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Memorial Unveils New Outpatient Therapy Center

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After years of planning and construction, Memorial has opened the doors to its new state-of-the-art Outpatient Therapy Center.  Known for the last forty plus years as the Wilson McKewen Rehabilitation Center, the new multi-disciplined therapy center is not only open in a new location, but also with a new name—Memorial Outpatient Therapy Center.   

On Tuesday, February 21, the Center welcomed the Lufkin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce membership, physicians and hospital board members to the new Center.  The Business After Five Event gave guests an opportunity to tour the entire facility and see first hand why the new Memorial Outpatient Therapy Center is a leader in rehabilitation services.

Offering a wide range of rehabilitation services, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy for adults and children, the center has helped thousands of patients take control of their lives following a debilitating injury or disease.  

“The decision was made to move the center close to Memorial and in the heart of the medical community so it would be more convenient for our patients,” said Andra Self, Director of the Memorial Outpatient Therapy Center.  “This also gave us the opportunity to enhance our existing services.” 

The building, which was once occupied by the VA (Veteran’s Administration) Clinic, has been completely renovated and designed with therapy in mind.  “The 14,000 square foot facility doesn’t have a “clinic” feel.  In fact, the center was designed to enhance the overall healing process with the use of soothing colors and soft lighting.” The Memorial Outpatient Therapy Center features a 5,000 square foot gym and hand therapy clinic equipped with the latest in therapy equipment and a heated therapeutic pool.  Additionally, the new site offers convenient parking and a covered “drop off” area for patients.

The center specializes in treating each patient individually.  For patients recovering from stroke and other neurological conditions, neuro-developmental techniques are offered; multi-disciplined,  comprehensive interventions are utilized for young children experiencing developmental delays, and the therapists have vast experience in working with autistic children.  “Whatever the treatment plan, our warm, caring and friendly professional staff is ready to meet the individualized care plans of each patient,” said Mrs. Self.

What is known today as The Memorial Outpatient Therapy Center was created in the mid 1950s by the Angelina County Society for Crippled Children and Adults.  Shortly thereafter, Wilson McKewen, a Lufkin civic leader, worked with the Angelina County Lion’s Club and the Angelina County Mounted Patrol to raise funds to construct a new treatment facility.  Following the unexpected death of Mr. McKewen in 1966, the structure was renamed in his honor—The Wilson McKewen Treatment Center.  After a significant growth in services through the years, the center merged with Memorial Health System of East Texas—making it the largest provider for comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation services in the area.

“Transitioning the name to Memorial Outpatient Therapy Center was a difficult decision, but one that will ultimately help to ensure growth of the facility,” said Mrs. Self.  “Many patients did not realize that our center was affiliated with Memorial, a hospital system that cares for more than a quarter of a million patients each year.”  Wilson McKewen’s name may not be found on the outside of the new building, but his contributions to therapy services in East Texas can be seen throughout the facility.  One large wall is dedicated to his memory and what he accomplished for the thousands of men, women and children right here at home.


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