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Balance Services at Avera Queen of Peace

Statistics show that 40% or more of all adults experience dizziness severe enough to warrant reporting it to a physician, and dizziness is the second most common complaint people report to their doctors.

To serve individuals who struggle with vertigo and other balance problems, Avera Queen of Peace has opened the state's first Balance Center.

For more information about the Balance Center, please call Hearing Plus LLC at 605-996-0281. 

To make an appointment please ask your doctor.

How We Can Help

When balance problems develop, they are accompanied by an increased risk for falls. To determine the causes - and there can be many - it's necessary to conduct a complete balance assessment utilizing the appropriate equipment and a wide array of testing modules. In some cases, accurate diagnosis will require further testing and once a diagnosis is determined, implementation of safe, effective treatments help control most conditions.

If you have experienced a recent fall, feel unsteady on their feet, have dizziness and/or have any reason to believe they might have problems with balance should ask your family physician for a referral to the Balance Center.

Types of Treatment

  • medication and/or diet
  • special maneuvers involving simple movements of the head and body
  • surgical intervention or physical therapy and exercise

About Dr. Patricia Larson Shields

Dr. Patricia Larson Shields, AuD FAAA MACCCSP/L, who currently provides audiology and speech pathology services to Avera Queen of Peace patients, has trained extensively with NeuroCom International, Inc. while preparing to bring this new service to Mitchell.

Dr. Patricia Larson Shields earned a Doctorate Degree in Audiology from Pennsylvania College of Optometry in Elkins Park, PA, and dual Masters degrees in Speech Pathology and Audiology from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. She also obtained additional education in posturgraphy and videonystagmography and electronystagmography. In 1991, Dr. Larson Shields established her practice, Hearing Plus LLC, in Mitchell.

Balance Center - Physical Therapy

Common diagnoses referred for physical therapy are stroke, arthritis, head injury, labryinthitis, vestibular neuritis, diabetes mellitus, osteoporosis, and many other orthopedic and neurological problems.

Physical therapy has been shown to be successful in restoring mobility, preventing falls, healing fall-related injuries, and reducing dizziness to help people get back into motion without expensive surgery or side effects from prescription medicines.

Depending on the cause of a persons symptoms, physical therapists can develop a customized treatment plan that may include

  • specific head, neck and eye movements
  • muscle strength and coordination exercises
  • sensory integration training
  • corrective walking
  • balance and movement retraining
  • therapeutic activities that simulate exposure to environmental challenges or work duties

The 3 computerized force plate machines in our clinic help identify problem areas within the sensory system (determines our body position), motor system (coordinates stable movement) and treatment strategies. Using the information from the tests, a promising approach to treatment is developed.

A typical treatment plan includes 2-3 physical therapy sessions per week and 90% of the rehab is done as a home exercise program. Exercises are designed to be challenging but also where patient is successful 60-80% in accomplishing the task. Once a patient masters a particular task, the original task can be made incrementally more difficult by advancing to the next level of difficulty, changing the environment or adding an additional task. In this way the body learns to compensate, adapt, and develop correct movement strategies.

Jon Kludt, Physical Therapist

Jon Kludt, MSPT is a licensed physical therapist who is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association. Jon Kludt, MSPT is specially trained in vestibular rehabilitation and comprehensive balance assessments and is a member of the APTA section on geriatrics and orthopedics. Jon recently went to Neurocom International, Inc. headquarters in Portland, OR for several days of training for balance assessment management with dynamic computerized force plate system developed for NASA astronauts returning from space flights.


We serve individuals who struggle with vertigo and other balance problems

Make an Appointment

Ask your physician for a referral

Contact Us

Hearing Plus LLC


Patricia Larson Shields


Jon Kludt