St. Mary Medical Center

Acute Rehabilitation Center

Acute Rehabilitation Center

Individuals who have been impaired by an injury or illness have a lot of questions and face an uncertain future. We want to help alleviate those fears and frustrations by providing a supportive, caring environment and always placing an emphasis on patients' abilities rather than disabilities. This positive approach to rehabilitation helps instill in patients the confidence they need for optimal recovery.

Our primary purpose is to assist patients and their families with the transition from an acute hospital setting to home. Patients in our program have experienced accidents, stroke, neurological disorders, arthritis, and other impairments. When patients are referred to us, they are considered by their physicians to be medically stable and physically able to begin a comprehensive rehabilitation program consisting of at least three hours of therapy a day, five days a week. All therapy programs are modified to meet the individual's needs, as tolerance to therapy amounts varies. Patients are encouraged to do as much for themselves as possible during their stay. Even when complete recovery does not occur, patients are taught skills that can help them make full use of returning abilities and maximize remaining abilities. Family members also learn how to provide positive reinforcement and take an active role in the rehabilitation process.

The Rehabilitation Process

The rehabilitation process is a combination of assessment, treatment, education, and follow-up. It focuses on the emotional as well as physical needs of the patient.


Upon admission, a comprehensive evaluation is completed on each patient, taking into consideration aspects of his/her medical history and lifestyle. An individualized treatment plan is developed based on the findings of the evaluation and the patient's personal goals.


Treatment may focus on ambulation, muscle strengthening and coordination, use of adaptive equipment, independent living skills, cognitive and communication skills, bowel and bladder management, and psychological adjustment.

The treatment plans are coordinated and managed by a group of health care professionals who are trained and experienced in rehabilitation medicine, which may include a rehabilitation physician; physical, occupational, speech, and recreational therapists; rehabilitation nurses; and a case coordinator. The team meets at regular intervals to discuss each patient's progress and make necessary adjustments to the treatment plan. The outcomes of these conferences are always shared with the patients. Patients know that each improvement they make will bring new goals for tomorrow, giving them hope for the future.


Education can help patients return to a productive lifestyle, protect themselves from re-injury, and make performing routine activities a little easier. Education may address joint protection, energy conservation, pain management, fall prevention. and other vital techniques.

Family members are also educated on their loved one's condition and how to assist him/her. They are taught how to access available community resources, services, and support groups.


Prior to discharge, the rehabilitation team will meet with the patient and family to make sure that the necessary support system is in place once the patient leaves and to problem solve any potential issues. Follow-up phone calls are placed to the patient after discharge to ensure his/her continued progress and to address any remaining needs.

The Referral Process

Patients can be referred and admitted from home, hospital, or other facility. A member of the rehabilitation team will perform a careful pre-admission screening on every potential patient within four hours of the referral. This is to determine if the patient's specific condition may benefit from a comprehensive rehabilitation program. There is no charge for this evaluation. The Medical Director is responsible for authorizing a patient's admission to the program.

Referrals can be made by physicians, social workers, nurses, discharge planners, other health care providers, insurance providers, or the patient and/or family member directly.

The following guidelines may be helpful in determining the appropriateness of a patient referral:

  • Disability is of recent onset or progression.
  • Patient has physical impairment that limits functional ability.
  • Assistance is required in activities of daily living and/or the use of adaptive equipment.
  • Medical complications have caused a dramatic decline in physical functioning.
  • Intensive rehabilitation services are required and the patient has not previously been exposed to rehab or there has been a significant change in the patient's condition.

To be eligible for admission, the patient must:

  • be medically stable,
  • require 24-hour rehabilitative nursing services,
  • need at least two forms of therapy,
  • have the potential to improve function or achieve independence,
  • have an identified discharge placement, and
  • be willing to participate with the team in the rehabilitation process.

We will maintain close communication with all referring individuals, keeping them abreast of their patient's progress through written summaries of team conferences and detailed outcomes reports upon request.