Holiday Ball Proceeds to Help Fund Moore Regional Rehab Village
The following is the second in a series of three stories about the FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital Auxiliary's Holiday Ball.
BY BRENDA BOUSER
Special to The Pilot
Close your eyes and imagine the front porch of a quaint little cottage with attractive windows and an inviting front door. Just inside there is a small but cozy kitchen.
Imagine also a grocery store aisle, a bank ATM and a restaurant booth. Then open your eyes and take a look around.
Instead of finding yourself on the small movie sets that these familiar environments at first resemble, you have made your way into a therapeutic program for patients recovering from stroke, orthopedic surgery or any number of other conditions that have left them with physical or cognitive limitations.
Thanks to the FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital Auxiliary, this Inpatient Rehab Village will soon be a part of the Inpatient Center for Rehabilitation at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital. Auxiliary members have decided that proceeds from their 2010 Holiday Ball, scheduled for Friday, Dec. 10, at the Carolina Hotel, will go to the project, which is designed to help inpatient rehab patients return to the activities of daily living.
"We are honored and humbled by the ability to meet the hospital's core purpose, 'to care for people,' through the services we offer and the skillful care of our nursing and therapy staff," says Bruce Solomon, D.O., medical director for FirstHealth Rehabilitation Services. "With the generous support from the Auxiliary, we will be able to improve our patient outcomes and return our patients to their home and their loved ones."
The concept of a rehab village is not new; some rehabilitation centers have had similar programs for at least a decade. But they have become increasingly important as insurance and Medicare reimbursements have limited lengths of stay for patients in inpatient rehabilitation facilities.
As a result, there's rarely enough time for the community outings - to banks, grocery stores and restaurants - that once were offered as routine therapies by many inpatient rehab programs. Now, therapists are making use of simulated environments to support inpatient programs that help reintroduce patients to the activities of daily living in community settings.
According to Linda DeYoung, administrative director of FirstHealth Rehabilitation Services, participating in the therapies in the Inpatient Rehab Village should help reduce the anxieties that rehab patients feel about going home.
"It will help them adapt to normal day-to-day activities," she says.
Cindy Sayce, director of inpatient rehabilitation, hopes the Inpatient Rehab Village will also create a comfortable environment that will help make therapy more enjoyable for participating patients.
"We always want to make therapy fun, and we want it to be meaningful at the same time," she says. "We want to provide a 'home environment' that will make our patients feel like they're one step closer to returning home when they come here."
With its location at the entrance to the Center for Inpatient Rehabilitation, the program's "front porch" will also give the unit a more inviting look.
"The new entrance will be visible from the front lobby and create a nice image," Sayce says. "This will help bring awareness to our unit and may give patients and their families more hope, realizing that they may be able to go home again."
Auxiliary Chair Ann Marie Thornton calls the Rehab Village project "a fabulous idea."
"The tradition of the Auxiliary is to help make the experience of being in the hospital as pleasant as it can be," she says, "and our Rehab Village will provide a welcoming and reassuring environment for patients. We have an outstanding rehab center that is known for its short lengths of stay with excellent success, so we'll be taking a very strong service area of the hospital and improving it."
The Inpatient Center for Rehabilitation at Moore Regional Hospital is staffed with specialized rehab physicians, nurses and therapists, social workers and admission coordinators, and provides physical, occupational and speech-language therapy to patients with a variety of diagnoses. During fiscal year 2009, the Center provided care to 547 patients or about 18 a day. Most (65 percent) were recovering from a stroke or an orthopedic procedure, such as bilateral hip or knee replacement.
Cardiac, amputation, brain injury, debilitation and spinal cord patients accounted for the remaining 35 percent.
Seventy-nine percent of those patients were well enough at discharge to return to a community setting (either home or assisted living). That's a better success rate than either the region or the nation, according to the not-for-profit Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation.
Brenda Bouser works with the corporate communications office of FirstHealth of the Carolinas.
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