I know from personal experience what it’s like to have a health event that changes what you can do. For me, it was breaking my pelvis in three places in my twenties. All of a sudden things I took for granted I could not do. Even though my injuries were temporary, I still needed help relearning how to do things and getting back on my feet. Whether you are temporarily or permanently changed due to a health issue, PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center’s new Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit has advanced features designed to help you recover as quickly as you can.

“PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center is both a Level II Trauma Center as well as an award-winning Comprehensive Stroke Center,” says Cornelia (Conny) Miller, RN, CRRN, rehab services manager. “The patients benefitting from Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation are those that require intensive interdisciplinary services following their stay in the Trauma, Neurosciences, as well as other hospital units.” Patients also come from other settings throughout the community. The new rehab unit has 14 private rooms that are oversized to make them easy to navigate for all patients. “Having a newly updated inpatient rehab unit allows for patients in Clark County to continue to have access to professional inpatient therapy services in their home community close to their family and community support,” she adds.

Services Provided

Photo courtesy: Peace Health

The Rehab Unit provides intensive therapy for those who, due to health issues, can no longer perform day to day tasks. “The therapy is performed while under the supervision and care of Rehabilitation physicians and Specialty care trained nurses,” explains Conny. The therapy provision consists of three hours of Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and/ or Speech Therapy each day five to six days per week. The goal of rehab is to allow for functional recovery for a safe discharge back into the community.”

The new rehab unit will offer a full range of services, each performed by a therapy team member who focuses in that area of therapy. Having individuals who are experts in one area supports the goal to maximize the patient’s independence, Conny says. Some of the services they provide include:

  • Physical Therapy: addressing mobility limitations such as walking, balance and getting out of bed.
  • Occupational Therapy: addressing activities people do throughout a normal day, such as getting dressed, bathing and meal preparation.
  • Speech Therapy: addressing communications skills, safely swallowing and any cognitive impairments.

Each therapist works with the others as a team to create functional goals for the patient for a safe discharge back into the community. “A personalized interdisciplinary care plan is developed for every patient to meet their goals via a variety of interventions,” explains Conny. “These even include access to a therapy pool that allows the patient to perform tasks supported by water that they otherwise could not attempt.”

Updated Features

The new unit is an update to PeaceHealth Southwest’s current one, which has been serving the community for nearly 25 years. Patients will benefit from state-of-the-art modality equipment, including electrical stimulation devices that trigger muscular activity that has weakened following an injury.

A ceiling mounted walking harness will help those re-learning how to walk or how to balance. In addition, there will be a bariatric patient room with specialized lift equipment.

In their rooftop therapy garden, you will find a specially equipped car.  Getting in and out of a vehicle is an important task to practice and master for many patients. “We are very excited for the unit’s therapy garden that will allow the patients to enjoy the outdoor space with their families,” Conny explains, “it also provides an opportunity for the patient to walk on a grassy surface and work on tasks they enjoy, like gardening.”

Photo courtesy: Peace Health

An Activities of Daily Life (ADL) suite will allow patients to learn how to function at home, while still being in a safe and supported location. They can practice being independent and even problem solve before being left alone at home. “This suite includes a functioning kitchen for patients to perform cooking tasks with the support and supervision of a therapist that incorporates the patient’s impairment with a high focus on patient safety,” adds Conny.

There will also be technology for vision and cognition therapy. These new and improved features of the unit will be wonderful resources for many patients to come, and we are excited and proud to serve our community in our new location,” says Conny.

Opening Blessing

Photo courtesy: Peace Health
Photo courtesy: Peace Health

The new Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit at PeaceHealth Southwest was dedicated with a blessing ceremony on August 2. They took the time to honor and thank the generous community members that contributed to during the fundraising campaign for the new unit. Patients are expected to move onto the new unit in late August.

A physician referral is required to begin the admission process. To learn more, visit the PeaceHealth Southwest website or call 360-514-2000.


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