Donated Vehicle Helps Rehab Patients Get Around

March 19, 2012

Rehab Vehicle

Bergstrom Automotive Gives Theda Clark Medical Center a New Chevy Traverse

Patients in Theda Clark Medical Center’s inpatient rehabilitation unit have a new way to prepare for leaving the hospital thanks to the Bergstrom Corp.

The Bergstrom Corp. recently donated a Chevy Traverse to the unit so the physical, occupational, speech, and recreational therapists can help patients – who are frequently recovering from a stroke, brain injury or spinal cord injury – get out into the community, practice getting in and out of a vehicle, or go home for a safety check.

“Getting out into the ‘real world’ is an important part of recovery,” said Sara Kloes, business unit manager of Theda Clark’s Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit. “The patient may be doing well in the hospital setting where everything is accessible, but need education and practice outside, where there are uneven surfaces, ramps, curbs and other obstacles.  By taking our therapy outside of the hospital’s four walls, we are able to better help patients transition to going back home.”

The unit’s former vehicle was getting worn out and John Bergstrom, chairman of the Bergstrom Corp. in Neenah and a member of the Theda Clark Medical Center Foundation, stepped forward to provide a new vehicle. Bergstrom Corp. is Wisconsin’s top automotive dealer, with 25 dealerships around Wisconsin.

“When I heard about the program and its needs, I wanted to step up and provide them with a vehicle to help improve the care and services provided to patients,” Bergstrom said. “The Chevy Traverse was the ideal vehicle since it has plenty of room for what’s needed because they often need to bring along wheelchairs. I am happy the Bergstrom Corp. was able to help out with this donation.”

Therapists drive patients in the rehab unit over to the Neenah-Menasha YMCA for aquatic therapy, or to a local store, a park or even their home as a part of the recovery process, Kloes said. She added that Bergstrom met with therapists and talked to them about their needs.

“The therapists go with the patients to their homes and can do a safety check and look for possible challenges and what kind of equipment, such as grab bars, might be necessary,” Kloes said. “All of our patients have different needs and are at different points in the recovery process. This new vehicle will better help us address everyone’s unique needs.”

Theda Clark Medical Center’s Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit recently received a three year accreditation for its medical rehabilitation and stroke specialty programs. The accreditation was given by the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human services providers. The unit has remained CARF accredited since 1982.

Theda Clark Medical Center is a 166-bed acute care hospital founded in 1909. In addition to general medical and surgical care, specialized services include a birth center, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin - Fox Valley, the region’s only American College of Surgeons Verified Level II Trauma Center, the Aylward Outpatient Surgery Center and ThedaStar Air Medical Helicopter. Theda Clark Medical Center also offers comprehensive neuroscience care and the Theda Clark Stroke Center was the first stroke center in Northeast Wisconsin to be certified as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission. The Bariatric Program at Theda Clark, along with Midwest Bariatric Solutions and its surgeons, have jointly received two Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence designations by the American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Bariatric Surgery.

ThedaCare™ is a community health system consisting of five hospitals: Appleton Medical Center, Theda Clark Medical Center, New London Family Medical Center, Shawano Medical Center, and Riverside Medical Center in Waupaca. ThedaCare also includes ThedaCare Physicians, ThedaCare Behavioral Health, ThedaCare At Work, and ThedaCare at Home. ThedaCare is the largest employer in Northeast Wisconsin with more than 6,175 employees. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.