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A lifelong golfer, kept on the course by a rockstar physician
Fifty-four years ago, Barb Peyronnet picked up her first golf club in upstate New York. Over the years, throughout her childhood in Rochester and Syracuse, she recalls fond memories of regularly playing with her family.
Barb was in high school when her family moved to Massachusetts, just outside of Boston. Her new school didn’t have a girls’ sports program, but she was able to play on the boy’s golf team. This encouraged her continuing love for the sport.
Fast forward to the present: Barbara lives in Midlothian, Va. and is a proud member of the 9 Hole Ladies at Salisbury Country Club. Not only is she an avid golfer, but she’s also an avid fan of VCU Health physiatrist Dr. Katherine L. Dec.
Dr. Dec is a physician specializing in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, known as PM&R. Over Dr. Dec’s moves from local community hospitals, orthopaedic practices, and rehabilitation centers, Barb – and her two decades of mostly minor, inconvenient injuries – has followed the physician around the Richmond area. Dr. Dec joined VCU Health in May 2015.
“No matter a person’s level of ability, comprehensive sports medicine physicians play an integral role for athletes of all ages and competitive levels,” says Dr. Dec. “One of the largest non-communicable diseases in the world is inactivity. Being active – such as playing golf, in the case of Mrs. Peyronnet – benefits physical and cognitive wellness in addition to metabolic or cardiovascular issues.”
Last year, Barb suffered from a back injury as well as a herniated disk, which put a pause on her golf game. Thanks to Dr. Dec and physical medicine treatments such as strength building and working out her muscles at the VCU Health Neuroscience, Orthopaedic and Wellness (N.O.W.) Center in Short Pump, she was back on the course in just two months. Most recently, Barbara’s “frozen shoulder” earlier this year kept her from fully raising her arm, but Dr. Dec has helped her reach full mobility.
“Dr. Dec is one of those rare physicians who can figure out the cause of my pain immediately and run through possible treatments,” says Barb. “Everyone on her care team is just so quick to help me – being at VCU makes me feel like I’m at home.”
VCU Health is a founding partner and sponsor of the Dominion Energy Charity Classic, held Oct. 18-21 at The Country Club of Virginia, James River Course. Barb will be among the spectators. Fans can also enjoy the VCU Health Walk, a 1-mile loop around the course.
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