Wednesday, January 02, 2008

'Wii'-habilitation center using donated game system to help patients

'Wii'-habilitation center using donated game system to help patients

Regional rehab center had more reasons to celebrate in 2007

By Press Release

When 10-year-old Stephen May was admitted to the Regional Rehabilitation Center at Pitt County Memorial Hospital in 2006, he was suffering from excruciating pain in his left leg. He had been diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and would require intensive rehab therapy. After three weeks of inpatient therapy at the rehab center and continued outpatient therapy, Stephen was able to rejoin his soccer team last spring and was pain free by the end of the year.
Before his stay at PCMH, Stephen had never been an avid player of video games. That all changed during his therapy.
“We discovered that while Stephen was playing videogames in the hospital, he wasn’t focused on the pain,” said Stephen’s dad, Craig May. “The games actually took the pain away.”
After Stephen was discharged, the entire May family – including mom Peggy and Stephen’s six-year-old sister Morgan – decided they wanted to do something for the pediatric rehab department that would benefit other children like Stephen.
“When Stephen was down, the entire family was down, especially Morgan,” said his father. “Stephen is so much better now. We just wanted to do something for the other children that we knew our son would have enjoyed as well.”
That’s when they decided to donate a Nintendo Wii video game system to the rehab center. The only problem was that the systems were few and far between at area stores. Stephen’s dad just happened to be in a store in Knightdale that had just received three systems a couple of hours earlier. There was only one left, and he grabbed it.
After checking with the folks in pediatric rehab, the Mays purchased all of the appropriate accessories and games and delivered the system.
“Our patients are able to use the Wii to improve strength and endurance while at the same time relieve stress and anxiety related to hospitalization,” said Jennifer Brown, pediatric recreation therapist.
In addition to the Wii donation, the Regional Rehabilitation Center has had a lot of reasons to celebrate in 2007. From celebrating its 30th anniversary to being reaccredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), the center has reached two major milestones in one year.
“The Regional Rehabilitation Center is the only center in eastern North Carolina that has physicians with specialty board certifications in spinal cord medicine, pediatric rehabilitation, and brain injury,” said Dr. Daniel Moore, medical director, PCMH physical medicine and rehabilitation, and professor and chair, physical medicine and rehabilitation department at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. “The dedicated specialty treatment units and treatment teams for children and adults recovering from brain injury and spinal cord injury is unique in eastern North Carolina and aids in our patients’ recovery process.”
Since 1977, the inpatient facility has offered a wide range of integrated inpatient and outpatient programs. The 75-bed rehab center specializes in the care of people with stroke, spinal cord injury, acquired brain injury, orthopedic injuries, pediatric injuries and neuromuscular disorders.
In September, CARF International announced that the rehab center at PCMH had been reaccredited for three years for the following programs and services:
· Brain injury inpatient rehab programs (adults)
· Brain injury outpatient rehab programs (adults)
· Brain injury outpatient rehab program (children and adolescents)
· Inpatient rehab programs (adults)
· Inpatient rehab programs (pediatric family-centered)
· Inpatient rehab programs (stroke specialty programs)
· Outpatient medical rehab programs (adults)
· Outpatient medical rehab programs (children and adolescents)
· Spinal cord system of care (adults)
· Employment services: Comprehensive vocational evaluation services
“We have a very dedicated team of professionals who focus on providing high quality rehabilitation services for all of our patients. CARF applies rigorous quality standards to every program that it inspects,” said Martha Dixon, vice president, rehabilitation and behavioral health services. “It is an honor for the Regional Rehabilitation Center to have earned the highest level of excellence from such a prestigious international organization.”
This accreditation will extend through 2010. It represents the highest level of accreditation that can be awarded to an organization and shows PCMH’s substantial conformance to the CARF standards.
CARF is an independent, nonprofit accrediting body whose mission is to promote the quality, value and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process that centers on enhancing the lives of persons served. Founded in 1966 as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, and now known as CARF, the accrediting body establishes consumer-focused standards to help organizations measure and improve the quality of their programs and services.
University Health Systems includes Bertie Memorial Hospital, Chowan Hospital, Heritage Hospital, Outer Banks Hospital, Pitt County Memorial Hospital, Roanoke-Chowan Hospital, Duplin General Hospital and physician practices and is affiliated with the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University.

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