At MedStar NRH, we focus on the whole person, helping a patient reach the highest level of health and independence possible. A patient may enter the Spinal Cord Program through the Spinal Cord Day Program or the Inpatient Spinal Cord unit.
Patients in our Spinal Cord Program benefit from the hospital’s role as a teaching facility and our active research programs. The Spinal Cord Program at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital is fully accredited by CARF.
Conditions We Treat
- Spinal cord injury/trauma
- Spinal cord disease
- Spinal stenosis
- Postoperative spinal surgery
- Multiple sclerosis
- Guillain Barre Syndrome
The MedStar NRH Continuum of Care
Before discharging a patient, our Team will recommend services the patient will need in order to transition to the next level of care. This might include our Day Treatment Program or Outpatient Services through the MedStar NRH Rehabilitation Network. We also offer access to quality skilled nursing facilities and home care through the MedStar Visiting Nurse Association. Our job is to build a roadmap for your recovery — and to support you along the journey as you rebuild your life .
- Pamela Ballard, MD is the Medical Director of the Spinal Cord Program.
- Cathy Ellis is the Co-Director of the Spinal Cord Program.
- Suzanne Groah, MD is the Co-Director of the Spinal Cord Injury Consultation and Liaison Service. Dr. Groah was named a "Best Doctor in America" for 2009-2010.
- The patient’s team will include: a physician team leader, rehabilitation nursing, social worker/case manager, physical therapist and occupational therapist.
- A patient might also work with a psychologist, speech language pathologist, therapeutic recreation specialist, vocational counselor, rehabilitation engineering specialist and dietician.
- Spiritual care services are also available.
- Emphasis is on the prevention of primary and secondary conditions and on the patients’ participation in quality of life activities.
- Extensive education is provided to the patient, the patient’s family and "significant others."
- The Lokomat® and ZeroG – robotic therapy devices – may be used to build strength and coordination as part of an individualized plan of care.
- Other sophisticated therapeutic equipment such as the LiteGait® , adaptive treadmills, functional electrical stimulation bikes, standing frames, hi-lo therapy mats, aquatic devices and adapted weight training and sports equipment is used.
- Community outings help patients learn how to navigate and participate in the community.
- Also available: Education about wheelchair use; driver training; employment and educational counseling; home and worksite evaluations.
- Our Male Fertility Clinic — one of the first of its kind in the U.S. — offers help to our male patients who wish to father children.
- MedStar NRH staff are actively involved in the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Spinal Cord Injury.
To learn more about admitting a patient to the Spinal Cord Program, see the Admissions & Referrals section.