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HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital’s Brain Injury Program Achieves Remarkable Outcomes
By Nancy Kennedy

Andrew BeaulieuAndrew Beaulieu, 24, has no memory of the head-on collision that slammed him against a knob on the door in his girlfriend’s car, shattering his skull and landing him in the Intensive Care Unit. The healthcare financial counselor and part-time graduate student from Steubenville does recall, however, his 14 day stay at HealthSouth Harmarville Rehabilitation Hospital, where superbly skilled therapists guided him through a rigorous, meticulous and highly individualized Brain Injury Rehabilitation program.

“Everyone at HealthSouth was super nice,” says Andrew. “They pushed me and I pushed myself. I had occupational therapy first, then speech therapy in the morning; in the afternoon I had two sessions of physical therapy, with a rest in between. It was hard work.”

Outcomes such as Andrew’s depend on multiple factors: the type and location of the injury; the patient’s general health; the degree of engagement; the quality of the rehabilitation and the patient and family support.

“Rehabilitation is not something that a healthcare professional can do to you, or give to you. You have to do it. We give you the tools and encouragement but rehabilitation is absolutely the patient’s achievement,” says Scott Bleakley, M.S.P.T., Ph.D., associate regional director of therapy operations at HealthSouth Sewickley.

At HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospitals in Sewickley and Harmarville, specialized therapy programs provide state-of-the-art treatment that helps patients achieve the best possible outcomes. The excellent quality of these programs has earned HealthSouth a prestigious credential: the Joint Commission Disease-Specific Care Certification, the gold standard of accreditation. This designation means that the hospital meets or exceeds national standards and uses evidence-based clinical practice guidelines in the delivery of care.

One program that is achieving such remarkable outcomes is the program that aided Andrew in his recovery, the Brain Injury Rehabilitation program, which serves patients who have experienced traumatic brain injuries resulting from car accidents, sports, stroke or other causes.

“Our Brain injury program is unique in several important ways,” says Bleakley. “The program has a dedicated medical and rehabilitation program with a multidisciplinary, patient-centered approach. Our team is diverse and includes physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, a psychiatrist, neurologist, physical medicine and rehabilitation physician, internal medicine physician, dietitian, pharmacist, rehabilitation nurses, social worker and case manager. The most important member of the team is the patient.”

Scott Bleakley, M.S.P.T., Ph.DThe Brain Injury team utilizes the most advanced technology and is deeply experienced, Bleakley says; the team provides an exceptional amount and intensity of therapy, tailored to each patient according to his or her needs and goals.

“The patient sets the goals,” explains Bleakley. “When a patient is admitted, we begin with a complete assessment and discussion with the patient and family to identify goals. We help break down the overall goal into smaller, more achievable parts. We engage the family immediately, and schedule a family education meeting within five days of admission. The average length of stay is 18 days, and patients participate in up to 4.5 hours of therapy every day.”

Still, though, there is enormous satisfaction for the Brain Injury professionals at HealthSouth, says Bleakley, who has worked there for 22 years.

“Most patients do very well; 90% of our brain injury patients are ready to return home at discharge,” added Bleakley. “We celebrate our patient’s achievements with an annual reunion event; we get to see their progress and share thanks for their accomplishments.”

HealthSouth Sewickley and HealthSouth Harmarville provide exceptional rehabilitation services and are the facilities of choice for persons who are seeking rehabilitation for themselves or a family member. While many healthcare facilities claim that they provide rehabilitation services, HealthSouth Sewickley and Harmarville are freestanding rehabilitation hospitals with programs specifically designed for Brain Injury, Parkinson’s disease, Stroke, Amputees, Diabetics and others.

“Acute in-patient rehabilitation is a different level of care,” says Bleakley, “and we are a Joint Commission-certified program, which indicates the highest level of care available. People in need of rehabilitation services should look for that credential to get the best rehabilitation services.”
Andrew Beaulieu is grateful for his experience at HealthSouth Harmarville and the dedicated team of experts who helped him return to enjoying an independent life with his family and friends.

“I have only positive things to say about my time there. My recovery went faster than expected and they told me it was remarkable. A piece of my skull has been removed and will be replaced with titanium, so I still have surgery ahead of me, but I’m doing well thanks to the therapists at HealthSouth.”

For more information, visit www.healthsouthsewickley.com or www.healthsouthharmarville.com.

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