das magazin / 22 May

    Doctors with ambitions

    Christina Hankins from Texas

    Name: Christina Hankins
    Age: 44 years old
    Family status: married with three children
    Location: Austin, Texas, USA
    Education and training: graduated with a Master of physical therapy
    How long she has had the practice: 2 years

    “I love to see them put on their compression garments and shoes and walk out!”

    Facts & Figures United States of America: 

    • Capital: Washington, D.C.
    • Official languages: English
    • Form of government: Federal republic
    • Population: 325.7 million (2017)
    • Per capita GDP: USD 57,466 (2016)
    • Health expenditures: 17.1 per cent of GDP (2014)
    • Number of public hospitals: 209 (2018)
    • Number of private hospitals: 4,840 (2018)

    The L&R Group’s roots in the United States go back to the period before 2000, when Lohmann operated a very successful medical supplies business unit there. Then in 2000, the L&R Group acquired this business unit and since then has operated under the name of L&R USA Inc. Its headquarters is in Milwaukee, WI. The product areas the L&R Group in the United State focuses on are compression therapy and wound care.

    What does your job as a therapist in the Texas region, USA mean to you?

    I work with a variety of ages, women and men, with a variety of diagnosis. Some of those diagnosis include: various types of cancers, chronic venous insufficiency, lymphedema, phlebolymphedema and chronic wounds. 

    Which are the problems your patients consult you about?

    Too many of my clients come into my office with the same complaint: “Why did it take me so long to find someone who could help me?.” They discuss physical issues such as: swelling in legs/arms, which affects their ability to fit into normal shoes or clothes. They report multiple infections which cause them to be hospitalized or frequent the Emergency Room (ER). Clients also report difficulty with standing and sitting for prolonged postures which affects their ability to work or participate in many basic activities. My clients also discuss difficulties not only coping with a chronic disease such as lymphedema or chronic wounds but how frustrated they are with the lack of awareness regarding lymphedema in both the medical and civilian communities.

    What do you love the most about your profession?

    My most favorite love is the opportunity to empower clients to reconnect with their body, maximize their function and independence in management of their disease processes. I love to see them put on their compression garments and shoes and walk out! 

    Which “professional side-effects” could you very well dispense with?

    The frustration from lack of understanding from my medical community regarding lymphedema diagnosis and its treatment. It is infuriating how little most people know; far too many people suffer too long before they ever get treatment. 

    What does your typical work week look like?

    In a typical day I start work at 8 am and usually don’t leave till 6 pm. I wear a few hats as I have my own physical therapy office inside a vein center, Lymphwell. The spectrum of my duties involve: working with lymphedema and wound care clients, office manager duties, as well as clinic marketer. I am fortunate to work alongside physicians and medical staff that specialize in treating patients that have venous insufficiency. I also consult for a home health company and serve as a supervising physical therapist to one of the only home health companies in the central Texas region.

    Which products from L&R do you use?

    Since L&R offers the most comprehensive line of bandaging, lymphedema and wound care products I use so many of their products. Some examples include: Rosdial K, Cellona Plaster of Paris, Idealabinde, Debrisoft and products of the “Solaris Collection” like TributeNight, ReadyWrap, Exo­Strong and ExoFusion.

    Which medical subject is No. 1 on your agenda?

    The body is a so smartly designed, and all of it fascinates me; so it seems endless on things I want to learn. With that said; I have been a lymphedema specialist for 15 years and I believe there is so much more to learn regarding lymphatic system and how crucial it is to so many systems in our body. I am most passionate to learn more on how the lymphatic systems role in immune response and especially its role with chronic wound healing.

    For what indications would you like to discover a solution?

    I am particularly interested in helping others learn how to treat lymphedema. We are now able to visualize the superficial lymphatic system which is exciting. With that said, there is still a large gap of information when it comes to research and lymphatics. I would love to contribute to the understanding of how to best prescribe compression dosage to a variety of shape, sized bodies as well as various tissue qualities so clinicians can achieve maximum results for their clients. I also would love to contribute to best practice recommendations for patients with chronic wounds and phlebolymphedema.

    What do you wish for the future?

    Cure for lymphedema! At a minimum, much better awareness on lymphedema and its treatment!