National Rehab Awareness Week is Sept. 16-22, which makes this an ideal time to highlight the impact that Kindred’s RehabCare Division has on our patients. The country’s largest provider of rehab services, RehabCare offers physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language therapy to more than 2,100 facilities in 46 states. “Many of our patients are critically ill and are on ventilators or have trachs [tracheostomies],” says Vienna Lafrenz, OTR/L, CLT, Director of Clinical Operations - West Region, RehabCare. “We also treat a lot of medically complex patients who have multiple diagnoses or conditions.”RehabCare Logo

RehabCare provides services across the care continuum. “Because we’re involved in inpatient, subacute, long-term acute care, home health, skilled nursing, and outpatient settings, we can follow the patient all the way from acute care admission to home,” Lafrenz says. “We celebrate successful progress with our ‘Celebrate Success’ program, which allows patients to see their progress over time.”

In addition to providing traditional therapy, RehabCare also offers alternative or complementary therapies in many of its settings. “We often combine Eastern medicine treatments with Western medicine,” says Lafrenz. “For example, we sometimes use acupressure in addition to pain medications to relieve pain, or aromatherapy to lessen the side effects of chemotherapy. When Eastern and Western medicine are combined, the results can be phenomenal.”

According to Lafrenz, RehabCare invests a lot in staff training and clinical support. “Therapists have access to continuing education training and resources and clinical expertise through the division’s Clinical Ladder/Mentor Program,” she says. “If a new therapist is treating someone with a spinal cord injury for the first time, he or she can e-mail questions to our Clinical Ladder Team and can get 25 to 30 responses within a day. This is particularly helpful for newer therapists in rural areas who may not have other therapists on site with which to confer.”

By Sophia Kroon