CHRISTUS Spohn Rehabilitation Services helps patients get moving again.
By: Steven Alford
Photos by: Steven Alford
It’s the little things in life – brushing your teeth, walking to the car or putting on a shirt – that can become big hurdles after a stroke or injury. Every day, rehabilitation services teams at CHRISTUS Spohn Health System work with their patients to get them back to their daily routine on their own, but it’s no easy task. The compassionate care they provide requires a whole team of specialized therapists who provide a continuum of care from the moment a patient arrives at a CHRISTUS Spohn hospital in the Coastal Bend.
This September, known as National Rehabilitation Awareness Month, the health system is taking time to recognize the therapists and patients who make this program so rewarding. “Our patients are a big inspiration to us,” said Christina Castillo, lead therapist at CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-Shoreline. “Seeing them making progress and helping them get back to their normal life is why we are here.”
Depending on a patient’s diagnosis and needs, highly skilled health care professionals coordinate physical, occupational, speech and recreational therapies. The CHRISTUS Spohn Rehab Services team works closely with patients, their families and their physicians to achieve specific goals to best prepare patients for their return home and back to normal life.
Corpus Christi resident, Magda Cabrera, lost much of her mobility with the onset of Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a rare occurrence where the immune system attacks the body’s nerves. Since her work with Castillo and the CHRISTUS Spohn team, Cabrera has gotten back to walking and enjoys exercising during her weekly rehabilitation sessions. She says the bonds forged with her team have helped speed up her recovery. “It’s all about the relationships you build while you are getting your rehab,” Cabrera said. “I have found not just workers here, but friends.”
Cabrera said equally special is the way the CHRISTUS Spohn team also supports her spiritual growth through its mission to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ. “God is the main source of my strength, courage and wisdom to be able to handle the challenges and obstacles my family and I have had to face on this journey of regaining my body and life,” she added.
While the CHRISTUS Spohn Rehabilitation Services Program is a diverse one, it’s the health system’s specialization in serving neurological patients, such as those who have suffered a stroke, that really sets them apart, according to Cindy Carson, director of rehabilitation at CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-Shoreline. “We serve all diagnoses here, but we really specialize in the neurological population that other free-standing clinics typically do not,” Carson said. “Many of our associates are neuro-certified and are able to provide that continuum of care from inpatient to outpatient.”
Even after discharge, many “graduated patients” continue rehab at the hospital through the Rehab Edge Program. They prefer to exercise with the CHRISTUS Spohn rehab team in the hospital’s gym setting during normal business hours to continue their recommended exercise program. And they are an inspiration to other patients because they show that recovery is real and attainable, Castillo said.
It’s that team spirit that makes the CHRISTUS Spohn rehab program a success and a great place to come to work each day, according to Castillo. As a former collegiate cross-country runner, Castillo enjoys sharing her knowledge with her patients and working alongside her dedicated therapists. “Our team feels like it’s a humbling experience to work with our patients,” Castillo added. “We get to learn so much from them, and each day, they teach us and we all get better.”
CHRISTUS Spohn Health System is the region’s largest hospital system in South Texas, consisting of six hospital campuses throughout the Coastal Bend. The health system is consistently ranked a health care leader in the area, and it has received national recognition for several pioneering programs, including trauma, cardiac care, clinical excellence and oncology. For more than 100 years, CHRISTUS Spohn has been distinguished by its high-caliber staff and affiliated physicians, its comprehensive and innovative services and its long history of responding to the needs of the community it serves. For additional information, visit www.christusspohn.org.
To learn more about the CHRISTUS Spohn Rehabilitation team, please visit www.christusspohn.org/rehabilitationservices or call 361-881-3515.