Heinz Senior Rehab Care, Wilkes-Barre Township, has been ranked among the Nation’s best nursing homes, according to newly published U.S. News & World Report results. The magazine ranked nearly rates nearly 16,000 nursing homes, using 2013 data from the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Only 3,867 earned a Five-Star (top) overall rating. Quality measures, nurse staffing and health inspection ratings are factored into the overall rating. Five-star nursing homes display a badge recognizing their “Best Nursing Home” status.
the 2012-2013 report comes with our sincere thanks for our donors generous support. The gifts we received helped us to advance the health, life quality and independence of thousands of people in northeastern Pennsylvania with disabilities, serious injuries and illnesses.
Residents of Allied Services Skilled Nursing and Rehab Center in Scranton are enjoying the benefits of an ancient Chinese martial art, Tai Chi. The self-paced series of gentle movements that comprise this non-competitive martial art help to promote physical and mental well-being in participants. In addition, the exercises build core strength in participants, an important tool in preventing falls in wheelchair users.
In December 2013, Erin Wanick, Director of Activities and Lenore Shiner, Activities Assistant at Allied Services Skilled Nursing and Rehab Center received training in Tai Chi specifically for nursing home residents. Residents at the Skilled Nursing and Rehab Center take part in a variety of exercises. The twice-weekly Tai Chi classes, introduced in early 2014, have grown in popularity with the residents. “It feels good to exercise. We look forward to the classes every week” commented Dorothy Kavulich, a regular member of the class.
Pictured, from left: Helen Skoridowski (resident), Lenore Shiner (Activities Assistant) and Monice Cook, (resident) practice Tai Chi at Allied Services Skilled Nursing and Rehab Center in Scranton.
Allied Services Integrated Health System has been chosen by the Pennsylvania Homecare Association (PHA) to provide expert insights for free training videos designed to improve home-based care across the Commonwealth. Allied Services staff contributed to three separate training videos that will be available to professional caregivers on the website www.pahomecare.org under ‘My Learning Center’.
Stephanie Falvo, RD, from Allied Services Home Health and Denise Piepoli, RN, BSN, CDE, from Allied Services Skilled Nursing and Rehab Center offered advice on the importance of good nutrition for diabetics and the identification of dehydration. Allied Services Home Health has earned the HomeCare Elite™ award for six consecutive years, recognizing them as one of the top-performing home health agencies in the United States.
Linda Rotundo, a Direct Care Worker for Allied Services In-Home Services shared experiences that will be part of a training video on the role of Direct Care Workers for consumers receiving palliative hospice care at home. When asked about appearing in the video, Linda commented “If it helps another caregiver to do their job better, I’m happy to help.”
Allied Services provides in-home care in 22 counties in the commonwealth, offering services that promote independence and assist with activities of daily living for persons with disabilities and older adults.
Pictured, from left: Tracy Hunt, AVP In-Home Services, Mary Lou Knabel, VP of Home Care Services. Seated from left Linda Rotundo, Direct Care Worker, Jessica Robinson, Program Nurse.
by Julie Corponai. Re-posted from Happenings Magazine.
Allied Services prides itself on “miracles in rehab, performed daily.” For John Monahan, the statement could not be more true. A Brooklyn native and retired New York City homicide detective, Monahan suffered a series of three strokes between early December 2011 and late January 2012. While preparing to return home to Scranton from New York, he felt a strange sensation in his hands, then dropped his soda and keys. Luckily, his wife, Marie, Director of Speech Pathology and Audiology at Allied Services, recognized the signs of stroke and rushed him to Lenox Hill Hospital.
The stroke upended every aspect of the Monahans’ life. He lost the use of his hands, could not walk, had difficulty with his visual perception and needed help with nearly everything. “You realize incrementally what you took for granted, how the simplest things become a monumental feat,” says Monahan.
Stroke causes impaired sensation, movement, and intellectual processes and occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is interrupted or severely reduced. Within minutes, oxygen and food cannot reach the tissue, and the cells begin to die. According to the American Heart Association, stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, striking nearly 800,000 and causing death for more than 137,000.
Initially, Monahan began his rehab therapy at a renowned facility in New York. “During 20 years of rehab work, I’ve never seen a stroke that severe,” says his wife. However, the Monahans found the protocol less rigorous than what she was accustomed to at Allied, and they made the decision to bring him to Scranton.
She credits the strides he has made to the team of therapists at Allied. While she always appreciated how hard her fellow therapists worked, she never fully realized the depth of their devotion until she saw their work first hand, not just with her husband, but with all of their patients. One of the most severe symptoms Monahan experienced from the stroke is “pusher syndrome,” or an altered perception of body, causing him to feel that he was upright when he was actually severely tilted to the left. Allied therapists used ZeroG, one of the world’s most advanced systems for people relearning how to walk. Wearing a fitted harness, the system allows the patient to balance and stand without having to carry their full weight.
Monahan never experiences any down time in his therapy as his wife pushes him to go further in his recovery. “I always try to think what it would be like to be him, how I am going to help him without driving him insane,” she says. “She’s good at trying new ways to get me to go further and is always insightful in what she says,” says Monahan. Today, he is able to climb stairs to the second floor of their home, help with the cooking and enjoy dinner out at favorite restaurants with friends. An avid fly fisher and hunter before the stroke, he hopes to be able to get back to his pasttime when fishing season opens this year.
Recovery has its ups and downs. “There are days we fell we are at the top of the mountain, but we know there are five million more things to achieve,” she says. Luckily, the couple’s difficult days rarely happen at the same time. They have a running joke that when everything is okay, Monahan will buy his wife a tiara. They are not there yet, but hope to be someday.
The Michael J. Aronica, M.D., Wellness Center (Aronica Wellness Center) at Allied Services in Scranton now accepts members with Silver Sneakers wellness insurance coverage. The Aronica Wellness Center is open 6 days a week and offers former patients and individuals in the community a specialized exercise program to maintain or improve their health. The facility offers guidance from exercise physiologists who have been specially trained to work with individuals who are healthy or may be dealing with certain medical conditions.
Allied Services accepts Silver & Fit, Forever Fit, and now, Silver Sneakers. Discounts are available for individuals on disability and subscribers to Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Geisinger Health Insurance.
SilverSneakers is a fun, energizing program that helps older adults take greater control of their health by encouraging physical activity and offering social events. To find out if you’re health plan includes Silver Sneakers visit www.silversneakers.com.
For details on wellness membership and participation contact the Aronica Wellness Center at 570-341-3051.
Lewis Hackling is no stranger to injury. The 19 year old Noxen native has been playing hockey with younger brother Hunter since he was only 4 years old. He played for the Little Flyers for 3 years and competes in the Northern State Junior Hockey League. He’s had two serious concussions and just last month he took a puck to the mouth.
When Lewis suffered an injury during a December 2011 game however, he faced a whole new set of challenges. A student at Lake Lehman High School at the time, Lewis played in the 2011 Casey Classic. During the game, Lewis collided with another player and fell. He skated to the bench and then went back out on the ice, but when he tried to turn, his right knee gave way. An MRI revealed that he’d injured his right ACL.
In February 2012, he had surgery to repair his damaged ACL and began physical therapy in the Sports Medicine program at Heinz Rehab in Wilkes-Barre the very next day. After more than a month away from the sport, he was frustrated with his injury. “I wanted to skate the next day, but it just wasn’t going to happen.”
Lewis entered therapy with mixed feelings. He knew other players who had come to Allied Services and been successful, but he worried that he would be away from the game for months on end. “Before I came here, I thought therapy was just somewhere you came to sit and stretch, maybe get a massage.”
He soon discovered that rehabbing from an injury required many of the same traits needed to be a successful hockey player; determination, dedication, drive. His new ‘coaches’, physical therapists Theresa Stook and Mark Rowan, customized his treatment to the demands of his sport, selecting exercises that mimicked the motions hockey players make on the ice.
In addition to the three weekly therapy sessions, Lewis worked out at home, practicing some of the exercises demonstrated in therapy.
“Therapy was like anything that you want to be good at. If you want something, you have to strive for it, put in the extra hours.”
Always the competitive athlete, Lewis pushed back. Once he was strong enough, they took the training outside, running laps of the parking lot. Theresa, who was training for the New York City marathon at the time, remembers struggling to keep up!
The partnership between Lewis and this therapists and their combined dedication to getting him back to full health paid huge dividends for Lewis. By June, he was taking his first tentative steps on the ice. By September he was back to playing competitive hockey.
The doctors said I would be out for 9 months but I was back skating in 6 months. I couldn’t have done it without them. It was hard, but I loved therapy and coming to Heinz.”
Lewis is now a pre-med student at Marywood University. Most nights of the week you can find him at the Coal Street ice rink, practicing alongside Hunter and his Wilkes Barre Miners teammates.
Re-posted from The Pocono Record.
Linda Albertson of Sciota left high school in 1965 at the age of 17, with few options for the future.
The petite girl was born legally blind and with intellectual disabilities.
She was unemployable.
She didn’t fit into the model of society that existed in the 1960s. Programs for the disabled were rare. People like Linda were either institutionalized or kept behind closed doors.
Society didn’t believe their lives had value.
Yet Linda’s parents, like others with disabled children, wanted to make her life meaningful. Parents like Linda’s led to the creation of Burnley in 1964. Burnley is a vocational rehabilitation facility that provides training and employment, all focused on giving individuals with disabilities opportunities for a meaningful, purposeful life.
Linda was among the original employees in 1965, when the workshop received its first major contract, to solder parts of a tiny amplifier for the Army. The client — the Tobyhanna Army Depot.
Linda had a rocky start.
She became frustrated with her vision problems, and that made her difficult to work with. Linda’s disabilities led to confidence issues.
Day after day, she’d say “I can’t do it.” Yet each time, a supervisor would tell her, “You CAN do it.”
Their patience and encouragement made the difference.
Eventually, Linda became the workshop’s most skilled worker, assembling by hand 6-foot wire brushes for the Weiler Corp.
And with that came confidence, self-esteem and self-worth. Qualities we all, disabled or not, strive to achieve.
For Linda, having self-confidence brought her out and helped her to make friends.
That’s one of the things that Burnley does. It doesn’t just give people jobs. It exists because it believes in a person’s potential. Burnley helps them to be the best versions of themselves, the workshop’s Charlotte Wright said.
Linda, now 65, wore a rosey red velvet dress accessorized with a well-coordinated red beret when we met. My initial impression of her thick glasses and reluctant speech faded quickly behind her dignity and personality.
Linda tired during our late afternoon conversation and her head began to slump. I asked her what she does with the money she earns at Burnley.
Linda sat straight up, her shoulders back, her eyes looking right at mine. “I save it,” she said proudly.
Linda is Burnley’s longest employed worker, celebrating 49 years there. She’s just one of a small group who have reached retirement age but refuse, choosing to work instead.
Burnley has existed for 50 years because of the community’s goodwill.
That’s what it will take to ensure it’ll be around another 50 years from now.
And I believe it will.
Because there are people in this world who value every life.
Kate Genovese has a message for any injured student athletes out there. “Don’t give up. Don’t be afraid to push yourself to get back to doing what you love, because you can achieve it.”
The sophomore at Dunmore High School is currently in physical therapy to rehab her second ACL injury in as many years. Kate suffered her first ACL injury in November 2012 while practicing a cheer routine at North Pocono High School. Following surgery in January, she attended regular sessions with physical therapist, Julie Wise-Hall, at Moscow Rehab Center.
Initially, Kate didn’t know what to expect of therapy. She was fearful that she wouldn’t be able to participate in sports for at least 6 months. In addition to cheerleading, Kate loves volleyball, track, skiing and any activity that keeps her on the move. Based on her high level of fitness and motivation, Kate and Julie set themselves an aggressive goal – to have Kate ready for the spring cheerleading try-outs.
“Therapy is hard work, but you just have to push yourself. Going to Allied helped me so much. It took me 2 to 3 months to recover and I thought that was incredible.” By April, Kate was fully functional again: able to run, jump, perform challenging stunts and ultimately qualify for the cheer squad. Pushing aside any fear of re-injury, she resumed her active lifestyle, taking part in all the sports she loves.
Kate’s first ACL injury gave her something in common with her family – her father, sister and brother all suffered torn ACL injuries, on the same leg (right), and on the same sports field!
Her second ACL injury put her in the company of the countless winter sports athletes who experience this painful injury. Julie Wise-Hall explains “winter sports that involve twisting and pressure on the joints, like skiing and ice skating leave athletes more prone to injuries of the knee ligaments and joints.”
In November 2013, Kate fell while skiing. “I was going too fast and I tried to slow down by falling. But when I fell, I just felt something pop in my left knee and thought, ‘please don’t let that be my ACL’. I tried to get back up but collapsed right back on the ground.”
As she was brought down off the slope, she discovered that U.S. Olympic Alpine Skier Lindsey Vonn had also been injured that same day! The injury? A torn ACL.
Following her second injury, Kate knew what to expect. She had surgery to repair her damaged left ACL as soon as possible and prepared to enter the rehab phase. When her surgeon recommended rehab closer to her new home in Dunmore, Kate insisted that she return to Allied and her skilled therapist, Julie.
Kate currently attends therapy at Moscow Rehab Center three-times-a-week and is already making great progress. Her goal is to be ready for the track trials in the spring when she hopes to compete in the triple jump and high jump.
Julie has high hopes for Kate. “Being that she’s an athlete, motivated and puts the work in, I anticipate that the outcomes will be just as good as the first (injury).”
The experience has left Kate more determined than ever to push the boundaries of what’s possible, to do what she loves and to leave no room for fear or doubt. It has also given her a new goal to strive for – studying to become a physical therapist!
“I like the idea of a job where I’m not behind a desk. Being a physical therapist would allow me to be hands-on and allow me to help people. I’ve been through the experience so I could offer that perspective.”
Allied Services Home Health has once again earned HomeCare Elite™ Top 500 status, placing them among the top-performing home health agencies in the United States. The HomeCare Elite™ is a compilation that identifies the top 25 percent of agencies based on an analysis of performance measures. This year those measures include quality of care, quality improvement, patient experience and financial performance. This is the sixth consecutive year that Allied Services Home Health has received this award, and the first time they achieved top 500 status.
Allied Services Home Health serves patients in Luzerne, Lackawanna, Monroe, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming County, bringing medical care to patients in their own homes. The service combines Allied’s 30 years of nursing and rehabilitation experience to provide skilled nursing, rehab medicine including physical, occupational and speech therapy along with medical social services and home health aides. Allied Services Home Health is licensed and surveyed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Joint Commission.
The 2013 HomeCare Elite™ is the only performance recognition of its kind in the home health profession. The 2013 HomeCare Elite™ is brought to the industry by OCS HomeCare, the leading provider of home care information, and DecisionHealth, publisher of the home care industry’s most respected independent newsletter Home Health Line. The data used for this analysis were compiled from publicly available information.