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Bigger and better to serve you: NCH Rehabilitation Care Unit opens in July

June 13, 2018

The NCH Rehabilitation Care Unit has expanded from 17 to 33 private patient rooms with an additional state-of-the art therapy gym and dining area.

Stephen Hoefler, a 58-year-old brain surgery patient, practices driving a mock automobile in the new rehab unit at NCH.

The Rehabilitation Care Unit Team helps ease the transition home for patients following an inpatient hospital stay who still require close medical oversight and would benefit from goal-oriented, personalized therapy.

Research shows after an inpatient rehabilitation stay, patients:

  • are more likely to return home sooner
  • achieve higher levels of independence
  • are less likely to be readmitted to the hospital

At the NCH Rehabilitation Care Unit, patients receive:

  • close medical oversight with 24/7 attention by nurses and doctors specializing in rehab
  • individualized, goal-directed therapy and education for patient and family success at home
  • ongoing collaboration by a treatment team (physicians, nurses, therapists and a social worker) to address each patient’s unique barriers to returning home
  • on-site availability of NCH award-winning doctors, specialists and medical services

Besides patients reporting high satisfaction when compared to similarly sized units, patients are discharged with higher functional gains (closer to returning back to normal); they’re safer, with fewer falls and infections; and they benefit from lower unplanned returns to acute care.

Patient success stories

Andrew Sansardo, center, poses with the NCH Rehabilitation Care Unit Team.

Andrew Sansardo spent seven days in the rehab unit after double knee replacement surgery. He worked with physical and occupational therapists before transitioning to outpatient rehab.

“There’s an NCH difference – it’s compassion, going the extra mile and making sure patients not only have the best information but the best life moving forward,” Andrew says.

Rahul Sharma, M.D., Medical Director for the NCH Rehabilitation Care Unit helped Andrew with his recovery.

“What impressed me about Andrew from the get-go was his enthusiasm to get better and be involved in his care,” Dr. Sharma says. “My goals were to help Andrew through his recovery, getting his pain under control, managing any swelling he experienced as the knees and tissues healed, and helping restore stability to his knees, legs and entire body.”

Stroke patient Jocelyn Floyd also benefited from a stay in the unit. Jocelyn spent time in the ICU, neurology recovery inpatient unit, and then inpatient rehab during a six-week stay at the hospital followed by outpatient rehab. I got great support from everyone at the hospital and rehab,” Jocelyn says. “I did physical therapy, occupational and speech therapy.”

Prior to experiencing a fall, a 71-year-old male patient was independent, requiring no help or device to walk. But the fall unfortunately injured his spinal cord, resulting in quadriparesis (loss of sensory and motor ability affecting all four limbs).

“When he came to us, he had very little control or strength in his arms and legs and required total assistance to walk, get up from a bed, dress, and bathe,” explains NCH Clinical Liaison Lori Festenstein. “He was so weak that he couldn’t even hold a pen to write his name.”

Six weeks later, he gained so much strength that he could get around with the use of a walker, advancing 300 feet with someone touching him lightly for extra safety. He was able to complete his lower body dressing and bathing by himself with supervision, and able to sign his own release forms.”

Specialized attention from doctors, nurses and therapists in the unit ensures patients make good progress toward recovery. From getting out of bed to walking, cooking, dressing and eating, patients engage in a variety of activities to regain their independence and return home.

Learn more about the NCH Rehabilitation Care Unit, or call 847-618-6716.

See Andrew’s story on WGN-TV and Jocelyn’s story on our website.