Bryan Cummings Retiring from Wild Rose Community Memorial
When Bryan Cummings began working as a rehabilitation therapist 40 years ago at Wild Rose Community Memorial Hospital, he was the only one in Waushara County, which meant he was on the road a lot. “I worked at the hospital here, but also saw patients in nursing homes, the old hospital in Wautoma as well as seeing patients in their own homes,” said Cummings, who retired earlier this month. “You had to specialize in everything because you were it.”
As rehab therapy became a more popular career option and more therapists moved into the area, Cummings concentrated on providing care to patients at Wild Rose Community Memorial Hospital.
“I focus mostly now on outpatient orthopedic patients, but through the years it seems like I’ve worked with everyone in the county or at least someone in their family. You really get to know a lot of people in this line of work,” he said.
Cummings – who described his approach to rehab therapy as “hands-on” – said how he works with patients hasn’t changed much through the years. “It really comes down to your knowledge of people and getting them to do what you want them to do,” he said. “You show them how to do various exercises to add strength and then need to encourage them to keep doing those exercises at home. That is how they’ll get stronger. We use some equipment, but a lot of it is just people doing the exercises.”
While Cummings has worked with thousands of patients through the years, he said one stands out. A woman was parallelized from the waist down and eventually had her legs amputated. “I worked with her for quite a while and it seemed like she never gave up. She lived at home until she was 90 and really managed well on her own,” he said.
Now that he’s retired, Cummings said he’ll miss being with patients as well as being with his co-workers. “There’s a real team feeling and you feel like an athlete in the locker room, everyone working together towards the same goal,” he said. “I’ll miss that.”
ThedaCare™ is a community health system consisting of seven hospitals: Appleton Medical Center, Theda Clark Medical Center, ThedaCare Medical Center-New London, Shawano Medical Center, Riverside Medical Center in Waupaca, Berlin Memorial Hospital, and Wild Rose Community Memorial Hospital. ThedaCare also includes ThedaCare Physicians, ThedaCare Behavioral Health, and ThedaCare At Home. ThedaCare is one of the largest employers in Northeast Wisconsin with more than 6,800 employees. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.