonderful addition to the Community Health Center of Buffalo. Thank you for speaking with us.