We are proud to announce the launch of a key piece of our navigation initiative: an online Lymphedema Therapist Directory for our 4-state region including Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. Having an accessible and practical tool to help find care that otherwise can be hard to find has been a long-time goal.
Life is always changing! A feature of this directory is the Feedback and Corrections capability which allows anyone including you, therapists, patients, patient representatives, medical administrators, and others to add new information or to correct the wrong information. We, in turn, will verify changes before posting.
A lot of very smart people are working on discovering ways to cure lymphatic diseases, including lymphedema. For example, promising research involves understanding genetic pathways and lymphatic pumping mechanics. That’s work most of us appreciate but cannot do.
Finding care remains a basic problem at the other end of the spectrum, but it is one where each of us can potentially make a difference. If you have information that you think would be helpful to others, this online directory on our website is the place where you can share it. Take a few moments to do so now. Please plan to return when you have a new development to share.
To learn more about the directory and our project, continue reading below.
A compass is a navigational device for finding direction: hopefully, this directory will be that too.
We created the directory initially from information provided by the schools that train lymphedema therapists including KLOSE Training and the Dr. Vodder School International, among others. We further verified contact information through extensive calls to therapists and provider organizations, and from our own experience.
If you are trying to find a Lymphedema Therapist here are a few things to be aware of:
- If you are a cancer patient at a large hospital or medical center, you can expect to find specialized lymphedema therapists in oncology-related practice to whom you will be referred as part of a continuum of your care.
- If you are not a cancer patient or had cancer but it is no longer active, these same facilities often have other well-trained lymphedema therapists practicing in their Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Services clinics. Still more therapists can be found practicing in independent clinics outside medical centers.
- If you are any type of patient, you can find highly qualified independent lymphedema therapists in private practice — some with mobile capabilities, and a few now experimenting with telehealth consultations.
- If you are trying to figure out which lymphedema therapists take which health insurance, you will need to contact them or their institutions directly since we do not collect this information.
Charting our course
Creating a stronger lymphatic community in the Pacific Northwest means promoting connection. Since COVID-19 made virtual gathering commonplace, it also expanded geographic boundaries. So this effort is also in part, a response to the lifting of previous constraints in our ability to embrace a region. The direction of our volunteer-driven nonprofit, however, remains the same, to help people live well with lymphedema.
We thank the team of dedicated volunteers and professionals who shaped this effort with their time and talents.
Karen Gillespie who convened and leads our navigation project; Linda Andrew-Joyce, on information integrity and implementation; Patsy Wheeler, on customer service and active listening; Linda Baarslag-Benson, on counseling; Mar lyn Kraft on training; Martha Jones on marketing; Sean Ku, on management and coaching; Angela Russell, on vision; Laurie Jones, on project management, Kathleen Howat of Blue Anchor Digital on data collection and communications; Nancy Gaston, 501 Commons Consultant (through grant-funding), on volunteer management; and Mark Root-Wiley of MRW Web Design on technical execution.
We also thank those who supported this work through their financial donations to the NW Lymphedema Center.
Last but not least, we thank the Lymphedema Therapists who provide much-needed care and compassion.