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Brenau physical therapy clinic opens
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Charles Mehaffey works on a balance rocker board Monday morning with Gail Whonic, a physical therapist with Gainesville Physical Therapy, in the new therapy center at the Brenau University Downtown Center. - photo by RON BRIDGEMAN

Charles Mehaffey was working on balance about 10 a.m. Monday in the new physical therapy clinic at Brenau University Downtown Center. He was the first patient in the new clinic, which is within the physical therapy department at Brenau.

Gail Whonic, a physical therapist with Gainesville Physical Therapy, was working with Mehaffey, 88, on balance exercises.

Whonic said she will be at the Brenau Rehabilitation Practice on Monday and Wednesday mornings to provide therapy for patients. As the clinic grows, she said she expects to expand her hours there.

The physical therapy instructors for Brenau will work in the clinic other hours, she said. Six licensed physical therapists who are Brenau staff members will work in the clinic.

The clinic provides a community service for people who need therapy, gives students practical experience and keeps the staff members working in a clinical setting.

The clinic will emphasize specialized areas of physical therapy, including gait, prevention and wellness, temporomandibular joint disorder and spine rehabilitation.

Hollie Mann, Gainesville Physical Therapy marketing director, said, “Our ultimate goal is to have (Whonic) over in that clinic full-time as the program grows.”

Gainesville Physical Therapy transferred its balance patients to the new clinic.

Brenau started its physical therapy program in May 2015 and will add another class this year. It is a three-year doctoral program.

The clinic will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Appointments can be made by calling 678-971-1839.

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