Helbig Earns Lymphedema Treatment Certification

May 30, 2024

Pinckneyville Community Hospital, and the Occupational Therapy Department are excited to announce that Leah Helbig, COTA, successfully completed the certification training program with the Norton School of Lymphatic therapy from May 4-12, 2024 in St. Louis, MO.  She completed 135 hours of training and exemplified competency and proficiency in the techniques of Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) and Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT).  Through written and practical exam, she demonstrated knowledge in the anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology of the lymphatic system as well as an understanding of the indications and contraindications of MLD/CDT.


Lymphedema is swelling that generally occurs in an arm or leg, but can also occur in the chest wall, abdomen, neck and genitals. The condition is caused by a blockage in the lymphatic system, part of the immune and circulatory systems. Lymphedema is most commonly caused by lymph node removal or damage due to cancer treatment.  Lymphedema symptoms typically include swelling of part or all of the arm or leg, including fingers and toes. A feeling of heaviness or tightness and a loss of range of motion in the arm or leg also are common symptoms.


“Through the gracious funding of the AHEC program, we were able to send one of our team members to a lymphedema treatment certification course.  I am very proud of Leah for stepping up and completing a very intense Lymphedema Certification course. She really showed her dedication to learning as a healthcare professional and she passed very difficult written and practical exams to achieve this certification.  With Leah’s expertise, we are excited to offer certified lymphedema treatment through our Occupational Therapy Department.  It is such a benefit to the community to have local access to high level healthcare.”  Dan Varel, Therapy Director


Leah is a Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant.  She lives in Duquoin, IL and has worked at Pinckneyville Community Hospital for the last 17 years providing therapy to inpatients, outpatients, and home health patients.


If you or someone you know is suffering from lymphedema, ask your doctor about a referral to our Occupational Therapy Department for lymphedema treatment.  If you have questions don’t hesitate to contact Leah, COTA, or Nathan OTR/L at 618 357-5935 option 1 and ask to speak with one of them about lymphedema treatment options.