Pediatric physical and occupational therapists at Hopkins Children's Center have long been proud of their service. They’ve provided comprehensive inpatient rehabilitation services through an interdisciplinary approach for a variety of childhood disorders,including burns, cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, muscular dystrophy, and orthopedic injuries, among others. Working in an academic setting, they’ve also been able to help advance their field through participating in research on a wide range of issues stemming from impairment and limited function.
But because of space limitations they’ve not been able to achieve one of their top priorities—an outpatient pediatric rehabilitation program. With the opening of The Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children’s Center May 1,2012, that goal became a reality, too.
“This is our first outpatient physical rehabilitation clinic,” says Pediatric Rehabilitation Team Coordinator Julie Quinn. “That’s what we’re starting here.”
“Here” is one corner of the second floor of the Bloomberg Children’s Center, where the spacious, state-of-the-art suite sits. Features include a kitchen area, a small gym and a larger main room for multiple activities and exercises to help patients regain strength and endurance. The benefits of such an in-hospital outpatient rehab clinic include improved continuity of care and patient-family convenience, Quinn notes.
Oncology outpatients coming to the hospital weekly for medical follow-ups, for example, can schedule their physical therapy and occupational therapy at the same time. “Rather than send inpatients being discharged somewhere else,” says Quinn, “patients can have their physical and occupational therapy here. Why send them outside?”
The focus is on children and adolescents with significant medical conditions, like a serious orthopedic injury or cancer. The effects of medical treatments like chemotherapy and radiation treatment for childhood cancers—which can decrease core strength and endurance for patients—are targeted, too.
“Evidence-based research has shown that those young children don’t regain what they once had without rehab intervention,” says Quinn.
The clinic is staffed by four physical therapists, three occupational therapists, and a pediatric hand therapist. For more information, call 443-287-9262.