A major initiative of the Susquehanna Strong Comprehensive Campaign is the creation of the Center of Excellence for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Susquehanna Health Foundation is responsible to raise $8 million to initiate this project in 2020.
The west wing of UPMC Williamsport, built in 1962, currently houses our outpatient and inpatient rehabilitation services. Over time this space has become outdated and does not allow us to provide an optimal patient and family experience. The current space also limits our ability to offer many new and innovative therapy options.
UPMC serves as a regional center of excellence which draws patients, who live up to three hours away, due to the advanced level of expertise our team provides. In order to meet the demand, expand services, and provide the highest quality care possible, we must create a state-of-the-art Center of Excellence to continue our mission of providing life-changing medicine.
Annually, our inpatient rehabilitation floor cares for more than 600 patients with an average length of stay of 12 days, from ages 13 and older, with diagnoses of stroke, burn, fractures, multiple trauma, etc. More than two-thirds of the nursing staff is rehab certified, which means patients are receiving the highest quality of care. This new facility will ensure that the space where we care for patients matches the level of care our clinical staff is providing, day in and day out.
The department is certified for spinal cord treatment, one of only four in the state; certified for brain injury treatment, one of 14 in the state; and certified for stroke rehabilitation. Due to outstanding recognition and patient outcomes, UPMC has invited our inpatient rehabilitation team to participate in spinal cord injury research.
The current inpatient rehabilitation space consists of 26 semi-private patient beds, only some rooms with bathrooms, and others containing as many as four beds. The new space will create a healing environment with 30 private rooms, all with in-room bathrooms. This is the final phase of converting all patient rooms into private patient rooms at UPMC Williamsport.
The new facility will also have:
- New rehabilitation programing for disorders of consciousness developed by UPMC Rehabilitation Institute at Mercy for patients with severe brain injury who remain in a comatose state of consciousness.
- A dedicated, secure unit for brain trauma or dementia patients—designed for patient safety.
- An overhead rail system in the gym to provide high-level gait and balance training without the risk of falls and injuries.
- The use of robotics to advance traditional interventions in regard to sensorimotor functions.
- The ability to incorporate music therapy to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of patients.
- Cushioned floors to reduce risk of injury and a centralized video monitoring system for fall prevention.
Annually, our outpatient rehabilitation department provides care to more than 2,200 patients. Our outpatient facility at UPMC Williamsport provides physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy in one location for the convenience of patients. In addition, we have therapists who specialize and are certified in lymphedema, manual therapy, women’s health/pelvic therapy, hand therapy, vestibular, Parkinson’s, and concussion. A key to providing high-quality, comprehensive therapy is to ensure that we have enough well-designed space to allow all our therapists to efficiently deliver care. The variety of certified specialists creates a need for more designated space for each specialty, which is not possible in the current facility.
The new facility will provide:
- Dedicated space for new specialty therapists and programming.
- Advanced Functional Electrical Stimulation will be provided for both inpatient and outpatient spinal cord injury survivors. This is one of the several new services that will be offered in the new space.
Our UPMC affiliation provides:
- Connection to top professionals in a variety of specialty therapy areas.
- Resources for new program development.
- Improved access to high-level continuing education.
- Advanced concussion care using UPMC’s model, which will include younger children and industrial injuries.