Rehabilitation at CRMC:
Helping to Put You Back in Control
In the immediate aftermath of an injury or the sudden onset of serious illness, patients often are completely dependent on others to take care of them. Rehabilitation can make a difference. It puts recovery back in your hands -- and many patients end up surprising themselves and their caregivers with their progress.
Corona Regional Medical Center offers three types of rehabilitation services: Acute, Sub-Acute and Outpatient.
Acute Rehabilitation provides comprehensive, intensive therapy for patients who have experienced trauma, illness or extensive surgery and can take part in at least three hours of daily therapy activities.
The program is made up of physical, occupational and speech therapists, social workers, case managers, dietitians, neuropsychologists and rehabilitation nurses. Patients receive focused, individualized care in an intimate, 10-room facility. They usually stay from 10 to 14 days.
"The nurses and therapists here are trained in rehabilitation medicine. This includes specialized therapy techniques like VitalStim® swallowing therapy, which is used by speech therapists. It uses tiny electrical impulses to help retrain the swallowing muscles," says Deb Adams, Director, Rehabilitation Services. "To supplement our rehabilitation program, we also have a neuropsychologist who specializes in brain-behavior relationships and patients' emotional responses to life-changing events."
Overseeing all medical care for acute rehab patients is Medical Director Gigi Thomas, MD, a rehabilitation physician who passionately believes that every patient deserves a chance. "I'm particularly proud that we've been able to help patients who were rejected from other facilities, as was the case with a few of our brain injury patients who ended up doing very well," she says.
Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.
"Our goal is to provide a safe, homelike environment for these patients and support their families in every way we can," says Alvin Munoz, Nursing Director for both the Acute and Sub-Acute Rehabilitation Units. "We also continually assess patients to see if they've improved enough to transition to acute rehab."
This past June, the Sub-Acute Unit earned high ratings from state surveyors, who found that the facility was 100-percent compliant with all governmental regulations.
"It's almost like working in a labor and delivery unit, because we're witnesses to a process that, in some ways, is just as powerful as birth," Mr. Munoz says. "Many patients sometimes are carried in on gurneys, but by the time they leave, they're walking and talking."
Outpatient Rehabilitation follows Acute Rehabilitation. It provides physical, occupational and speech therapies for patients who need additional rehabilitation.
"We are the only rehabilitation hospital in southwestern Riverside County that provides both acute and sub-acute care. Because the CRMC Rehabilitation Hospital provides both levels of care in one location, a patient can progress at his or her own pace without changing the environment," Ms. Adams notes. "The program also allows us to take part in some amazing success stories -- like the 21-year-old woman who recovered completely from a car accident and is now studying to become a therapist herself."
One Patient's Story ...One morning last May, Remias Deasis, 68, had a stroke -- followed by a stroke of good luck. His son, Frank, recognized the symptoms and rushed his father to CRMC within the hour. "By lunchtime, he was already receiving therapy," Frank says.
Mr. Deasis spent about three weeks in CRMC'S Acute Rehabilitation Unit receiving intensive physical, speech and occupational therapy and making dramatic improvements. "Within a week, he was walking on his own, and his speech was much clearer," his son notes. "Today, he's back at home and receiving outpatient therapy at CRMC, and he continues to improve."