Rehabilitation team gets patient moving in the right direction

September 11, 2010


Greetings to the staff and the Director of the Rehabilitation Services Department at Providence Willamette Falls Hospital:


I have been meaning to write this letter for a considerable amount of time, but today I experienced something which dramatically illustrated to me how valuable my experience with your department has been. Ultimately, I want to thank everyone for the opportunity that was given me and realize how your support has significantly enhanced by physical abilities. Additionally, the staff and the program need to be viewed as an asset and meaningful contributor to the well being of everyone it serves.


Today, I participated in the Walk N’ Roll fundraiser for UCP (United Cerebral Palsy) of Oregon and Southwest Washington. Today was my 3rd time participating in the fundraiser, which consists of walking north from the Hawthorne Bridge along the Eastbank Esplanade, crossing the river at the Steel Bridge, following Waterfront Park back to the Hawthorne, crossing the river again, and ending up where I began near the east bank fire station. This circuit is about 2.25 miles, and today I completed it in 2 hours flat. When compared to today’s other participants, who complete the circuit in about 1 hour, my efforts appear unimpressive. However I have another perspective.


My 1st involvement with the UCP fundraiser occurred shortly after I began my exercise program. During that year’s fundraiser I completed the circuit in 3 hours, finishing last and with a bloody nose for I fell on the Hawthorne. A year later; during my 2nd year with your program, I finished within 2.5 hours and no bloody nose. I missed last year’s event. However, this year’s event continues to illustrate my improvement—not just with my speed, but with a lack of fatigue or muscle pain!


Additionally, you need to know that I have lost 30 pounds while participating in your gym program, which has only brought a “smile” to Nordstrom’s because I have to buy a new wardrobe!


Physically, I have not been in this good a shape since I graduated college nearly 40 years ago. My balance has significantly improved. While standing I sense a greater degree of stability, which helps me for I love photography. Getting up from a chair, or from the ground, is almost effortless and occurs very quickly! For most of my life my left arm was useless and ineffective; but now it is as strong as my right, and each day I use it in ways that were never possible.


Obviously, my Cerebral Palsy has not disappeared, but it is definitely easier to live with. However, if I fail to exercise for a period longer than a week, my body becomes “angry,” and I better “run” back to the gym! For most of my life the word EXERCISE was something that was to be avoided. Now its full significance is understood and fully appreciated!


However, excuse me for I have spent too much time illustrating how I have benefitted from your program, and I really need to share with you another facet of your program—your staff.


As a retired special education teacher I have always have the opportunity to observe people working with and giving of themselves to others. To the Director of the rehab unit, the staff of the rehab unit is simply exceptional! From the moment a client enters your facility, they are greeted warmly, with a great amount of care, and with a sense of welcome by your office staff. This level of attentiveness is carried on by your therapeutic assistants as they assist each client get prepared for that day’s activities. They go one step further by “doing little things” to help everyone feel as ease. As for each therapist they are all totally focused on their individual clients. I have watched them all display sensitivity, caring, and a professional belief that the treatments being offered each individual are the BEST that can be given—meeting the specific needs of the individual.


Additional, I cannot help but observe that your therapeutic staff always attempts to create a patient-therapist partnership. Every therapist apparently recognizes that each patient can only accomplish what their current skills and personal attitudes allow. Asking clients to go beyond these levels may lead to feelings of frustration and client reluctance, which are to be avoided. Naturally, the therapists bring with them their professional and their experiential knowledge; but they also take the time to listen to each patient—hearing their individual perspectives, understanding their concerns, and helping each person develop goals and outcomes for their therapy sessions. Thus insuring a greater probability of a patient regaining the sills that they have lost. In my experience such relationships do not always develop, and I am pleased to observe that your staff strives to create such a relationship.


To the Director of the rehab unit, I want you to realize that each staff member is a PROFESIONAL!  They and the program, which they have created, must be viewed as and asset to the hospital and the community which the hospital serves. I hold every staff member with the high esteem and value. It is my hope that a copy of this letter be placed in EACH staff member’s file, and if it is possible, that the ENTIRE department be awarded “EMPLOYEES OF THE MONTH.”


Sincerely yours,


A grateful patient