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Published on May 05, 2014

Neurological rehab at Mercy Fizgerald Hospital

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stroke ptMercy Fitzgerald Hospital’s acute rehabilitation facility is a place where patients with varying neurological conditions can receive a high level of daily rehab care before they go home.

Patients admitted to acute rehab are typically those recovering from a stroke, from brain or spine surgeries or who have Parkinson’s or multiple sclerosis, says Pasquale Colavita, DO, a physiatrist at the program, which is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.

“We work as an interdisciplinary team,” explains Dr. Colavita. “Rehab physicians, physical and occupational therapists, speech pathologists and specialized rehab nurses specifically address patients’ mobility and activities of daily living, as well as any neurological deficits they may have.” For stroke patients, a big focus of inpatient rehab is cognitive therapy, he says, as well as mobility support and balance training to prevent falls.

After they are discharged, patients continue to receive outpatient neurological rehab at the Sister Marie Lenahan Wellness Center, just across the street from Mercy Fitzgerald.

“We’ve had a number of patients who were in a wheelchair for several years, and after working with us, they progressed to walking short distances with a walker,” says Ann Driscoll, PT, DPT, NCS, a neurological clinical specialist. “Another patient could not walk up steps; we helped him do that. The work we do can make a difference in allowing people to improve their mobility.”

Dr. Colavita agrees that patients benefit from the continuum of care Mercy offers.

“We evaluate patients initially on the acute side of the hospitalization; then we move them to the Rehab Unit and then continue to work with them once discharged back into the community,” he says. “We can see the progress they make at each step of the way.”

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