DC United Goalkeeper Bill Hamid Pays Special Visit to Pediatric Rehabilitation Patients

WASHINGTON, D.C. —Recently, the National Center for Children’s Rehabilitation at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital was paid a special visit by DC United staff including goalkeeper Bill Hamid.

The pediatric patients welcomed the United staff and Hamid with signs saluting our local men’s professional soccer squad and Hamid returned the favor with some greeting and fun with our pediatrics patients and a little game of soccer.

Thanks to Hamid and the United for brightening our pediatric patients’ days! Check out these great photos here.

For additional information about the MedStar NRH pediatric program, click here.

# # #

About MedStar National Rehabilitation Network
The MedStar National Rehabilitation Network is a regional system of rehabilitation care that offers inpatient, day treatment and outpatient services in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia.

The Network’s interdisciplinary team of rehabilitation experts provides comprehensive services to help people recover as fully as possible following illness and injury. Rehabilitation medicine specialists, psychologists, physical and occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists work hand-in-hand with other rehab professionals to design treatment plans tailored to each patient’s unique needs. Rehabilitation plans feature a team approach and include the use of state-of-the-art technology and advanced medical treatment based on the latest rehabilitation research.
The Network provides comprehensive programs specifically designed to aid in the rehabilitation of adults and children recovering from neurologic and orthopaedic conditions such as amputation, arthritis, back and neck pain, brain injury, cancer, cardiac conditions, concussion, fibromyalgia, foot and ankle disorders, hand and upper extremity problems, post-polio syndrome, stroke, spinal cord injury and disease, and sports and work-related injuries.

Inpatient and day treatment programs are provided at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital located in Northwest Washington, DC and at more than 50 outpatient sites conveniently located throughout the region. MedStar National Rehabilitation Network is fully accredited by The Joint Commission, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), with CARF accredited specialty programs for Amputations, Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury and Stroke.

For more on MedStar National Rehabilitation Network and to find a location near you, log on to MedStarNRH.org.

Contact

Derek Berry
Director of Communications
202-877-1773
[email protected]

Kritis Dasgupta, MD, Named Chair of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at MedStar Good Samaritan

BALTIMORE — Advancing its enduring tradition of high quality acute inpatient rehabilitation, MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital and the MedStar National Rehabilitation Network in October named Kritis Dasgupta, MD, MBA, MSc to lead its integrated programs in the Baltimore region of MedStar Health.

Board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation with a sub-specialty in brain injury medicine, Dr. Dasgupta has been with MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital for a decade and most recently served as medical director of its brain injury program and medical director of quality and safety.

The legacy of MedStar Good Samaritan’s high performing rehab program began nearly 50 years ago. Through the years, the program has provided compassionate, evidence-based, multidisciplinary rehabilitation for an estimated 40,000 patients whose lives have been altered by stroke, amputations, spinal cord injuries, and more.

The MedStar Good Samaritan inpatient rehab training program has produced hundreds of clinicians in physical medicine and rehabilitation, psychology, nursing and therapy.

“The history of this hospital, and its commitment to physical medicine and rehabilitation, is very compelling here at MedStar Good Sam,” Dr. Dasgupta said. “It’s a very valuable part of our continuum of care at MedStar Health.  I look forward to developing greater integration and synergy between this program and MedStar National Rehabilitation Network to achieve a world-class rehabilitation service line serving a broad population.”

MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital is in the midst of a $17.5 million rebuild of its inpatient rehabilitation facility that is expected to be complete in fall 2019. The space will encompass 60,000 square feet on the 5th floor of the main hospital and include private patient rooms, a low stimulation gym, a room for patients to explore smart home devices, and other features.

“At MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, we are very excited to have Dr. Kritis Dasgupta join our inpatient rehabilitation team as we head into the next phase of our 50-year history serving the Baltimore community,” said Kevin C. Platt, administrative director of rehabilitation for the Baltimore region of MedStar Health. “Dr. Dasgupta brings an amazing skill set to the campus, which includes impressive accomplishments in the areas of quality and safety, evidence-based health care, traumatic brain injury rehabilitation, medical residency education, and physician leadership. With our state-of-the-art center set to open next year, the timing of Dr. Dasgupta’s arrival is ideal to help lead us into the exciting future for our program.”  

The Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation program was previously led by Scott Lepre, MD, who oversaw the rebuilding of the program after it separated from Johns Hopkins Medicine in June 2017.

“We are delighted to have Dr. Dasgupta join our team, and thank Scott Lepre, MD, for his leadership during the transition of the rehabilitation program at MedStar Good Sam,” said John Rockwood, MedStar National Rehabilitation Network president. “Dr. Lepre’s commitment to the rehabilitation team and his expert care of his patients helped us begin to build a world-class rehabilitation program for the greater Baltimore community.”

Dr. Dasgupta previously served as an attending physician at MedStar NRH in Washington, D.C. He was also the medical director of brain injury at Adventist Health Care System in Rockville, Md. In 2018, Dr. Dasgupta received MedStar NRH’s Team Member of the Year Award.

Dr. Dasgupta received his Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University; his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Maryland School of Medicine; his MBA from Johns Hopkins Carey Business School; and his MSc in Evidence-Based Health Care from University of Oxford. He completed his physical medicine and rehabilitation residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and his brain injury medicine fellowship at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital/Georgetown University Medical Center. He is an associate professor of clinical rehabilitation medicine at Georgetown University Medical School.

# # #

About MedStar National Rehabilitation Network

The MedStar National Rehabilitation Network is a regional system of rehabilitation care that offers inpatient, day treatment and outpatient services in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia.

The Network’s interdisciplinary team of rehabilitation experts provides comprehensive services to help people recover as fully as possible following illness and injury.  Rehabilitation medicine specialists, psychologists, physical and occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists work hand-in-hand with other rehab professionals to design treatment plans tailored to each patient’s unique needs.  Rehabilitation plans feature a team approach and include the use of state-of-the-art technology and advanced medical treatment based on the latest rehabilitation research.  

The Network provides comprehensive programs specifically designed to aid in the rehabilitation of adults and children recovering from neurologic and orthopaedic conditions such as amputation, arthritis, back and neck pain, brain injury, cancer, cardiac conditions, concussion, fibromyalgia, foot and ankle disorders, hand and upper extremity problems, post-polio syndrome, stroke, spinal cord injury and disease, and sports and work-related injuries.

Inpatient and day treatment programs are provided at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital located in Northwest Washington, DC and at more than 50 outpatient sites conveniently located throughout the region.  MedStar National Rehabilitation Network is fully accredited by The Joint Commission,  the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), with CARF accredited specialty programs for Amputations, Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury and Stroke.

For more on MedStar National Rehabilitation Network and to find a location near you, log on to MedStarNRH.org.

Super H 5K Raises More Than $50,000 for Adaptive Sports Teams

15TH ANNUAL FUNDRAISER DRAWS MORE THAN 200 PEOPLE

McLean, Virginia – OCT. 2, 2018 — MedStar National Rehabilitation Network’s 15th annual Super H 5K Run, Walk & Wheel drew more than 200 participants and raised more than $50,000 this year. The race, which benefits athletes who participate in MedStar NRN’s adaptive sports programs, was held in very wet, rainy conditions on Sunday, Sept. 23.

MedStar NRN’s adaptive sports programs enable athletes with disabilities to compete in various sports such as wheelchair basketball; wheelchair tennis; adaptive rowing; sled hockey; quad rugby; Boccia ball; hand cycling, and more.

Funds raised from the Super H race have also enabled all of MedStar NRN’s adaptive sports teams to compete at the national level. Our wheelchair basketball team is currently ranked number 3 in the nation. Additionally, one of our players, Trevon Jenifer, is a gold medalist on the U.S. Paralympic basketball team, while Hallie Smith is a member of the U.S. Paralympic Rowing team. MedStar NRN’s programs range from introductory clinics to elite competitions.

“We sincerely appreciate all of the generosity of our sponsors and those who attended this year’s race,” said Joan Joyce, director of recreation therapy and community relations for MedStar NRN. “Our adaptive athletes are very grateful for all of the support they receive as well as those coming for our fitness classes. It really means a lot to everyone.”

MedStar NRN thanks all of this year’s race sponsors including: Volkswagen Group of America; Reyes Holdings; Darren Star Productions; Streetsense; Tetra Tech; Gregorio’s; Greenhill; Stein Sperling; APTA – the American Physical Therapy Association; National Seating & Mobility Clinic; MedStar Medical Group Radiology; Progressions Salon; NuMotion; Hanger Clinic; Tri-Union Express; ABC Home Medical; Data-Search, Inc; Robert’s Home Medical; District Amputee Care Center, LLC; Hollister; The Super H Family; Elle Leech-Black; Timmie Metz Band; MetroLogo; and Sport & Health, Tysons Corner.

Next year’s race takes place in September of 2019. Stay tuned for information on the date and time.

To contribute to adaptive sports even though the race is over go to: MedStarNRH.org/SuperH5K 

(Photo gallery – photos that can be used by media sites with the piece.)

 

About MedStar National Rehabilitation Network

The MedStar National Rehabilitation Network is a regional system of rehabilitation care that offers inpatient, day treatment and outpatient services in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia. 

The Network’s interdisciplinary team of rehabilitation experts provides comprehensive services to help people recover as fully as possible following illness and injury.  Rehabilitation medicine specialists, psychologists, physical and occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists work hand-in-hand with other rehab professionals to design treatment plans tailored to each patient’s unique needs.  Rehabilitation plans feature a team approach and include the use of state-of-the-art technology and advanced medical treatment based on the latest rehabilitation research.   

The Network provides comprehensive programs specifically designed to aid in the rehabilitation of adults and children recovering from neurologic and orthopaedic conditions such as amputation, arthritis, back and neck pain, brain injury, cancer, cardiac conditions, concussion, fibromyalgia, foot and ankle disorders, hand and upper extremity problems, post-polio syndrome, stroke, spinal cord injury and disease, and sports and work-related injuries. 

Inpatient and day treatment programs are provided at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital located in Northwest Washington, DC and at more than 50 outpatient sites conveniently located throughout the region.  MedStar National Rehabilitation Network is fully accredited by The Joint Commission,  the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), with CARF accredited specialty programs for Amputations, Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury and Stroke. 

For more on MedStar National Rehabilitation Network and to find a location near you, log on to MedStarNRH.org. 

###

SUPER H 5K RETURNS SUNDAY, SEPT. 23 BENEFITING COMMUNITY ADAPTIVE SPORTS PROGRAMS

MEDSTAR NATIONAL REHABILITATION NETWORK PRESENTS 15TH ANNUAL FUNDRAISER AT SPORT & HEALTH, TYSONS CORNER

McLean, Virginia – MedStar National Rehabilitation Network (MedStar NRN) will host the 15th annual Super H 5K Run, Walk & Wheel on Sunday, Sept. 23 for runners, walkers and adaptive athletes. The event begins and ends at the Sport & Health Club in Tysons Corner (8250 Greensboro Dr., McLean, Virginia 22102). Registration begins at 7 a.m., and the race begins at 8 a.m. The post-race party begins at 9 a.m., with free food, refreshments and an awards ceremony.

All proceeds from the race support MedStar NRN’s adaptive sports programs. These programs enable athletes with disabilities to compete in various sports such as wheelchair basketball, wheelchair tennis, adaptive rowing, sled hockey, quad rugby, Boccia ball, hand cycling, and more.

Funds raised from the Super H race have enabled all of MedStar NRN’s adaptive sports teams to compete at the National level. Our wheelchair basketball team is currently ranked number 3 in the nation! Additionally, one of our players, Trevon Jenifer, is a gold medalist on the U.S. Paralympic basketball team, while Hallie Smith is a member of the U.S. Paralympic Rowing team! MedStar NRN’s programs range from introductory clinics to elite competitions.

“It is a thrill to see the adaptive athletes take off on their hand cycles, wheelchairs and some with just crutches doing the same event able-bodied athletes do…just a little differently,” said Harry Freedman, founder of the Super H 5K.

The race registration fee of $30 (until Sept. 1, $35 after Sept. 1) supports the Adaptive Sports Program with MedStar NRN for children and adults with physical disabilities to pursue healthy, active lifestyles through recreational and competitive sports. On-site registration on race day is $40. Online registration closes on Friday, Sept. 21.

Packet pick up will take place on race day, Sun. Sept. 23 at Sport & Health, prior to the race.

For more information and to register online, go to: MedStarNRH.org/SuperH5K (http://www.medstarnrh.org/ways-to-give/events/super-h-5k-run-walk-and-wheel/#q={}).

 

About MedStar National Rehabilitation Network

The MedStar National Rehabilitation Network is a regional system of rehabilitation care that offers inpatient, day treatment and outpatient services in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia.

 The Network’s interdisciplinary team of rehabilitation experts provides comprehensive services to help people recover as fully as possible following illness and injury.  Rehabilitation medicine specialists, psychologists, physical and occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists work hand-in-hand with other rehab professionals to design treatment plans tailored to each patient’s unique needs.  Rehabilitation plans feature a team approach and include the use of state-of-the-art technology and advanced medical treatment based on the latest rehabilitation research.  

 The Network provides comprehensive programs specifically designed to aid in the rehabilitation of adults and children recovering from neurologic and orthopaedic conditions such as amputation, arthritis, back and neck pain, brain injury, cancer, cardiac conditions, concussion, fibromyalgia, foot and ankle disorders, hand and upper extremity problems, post-polio syndrome, stroke, spinal cord injury and disease, and sports and work-related injuries.

 Inpatient and day treatment programs are provided at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital located in Northwest Washington, DC and at more than 50 outpatient sites conveniently located throughout the region.  MedStar National Rehabilitation Network is fully accredited by The Joint Commission,  the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), with CARF accredited specialty programs for Amputations, Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury and Stroke.

 For more on MedStar National Rehabilitation Network and to find a location near you, log on to MedStarNRH.org.

###

For Immediate Release

Contact: Derek Berry
Director of Communications
Ph: 202-877-1773
[email protected]

Georgetown University Football Player Determined to Live Life Again Following Spinal Cord Injury

WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 13, 2018 – Tyrell Williams, linebacker with the Georgetown University football team, has been doing his outpatient rehabilitation here at MedStar NRH Rehabilitation Network at Irving Street in D.C., for several months now, following a career-ending spinal cord injury suffered during a game in 2015.

Williams told NBC4’s Nicole Jacobs he remembers the moment very well. “It was the fifth or sixth play of the game, maybe near the 10-yard line,” he said. “I heard a snap and a tingle.”

He put his head down for a tackle and his rammed right into an opposing player’s pelvis. The result was a C6 neck injury and paralysis.

MedStar NRH Network Physical Therapist Katie Seward has been working several hours a week with Ty since he came to Irving Street for physical therapy. He is slowly beginning to gain back some finger control, his arms and a lot of upper body strength. “My core is coming back – my abs, obliques,” adds Ty.

The 23-year-old is determined with great positivity that he can do anything. He does not look back, only forward. “I don’t want to let the chair decide what I want to do,” he told NBC4. “I want to decide what I want to do.” Seward agrees with that assessment adding that Ty has an excellent support system around him. “He has a very positive attitude and that has really helped him through his physical therapy,” said Seward.

While Williams continues his physical therapy he will continue to work towards his undergraduate degree before he embarks on a Master’s in sports management at Georgetown.

Watch the clip from NBC4/WRC-TV here

For Immediate Release

Contact: Derek Berry
Director of Communications
Ph: 202-877-1773
[email protected]

Suzanne Groah, MD, Director of Spinal Cord Injury Research and Patient Care Programs, Receives 2018 Goldschmidt Award

WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 6, 2018 – Suzanne Groah, MD, MedStar National Rehabilitation Network medical director of the Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) program, and head of the SCI research program, received the 2018 Goldschmidt Award on Wed. June 6, 2018.

In addition to receiving this honor, Dr. Groah also gave the annual Goldschmidt Lecture, the 30th time this has taken place at MedStar NRH. This prestigious honor is named after Dr. John Goldschmidt, the National Rehabilitation Hospital’s founding medical director, who worked towards enhancing an interdisciplinary approach to patient care. Recipients of this award, like Dr. Groah, are motivated to positively influence both fields of physical medicine and rehabilitation.

Dr. Groah’s lecture focused on the fascinating history of spinal cord injury. She examined the oldest spinal cord injury text – which described SCI as an “ailment not to be treated.” Taking us on a journey through SCI history, Dr. Groah showed us everything from how the Paralympic Games evolved to the movement in the 1970s and 1980s to find a cure for SCI – via medication.

In fact, in the late 1970s, the very first clinical trial looking at recovery from SCI took place to test a combination of medications and physical therapy. “This provided an opportunity to lead us toward recovery and cure,” she said.

As the decades turned, public faces of SCI began to emerge – actor Christopher Reeve, one of the most notable spinal cord injury survivors who became a quadriplegic when thrown from a horse during a Virginia equestrian competition; and football players, among them former Detroit Lions star offensive lineman Mike Utley, injured during a 1991 game. Utley is a 1993 Victory Award® recipient.
These public faces, Dr. Groah says, raised the profile of the disease and perhaps paved the way to get us to where we are now.

“We began to move away from drugs being the potential cure for SCI to patients working through therapy and newer, emerging technology,” she said.

Dr. Groah says that the future of spinal cord injury research offers tremendous hope and new possibilities. She highlighted various new research breakthroughs including scaffolds placed around the spinal cord during decompression surgery and optogenetics using light on cells in animals right now with respiratory issues that could be used in the future for those with SCI.

In addition, Dr. Groah mentioned Networked Neural Prosthesis technology, which can help via a stimulator device allowing patients to use their hands in more ways. “SCI patients might be able to use their hands in ways they never knew, such as using a pen and paper or eating food while holding utensils,” she said. “All of this holds great promise in the years to come.”

Dr. Groah’s chief takeaway when reflecting on her own career: Exude confidence even if you are not quite sure what you are doing. “I tell residents, future physicians, researchers and anyone the same things – if you’re going to react, use restraint before you react; if you see an opportunity grab it; and develop and keep relationships with your mentors so you can pay it forward.”

With a career in research that spans many years, Dr. Groah has done that for herself while mentoring many along the way.

SIDEBAR
MORE ABOUT THE JOHN W. GOLDSCHMIDT AWARD
The Goldschmidt Award and Lecture is a prestigious honor at MedStar NRH. It serves to recognize the years and effort devoted by MedStar NRH’s founding medical director, John W. Goldschmidt, who worked towards enhancing an interdisciplinary team approach to patient care. The recipients of the award are those who are motivated to positively influence both fields of physical medicine and rehabilitation.
This award should be given to an individual who reflects the attributes of Dr. John W. Goldschmidt in terms of voluntary and tireless efforts, enhancement of interdisciplinary multi-specialty team development and approach to patient care, the advancement of facility to care for individuals with physical disabilities as well as intellectual, emotional and academic commitment to the precepts and the intimate intricacies of rehabilitation as a specialty field. Each of these actions must also be performed to the highest professional and ethical standards which emulate the man for which this award has been named.

Past Awardees Include:
2018 - Suzanne Groah, MD
2017 - Randall L. Braddom, MD, MS, FAAPMR
2016 - Barbara Bregman, PT, PhD
2015 - Paul F. Pasquina, MD
2014 - Alexander Dromerick, MD
2013 - Bruce Gans, MD
2012 - Kristjian T. Ragnarsson, MD
2011 - John N. Aseff, MD
2010 - Brendan Conroy, MD
2009 - Alan M. Jette, PT, PhD, FAPTA

About MedStar National Rehabilitation Network

The MedStar National Rehabilitation Network is a regional system of rehabilitation care that offers inpatient, day treatment and outpatient services in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia.
The Network’s interdisciplinary team of rehabilitation experts provides comprehensive services to help people recover as fully as possible following illness and injury. Rehabilitation medicine specialists, psychologists, physical and occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists work hand-in-hand with other rehab professionals to design treatment plans tailored to each patient’s unique needs. Rehabilitation plans feature a team approach and include the use of state-of-the-art technology and advanced medical treatment based on the latest rehabilitation research.

The Network provides comprehensive programs specifically designed to aid in the rehabilitation of adults and children recovering from neurologic and orthopaedic conditions such as amputation, arthritis, back and neck pain, brain injury, cancer, cardiac conditions, concussion, fibromyalgia, foot and ankle disorders, hand and upper extremity problems, post-polio syndrome, stroke, spinal cord injury and disease, and sports and work-related injuries.

Inpatient and day treatment programs are provided at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital located in Northwest Washington, DC and at more than 50 outpatient sites conveniently located throughout the region. MedStar National Rehabilitation Network is fully accredited by The Joint Commission, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), with CARF accredited specialty programs for Amputations, Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury and Stroke.

For more on MedStar National Rehabilitation Network and to find a location near you, log on to MedStarNRH.org.

For Immediate Release

Contact: Derek T. Berry
Director of Communications
Ph: 202-877-1773
[email protected]

Founder Ed Eckenhoff Honored With Service at National Cathedral in D.C.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - MedStar National Rehabilitation Network Founder and Past President Edward A. Eckenhoff was honored with a special service at the Washington National Cathedral in early May.

Ed passed away peacefully with family and friends by his side earlier this year on January 10 at his home in Naples, Florida. He is survived by his wife Judi Eckenhoff, his brothers Walt and Roderic Eckenhoff, many nieces and nephews and the family dog, Bogey.

Ed opened the doors of NRH in 1986 and through his leadership, we have grown from one single inpatient facility to having served tens of thousands of inpatients and outpatients via our 50 network sites.

Highlights of Ed’s achievements with MedStar NRH include:

1986 – NRH establishes four core programs – stroke, spinal cord injury, brain injury & orthopaedics

1987 – NRH becomes accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals

1989 – Received accreditation from CARF – the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities

1989 – First class of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation residents graduate

1990 – Worked closely with President George H.W. Bush on the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), officially signed into law, July 1990

1992 – NRH begins association with volunteers from Junior League of Washington, D.C., which continues to this day

1993 – First rehabilitation day treatment program established

1993 – Adaptive sports program launches

1994 – Second ever outpatient site opens in Mitchellville, Md

1996 – Formation of the outpatient network officially called the NRH Rehabilitation Network

1997 – Innovative therapy space known as Independence Square launches, with tremendous philanthropic support

1998 – NRH and National Institutes of Health sign agreement for joint efforts in research, training and medical treatment

2000 – U.S. Congress appoints $6M towards new NRH Neuroscience Research Center

2004 – NRH holds first ever Super H 5K Run, Walk & Wheel benefitting adaptive sports programs and launched by former patient Harry Freedman and his wife, Renie

2005 – The Christoph Ruesch Research Center opens

2006 – NRH becomes one of 14 Model Spinal Cord Injury Systems designated by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research

2007 – NRH Spinal Cord Injury & Stroke Programs receive CARF – Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities – accreditation

The Eckenhoff family asks that any gifts and donations be made in Ed’s honor to MedStar NRH’s Adding Life to Years® Campaign. Please visit www.giving.medstarhealth.org/edwardeckenhoff for more information. You can also make checks payable to: MedStar NRH, 102 Irving St., NW, Washington, D.C., 20010.

For Immediate Release

Contact: Derek T. Berry
Director of Communications
Ph: 202-877-1773
[email protected]

Adaptive Fitness Helps Patient With Complex Spinal Cord Injury Stay Active

Imagine living with a spinal cord injury as a result of simply falling in your home?

The thought is quite scary and could happen to any one of us. And so it happened to Kent Keyser, who spent more than three decades working on Capitol Hill, following a terrible mishap one evening in his basement. In one instant, Keyser went from fully functional to suffering a spinal cord injury (SCI), while not a complete injury, still leaves him needing to use a power chair and requires him to have assistance when walking.

After years of physical therapy, a lot of hard work and determination, Keyser walks 20 to 30 minutes daily; uses gym equipment to help regain strength in his arms; shoulders; back; chest; and legs.

In more than 10 years since Keyser’s SCI, adaptive fitness, like the program offered at MedStar NRH thanks to a generous grant for our patients through the Gordon & Marilyn Macklin Foundation, has provided major assistance to Keyser in keeping him active.

“I am a firm believer that good health is the foundation of an independent and productive life,” Keyser told CARF International recently. “Couple adaptive fitness with good nutrition and you have a good recipe for a life of accomplishment.”

Keyser calls himself ‘privileged’ to have done his rehabilitation at MedStar NRH. Following discharge from both inpatient and outpatient programs, Keyser heard about the Adaptive Fitness programs, conducted with different activities four times weekly at the hospital on Irving Street in D.C., that provide patients the opportunity to stay active following a debilitating injury.

The open gym time, where patients can use the equipment, was extremely important to him.

For more information on the Adaptive Fitness classes at MedStar NRH click here.

About MedStar National Rehabilitation Network
The MedStar National Rehabilitation Network is a regional system of rehabilitation care that offers inpatient, day treatment and outpatient services in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia.

The Network’s interdisciplinary team of rehabilitation experts provides comprehensive services to help people recover as fully as possible following illness and injury. Rehabilitation medicine specialists, psychologists, physical and occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists work hand-in-hand with other rehab professionals to design treatment plans tailored to each patient’s unique needs. Rehabilitation plans feature a team approach and include the use of state-of-the-art technology and advanced medical treatment based on the latest rehabilitation research.

The Network provides comprehensive programs specifically designed to aid in the rehabilitation of adults and children recovering from neurologic and orthopaedic conditions such as amputation, arthritis, back and neck pain, brain injury, cancer, cardiac conditions, concussion, fibromyalgia, foot and ankle disorders, hand and upper extremity problems, post-polio syndrome, stroke, spinal cord injury and disease, and sports and work-related injuries.

Inpatient and day treatment programs are provided at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital located in Northwest Washington, DC and at more than 50 outpatient sites conveniently located throughout the region. MedStar National Rehabilitation Network is fully accredited by The Joint Commission, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), with CARF accredited specialty programs for Amputations, Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury and Stroke.

For more on MedStar National Rehabilitation Network and to find a location near you, log on to MedStarNRH.org.

For Immediate Release

Contact: Derek T. Berry
Director of Communications
Ph: 202-877-1773
[email protected]

Blind Adventurer Erik Weihenmayer Talks About ‘No Barriers’ And Receives Victory Award®

At age 13 Erik Weihenmayer lost his eyesight due to a condition called retinoschsis, characterized by the abnormal splitting of the retina’s neurosensory layers.
Determined not to let his blindness become him, Erik learned to rock climb. Through time, he took that determination further – from simple rock formations to daring challenges very few humans would try – conquering all seven summits of the world and boldly attempting kayaking down the roiling rapids of the Colorado River.

Erik recently spoke to MedStar NRH Team Members at a special event, held at the Carnegie Institute in Washington, D.C.
Weihenmayer talked about his book No Barriers: A Blind Man’s Journey to Kayak the Grand Canyon. He said that he was not going to let his disability prevent him from his daring feats. “Some people are campers,” said Weihenmayer. “I’m a climber.”

Some facts about Erik Weihenmayer:
• May 25, 2001 – Erik became the only blind person to reach the summit of Mt. Everest
• At age 13, he developed a condition known as retinoschsis (an eye disease characterized by the abnormal splitting of the retina's neurosensory layers, usually in the outer plexiform layer. Most common forms are asymptomatic, some rarer forms result in a loss of vision in the corresponding visual field) which robbed him of his vision
• He was a wrestler in high school despite being blind and represented his home state of Connecticut in a national junior wrestling championship in Iowa
• He discovered rock climbing as a teenager and developed the ability to scan aspects of rock formations with his hands and feet as he climbs
• Graduated with a double major from Boston College
• Was a middle school teacher and wrestling coach

For more information about Erik, check out his website - http://touchthetop.com/index.php

About MedStar National Rehabilitation Network
The MedStar National Rehabilitation Network is a regional system of rehabilitation care that offers inpatient, day treatment and outpatient services in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia.
The Network’s interdisciplinary team of rehabilitation experts provides comprehensive services to help people recover as fully as possible following illness and injury. Rehabilitation medicine specialists, psychologists, physical and occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists work hand-in-hand with other rehab professionals to design treatment plans tailored to each patient’s unique needs. Rehabilitation plans feature a team approach and include the use of state-of-the-art technology and advanced medical treatment based on the latest rehabilitation research.
The Network provides comprehensive programs specifically designed to aid in the rehabilitation of adults and children recovering from neurologic and orthopaedic conditions such as amputation, arthritis, back and neck pain, brain injury, cancer, cardiac conditions, concussion, fibromyalgia, foot and ankle disorders, hand and upper extremity problems, post-polio syndrome, stroke, spinal cord injury and disease, and sports and work-related injuries.

Inpatient and day treatment programs are provided at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital located in Northwest Washington, DC and at more than 50 outpatient sites conveniently located throughout the region. MedStar National Rehabilitation Network is fully accredited by The Joint Commission, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), with CARF accredited specialty programs for Amputations, Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury and Stroke.

For more on MedStar National Rehabilitation Network and to find a location near you, log on to MedStarNRH.org.

For Immediate Release

Contact: Derek T. Berry
Director of Communications
Ph: 202-877-1773
[email protected]

How The MedStar NRH Care Team Handles Complex Cases

In an instant with the crack of a bullet, the spin of a car, or the sudden burst of vessels in the brain, lives are irrevocably changed. For U.S. Congressman Steve Scalise, the innocence of a baseball game was shattered when a gunman aimed his weapon at the field where members of Congress were practicing for an annual game scheduled for the next evening.

His grave bullet wounds and his difficult journey through multiple surgeries and infection have been well documented. But like so many other patients with complex injuries, survival is just the first step in a recovery that may continue for months or years.

When the Congressman left his stay at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, he was immediately admitted to MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital (MedStar NRH). His eight week stay at MedStar NRH demonstrates the critical importance of acute rehabilitation for patients who have suffered serious injury and who continue to have complex medical needs, as well.

For Congressman Scalise—and other patients with more complicated injury or illness—rehabilitation begins even before they enter the doors of MedStar NRH, explains John Aseff, MD, the physiatrist who cared for Rep. Scalise while in acute rehab.

Multidisciplinary Care Team
When the Congressman arrived at MedStar NRH, a team of rehabilitation experts had already been assigned to his care and provided an initial review of his immediate needs.

Every patient has a multidisciplinary care team that works collaboratively with one another, the patient and the family throughout hospitalization. Physiatrists, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, recreation therapists, neuropsychologists, case managers and dietitians work in concert to develop an individualized treatment plan to help ensure the best possible recovery.

The care team meets weekly to share updates on the patient’s progress—and to address problems that may impede recovery. “Family meetings are also held to provide the patient and loved ones with a more global picture of the present—and the future,” explains Social Worker Joan McKinon Reeves, LICSW, MedStar NRH director of case managers.

“From the very beginning of a patient’s hospitalization, we provide an evaluation and create open communication between us and the patient and family,” she adds. “With patients who have more complex injuries, it’s important to understand what kind of support system they have at home and even begin to look at what they may require when they are discharged.

Rigorous Therapy, Six Days a Week
Working with patients who have an array of issues, care teams included therapists with special expertise working with patients suffering some type of neurological injury.

“Some patients need to relearn to walk,” says Meaghan Minzy, PT, DPT. “Our goal in physical therapy is to improve endurance, strengthen a patient’s upper body and help them use their legs.”

Amanda Summers, MS, OTR/L, ATP, says patients who present with physical weakness need to be mindful of overexertion. “Occupational therapy is focused on improving cardiovascular fitness and strengthening the upper body so that daily living tasks can once again be performed.”

For three hours-a-day, six-days-a-week, the Congressman pushed himself and his body, moving from wheelchair, to a walker and onto crutches. “In time, he went from walking 20 feet to 200,” says Minzy.

Progress like this is the result of a patient’s determination, the skill of rehab experts—plus the latest technology, such as FES, functional electrical stimulation to muscles, and the ZeroG® --the robotic body weight support system first developed at MedStar NRH.

Patients with very complex injuries face enormous challenges as they learn to “accept the injury and adjust to a new normal,” says Minzy. “For us, it never gets old to watch as patients improve and leave us able to move on with their lives.”

For Immediate Release

Contact: Derek T. Berry
Director of Communications
Ph: 202-877-1773
[email protected]