All posts by Angelo Antoline

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.”

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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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New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital Spreads Christmas Cheer to Community

In December, the staff of New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital participated in the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program. This program provides Christmas gifts for children of families in need through the support of donors like New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital. This year, New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital provided gifts to 40 children in our community.

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New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital Earns Advanced Stroke Certification

Award signifies hospital’s dedication to better results for stroke patients.

New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital recently received The Joint Commission’s disease-specific certification for stroke rehabilitation, which signifies the hospital’s dedication to developing better results for stroke patients. The award was given after a rigorous on-site review by an expert evaluator.

“This award recognizes how committed we are and how well we provide rehabilitation following a stroke,” says Jennifer Malatek, Chief Executive Officer at New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital. “We want to provide hope and quality of life to our community members who have experienced this debilitating event. For many, it’s their only chance at returning back to families, friends and daily routines.”

Stroke is the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States.

Certification through the Joint Commission’s Disease-Specific Care Program is voluntary and available only to stroke programs in Join Commission-accredited acute care hospitals. Certification requirements address three core areas:

  • Compliance with consensus-based national standards.
  • Effective use of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines to manage and optimize care.
  • Organized approach to performance measurement and improvement activities.

“Stroke continues to be highly prevalent in our community and often is a life changing event for the stroke survivor and his or her family,” Malatek says. “We feel it’s our obligation and privilege to continue to improve services to stroke survivors in New Braunfels and its surrounding areas.”

New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital provides specialized inpatient and outpatient physical rehabilitative services to more than 1,800 patients a year. The hospital treats patients who are recovering from disabilities caused by injuries or illnesses, such as strokes, orthopedic, brain and spinal cord injuries. The hospital also treats individuals with chronic illnesses such as cerebral palsy, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), multiple sclerosis, or Parkinson’s disease.

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National Rehab Awareness Week

The week salutes the determination of patients, applauds the efforts of rehabilitation professionals and provides education and awareness about rehabilitation services.

“Rehabilitation is an integral part of the healthcare process that helps patients to improve their quality of life and reduce subsequent illnesses or problems,” said Jennifer Malatek, CEO of New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital. “The goal of rehabilitation is to help a person attain the highest level of functioning possible — physically and cognitively. “For some, this may mean learning to walk again or how to maneuver a wheelchair. For others, it may mean learning how to communicate with loved ones.” Patients who receive rehabilitative services often experience positive results in regaining or improving productivity and independence.

A recent national study shows that patients treated in inpatient rehabilitation facilities have better long-term results than those treated in other facilities. The study, which was commissioned by the ARA Research Institute, shows that patients treated in rehabilitation hospitals live longer, have less hospital and ER visits and remain longer in their homes without additional outpatient services. Statistics also show rehabilitation can save money. For example, for every $1 spent on rehabilitative care, it’s estimated $11 are saved on long-term disability costs.

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Raising Awareness of Stroke

Every 40 seconds, someone in America has a stroke. It is the fifth-leading cause of death in the country, the leading cause of disability and one out of six people will suffer a stroke in his or her lifetime. Despite these numbers, many Americans do not think of stroke as a major health concern — and, according to the American Stroke Association, one in three Americans is unable to identify the stroke warning signs — known as F.A.S.T.

The acronym stands for:
F — Face drooping: Does one side of the face droop down?
A — Arm weakness: Ask the person to lift their arms. Does one drift downward?
S — Speech difficulty: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is the speech slurred or strange?
T—Time to call 911: If the person has any of the above symptoms, call 911 immediately. The person could be having a stroke.

Stroke can happen to anyone at any time re- gardless of race, sex or age,” said Dr. Maria Lomba, medical director of New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital.Yet, despite the tremendous toll stroke takes, the vast majority of Americans don’t think of stroke as a major health concern.

Lomba and New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital, along with countless other hospitals, medical institutions and health professionals in Texas and around the country, are asking community members to become “Stroke Heroes” by learning the F.A.S.T. stroke warning signs so they can recognize a stroke and act quickly.

Each May, the ASA and the American Heart Association recognize American Stroke Month by rallying the nation around the cause.

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Recognized in the Top 10% of Inpatient Rehabilitation

New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital ranked in the top 10 percent of inpatient rehabilitation facilities in the United States for the 3rd year in a row!

The ranking is by the Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation (UDSMR), a not-for-profit 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 ranks rehabilitation facilities based upon care that is:

  1. Patient-Centered
  2. Effective
  3. Efficient
  4. Timely

This means that through services at New Braunfels Regional Rehabilitation Hospital, our patients are receiving the highest level of rehabilitative care available nationally without having to leave the area!

 

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