As a physician, Steven Grossman, MD, assesses health-care facilities with a keen eye.
“At the end of the day, I’m more critical than your average patient because I am a doctor. I am honest when I say that Christian Health Care Center (CHCC) and its short-term rehab service are extraordinary,” says the cardiologist, who spent nearly three weeks in CHCC’s short-term rehab. “You are top rate, from top to bottom.”
The cardiologist’s path to short-term rehab at CHCC was prompted by a chance encounter with his car door. While getting into the car, the edge of the door slightly cut his leg.
“I had forgotten about it until I was in my office and noticed a small stain on my sock,” Dr. Grossman says. “The wound became infected, and I landed in the hospital with systemic sepsis, a blood-borne infection, and was critically ill.”
The infection caused multiple septic emboli – bacteria-filled particles – which led to endocarditis, an infection of the inner lining of the heart, and subsequently to infection of the spinal column. Dr. Grossman required 45 days of antibiotic therapy; four laminectomies, surgical procedures in which part of the vertebra covering the spinal canal is removed in order to relieve pressure on the spinal cord and nerves; and an abscess removed on his spinal cord.
Thirty pounds lighter and infection-free, Dr. Grossman was ready to be discharged to short-term rehab to build his strength. The Upper Montclair resident sought a recommendation from his friend and personal physician Richard Oliver, MD, an internist on staff at CHCC’s Heritage Manor Nursing Home and The David F. Bolger Post-acute Care Unit.
“I didn’t really know much about Christian Health Care Center, and I was very impressed,” Dr. Grossman says. “I was impressed with the nursing care, impressed with the rehab staff, impressed with the cleanliness. I was impressed with the entire facility.”
Short-term rehab is beneficial for post-surgical patients like Dr. Grossman, as well as individuals who have had a joint replacement; are recovering from a stroke, cardiac surgery, or pneumonia; or have a chronic illness, such as cardiac disease, renal disease, or diabetes. The program’s highly skilled, full-time interdisciplinary team includes physicians, nurses, rehabilitation therapists, dietitians, social workers, activity staff, chaplains, and discharge planners.
Inpatient and outpatient physical, occupational, and speech therapy primarily take place in the 14,000-square-foot Bolger Gym & Wellness Center.
“The facility,” Dr. Grossman says, “is beautiful.”
Here, Dr. Grossman utilized state-of-the-art equipment, an indoor walking track, and a variety of exercise machines to regain his strength. Occupational therapy took place in the Transitional Care Suite, a treatment modality unique to this area. The suite, which includes a kitchen/dining area, family room, laundry room, bedroom, and bathroom, offers patients a chance to relearn daily activities in a safe, private environment, under the guidance of their therapist. The design replicates the comforts of home, as well as the challenges found at home following a hospitalization.
“I made the bed, set the table, and performed other tasks that I would do at home,” Dr. Grossman says.
Six months after the encounter with the car door, Dr. Grossman returned to his practice full-time. If any of his patients require short-term rehab, he knows just the place.
“Without a doubt,” he says, “I will refer patients to Christian Health Care Center.”