University of Maryland Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Institute
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News Releases

Cynthia Kelleher
Phone: 410-448-6447

Kernan Hospital Receives Neilsen Foundation Grant in Support of Spinal Cord Program

Baltimore, MD (March 1, 2011) - Kernan Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, the largest rehabilitation specialty hospital in Maryland, has received a grant from the Neilsen Foundation for use in support of the hospital's spinal cord injury program.

The Neilsen Foundation provides funds that support innovative rehabilitation programs for individuals with spinal cord injuries. Proceeds from the grant to Kernan will provide equipment to help individuals re-enter the community as actively and productively as possible.

Kernan's Healing Garden:
Healing Garden
Click to Enlarge.

The $55,600 grant will be used to purchase and install additional patient lifts in the hospital's 32-bed spinal cord unit. These lifts will provide patients with easier access to Kernan's Healing Garden, a unique, restorative environment for patients, families, staff and visitors.

"Our goal is to increase early and easy access to the Healing Garden for our patients with spinal cord injuries," says Lori Patria, MEd, OTR/L, director of rehabilitation therapy services at Kernan. "Currently our patients who are newly injured must request assistance from staff to transfer them out of bed and into their wheelchair so that they can go outside with their visiting family and friends. The Neilsen Foundation grant will enable us to provide ceiling lift equipment so that our patients can be safely transferred from bed to wheelchair with family assistance much earlier in their hospital stay."

Patients who do not currently have access to the hospital's lift equipment require multiple staff members to get them out of bed, which can reduce access to therapeutic options such as the Healing Garden.

Kernan's Healing Garden is a therapeutic tool that helps teach patients how to deal with physical challenges as they transition into the community and renew interest in leisure activities such as gardening. The unique therapy opportunity improves the ability of patients to maneuver around their home and community environment once they leave the hospital. The Healing Garden also offers a relaxing environment for patients to visit with families and loved ones.

Studies have shown links between physical environments and the ability of patients to manage pain and to heal. Emphasizing a harmonious balance between body and mind, the garden stimulates visual, auditory and olfactory senses through a variety of plants, sounds and colors. Various ground patterns and textures are incorporated to challenge patients' mobility skills and to prepare them to return to their community. The Healing Garden at Kernan supports the medical rehabilitation process by creating a serene environment that promotes a holistic approach to the healing process.

About Kernan Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation

A 132-bed rehabilitation and orthopaedic specialty hospital, Kernan specializes in joint replacements and treatment of sports injuries; neck, back, upper and lower extremity injuries; scoliosis; trauma reconstruction; plastic surgery; and dental surgery for adults and children. Kernan's William Donald Schaefer Rehabilitation Center provides the most technologically advanced therapy for orthopaedic injuries, brain and spinal cord injuries, stroke, multiple sclerosis and other neurologic disorders. Kernan is also the home of the University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine.