Introduction to Kaiser Foundation Rehabilitation Center | Kaiser Permanente


I was paralyzed and I didn’t
know how was I going to be able to feed myself,
how to clothe myself, how to even do anything for
myself at all. I wanted to be able to go to the
bathroom on my own. I wanted to be able to
dress myself. That was the
short-term goal. But I also looked at all these
people around me doing what they loved,
the practice of medicine, the practice of nursing, and I
realized that was my strength and I just wanted my
strength back. This place has taught me
never give up. [snickers]
Never give up. ♪♪ Rehab brought me face-to-face
with the intensity of my disability so that I really
understood what had happened to me. At the same time, it gave me the
hope I needed and the skills I had to have to go forward
in my recovery. ♪♪ Henry J. Kaiser was the first
to recognize the need for a specialized rehabilitation
center within Kaiser Permanente and his reasons couldn’t have
been more personal. In the late 1940’s,
Henry J. Kaiser’s son was diagnosed with multiple
sclerosis and treated by the founders of our center. Mr. Kaiser wanted to extend this
treatment to the KP members and the Kaiser Foundation
Rehabilitation Center first known as the Kabat-Kaiser
Institute was born. From the early days, it was
recognized that the multiple impairments and disabilities
caused by an injury or illness often requires intense and
specialized care, particularly in the first phase
of recovery. The Kaiser Foundation
Rehabilitation Center, or KFRC, has been providing that care and
support now for over 60 years. A safe and caring environment
that focuses exclusively on promoting recovery, the Kaiser
Foundation Rehabilitation Center has been designated as a
national center of excellence for individuals with
disabilities by the Kaiser Permanente Institute
for Culturally Competent Care. KFRC is a 50-bed rehabilitation
hospital and outpatient center located within the
Kaiser Permanente Vallejo Medical Center, one of 122
hospitals across the US winning the Consumer Choice award for
having the highest quality and the most positive image. Our inpatient and outpatient
rehabilitation programs provide care for individuals with
disabilities caused by stroke, acquired brain injury,
spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis,
neuromuscular disorders, major multiple trauma,
amputations and some orthopedic disorders. Our center combines various
therapies and specialized programs with rehabilitation
nurses working around the clock and rehabilitation physicians
making rounds seven days per week. The Kaiser Foundation
Rehabilitation Center understands that rehabilitation
can be a long and complicated journey and beginning that
rehabilitation process with maximum support through the
interventions of providers with specific expertise, knowledge
and skills goes a long way toward determining a
patient’s outcome. It’s in the first crucial phase
with early intervention by a specialized interdisciplinary
team that the Kaiser Foundation Rehabilitation Center yields its
greatest benefits. The Kaiser Foundation
Rehabilitation Center uses a coordinated interdisciplinary
approach to lessen the impact of impairments, increase
self-sufficiency, enhance coping abilities,
increase purposeful activity and promote community
participation. Through the setting of realistic
short-term goals, each individual is more likely
to achieve their long-term goal of returning to a meaningful
life outside our center. Those goals could include
climbing Yosemite’s Half Dome, regaining the skills necessary
to complete her dream of finishing the illustrations for
a children’s book, holding her baby or getting back to the practice
of medicine. The Kaiser Foundation
Rehabilitation Center knows how to help patients make
critical choices at every step of the way. The approach is simple. The patient and his or her
family is the center of a comprehensive interdisciplinary
rehabilitation team. This comprehensive approach is
what sets the Kaiser Foundation Rehab Center apart and is what
makes it so successful in helping patients to achieve
long-term recovery. This team boasts a world-class
group of experts. It includes physiatrists who are
physicians who specialize in physical medicine and
rehabilitation. Physiatrists establish both a
medical and functional diagnosis and prognosis and prescribe
medications and therapeutic interventions and orchestrate
the various components of the treatment plan. Rehabilitation nurses are
available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Rehabilitation nurses offer
direct care, coordinate the patient’s daily
schedule and provide patient and family
caregiver education. They’re also the frontline
patient and family advocates. Physical therapists assist the
patient by teaching ways to improve mobility and they
teach patients how to become more functional by the use of
wheelchairs, braces and equipment for transfers
and improving mobility. Occupational therapists are
trained to help patients optimize participation in
activities of daily living in various environments
including home, work and school. Speech language pathologists
provide interventions for patients with communication
and cognitive disorders or swallowing problems related
to various conditions. Social workers assist the
patient with personal or family issues created by the
injury or illness and act as a liaison between the
individual, the family and community resources. Case managers assist the patient
and family with issues related to health plan coverage,
durable medical equipment costs and the continuum of care after
inpatient rehabilitation. Neuropsychologists provide
evaluations of cognitive, emotional, social and
behavioral factors that may be related to the individual
circumstances and develop treatment programs that can
address these issues. Recreation therapists promote
the patients’ reintegration into individual or group activities
to develop or foster social skills and constructive
use of leisure time. The patient is the focal point
of the rehabilitation team that works together to ensure
the patient’s realistic recovery goals are achieved. Patient and family education
occurs throughout the rehabilitation process to help
reduce anxieties and fears and promote recovery. What this facility gave me, which I don’t think I could
have gotten any place else, was an integrated approach
to wellness. Each team member with their
expertise worked together to make a whole, to make all the
parts of me respond and reintegrate and get well at
the same time. This is a place where I could
experience all the different needs I had being met at once. You can’t do that anyplace else. It’s this approach that makes
the difference. It is the bridge between
disability, injury to home. It is the place that allows you
to bridge that gap between where you were before your
injury or disability to where you’re going to be
to move on into your life. The Kaiser Foundation
Rehabilitation Center understands that the patient’s
family is an indispensable part of the rehabilitation team. The center works closely with
families helping them understand the nature of their loved one’s
injury and teaching techniques to support their recovery. When you put all these
therapists and everybody together, it makes a
whole picture and it’s unbelievable what
it’s done for him. Hospitals, which I’ve been in
several for different surgeries, they’re very limited as to
people visiting you. They’re always kicking them out
of the room. Here they invite you as a family
member to watch the process and progress. He was stiff, he couldn’t move, and now a week later he can
walk, he can talk, he can eat. He can eat by himself. He couldn’t do that,
couldn’t do nothing, so I don’t know what to say. I am so grateful for this place. Since reintegration into the
community is a principal goal the center provides places where
patients and their families can practice the skills needed to
function and progress further in their recovery in a home
environment. Here they can also practice
working with modified equipment like specially-adapted kitchen
implements that simplify the transition home. The center sponsors weekly
community outings where patients get out of the hospital
environment and shop at the local farmer’s market. To see that you haven’t lost
your independence and you’re still able to do those things
that make you happy. Today is just a good day. With a superb reputation that
reaches beyond the borders of Kaiser Permanente, the Kaiser
Foundation Rehabilitation Center is recognized as a national and
international leader in its field. The Kaiser Foundation
Rehabilitation Center is accredited by the
Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. This means that we meet rigorous
guidelines for service and quality for our
comprehensive inpatient and outpatient programs and
specialty care in brain and spinal cord injury
rehabilitation. This endorsement recognizes that
KFRC programs and services have met consumer-focused
state-of-the-art national standards of
performance. But our biggest reward is the
endorsement of our patients and the smiles and courage
and hope on their faces. ♪♪

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