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Team Concept Leads HealthSouth Harmarville
By Ron Paglia

"Each patient is different and it's important that everyone on our staff has input in evaluating what works for the individual we are treating." -Thomas A. Franz

Ask him about the importance of teamwork in treating patients and Thomas A. Franz, M.D., will tell you its more than just a buzz word at HealthSouth Harmarville Rehabilitation Hospital at 320 Guys Run Road in Indiana Township. Much more.

"Our physicians, nurses and therapists definitely work as a team in assessing the needs of our patients," Dr. Franz, medical director and director of brain injury services at HealthSouth Harmarville, said. "Each patient is different and it's important that everyone on our staff has input in evaluating what works for the individual we are treating. We take great pride in our staff's training, experience, knowledge and capabilities in jointly determining the care of our patients."

Those services include, but are not limited to, physical, occupational and speech therapy and psychological aspects of treating patients.

HealthSouth Harmarville Rehabilitation Hospital is a 202-bed acute rehabilitation facility offering comprehensive inpatient, outpatient and home health services. In 1954 HealthSouth Harmarville became the first comprehensive inpatient rehabilitation facility in western Pennsylvania. With more than 2,000 patients treated annually, it remains one of the largest acute inpatient rehabilitation centers in the country and is the only freestanding rehabilitation hospital between Chicago and New York City.

Dr. Franz, who also serves as president and CEO of ChoiceCare Physicians, PC, is a specialist in the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation with a focus on brain injury rehabilitation, spinal cord injury and controlling spasticity (disorders of the body motor system, specifically the central nervous system.

HealthSouth Harmarville is one of the facilities operated by HealthSouth Metropolitan Hospitals of Pittsburgh.

A physician since 1987 who received his Medical Degree at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN, Dr. Franz has seen many advancements and enhancements in his profession, especially in his specialty areas.

"It's truly amazing how technology has leaped forward to address the needs of individuals affected by stroke, brain or spinal cord injury, amputation and neurological disorders," he said. "We are able to do far more than we might have dreamed 10 or 15 years ago."

A prime example of cutting-edge technology in the rehabilitation process at HealthSouth is the AutoAmbulator™, an innovative therapeutic device designed to help rehabilitate patients who experience difficulty walking.

Similar computer-based technology also advances treatment of patients with speech disorders.

As an acute care rehabilitation hospital, HealthSouth Harmarville offers a "more intense regimen and higher level of care" such as greater physician involvement and therapy time as well as increased availability of pharmacy and laboratory services.

"Our team approach engages rehabilitation experts from many disciplines and includes the latest technology for an advanced continuum of care for our patients," Dr. Franz said. "We work with the patients' primary care physicians to coordinate care, provide early intervention and treatment and help each patient reach his or her maximum potential."

For more information about HealthSouth Harmarville or other HealthSouth Metropolitan Hospitals of Pittsburgh, contact Ann M. Ciotoli at (412) 826-2707 or E-mail: Ann.Ciotoli@healthsouth.com.

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