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Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Children's Specialized Hospital Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Children's Specialized Hospital
Spinal Cord Team
The Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Program is under the direction Dr. Michele Fantasia, M.D. who is board certified in Pediatrics, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation with subspecialty certification in Spinal Cord Injury Medicine and Pediatric Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. Fantasia is supported by a talented team of staff pediatric specialists, as well as consulting physicians. Janine DeFeo, MSN, CPNP, CRRN and Certified Diabetes Educator, assists in all areas of clinical management.
Other medical specialists in the following disciplines are also available for consultation: neurology, orthopedics, psychiatry, radiology, and urology. Diagnostic and special services available include: electrodiagnostic testing, ventilator assistance training, diaphragmatic pacing evaluation, diagnostic urologic testing, and access to environmental controls, such as lights and telephones.
In addition, the following team members are an integral part of your child’s care:
Physical Therapist
The physical therapist works with patients to increase functional mobility, regain strength and achieve maximum potential for independence in the home, school and community environment. Exercises, bracing, aquatic therapy and state of the art equipment are used to enhance the program.
Occupational Therapist
The occupational therapist works with the patient and his/her family to improve the quality of life and functional independence through establishment, remediation and/or restoration of life skills. Patients are provided with a variety of services including activities of daily living training, splinting, equipment assessment and modification, and exercise sessions to help achieve functional goals.
Nurses assess the needs of the child and family and implement an individualized plan of care. The nursing staff works with the other team members to foster a seamless transition to life at home.
Recreational Therapist and Child Life Specialist
The recreational therapist provides treatment to identify, improve and or enhance the functional abilities and independence of the spinal cord patient through leisure and play skills/techniques.
Child Life Specialists provide treatment to create an environment that encourages and allows the patient to openly share and express feelings about his/her injury and hospitalization and how these impact upon sense of independence and control. Recreational therapist and child life specialists provide opportunities for successful re- integration into the community and school programs, along with providing recreation/leisure services intended to increase independence and social relationships.
The role of the Psychotherapist is to assess the child’s coping skills to ensure adequate emotional and behavioral functioning. The child and family are provided supportive counseling to identify the social and emotional effects of hospitalization, adjust to their treatment program and develop strategies to adapt to changes in their lives.
Speech Therapist
The Speech-Language Pathologist provides assessment and treatment for speech and communication skills for social, academic, and daily needs. Therapy also focuses on improving difficulties with reasoning and memory. The SLP uses specialized techniques to address chewing and swallowing skills to promote safe and efficient feeding.
The audiologist provides comprehensive hearing testing services as needed.
The dietician monitors the nutritional state of each patient and plans an individualized program, giving special attention to food preference and religious customs.
Patient Care Coordinator
At the time of admission, each patient and family is seen by a Patient Care Coordinator. This person is responsible for providing financial resources, networking with community agencies, and discharge planning services to ensure a smooth transition to home. In addition, support groups are held for visiting family members.
Respiratory Therapist
The respiratory therapist provides close monitoring of patients who may be tracheotomy dependent, oxygen dependent or ventilator dependent. Treatment is aimed toward maximizing respiratory independence and facilitating home management.
Rehabilitation Technology
The Rehabilitation Technology staff provides patients with proper seating and positioning devices, mobility access equipment including wheelchairs.
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