Since our Inpatient Rehabilitation Program opened 10 years ago, we’ve served more than 500 patients who need medical care and intensive physical, occupational and speech therapy for a traumatic and life-changing illness or injury.
“At Akron Children’s, we provide the full continuum of rehabilitation care to meet the needs of children at every stage of the recovery process,” said Dr. Micah Baird, medical director of the Inpatient Rehabilitation Program.
This includes therapy in all settings – from our Pediatric Intensive Care Unit to acute care, inpatient rehabilitation, day rehabilitation and outpatient therapy.
“Since the Inpatient Rehabilitation Program opened in 2012, we’ve expanded from five to eight beds and added a teacher from the Akron Public Schools who is dedicated to inpatient rehab and day rehab patients,” said Sharon Maley, nurse program coordinator. Maley also works with TL Worldwide Transportation to take patients and staff on outings in the community, where patients can practice the skills they’ve gained in the program.
Accreditation as an Inpatient Rehabilitation Pediatric Specialty Program
The Inpatient Rehabilitation Program recently achieved its second 3-year accreditation as an Inpatient Rehabilitation Pediatric Specialty Program from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).
“This is the gold standard of accreditation and validates the work of our team,” said Maley. “We work together to maximize functional gains and ensure patient safety as they transition back to their homes and community.”
Only 39 pediatric programs in the U.S. have earned this distinction, including four in Ohio.
During the accreditation survey, many strengths were noted, such as excellent communication among the interdisciplinary team. There is strong administrative and medical leadership, with a highly engaged nurse program coordinator and actively involved medical director who collaborates with staff at all levels. Surveyors also noted the current renovations in Rehabilitative Services that will enhance therapy services, and the use of the Emily Cooper Welty Expressive Therapy Center and members of the Doggie Brigade as part of therapy sessions – always a highlight of therapy day.
“There were many areas of strengths listed in our survey report, as well as some expected recommendations for us to work on. Overall, there was a lot of growth and improvement from our first survey in 2019,” said Maley. “We worked as a team to pinpoint a strategic vision for the program, which has been incorporated into our strategic plan. We also continue to assess our program and ensure our patients attain the highest level of functioning possible.”
“We’ve had a lot of growth over the last 10 years, in our programs, patients served and outreach to patients in our region. In the next 10 years, our program and expertise will continue to grow,” said Dr. Baird. “We are designing a dedicated and integrated unit for our intensive therapy teams that will provide an accessible and family-centered experience for our patients. We are also exploring CARF specialty certification in the areas of day rehabilitation and brain injury rehabilitation. Our inpatient rehabilitation program is dedicated to our mission of helping patients and families focus on abilities, not disabilities, by encouraging kids to be kids.”