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  • The effects of stroke are diverse and can be profound, affecting a person’s body, mind, and sense of self.  It can immediately change family dynamics down to the very roles in life played by the patient and family members. WGRH’s Stroke Program is “patient-family focused” and responsive to the individual needs of each person served.  An interdisciplinary team of highly qualified professionals closely collaborate with each other as well as with the patient and family members to help restore function and maximize quality of life with an overall challenge to assist the patient to return to a sense of self.  

    The mission of the West Gables Rehabilitation Hospital’s Stroke Program is to provide the highest level of care for our stroke patients by utilizing an interdisciplinary patient-family centered approach that challenges the patient to regain a sense of self.  This mission is observed from the time of the initial assessment in the inpatient rehabilitation department through long term follow-up in the community, which may or may not include outpatient services.

    West Gables Rehabilitation Hospital’s Stroke Program includes inpatient acute rehabilitation and outpatient services.  These services allow for a lifelong follow up of deficits caused by stroke. Continuity of care through the components can be provided by a consistent medical team. West Gables Rehabilitation Hospital (WGRH) is often the destination that patients are sent to from many local primary and comprehensive stroke centers (acute care hospitals) and has actually paired up with Kendall Medical Regional Center as a source for stroke rehabilitation services during their Joint Commission Accreditation process in 2007.

    WGRH’s Stroke Program has a designed team of professionals who work collaboratively to provide quality stroke rehabilitation services.  The physiatrist is the designated team leader who prescribes a rehabilitation program specifically designed for each patient.  An interdisciplinary team conference (where patients attend and families are welcomed) occurs at least weekly, which provides the mechanism for coordination of care and addresses changes in the physical, emotional, social and vocational status of each patient.  Goals are documented in the individual admission assessment that is utilized for subsequent team conferences. Team members include:  physicians, nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech therapists, case managers, respiratory therapists, dieticians, and neuro-psychologists.  

    All staff working with stroke patients receives on-going education and training to better advance our services and the outcomes of patients.  Competency testing to all direct care providers occurs at time of orientation and annually.  Techniques and technology that is utilized by our staff include: Neuro IFRAH, NDT, PNF, Partial Body Weight Support Gait Training, Bioness,  and Vital Stim Experia.  We also have a highly trained neuropsychology department that provides aggressive 1:1 cognitive rehab treatment to assist patients in their recovery.  Their approach is a functional approach whereby the results from their initial battery of tests are immediately put into play into the interdisciplinary treatments.

    Resources for Patients:

    Weekly Stroke Education Orientation:

    Led by our Speech Therapy team, our weekly bilingual stroke educational orientation provides attendees a general orientation to stroke and a forum to ask questions regarding stroke.  Our stroke orientation is open to all patients, families and the general community and is offered on: Tuesdays at 230pm in Spanish and on Thursdays at 230pm in English in the first floor dining room.  

    Monthly Stroke Q&A Session with our Medical Director:

    Led by our stroke medical director, Dr. Brad Herskowitz, our monthly bilingual Q&A Session provides attendees a general forum to ask questions directly to our stroke medical director who is a board certified neurologist.  Dr. Herskowitz will also present on a different topic each month.

    Technology Available at West Gables for Stroke Rehabilitation:

    Bioness L300 – The Bioness L300 is a functional neuromuscular electrical stimulation device that helps the patient clear his or her foot during walking to avoid dragging the foot. The device also assists patients in regaining the ability to properly contract the muscles around the foot to allow for a faster recovery after stroke and thus prevent an abnormal walking pattern which might become present after stroke.

    Vital Stim & Vital Stim Experia – The Vital Stim and Vital Stim Experia are neuromuscular electrical stimulation devices that are used to assist the patient in relearning how to swallow.  It is very common after stroke, for a patient to lose the ability to swallow food or liquids after a stroke.  These devices target the specific cause of this dysfunction and teach patients to regain this lost function.  The Experia also utilizes a form of biofeedback to assist with the learning process.

    Lite Gait – The Lite Gait is a device that is used to suspend the patient after suffering a stroke in a harness and thus provide an environment that is safe to stand and walk.  There is a lot of research that has demonstrated that it is essential to challenge lost mobility through the form of actual practice as quickly as possible after stroke.  Such training will challenge the patient to regain the ability to walk after a stroke.