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A festive holiday gathering for rehab patients

12/21/2011

Santa spreads Christmas cheer at the annual Inpatient Rehabilitation Christmas party. More than 55 rehab patients past and present and their families gathered at St. Joseph Hospital’s General Hospital campus for the inpatient rehabilitation department’s annual holiday party on Tuesday, December 13. Visitors enjoyed talking with Santa and having cookies, punch, coffee and other treats while being entertained by musician and therapy participant Reid Hausch, who strummed his guitar and sang holiday tunes during the event.

Every year, the rehab unit throws this event to reunite staff with former patients and to ring in the holidays with patients currently receiving rehabilitation services at the hospital. For staff and patients, the party is a great opportunity to reconnect, as many rehab employees develop relationships with patients after spending an average of two weeks helping them work through their struggles and challenges.

Freshwater resident Jan Kraepelien entered rehab after an auto accident in January, 2010 left him with a serious head injury. He spent a month and a half at the facility. "The attitude from the people there - they let me bring my dog and my wife was able to stay with me. Those things made it crucial to be able to heal," Kraepelien said.

Families are involved with patients’ treatments – rehab staff train family members how to care for their loved ones when they return home. More than 90 percent of rehab patients return to a home setting after being treated at St. Joseph Hospital, which is a huge accomplishment considering the fact that patients usually have serious conditions upon arrival. In fact, St. Joseph Hospital’s rehab program is currently ranked in the top 3% in the nation for patient outcomes.

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