All posts by Angelo Antoline

Diabetes, Diet & Exercise

For many, a healthy diet and regular exercise are self-prescribed ways to feel better. But for people with diabetes, diet and exercise are key to managing the disorder.

If you have diabetes, be sure to speak to your doctor about developing a healthcare plan that balances what you eat with regular physical activity.
When reviewing your diet, consider creating meal plans that include foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, such as:

  • Beans
  • Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
  • Citrus Fruit Nuts
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Fish High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  • Tomatoes
  • Nuts
  • Whole Grains
  • Milk and Yogurt
  • Berries

When it comes to adding exercise to your plan, a combination of both aerobic exercise and resistance training can have the most positive effect on glucose levels. Aerobic exercises help your body use insulin better, while resistance (or strength) training makes your body more sensitive to insulin and can lower blood glucose.

Examples of aerobic exercises include brisk walking, dancing, biking or hiking – anything that helps get your heart rate up. Strength training exercises can be done by lifting weights, using resistance bands, or using your own body weight to do squats, push-ups, or lunges.

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3 Stretches for a Good Morning

Can’t quite wake up in the morning?

A few good stretches can help you relieve muscle tension, increase circulation, and even help release endorphins (those hormones that make you feel good).
“Wake up” your muscles and add a little energy to your mornings with these three stretches below*:

  1. Knees to Chest
    This stretch lengthens tight lower back muscles and can decrease back pain. Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent and both feet flat on the floor or bed. Brings your hands to rest either behind the knees or right below the knee caps. Slowly bring both knees toward your     chest using both hands to gently pull the knees inward. Hold 20-30 seconds, return to start position.
  2. Upward Stretch
    Lace your fingers together and raise your hands above your head, palms facing upward. Elongate your spine and feel the stretch in your ribcage and arms. Hold for a count of 10.
  3. Neck and Shoulder Stretch
    To stretch the muscles on the right side of your neck, turn your left ear over to your left shoulder and hold for 20 seconds. Repeat on the other side to stretch out your left side. Relax for a moment and then roll your shoulders to the back, and then to the front. Then lift them up to your ears, tensing the muscles, and allow them to drop completely.

As a reminder, always check with your doctor first to make sure these exercises are safe for you.

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Treating Chronic Pain with Physical Therapy

We’ve probably all experienced the nuisance of minor pain. You get a sinus headache, you reach for a decongestant. A backache? Ibuprofen may do the trick.

But for people with chronic pain (it lasts longer than 6 months), the answer may not be as simple. That’s where physical therapy can help.

Physical therapy can help treat not only the pain, but the underlying cause of it as well. Physical therapy can help decrease pain, increase mobility, and improve overall mood.

There are a number of ways that a physical therapist can help a person manage pain depending upon individual abilities, including:

  • Low-impact aerobics
  • Massage
  • Stretching
  • Use of modalities like ultrasound and electrical stimulation
  • Strengthening exercises
  • Movement therapy

Therapeutic treatments are designed to help a person increase muscle strength, endurance, joint stability, and flexibility. In addition, it can help reduce inflammation, stiffness, and soreness. It encourages the body to heal itself by boosting the production of the body’s natural pain-relieving chemicals.

Now, that seems like a smart move!

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Weekend Warriors – Battle Potential Injuries

Are you a weekend warrior?

Check “yes” if you’re someone who’s physically inactive most of the week, and then approaches exercise on the weekend with the rigor of an elite athlete.

If this is your plan of action when it comes to exercise, you may want to rethink it. Weekend warriors have a higher risk of being injured – both because of overdoing it in a short amount of time and because of poor conditioning.

Reduce your chance of hurting yourself with the following:

  • Realize that exercise doesn’t have to be “all or nothing.” Look for ways to sneak extra movement into your day.
  • Increase activity gradually. The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of exercise a day, 5 days a week. Break this into smaller goals for yourself so you can attain it. If three 10-minute sessions are easier for you to accomplish, then do it.
  • The “best” time of day to exercise is whatever time works for you.
  • Start at a lower intensity, and warm up before beginning an activity.
  • With any sport or exercise, always learn and use proper techniques and follow safety guidelines.
  • Put your workouts into your calendar as appointments. Be sure to keep them.
  • Wear comfortable shoes every day that you can move about easily in no matter where you are or what you’re doing…and then move!
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Hospital Recognized as Providing Higher Standard of Service to Brain Injury Patients

First in New Braunfels to earn Gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission

Canyon Lake native, Shelley Cobb, experienced one of the worst – and one of the better — moments of her life last summer. Her worst was when a motorcycle accident left her with significant disabilities caused by a traumatic brain injury. However, that was followed by a better moment when she recovered enough to attend her daughter Renay’s wedding – which was held at New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital, where Cobb was receiving treatment.

“I didn’t think I was going to see Renay get married,” Cobb says. “The accident put me in a coma, and when I came out of it, I couldn’t speak, walk or even feed myself. That’s when I was transferred to New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital.”

After six weeks of treatment and therapy at the hospital, Cobb sat in the front row and watched Renay walk down the aisle. She even danced a little during the reception. “It’s a day I’ll always be thankful for,” she says.

More than a year later, Cobb says she’s still thankful. “It’s amazing,” she says. “I’m not only back to doing everything I was able to do pre-accident, but I’m doing more. I’ve made a big lifestyle change and now run almost every day on the treadmill at the gym.”

Cobb is one of numerous patients who have received rehabilitation at New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital following a brain injury. The hospital recently became the first in New Braunfels to earn The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for brain injury rehabilitation. Certification is voluntary and given after a rigorous on-site review of the hospital’s practices, programs, and outcomes in treating brain injury patients.

“We take our responsibility to providing the highest quality of brain injury rehabilitation to the community very seriously.” says Kara Adams, Director of Patient Outcomes at New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital. “We know that rehabilitation following this type of injury can enhance a patient’s recovery process and minimize disabilities. It has a large effect on the patient’s ongoing quality of life.”

At New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital, a multi-disciplinary team provides treatments that include physical, speech and occupational therapy; dysphagia management; brain injury education; neuropsychology counseling; home evaluations; caregiver training; home health services; community reintegration; and more.

“The physical, cognitive, and psychological effects of brain injuries vary, so early treatment is important in recovery,” says Dr. Maria Lomba, Medical Director of New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital. “Treatment can help with immediate needs like eating and swallowing issues, while meeting long-term needs as well. Long-term needs can include memory, problem-solving, motor skill, social and behavioral issues. We want to help our patients reach the highest level of independence and productivity so they can go home and return to as normal of a life as possible.”

Lomba says that an important part of treatment for all brain injury patients is community reintegration. This is where patients are put in real-life situations under the guidance of healthcare professionals so they can learn to successfully navigate everyday situations and be prepared when they are on their own.

When Cobb was a patient at the hospital, a large part of her community reintegration treatment focused on activities to prepare for her daughter’s wedding.

“I didn’t want to miss out on these events that were important to my daughter,” she says. “I went to the jewelry store with Renay to get her ring cleaned before the wedding, and we had our nails done together. I practiced standing and walking, and even tried a bit of dancing.”

In addition to wedding-related activities, the hospital staff also took Cobb to a grocery store as part of her community reintegration. There, she shopped from a list to practice for when she returned home. Before she was discharged, the staff also evaluated her house to ensure her safety.

“Living with a brain injury can be a life changing event for survivors and their family members,” Lomba says. “That’s why we’ve gone the extra mile to earn The Joint Commission’s certification and provide better outcomes for our patients. We want to offer hope and quality of life to our community members who have experienced brain injuries. For many, it’s their only chance at returning back to families, friends and daily routines.”

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Hospitals and Disasters

Are hospitals prepared for disasters?

The short answer is…yes.

All hospitals are required by laws, regulations, or accreditation requirements to plan for disasters.

Hospitals prepare for both internal and external disasters. Internal disasters are events that occur inside the hospital building like a fire, flood, or power outage and have potential to affect services.

An external disaster is one like Hurricane Harvey or Irma that occurs outside the hospital. This includes severe weather conditions, chemical incidents, or large-scale community accidents. In these situations, the disaster can affect the operations of the hospital or cause an influx of patients to a hospital, depending on the situation and type of hospital.

Every disaster is different. Hospitals prepare for a variety of situations through ongoing planning and practice. This helps everyone understand what to do and how to do it to ensure patients’ safety and well-being.

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Recognizing a Concussion

With fall around the corner, participation in football and other cooler-weather sports and activities will grow – along with the potential for concussions.

A concussion is a brain injury that’s caused by a blow or jolt to the head or body. Concussion symptoms can occur immediately or days/weeks later. Signs of a concussion can include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Concentration or memory issues
  • Change in sleep habits
  • Feeling sluggish/”foggy”
  • Light sensitivity

Early treatment of the symptoms of a concussion may help speed recovery and prevent further injury down the road. If an incident occurs and you suspect a concussion, ask the person immediately and then again a few minutes later:

  • What day is it?
  • What month is it?
  • Repeat these words: Girl, dog, green (ask to repeat again a few minutes later)
  • Repeat the days of the week backward

If the individual appears confused and is unable to answer these questions, it could be a concussion.
End all activity and consult a physician immediately.

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Improving Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms through Rehabilitation

If you live with multiple sclerosis, rehabilitation can play an essential role in helping you function at your best.

From diagnosis on, rehabilitation specialists such as physical, occupational, and speech therapists can help with symptoms of the condition. These usually include muscle control and weakness – affecting the way you walk, move or talk.
Therapies that can help improve these issues include:

  • Physical Therapy – Physical therapists can evaluate and address how your body moves and functions. Therapists can help you with walking, mobility, strength, balance, posture, pain, fatigue, and bladder issues, helping to prevent unnecessary complications.
  • Occupational Therapy – Occupational therapists can help you with everyday activities to increase your independence, productivity, and safety. They can help you modify tasks, use adaptive equipment, and recommend strategies in the home and work place.
  • Speech Therapy – Speech-language pathologists can evaluate and treat any issues you may be having with speaking or swallowing. Some may also help with cognitive issues, which can affect your ability to think, reason, concentrate or remember.
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10 Early Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

Michael J. Fox was a 29-year-old actor who woke up one morning and noticed his little finger shaking. What he thought was a side effect of a hangover actually was an early symptom of Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s disease is a chronic and progressive movement disorder that has no known cause. Nearly a million people in the United States live with the disease.

Some symptoms of the disease are easy to see, while others are hard even for a trained healthcare professional to detect.
The National Parkinson Foundation offers these 10 early warning signs of Parkinson’s disease:

  1. Tremor or shaking of a body part
  2. Small handwriting – your handwriting changes to become smaller
  3. Loss of smell
  4. Trouble sleeping
  5. Trouble moving or walking
  6. Constipation
  7. Soft or low voice – your voice changes to be softer
  8. Masked or serious look on your face even when you’re not in a bad mood
  9. Dizziness or fainting
  10. Stooping or hunching over

No one symptom necessarily means that you have the disease; the symptom may be caused by another condition. However, if you feel you are experiencing symptoms, don’t hesitate to visit your physician.

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Rehabilitative Care – It’s Not All the Same

When looking for rehabilitative care, you may have heard of inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, assisted living centers, skilled nursing facilities, and nursing homes. While these may seem like equal choices for care, they’re not.

Each of the facilities mentioned above has rehabilitation professionals on staff, but only one – the rehabilitation hospital – specializes in rehabilitation, offering 24-hour rehabilitative nursing care, along with daily physician management and intensive rehabilitation therapies.

So, why is this important?

Simply put, when it comes to your health, you want the best option provided.

A national study commissioned by the ARA Research Institute shows that patients treated in inpatient rehabilitation hospitals have better long-term results than those treated in skilled nursing facilities.
The study shows that patients:

  • Live longer
  • Have less hospital and ER visits
  • Remain longer in their homes without additional outpatient services

In addition, patients in the study:

  • Returned home from their initial stay two weeks earlier
  • Remained home two weeks longer

So the bottom line is, as a patient, you get to choose where you want to go. Don’t ever hesitate to research, observe and ask questions about a facility to be sure you receive the level of rehabilitative care that you want and need.

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Lower Your Stroke Risks this Summer

Summer is a great time for a lot of things – barbecues, outdoor activities, vacations…but what you may not think about when it comes to summer is using all it has to offer to lower your stroke risks.

Strokes – or brain attacks – are the leading cause of adult disabilities in the United States, and can happen to anyone at any time. According to the National Stroke Association, nearly 800,000 people experience strokes every year.

One of the biggest myths regarding strokes is that they can’t be avoided. But in reality, nearly 80 percent of all strokes can be prevented by controlling lifestyle risk factors, or habits that we engage in that can be changed to improve our health.

Summer provides easy-to-find opportunities to lower stroke risks, such as:

  • Buy and eat fresh produce. Visit your local farmer’s market or grocery store to find in-season, fresh fruits and vegetables. Eat them in their natural states.
  • Eat less salt. Eat fresh vegetables versus canned items, and your salt intake will decrease.
  • Visit the beach. Eat more seafood (at the beach or not) instead of red meat.
  • Enjoy the outdoors. Get active outside during the warmer and longer days.
  • Put the cigarettes down. Summer usually is less stressful. Use it to your advantage to try to break the habit.
  • Shoot for your healthy weight. Healthy eating and activities may help you reach a healthy weight (if you’re not already at it).
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After a Stroke — Finding the Right Words

It’s common to struggle at times to find the right word during a conversation. But for an individual who has had a stroke, finding the right word may be much more difficult.

Aphasia can be a side effect of a stroke, which can affect a person’s ability to communicate by impairing the ability to speak, read, listen or write. When a person with aphasia has word-finding difficulty, it’s called anomia.

Anomia makes it difficult to find the words or ideas that a person wants to share. Sometimes the word may come, and sometimes it won’t.

When this happens in a conversation, the person who is speaking to the stroke survivor may want to jump in quickly to supply the word. But in reality, that can be more of a hindrance than a help. It would be more beneficial to help the person find the word they are looking for rather than supplying it.

So, how can you best communicate with someone under these circumstances? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Allow plenty of time for a response. Talk with the individual, not for him or her.
  • Ask “yes” or “no” questions that can be answered simply and without a lot of explanation.
  • Use photographs or pictures to help provide cues.
  • Write your cues – such as a letter or a drawing – on a piece of paper to share.
  • Confirm and repeat back what the person has said. Use paraphrases or key words to be sure that you’re understanding properly.
  • Use gestures as you ask questions.
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Act FAST and Save a Life

FAST is an easy way to identify the most common symptoms of stroke:

F – Face drooping. Ask the person to smile. Note if one side of the face is drooping.
A – Arm weakness. Ask the person to raise both arms to the side. See if one drifts downward.
S – Speech difficulty. Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Listen if the speech is slurred or strange.
T – Time to call 911. If you observe any of these signs, call for help immediately.

Take note of the time of the first symptom so you can tell medical personnel because this can affect treatment decisions. Rapid access to medical treatment can make a difference between full recovery and permanent disability.

Other symptoms of a stroke also may include sudden onset of:

  • Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding what someone is saying
  • Numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg – especially on one side of the body
  • Trouble seeing out of one or both eyes
  • Severe headache with no known cause
  • Trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination

Even if you’re unsure if someone is having a stroke, don’t delay in calling 911 to get the person medical help immediately.

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Don’t Have a Stroke

Dick Clark. Sharon Stone. Rick James.

When you think of these celebrities, you probably think of their talents. What you probably don’t realize is that each suffered a stroke.

Strokes – or brain attacks – can happen to anyone at any time. Strokes are the leading cause of adult disability in the United States, and the fifth leading cause of death.

According to the National Stroke Association, about 800,000 people suffer from strokes every year. What’s notable, however, is that nearly 80 percent of strokes can be avoided.

Certain traits, conditions and habits can raise an individual’s risk of having a stroke. Many of these lifestyle risk factors can be controlled and may actually help prevent a stroke from occurring.

That’s good news, right? So, how do we lessen our chances of having a stroke?

We can start by controlling these lifestyle risk factors:
• High blood pressure
• Smoking
• Diabetes
• Poor diet
• High blood cholesterol
• Physical inactivity
• Obesity
• Heart diseases
• Alcohol consumption

If you think you can improve any of these lifestyle risk factors, do it.
The changes you make now may affect what happens – or better yet, what doesn’t happen – later.

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If you have a heart, we need you!

Join us at the New Braunfels Heart and Stroke Walk at 9 a.m., Saturday, May 6 at Landa Park.

The event includes a family and pet-friendly 3.1 mile walk and 1-mile miracle walk. Proceeds from the event will support cardiovascular programs right here in our own community.

Click here for more information and to register!

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New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital Provides Nationally Recognized Care to Community for 5th Year in Row

For the 5th year in a row, New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital has been acknowledged for providing nationally recognized rehabilitative care to its patients. The hospital was ranked in the Top 10% of inpatient rehabilitation facilities nationwide for providing care that is patient-centered, effective, efficient and timely.

“This means that in the New Braunfels area, we’re providing the highest level of rehabilitative care available anywhere in the United States right now,” says Jessie Smedley, CEO of New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital. “Patients and their families don’t have to leave the area to receive the latest in technology and clinical protocols – we’re providing it here in our own backyard.”

The hospital was ranked from among 781 inpatient rehabilitation facilities nationwide by the Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation (UDSMR). The UDSMR is a non-profit corporation that was developed with support from the U.S. Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. UDSMR maintains the world’s largest database for medical rehabilitation outcomes.

“This national ranking speaks highly of the commitment and dedication of our employees and medical staff,” Smedley says. “Our staff is passionate about helping patients return home at their highest possible levels of productivity and independence. And for anyone who has ever as had a family member or friend needing healthcare, that matters. We consider it a privilege to be able to provide this higher standard of care to our community.”

New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital provides specialized rehabilitative services to patients who are recovering from disabilities caused by injuries, illnesses, or chronic medical conditions. This includes strokes, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and amputations, along with illnesses such as cerebral palsy, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.

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2016 Passionate Patient Caregivers of the Year

Since 2016 is coming to a close we would like to share our New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital Passionate Patient Caregivers of the Year with you!

James Rodriguez, Physical Therapist and Leslie Schmidt, Patient Care Technician, received this award for receiving the largest amount of positive reviews from patients and family members as well as the most votes from staff members. This means they are seen as outstanding clinicians as well as co-workers.

Below are reviews that patients voluntarily wrote on comment cards about James and Leslie:

One patient said about James:
“This is my second time here and I requested to have James again. He knows exactly what I needed. He always gave me encouragement to strive to do just a little bit more. I’m so grateful to James for his kind attitude towards me and his other patients.”

One Patient said about Leslie:
“She made my brother’s stay here much more productive with her positive, upbeat personality.”

In the featured interviews James and Leslie share with us a little more about their work, their personal life, and what they love about New Braunfels, Texas. Read below to learn more about what makes these two the passionate, patient caregivers that they are today.

Name: James Rodriguez


Your Work:

What is your job title? Can you give a brief description of what your work involves and how long you have worked here?

“I am a Physical Therapist and I assist patients with regaining their independence with functional mobility (i.e. bed mobility, transfers, wheelchair mobility, and walking). I have been working with NBRRH since May 2015.”

What events lead you to where you are today at New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital?

“I was initially introduced to PT following my father’s stroke in 2000. I was impressed with how the physical, speech and occupational therapists helped with his recovery. I was a clinical student with NBRRH while a student at Texas State University and was hired full-time after graduation in May 2015.”

What is one moment that has stood out to you while working at New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital (an experience with a patient, a coworker going above and beyond for someone, an act of kindness)?

“There are so many moments that have stood out to me while working here. They vary from seeing a patient progress from being wheelchair bound to walking without a cane/walker, to seeing someone return to work.”

What do you most love about the work you do?

“I enjoy the interaction with patients, family, and team members. My favorite thing is building a relationship with the patients. Most of the patients that we see have experienced a life changing event and I feel that the personal relationship is just as important as the patient/therapist relationship.”

What kind of impact do you hope to have on people at New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital?

“I hope to assist patients and their families to achieve their goals. I hope that I can be a positive influence on all those around me: patients, families, and co-workers.”


Can you tell us a little about your family: spouse, kids, parents, siblings, pets, etc?

“I am married to my wife, Alyssa. We got married in 2009 after our freshman year of college and then both attended Texas State University and graduated in May 2012. I then was accepted to PT school at Texas State and began the program that summer. I have two dogs: Bo and Georgia. I have an older sister and brother. My brother is an occupational therapist. Both my wife’s family and my family live in San Antonio. We visit them all the time.”

What’s your favorite way to spend your time away from work (what are your favorite hobbies or past-times?)

“I enjoy everything about sports, both professional and college. If I’m not watching a sporting event, you would find me running throughout my neighborhood. We are Greenbay Packers fans and are even shareholders. My wife and I enjoy every sporting event. We’ve been to three NFL games and countless NBA and MLB games.”

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

“I’ve always had an interest in mathematics and science. I would want to learn to be a mathematician or a physicist. I read up on physics in my free-time.”

If you were to tell one person “Thank You” for helping me become the person I am today, who would it be and what did they do?

“I would thank both my parents for raising me and being such a positive influence throughout my life. They have taught me perseverance, compassion, and responsibility.”

New Braunfels/Community:

What is your favorite thing about New Braunfels: Your favorite place to eat, spend time with loved ones, etc?

“I like all the water areas and parks dispersed throughout New Braunfels. I look forward to spending more time at them with my family. We love to eat out and try new restaurants. We frequent Gruene Texas, and we love the proximity to the two large cities on opposite directions; Austin and San Antonio.”

What characteristic do you most admire about the people of New Braunfels (and its surrounding areas)?

“I admire the German Culture and how the heritage is carried throughout the town.”

If you could tell people one thing about New Braunfels, what would it be?

“A pork chop on a stick is a must when going to Wurstfest.”

Name: Leslie Schmidt


Your Work:

What is your job title? Can you give a brief description of what your work involves and how long you have worked here?

“I have been a Patient Care Technician (PCT) for five years, and my work involves taking care of patient’s daily and hourly needs.”

What events lead you to where you are today at New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital?

“I have always enjoyed working in healthcare and taking care of people.”

What is one moment that has stood out to you while working at New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital (an experience with a patient, a coworker going above and beyond for someone, an act of kindness)?

“The staff is what stands out. There are so many passionate people that work for New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital it is hard to choose a specific moment.”

What do you most love about the work you do?

“I love seeing the progress that our patients make from the day they come to the facility to the day they leave.”

What kind of impact do you hope to have on people at New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital?

“I want them to know that if they work hard, anything is possible and that I am there for them every step of the way.”


Can you tell us a little about your family: spouse, kids, parents, siblings, pets, etc.?

“I have a daughter who is 25 and a son who is 21. I’m also a dog mom to 4 Chihuahuas! As for the rest of my family, I have many siblings and a large extended family.”

What’s your favorite way to spend your time away from work (what are your favorite hobbies or past-times?)

“Spending time with my kids and family”

If you were to tell one person “Thank You” for helping me become the person I am today, who would it be and what did they do?

“My kids- they have helped me to be who I am today.”

New Braunfels/Community:

What is your favorite thing about New Braunfels: Your favorite place to eat, spend time with loved ones, etc.?

“I love the river in New Braunfels. My favorite thing to do is go to the river with friends and family, and just enjoy the day.”

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Are you at risk for a stroke? Become Stroke Smart!

Do you know what to do if someone is having a stroke?

New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital invites you to a FREE community event celebrating Stroke Awareness Month.

Thursday, May 19th  from 4-6 p.m. at 2041 Sundance Parkway (at the hospital).

Learn how to prevent and detect strokes, hear survivor stories, and participate in stroke risk assessments such as blood pressure checks.

New Braunfels Mayor Pro Tem, Ron Reaves, will be present to make a proclamation declaring May as Stroke Awareness Month.

Door prizes and refreshments! R.S.V.P. to 830-643-7132


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IN THE NEWS: Local hospital earns national honor for fourth straight year!

There was a barbecue lunch, yard games, socializing and live music from the Zack Walther Band.

It wasn’t a scene at Gruene Hall.

It was a celebration at New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital, an event to mark their fourth consecutive year ranked in the top 10 percent of inpatient rehabilitation facilities in the United States. The honor recognizes provision of care that is patient-centered, efficient, timely and effective.

“We’re proud to bring nationally-recognized rehabilitative care to our community for the fourth consecutive year,” NBRRH CEO Jessie Smedley said. “We’re serious about our commitment to our patients, their family members and our community — and this recognition reflects that. We’re passionate about getting the best results for our patients so they can attain the highest level of productivity and independence possible.”


Sami Devillier was a New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung “Unsung Hero” last year for her work with the historical commission and time volunteering with the county during elections.

Having recently had a stroke, Devillier ended up at New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital, working to get herself back to home-ready.

She wasn’t surprised when she heard the hospital was back in the top 10 percent again.

“I’m thankful for what they’re doing,” she said, adding that she is making “great progress” and the physical therapists “are outstanding.”

Devillier said they’ve pushed her to get better quickly and it didn’t take long for her to start socializing with other patients. It’s been a positive experience, she said.

“This place is preparing me to do what I used to do (before the stroke),” she said.

At that celebration at the hospital, Kara Simpson, director of therapy, said the fourth straight year in the top 10 percent is an accomplishment for the whole staff and something that they should all be proud of — especially because how many lives they have affected in positive ways.

“It’s very humbling,” she said.

There were 200-plus staff members and others — such as family — invited.

New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital was ranked out of 782 inpatient rehabilitation facilities nationwide by the Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation, a nonprofit corporation that was developed with support from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, a component of the U.S Department of Education.

The UDSMR is the creator and caretaker of the nation’s largest database of rehabilitation outcomes, according to their website, with 20 years of data. This is the 10th year that UDSMR has issued these awards.

The data used for the most current ranking was based on 12 months of information from 2015 from both Medicare and non-Medicare patients. The results were combined and weighted into a score, and each facility was then assigned a percentile rank from 0 to 100 relative to other qualifying inpatient rehabilitation facilities in UDSMR’s database.

Smedley, New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital’s CEO, says through UDSMR the hospital is also given opportunities to collaborate with peers to share information.

“This allows us to establish best practices and help elevate rehabilitative care for everyone throughout the United States,” she said.

New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital treats about 730 patients every year.

The hospital provides specialized rehabilitation services to patients throughout the Hill Country area who are recovering from disabilities, whether they be caused by illnesses, injuries or chronic conditions.

This includes strokes, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and orthopedic injures, along with illnesses such as cerebral palsy, ALS, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease.


— This is a synopsis of an Article published in the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung on April 16, 2016.

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Stroke and Parkinson’s Support Groups

New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital hosts a Stroke Support Group and a Parkinson’s Support Group each month for both patients and their loved ones.

Stroke Support Group
New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital hosts a Stroke Support Group on the third Thursday of each month, at 5:00 p.m. This group provides problem solving, community outreach, educational programs, recreational activities, rehabilitation, and self-help for stroke patients and their loved ones. Please call (830) 625-6700 if you have any questions.


Parkinson’s Support Group
The Comal County Parkinson’s Support Group meets on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month from 9:30-11:00 a.m. in the cafeteria at New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital. Please call (830) 625-6700 if you have any questions.

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