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Helping people overcome serious disabilities and restoring them to full, productive lives is the goal of the clinical staff at the 92-bed, not-for-profit Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation (BIR). BIR offers intense, highly specialized rehabilitation services for traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, strokes, and other orthopaedic and neurological disorders. Physicians specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation, known as physiatrists, lead interdisciplinary clinical teams that work with patients to design and implement a treatment program to achieve the patient's goals. In 2010, for the 14th year, BIR was named among the top rehabilitation hospitals in U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Hospitals" guide.
BIR has a prestigious reputation for its Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) program. BIR is one of only 16 facilities throughout the nation to be designated as a "model system" of care for the treatment of patients with TBI by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). The TBI Model System (TBIMS) project is a prospective, longitudinal multi-center study examining the course of recovery and outcomes following TBI. BIR's model system center, known as the North Texas Traumatic Brain Injury Model System (NTX-TBIMS), is a cooperative effort between Baylor, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and JPS Healthcare System. Researchers hope to learn more about TBI and the vast array of issues encountered by the people affected by it. The goal of the research is to help improve outcomes and the quality of life for survivors and their families who have been affected by a devastating injury.
When a person experiences a spinal cord injury (SCI), their life is dramatically changed and they are faced with a new set of physical, social and especially emotional challenges. How an individual reacts and adapts to a traumatic event such as this is known as resilience-their ability to overcome adversity. Researchers at Baylor Rehab, in conjunction with the University of North Texas, are currently are examining the role of resilience in SCI patients' rehabilitation process. Through this research, psychologists at Baylor Rehab hope to answer the question: 'Why after exposure to a traumatic event, do some people adapt more successfully than others?' Results from this study may assist Baylor Rehab psychologists in predicting the ability of patients to tolerate stress and negative affect post injury and could also lead to the identification of patients who would benefit from resilience therapy early on in the rehabilitation process.
Major depression has long been a battle for persons who have experienced a spinal cord injury. We are currently enrolling patients in a first-ever study of its kind, a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial on the use of the antidepressant venlafaxine XR (Effexor XL) for individuals with spinal cord injury. The study is designed to study the efficacy and tolerability of venlafaxine XR as a treatment for major depression, measuring not only the reduction in the severity of the depression, but also changes in pain and the quality of life. This collaborative studies involves our center along with University of Washington, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, University of Michigan and University of Alabama, Birmingham.
For patients who have experienced an acute stroke, learning to walk again is just one of the many challenges faced on the road to recovery. Poor motor skills and profoundly weak muscles make it extremely difficult to regain a symmetrical or balanced gait pattern using traditional therapy methods. Often times, patients relearn to walk incorrectly and slowly, which makes reintegration into the community very difficult. But the Body Weight Treadmill study at Baylor Rehab is researching a method to change that. By using a special treadmill system that supports part of the patient's body weight, physical therapists are able to teach patients to walk properly in a safe and secure environment. Once the patient regains their strength and re-establishes a more balanced gait pattern, they can begin to walk on flat surfaces and eventually learn to walk correctly again. So far, researchers report successful results and ultimately hope to include the technique in traditional therapy methods for stroke patients.
Patients at Baylor Rehab have access to the services and advanced technology of Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas, as well as more than 1300 physicians of all medical specialties who can serve as consultants. A team of rehabilitation specialists led by a physiatrist, designs intensive, individualized treatment plans to help patients achieve a maximum level of independence. Particular attention is paid to helping the patient return to school or work, leisure and home activities. Inpatient services at Baylor Rehab include:
The Traumatic Brain Injury Program offers a full continuum of services including acute rehabilitation, individual outpatient therapies, a day-neuro rehab program and Real Life Rehab, a community-based program.
The spinal cord injury program (SCI) treats patients with paraplegia, quadriplegia and those who are ventilator-dependent. Long-term care is available to these patients through the spinal cord injury follow-up clinic.
Stroke patients with varying degrees of disability are provided with treatment programs specific to their age, considering vocational, daily living and recreational goals.
These include, but are not limited to, persons who experience an amputation, total joint replacement, aneurysm, anoxia, arteriovenous malformation, encephalopathy, Guillian-Barré syndrome, multiple sclerosis, cancer, spinal or brain tumor, post-polio syndrome, post-transplant laminectomy and lupus.
Baylor Rehab reaches out to current and former patients as well as others in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex with monthly support groups for people who have experienced TBI, SCI and stroke. People who experience these conditions usually require a lifetime of rehabilitation and re-adjustment as these conditions can be extremely debilitating and often change the affected person's life forever-not to mention the lives of family, friends and caregivers. The support groups are designed to offer these people a chance to socialize with others who have shared the same experience. The TBI program at Baylor Rehab annually sponsors the Mountain High Camp, a five-day camp in Red River, N.M. for young adults who have experienced a TBI. In 2005, Baylor Rehab established its own camp for TBI survivors in Dallas known as Friends of Hope, a day camp held four times a year sponsored by Dallas area churches and synagogues. For fiscal year 2009, Baylor Health Care System will report $468 million* in community benefit, which includes providing care for charity patients and patients enrolled in government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, as well as the unreimbursed costs of medical education, research and community programs.
Jon Skinner, president, Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation Download PDF Version
*Represents preliminary information that will be reported to the Texas Department of State Health Services. Physicians are members of the medical staff at one of Baylor Health Care System's subsidiary, community, or affiliated medical centers and are neither employees nor agents of those medical centers, Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation or Baylor Health Care System.
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