NeuroRehab program is celebrated

September 04, 2004|by TARA REILLY

Carol Lee Holniker didn't speak to the crowd of mostly Washington County Hospital staff on Friday. She didn't have to.

The walk to the front of the room and the soft kiss she planted on her husband's hand demonstrated the progress she has made since suffering a traumatic brain injury in a car crash.

She and her husband, Gilbert, were guests Friday as the hospital celebrated its new Maryland NeuroRehab Foundation Inpatient program.

Gilbert Holniker founded the foundation after his wife's accident to help those recovering from traumatic brain injuries reach their greatest level of personal independence, according to the hospital's Web site.

The six-bed inpatient center, on the hospital's sixth floor, opened Sept. 1. The unit is accredited by the Commission of Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities as an Adult Brain Injury Specialty Unit, according to a written statement. So far, the unit has six certified brain injury specialists.


Some of the program's services include individual and group therapy and behavior management.

Hospital Total Rehab Care manager Khrys Thompson said once patients go through the inpatient program - which lasts between 10 to 14 days - they move on to a daily outpatient program and eventually to training that introduces them to the types of activities they had been able to perform before their injuries.

The NeuroRehab Foundation also provides patient education and support for family members of those with traumatic brain injuries.

The Maryland NeuroRehab Foundation Inpatient program is part of Total Rehab Care.

Pamela McAfee, administrative director for Total Rehab Care, said the hospital has been providing traumatic brain injury services, but it lacked a specialized program.

"Before, we might lose patients to Baltimore/D.C. for their rehab care, and this gives us the ability to stop that process," McAfee said.

"There's no need for them to leave the community," Thompson said. "It's all here at home. The service is here in our community and our hospital."

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