Serving the Patients of Today, Training the Physicians of Tomorrow

As Memorial Healthcare System prepared to launch its Graduate Medical Education program with its first “Match Day” of its inaugural class, Memorial Rehabilitation Institute filled four Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-accredited residency slots in physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) for the program’s first post-graduate year.

“Our residents-to-program matching was very rigorous, and we did very well,” said Douglas A. Zaren, FACHE, Administrator and CEO, Memorial Regional Hospital South. “We look forward to matching 12 more to get to a full complement of 16 residents in the program.”

The PM&R program will train residents to care for patients with a variety of disabilities and impairments – from trauma, strokes, or brain and spinal cord injuries, for example – and medically complex conditions, to maximize their functional abilities and improve their quality of life.

Memorial Rehabilitation Institute provides the full range of inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation treatments in a post-acute care network that offers support at every stage of care. The Institute’s approach to post-acute treatment and its resulting outcomes have made it a destination for advanced and complex acute rehabilitation. Some of its innovative programs include:

Finding that Families Are “FIT” to Help

Memorial places a strong emphasis on involving families with their loved ones’ rehabilitative care – especially after discharge home. The Family in Training, or FIT, program is an example of how Memorial helps speed the recovery of physically and neurologically impaired patients by enlisting the family as a pre-emptive safeguard against falls.

FIT provides family members with therapist-assisted training in helping a patient walk, manage a wheelchair, and transfer from bed to a chair or a toilet. Once family members have achieved competence in all those areas, they receive a bright orange FIT wristband to wear – which many do with pride.

From the initiation of the program in June 2017 through the end of February in 2018, the program enrolled 101 participants – with only one family-related fall and one discharge to a skilled nursing facility taking place during that time.

“By increasing families’ confidence to prevent falls, FIT has made a significant improvement in patients’ lives,” Mr. Zaren said.

EQUADR Equals Quality Improvement

To help drive its quality and safety and ensure transparency on performance, Memorial Rehabilitation Institute joined the Exchanged Quality Data for Rehabilitation (EQUADR) – the first rehabilitation-specific quality database in the US – in 2015. EQUADR was created by Carolinas Rehabilitation to help rehabilitation institutes improve quality by sharing benchmark data and by developing a network to communicate ideas, information and best practices.

Since joining EQUADR, Memorial Rehabilitation Institute has seen its:

  • Unassisted fall rate decrease by 23 percent
  • C-diff infection rates decrease by 52 percent
  • Hospital-acquired pressure ulcers and methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections drop to zero
“Memorial Rehabilitation Institute joined Exchanged Quality Data for Rehabilitation not just to have access to data that will help us maintain our already excellent performance levels of safety and quality, but to communicate our practices to other rehabilitation-specific providers.”
Alan K. Novick, MD

Medical Director, Memorial Rehabilitation Institute

“Safe to Drive” Helps Patients Reclaim Their Lives

Strokes, brain injuries and progressive conditions that are causing physical, motor or cognitive changes – or changes in vision and perception – can all affect a person’s ability to drive safely.

Memorial’s Safe to Drive program provides clinical evaluations and on-the-road assessments to help rehabilitation patients regain their driving independence. In addition to certifying that patients are safe to drive, the program provides recommendations for adaptive vehicles and links to community transportation.

Since its inception in 2016, Safe to Drive has helped 53 rehabilitation patients get back on the road again.

Expo Helps Adaptive Athletes “Live Their Max”

The Fourth Annual Adaptive Sports and Recreation Expo kicked off on March 31 in Markham Park with more than 200 adaptive sports athletes participating. The Expo offered adaptive activities like fishing, sailing, waterskiing, rugby, hand cycling and more, in a family-friendly event that invited adaptive athletes and their loved ones to “Go Beyond.”

“A day like today gives the opportunity not only for the individual who’s physically challenged to do activities like these, but for the entire family to celebrate the patient’s success,” said Alan Novick, MD, Medical Director, Memorial Rehabilitation Institute.

“The Expo reminds patients that they can live active lives even after a traumatic injury,” said Ray Shipman, Director, Business Development, Sports Medicine and Adaptive Sports.

Sports Medicine Includes Dance – And All Movement

Physiatrist Kathleen Davenport, MD, joined Memorial Rehabilitation Institute as a specialist in sports, performing arts and dance medicine. A dancer herself, Dr. Davenport serves as the company physician for the Miami City Ballet. At Memorial, she treats a wide variety of athletes – soccer players, figure skaters, runners, swimmers, cheerleaders, gymnasts, tennis players, baseball and softball players – as well as musicians and vocalists.

As a member of Memorial Rehabilitation Institute’s Sports Medicine team, Dr. Davenport will also lend her expertise to Memorial’s Graduate Medical Education program.

“Memorial Rehabilitation Institute is a true destination for rehabilitation services because we take patients who are coping with difficult conditions and help them achieve incredible outcomes. When you put the right physicians, medical managers, nurses, therapists and family-centered care all in the same equation, you get the power of what we do for our patients.”
Douglas A. Zaren, FACHE

Administrator and Chief Executive Officer, Memorial Regional Hospital South

Edward Says Memorial Rehabilitation Institute Wouldn’t Let Him Fail

The team and staff at Memorial made sure that I didn't fail. They wouldn't let me fail.

The care Edward received at Memorial Rehabilitation Institute helped him go beyond his limitations after a car accident resulted in a spinal cord injury that left him unable to walk. As his Memorial team worked with him, Edward says they always kept him and his family informed about his progress, focusing on his future.

Today, Edward can do much more than he initially imagined. After his rehabilitation, he and his wife started a family. Edward can work, drive and is involved in recreational activities.

“The Memorial team takes that personal interest in you,” he said. “They want to make sure that you and your family get back to the way life used to be or as close to it as you can.”