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A Visit to the New Rehabilitation Center
Once located in a windowless basement, ZSFG’s Rehabilitation Center moved to a new, seismically safe home freshly built by ZSFG’s capital project team that is located on the third floor of Building 5.
One step into the modern, light-filled facility, and you immediately sense the healing power of the new environment, which respects the privacy of our patients who are undergoing physical, occupational and speech therapy. Windows line the back wall of the large and open room filled with mostly new exercise equipment. Private rooms and beds flanking the main space protect patients from noise, which is especially important to those who are recovering from traumatic brain injury and are experiencing cognitive processing issues. Work areas are closer together and make it easier for staff to collaborate and coordinate care. And with all the added space, there is always room for language interpreters, which at least 40 percent of patients need.
“It finally feels like patients and therapists have a space that is designed for them and the hard work they are doing,” observes Jennifer Mar, physical therapist and acting manager of the unit.
The busy center, which sees 130 to 140 patients on any given day, is able to accommodate approximately 30 percent more patients than the previous facility. The outpatient speech therapy is more robust because of the added space and equipment that allows staff to test a patient’s ability to swallow. Staff have also been able to expand the types of services they provide and diagnoses they treat, including in-person back strengthening classes, swelling due to disorder of the lymphatic system and splinting of upper extremity injuries.
Even the waiting room is larger and has more seating. “In the old space, we had patients waiting in the hall. Now, you never worry about not having enough space,” adds Jennifer.