Kosasa Clinic Opens At REHAB

By Susan Fujita
Interviewed by Guest Writer
Wednesday - August 26, 2009
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Susan Fujita, MS, CCC-SLP
Director of Inpatient Therapy Services

Interviewed By Melissa Moniz

When did the Kosasa Gait & Seating Clinic open?

Our Kosasa Gait & Seating Clinic officially opened on July 29. There was great media coverage and many of our hospital staff attended the event. Two of our donors, Paul Kosasa and his family and Phillip Chang and his sister Kathy Ching, were honored. They were able to see the results of their generous donations.

Can you describe the Kosasa Gait & Seating Clinic and explain what type of new equipment was brought in to better serve the needs of the patients?

The Kosasa Gait & Seating Clinic is a one-stop shop where patients receive a variety of high quality PT (physical therapy) services. For instance, our renovated clinic is now large enough to allow our PT staff to perform video gait (walking) analysis and gait training. Using a digital video camera, different views are taken as the patients walk. By capturing their gait on video, the physical therapists are able to better identify specific problems. Seeing is also believing. Patients are often surprised when they see actual clips of themselves walking, which elevates their self-awareness of what they need to do to improve. We take before-and-after shots, and the improvements are often amazing.


 

Many of our patients have orthotic and/or seating needs. They may need a brace for support when walking or they may need a special wheelchair cushion to prevent pressure ulcers and skin breakdown. The X-Sensor Pressure Mapping System is a tool consisting of a computer and a flexible sensor pad that analyzes and assesses pressure areas in sitting. Using this analysis, a cushion can be designed specifically for that patient.

For our patients who do not yet have adequate strength in their trunk and/or legs to support themselves while walking, our new Biodex Unweighing System provides patients with the support needed as they practice walking on a treadmill or directly on the floor. Patients are strapped in a harness to keep them safe, allowing their PT to assist them with walking without having to hold them up.

After injuries such as strokes, some patients have a condition called “foot drop,” which results in their foot dragging on the floor as they walk. The Bioness L300, a functional electrical stimulation device, is placed just below the knee and uses stimulation to lift the foot to help patients walk safely.

The Nintendo Wii game is also part of this clinic. Who would have ever thought that working on strengthening, flexibility, hand-eye coordination, posture and balance could be so much fun! Patients get so focused on sporting games, such as golf, that they don’t even realize all of the physical and cognitive benefits that the activity brings to them.

REHAB therapists demonstrate the Biodex Unweighing

How many patients will be using this clinic?

We estimate that 80 percent of our neuro population will be able to benefit from one or more of the services. Patients with orthopedic injuries will also be able to use these services. This translates into more than 1,200 patients per year.

What is your involvement with the new clinic?

One of my responsibilities as the director of inpatient therapy services is to develop programs that will enhance patient care. Now that this clinic is up and running, my job is to make sure it operates as it was designed to do. Dawn Nakamura, PT clinical specialist, and her team of physical therapists will deliver the services.


This clinic is the only one of its kind in Hawaii. What makes it so unique and special?

Its size, offering advanced gait and seating therapy, and the equipment all in one area.

Does REHAB Hospital have any other new programs and services on the horizon?

One project is the development of a vision program on our neuro floor. As REHAB’s focus is on improving services that support our neuro programs, we’re excited to be able to provide patients with visual needs more thorough assessments and functional treatment activities.

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