Meeting the Challenge of a Complex Injury: The Case of Congressman Steve Scalise

Collaborative Care That Puts Your Patient First

WASHINGTON, D.C. — 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.

“I visited the Congressman at the Hospital Center before he came to us. That’s an important element in creating continuity of care for our patients,” he says. “It’s good for patients and families to know what to expect during the next steps in the recovery process. When patients have multiple organ, nerve and blood vessel injury like the Congressman, we complete assessments before they are discharged from acute care to better understand their continued medical needs, as well as begin to map out their rehab.”

The shared electronic medical record systems among MedStar Health hospitals helps smooth transition of care from one facility to another, he adds. “We also have MedStar NRH physiatrists at our sister MedStar hospitals across the region to provide support and counsel,” Dr. Aseff explains. 

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.

“Acute rehab is about planning a patient’s future daily life. Our goal is to help patients return to their work, their life, and their passions after a life altering event, and help ensure that the progress they have made during inpatient rehab is sustained. Case managers act as a bridge to services in the community—to the best next steps in a patient’s rehabilitation.” McKinon Reeves says.

“Unlike some other facilities, an acute rehab facility like ours is equipped to provide a full-range of medical services, 24/7, especially for patients with more complicated issues,” says Nailah Campbell, BSN, RN, Nursing Manager. “We are trained to care for sicker patients and prepared for all kinds of special needs from patients requiring kidney dialysis or wound care to assistive devices.”

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.

Dr. Aseff visited Rep. Scalise twice a day and watched him during his therapy. “That’s typical for patients who have had critical trauma,” says Dr. Aseff.  “It’s important to understanding their medical needs and to assess their progress.”

He also says most people are impatient about recovery—and Scalise was no exception.

“Too much therapy can be harmful—rest is important. Using energy efficiently and effectively is very important to recovery.”

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.”

# # #

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.

Derek Berry
Director of Communications
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]

Spinal Cord Injury Survivor Marc Buoniconti Inspires With Talk at MedStar NRH

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Nov. 15, 2017 — MedStar National Rehabilitation Network welcomed Marc Buoniconti with the Miami Project, as a special guest grand rounds lecturer which took place at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital on Wednesday, Nov. 15.

Marc is part of the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and the Buoniconti Fund, an organization named after him that seeks to find a cure for those with spinal cord injury and paralysis. He was paralyzed from the neck down during a college football game in 1985 while playing linebacker for The Citadel.

Not long after his injury, Marc’s father Nick Buoniconti, a hall of fame NFL linebacker with the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins and Barth A. Green, MD, started the Miami Project organization. The Miami Project’s main focus is to ultimately try and help those who suffer from spinal cord injury and paralysis to walk again.

Buoniconti talked about how over the years, since 1985, that $500 million has been raised to find a cure for paralysis. He says scientists have been working overtime to find that cure, doing testing and research to discover new pathways.

“Secondary image, the inflammatory process, truly causes the paralysis,” said Buoniconti. “It’s those seconds immediately after a spinal cord injury where paralysis occurs, where cells die. If you want to repair a spinal cord, finding a replacement for the damaged cells is most important.”

More information on the Miami Project - http://www.themiamiproject.org/about-us/

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 orthopedic 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
M: 571-218-7594
[email protected]

Kenneth J. Ottenbacher, PhD, OTR, Gives 2017 Susan Carter Lecture on Reform & Readmission in Post-Acute Care

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Nov. 8, 2017 - MedStar National Rehabilitation Network welcomed Kenneth J. Ottenbacher, PhD, OTR, to be its special guest speaker for the 2017 Susan Carter Lecture, which took place at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital on Wednesday, Nov. 8.

Dr. Ottenbacher is the director of the Division of Rehabilitation Sciences in the School of Health Professions and is also the director of the Center for Recovery, Physical Activity and Nutrition, and associate director for the Sealy Center on Aging at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) located in Galveston, Tex. He received his PhD from the University of Missouri and is a licensed occupational therapist. He began his academic career at the University of Wisconsin in the Department of Occupational Therapy and was promoted through the ranks to full professor. In 1990 he joined the State University of New York at Buffalo where he served in several positions including Associate Dean for Research and Academic Affairs in the School of Health Related Professions and Associate Director of the Center for Functional Assessment Research in the School of Medicine. In 1995, he joined the UTMB as Vice Dean and Professor in the School of Health Professions.

Dr. Ottenbacher's current research involves using large datasets to study rehabilitation outcomes with a focus on functional assessment, disability and frailty in older adults. Dr. Ottenbacher has published more than 350 articles in journals and has received continuous federal funding as principal investigator to support his research and training activities since 1984. Dr. Ottenbacher has been the recipient of numerous awards for his research, mentoring and service activities.

He is a recipient of the Gold Key Award from the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and is a charter member of the American Occupational Therapy Foundation Academy of Research. Dr. Ottenbacher is a fellow in the American Occupational Therapy Association

Dr. Ottenbacher spoke about where the American healthcare system is headed. He talked about readmission rates with patients and the problems surrounding patients who are from poor income areas who end up rehospitalized after their first event. Dr. Ottenbacher talked about the various types of disabilities which require rehospitalization many times. He listed 'debility' or a state of being weak or infirm.

"Readmission rates quite often happen after the first week of discharge," said Dr. Ottenbacher. "We need input from our therapists, from the field, to deal with the changes that are going on."

He says that one of the challenges that subacute hospitals face is penalties associated with readmission after a disabling event or injury.

"The best way to predict the future is to create it," to use a quote said Dr. Ottenbacher. "It's one of my favorite quotes and pertains to what is going on now."

The Susan Carter Lecture was named after former patient Susan Carter, who received assistance in managing polio related health problems. Susan's life tragically ended in 1993 when she was struck by a car outside of her office in D.C., but her spirit lives on through the lectureship where MedStar NRN brings in the brightest minds in rehabilitation to speak.

For more information on past Susan Carter Lecture speakers, 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 orthopedic 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
M: 571-218-7594
[email protected]

Injured Firefighter Makes Remarkable Recovery & Heads Home

Firefighter-Dane-SmothersWASHINGTON - Oct. 26, 2017 - D.C. firefighter Dane Smothers, Jr., who was critically injured at the scene of a house fire this summer, was released from inpatient care at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital (MedStar NRH) on Wednesday, Oct. 25. Local news media outlets reported that there were strong concerns that Smothers might never walk again. But he has proved all of those who may have doubted him wrong.

"Life was not easy for him when he first came here, but he really progressed much more quickly than any of us could have expected," said Erika Gosai, MD, Spinal Cord Injury Physician and Rehabilitation Specialist with MedStar NRH. "You shouldn't really bet against DJ. He is a remarkable young man and has shown really, truly a strong healing capability."

Jack Sava, MD, Director of Trauma with MedStar Washington Hospital Center (MedStar WHC) added that Smothers had many severe injuries to his organs and blood vessels and some broken bones. "During the first 48 hours in intensive care, the ICU team worked minute to minute to try and keep him alive throughout the night," he said.

Smothers' colleagues from the D.C. Fire Department and many of those who cared for him with MedStar NRH - including his physical therapist Jacques Sadie, his occupational therapist Jocelyn Dressel, his recreation therapist Catherine McCrary, and his case manager Maureen Bobish, as well as members of the nursing staff at MedStar NRH and from MedStar WHC came to offer their support and encouragement on this joyful day for Dane.

Chief Gregory Dean with D.C. Fire and EMS said that he and his colleagues hope to see Smothers back on the job someday in the near future. "There is a lot of behind the scene players that have been extremely helpful," said Chief Dean. "I think we are motivated by this young man and his strength that we are seeing on a daily basis."

Smothers and his father, Dane Sr., who accompanied his son to a news conference prior to Dane Jr.'s discharge from MedStar NRH, were both thankful for the care Dane, Jr. received. Dane Jr. vowed to return to work fighting fires in the District one day. "I want to thank the nurses and doctors and the trauma team; everyone who cared for me," he said. "I have never really been scared away from a challenge. I'm not scared to run into a burning building. Still not scared. Still not afraid of a challenge. I definitely would like to return to the (firehouse)."

Smothers will soon start a course of outpatient rehabilitation to set him onto his next journey of one day returning to the firehouse.

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 orthopedic 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
M: 571-218-7594
[email protected]

14th Annual Super H 5K Run, Walk & Wheel Raises Nearly $53,000 For Adaptive Athletes

McLean, VA – Oct. 3, 2017 — The 14th Annual Super H 5K Run, Walk & Wheel held on Sunday, Sept. 24 at Sport & Health in Tysons Corner, VA,  raised nearly $53,000 which benefits the adaptive sports athletes with MedStar National Rehabilitation Network (MedStar NRN). Proceeds from the race assist the Network’s sports teams which include wheelchair basketball, quad rugby, handcycling, sled hockey and more, in traveling to tournaments, purchasing new equipment and uniforms.

This year’s race, attended by a record 311 runners, walkers and wheelers, helps former MedStar NRN patients and those in the community to participate in various adaptive sports, and also allows anyone with a disabling condition or disability to attend fitness classes held at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital in D.C., and in Northern Virginia. Those who attend the fitness classes can use the equipment that patients use for therapy in a wide open gym and take part in activities all in an effort to stay active, fit and healthy.

“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 NRH. “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; SES; Streetsense; Tetra Tech; Gregorio’s; Greenhill; NuMotion; Hanger Clinic; Tri-Union Express; Progressions Salon; DPI Adaptive Fitness; District Amputee Care Center; ABC Home Medical; Dr. James Jelinek; Hollister; Stein Sperling Bennett DeJong Driscoll PC; Sport & Health Club of Tysons Corner; MetroLogo; and the Timmie Metz Band.

Category winners from this year’s race include:

  • 1st in Run/Female – Megan Heidt, Silver Spring, MD
  • 1st in Run/Male – Joseph Baremore, Silver Spring, MD
  • 1st in Handcycle/Female – Anne Hilliard, Silver Spring, MD
  • 1st in Handcycle/Male – Anthony Caparella, Silver Spring, MD
  • 1st in Wheelchair/Female – Margaret Redden, Arlington, VA
  • 1st in Wheelchair/Male – Bryce Doody, Rockville, MD

 

Complete race results can be found here.

Super H 5K Run, Walk & Wheel, is an annual race which was started by Harry and Renie Freedman. Harry, a former patient with MedStar NRN, lost his leg in a workplace accident many years ago. An avid athlete, Harry wanted to give back and help those in the community stay active through adaptive sports programs such as the ones MedStar NRN offers.

Next year’s race will take place in the fall of 2018.

If you were not able to attend this year’s race, but would still like to make a donation, go to: MedStarNRH.org/SuperH5K 

Click on the ‘Make An Online Gift’ button at the bottom. Be sure to indicate your donation is for the Super H 5K. Check donations should be sent to:  MedStar National Rehabilitation Network/102 Irving Street NW, Washington, DC 20010. Please write Super H5K on the MEMO line so we can make sure your donation is designated to our Adaptive Athlete Program.

If you are interested in sponsoring next year’s race contact Joan Joyce at 202-877-1420 or email [email protected].

For more information on the MedStar NRH Adaptive Sports Program, go to: medstarnrh.org/adaptivesports.

For photos of this year’s event click here  - Photo credit: Sharon Natoli

 

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 orthopedic 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
M: 571-218-7594
[email protected]

MedStar NRH Neuroscience OT Residency Nation’s First

McLean, Virginia – Sept. 22, 2017 —The new MedStar NRH Neuroscience Occupational Therapy Residency Program earned top marks during its first site visit by the American Occupational Therapy Association—the national accrediting organization. The residency program is the first of its kind in the nation, and was developed to provide practicing OTs with advanced training in the care of patients with neurological issues such as stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury, ALS, MS and Parkinson’s disease.

The program has been designed to provide residents with a wide-ranging experience during the course of one year. ”We established four components of study under the mentorship of experienced practitioners that include clinical care, teaching, advocacy and research,” explains Amanda Gahlot MS, OTR/L BCPR, part of the team that developed the curriculum.
“Residents spend time at MedStar NRH, MedStar Washington Hospital Center and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in both inpatient and outpatient settings. They also have involvement in clinical research, and exposure to advocacy and leadership through community outreach activities,” she says.

In addition, through MedStar NRH’s long-held partnership with Trinity Washington University, residents will also experience teaching in the school’s occupational therapy assistant program and its OT master’s program.

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 orthopedic 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
M: 571-218-7594
[email protected]

Super H 5K Returns Sunday, September 24 to Help Area Adaptive Athletes Stay Active

Super H 5K logoMcLean, Virginia – Aug. 17, 2017 — MedStar National Rehabilitation Network (MedStar NRN) will host the 14th annual Super H 5K Run, Walk & Wheel on Sunday, Sept. 24 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 and refreshments.

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, sled hockey, quad rugby, sit volleyball, hand cycling, rowing and more.

Funds raised from the Super H race have recently helped the MedStar NRN wheelchair basketball team place in the top tier in the national wheelchair basketball tournament and is helping some of our paralympic athletes attempt to make it onto the U.S. Paralympic team.

"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. 22.

Packet pick up will take place on race day, Sun. Sept. 24 at registration at Sport & Health.

For more information and to register online, go to: MedStarNRH.org/SuperH5K

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 orthopedic 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
M: 571-218-7594
[email protected]

Third Generation ZeroG® Installed at MedStar NRH

 

MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital welcomed the latest ZeroG® technology to its arsenal of rehabilitation devices. The Aretech ZeroG® robotic body-weight support system was first installed at the hospital in 2008—the first installation worldwide. It quickly became a keystone of rehabilitation services for a variety of patients with a wide range of neuromuscular and orthopaedic diagnoses.

The technology provides dynamic bodyweight support for a host of functional activities including over-ground walking, sit to stand, getting off the floor, and climbing and descending stairs. The device was developed at MedStar NRH by Joseph Hidler, PhD. Today Hidler is CEO of Aretech, a medical device company.

The latest version of ZeroG® boasts some important refinements. “The new device includes the WaveLink communication protocol as an alternate method of controlling the ZeroG® when there is no WiFi signal,” explains Karen Hidler. Therapists utilize hand-held devices to control the interactive balance programs and games that patients experience. The new tool gives them a safe way to quickly switch connections.

A new dynamic fall recovery system called ActiveAssist adapts the dynamic body-weight support that cushions the fall for patients who may need assistance regaining control. “It compensates for those patients who are too weak to easily recover from a fall—and helps keep them feeling confident,” Hidler says. “And the new system restarts the therapy program automatically—therapists don’t have to restart the training session manually.” In addition, the newest version has been built to support heavier patients, up to 450 lbs.

 

Written by Emily Turk.

For Immediate Release

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

MedStar NRH Experts Rehab Bilateral Joint Replacement Patients

Deborah Morgan had bilateral knee replacement surgery by Dr. James Tozzi at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and completed inpatient rehab at MedStar NRH.

Joint replacement is among the most common surgeries in the U.S., with a million procedures performed annually. That number is expected to grow exponentially in the next two decades—with the number of knee replacement surgeries performed each year alone estimated to reach 3.5 million by 2030.

Among these surgeries will be a growing number of simultaneous and staged bilateral joint replacement surgeries—which is fast becoming today’s preferred choice for many men and women. But bilateral joint replacement comes with some special considerations during post-surgery rehabilitation—a challenge the MedStar NRH Inpatient Orthopaedic Program is especially trained to meet.

“Our program team provides rehabilitation services to more than 200 joint replacement patients a year—and that includes both bilateral replacements, as well as an increasing number of revision surgeries. In fact, as patients live longer revision surgery will become more commonplace. By 2030, it’s expected that 190,000 knee replacement revision surgeries will be performed yearly,” says Robert Bunning, MD, clinical director of the program.

Comprehensive Care for Complex Cases

“We have the level of experience that is invaluable for patients—especially those whose recovery is more complex because of chronic health conditions. This high level of skill is particularly important to promote the fullest possible recovery from bilateral joint replacement,” he adds.

“Because we take an integrated, multidisciplinary approach to treatment, we’re very good at managing those chronic health problems—as well as preventing the most serious complications including hip dislocation, blood clots and bowel and bladder issues,” Dr. Bunning says.

“Our team members are sub-specialty therapists with tremendous skill and they have functioned smoothly together for many years. Quite a few of us have worked together for decades.”

While not all patients require inpatient rehabilitation following joint replacement, those undergoing bilateral surgery can benefit from this type of intense care. Patients will spend a minimum of three hours-a-day in therapy during the average week-long stay.

Interdisciplinary Team of Orthopaedic Experts

“The benefit of our inpatient treatment program is our patients’ access to multiple rehab professionals who take an integrated team approach and 24-houra-day coverage to diagnosis and manage any medical issues,” says Sherry Mumma, PT, DPT, ATP/SMS.“We are taking care of the whole patient with a team of

“We are taking care of the whole patient with a team of orthopaedic experts including physical therapists, occupational therapists, nurses, case managers, recreation therapists, nutritionists and social workers,” she explains.

“Our goal is to maximize function and independence so patients will be safe in their home environment. To reach that goal, we work to increase range of motion, strength and endurance,” she adds.

“We understand that recovery from bilateral joint replacement is complex,” says Jennifer Offutt, OT. “So we work collaboratively on the physical, psychological and pharmacological elements of recovery. That includes building confidence because most patients experience fear of falling, of movement and of pain.”

“The team is very cognizant of the importance of controlling pain and promoting rest to help patients engage in therapy."

“Our treatment plan also includes family training, evaluation of patients’ equipment needs—and elimination of barriers they may face in their homes,” Mumma adds. The result is outcomes that exceed national benchmarks.

“We work hand-in-hand with orthopaedic surgeons at a number of facilities such as the Hospital for Special Surgery and with MedStar Health orthopaedic surgeons including Drs. James Tozzi, Evan Argintar, Savyasachi Thakkar, Brian Evans and Mark Zawadsky,” says Dr. Bunning. “These are collegial relationships that truly benefit our patients.

 

Written by Emily Turk.

For Immediate Release

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