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Cindy Ficorelli

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Genesys unveils 50' mural for rehabilitative therapy

(GRAND BLANC, MI) Genesys has captured its peaceful wildlife surroundings inside the medical center with the unveiling of a new therapeutic tool - a 50' nature mural. Colorfully depicting the four seasons, this unique rehabilitative modality offers "limitless possibilities" in the recovery process for patients suffering from stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury, orthopedic injuries, neuromuscular diseases and other debilitating conditions that require a comprehensive treatment program, reports Stacie Bommersbach, program director of Genesys inpatient rehabilitation.
The mural's four seasons symbolize patients' progression in their journey to recovery. They can, for example, count the fence posts as they regain mobility, reach up and touch a bird to measure their range of motion, or talk about their favorite season to measure their cognitive strength, Bommersbach explains. "The mural motivates patients, lifts their spirits and encourages communication - all components that help lead to a rapid recovery. Our goal in rehab is to help patients return to a life of independence, and the mural definitely will serve as a major tool in that process."

Genesys Rehabilitation staff, in their quest to cover a long, stark-white hallway that patients travel several times a day - realized the opportunity to incorporate this area into the patient's recovery plan. The staff sought grant funding from the Conway Wildlife Trust to make the concept a reality. (This organization focuses on the promotion of wildlife conservation.) Conway Wildlife Trust provided a grant to commission Mike Sevick, an art professor at the University of Michigan-Flint to serve as art director of the project. Employees, along with rehabilitation patients, helped design and finish the mural, which covers the entire length of one hallway on the unit.

After months of planning and work, this community-wide undertaking was unveiled in a ceremony today, Tuesday, Sept. 20, during National Rehabilitation Week.

"Genesys believes in preserving the body, mind and spirit of our patients, and we see the mural as an expansion of this goal," notes Raquel Largent, OTR, Physical Medicine supervisor who oversees inpatient rehabilitation therapy services. "Physical therapists will use the wildlife mural to help patients improve balance and endurance, occupational therapists will find the mural useful in helping patients strengthen hand and upper extremity functions, and speech-language pathologists can work with patients to help improve vocal quality, resonance and endurance," she adds. "We see the mural as the patient's journey through life. Sometimes detours and obstacles slow the course, but as patients persevere, they will continue on their journey through the four seasons of life. Our mural reflects that road to recovery."

The Genesys Inpatient Rehabilitation Center, housed inside Genesys Regional Medical Center at Health Park, provides comprehensive rehabilitation services to help patients achieve their highest level of functional independence. The staff, under the direction of a physiatrist (a physician specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation), is comprised of a care coordinator, rehabilitation nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, recreational therapist, social workers, dietitians and spiritual care chaplains. The care team works together with the patient and family to individualize a plan of care that will help lead to a rapid recovery and a return home to activities of daily living. The unit is located next to one of the nature trails at Health Park. Patients can sit outside in a gazebo overlooking the natural wildlife surrounding Genesys, or enjoy the walking trails with family members.

The unit is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and the American Osteopathic Association (AOA).

Referrals can be made by case managers, family members, physicians, insurance providers, home health providers and other clinicians.

For more information on rehabilitation services at Genesys, call Admissions Coordinator Cornelia Massolo at (810) 606-6776, or the Rehabilitation Center at (810) 606-6500.


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