HOUSTON (June 25, 2010) – Janie Palacios always thought the rehabilitation therapists at Quentin Mease Community Hospital deserved more than her praise. For years, she and her brother, Jose, have benefited greatly from the staff’s expertise.
“I’ve known that the rehabilitation department was planning to expand,” she says. “Seeing it happen is wonderful and very deserving for these caring people.”
On June 18, she and more than 100 people ushered in a new era of care thanks to the Harris County Hospital District’s new Outpatient Rehabilitation Center on the hospital’s fifth floor.
“We’re doing so much on our own, more than we ever thought, thanks to our therapists,” Palacios says of the extensive rehab she and her brother have received at Quentin Mease.
The Palacios and four other patients were among the invited guests at a ribbon-cutting celebration for the new 15,000-square-foot center. The new site is more than triple the size of the original 4,000-square-foot center located on the second floor.
Carol Oddo, vice president and associate administrator, District Ancillary and Support Services, HCHD, used the opportunity to thank U.S. Sen. John Cornyn and U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee for the federal funds they directed to the hospital district for use on the center.
“This has been years in the making and only possible thanks to the help of everyone involved,” she said.
The center will see about 200 patients a day, more than the 150 currently seen, and offers physical, occupational and speech therapy. Among the patients seen are sufferers of stroke, spinal cord injuries, amputations, traumatic brain injuries and back pain.
The center houses state-of-the-art equipment such as Andago®, an unweighting locomotion system used to help patients relearn to walk, an 8,500-square-foot treatment gymnasium and 19 treatment rooms, including three private suites.
For patient Kathryn Miles, the center has meant a return to what she loves most – dance. She works with physical therapist Annette Karin in the center’s dance clinic.
“She’s definitely helping me,” Miles says. “She watches me dance en pointe and explains which muscles to engage. She makes sure my dance movements are aligned and makes suggestions for corrections and exercises to do at home.”
Other speakers at the celebration were State Rep. Ellen Cohen; David S. Lopez, president and CEO, HCHD; Carolyn Truesdell, vice chair, HCHD Board of Managers; George V. Masi, COO, HCHD; Dr. Bob Trenschel, senior vice president and administrator, Ambulatory Care Services, HCHD; and representatives from State Sen. Rodney Ellis and State Rep. Dr. Alma Allen.