Miland E. Knapp Rehabilitation Center celebrates 50 years of teamwork

Hennepin Healthcare’s Miland E. Knapp Rehabilitation Center is celebrating its fiftieth year of helping patients return to their homes after severe injury or illness. To mark the occasion, the nationally recognized Center is holding an open house on Sunday, July 14 from 2-5pm at Hennepin Healthcare’s Clinic & Specialty Center, 715 South 8th St. in Minneapolis.

The Miland E. Knapp Rehabilitation Center (Knapp Rehab) is an acute inpatient specialty program of Hennepin Healthcare serving adolescent and adult patients who have been traumatically injured or disabled.

“Our legacy of caring for patients began in an area with only four rooms shared by four patients each,” explains Geoffrey Roe, RN, Nurse Manager of Knapp Rehab. “Of course the center itself, therapies and interventions have changed over time, but the commitment to providing state-of-the-art, compassionate care has remained the same.”

Current and former patients, families and staff are invited to attend the event that will include a short program, refreshments, and time for listening to patients share stories of how they overcame dramatic physical and emotional barriers with the support of Knapp Rehab professionals. Continue reading “Miland E. Knapp Rehabilitation Center celebrates 50 years of teamwork”

Got a brain injury question? Ask an expert on March 13

Public invited to “Ask the Brain Injury Experts” event

Brain Injury Awareness Month bundle_FB post hUnlike a wrist or ankle fracture where a cast, splint or minor surgery can help return function back to “normal,” an injury to the brain can present unique challenges. No two brain injuries are alike; recovery and treatment recommendations are based on the severity of the injury and other factors – and can have life-changing effects.

Hennepin Healthcare’s Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Center cares for more than 3,000 patients each year, providing a full range of state-of-the-art medical and rehabilitative services from prevention to emergency care, neurosurgery, critical care, rehabilitation and the Traumatic Brain Injury Outpatient Program.

Experts from many of those services will be available to answer questions in person at the “Ask the Brain Injury Experts” event on Wednesday, March 13 from noon-1pm at the M. Stillman Education and Community Center located on the first floor of the Hennepin Healthcare Clinic & Specialty Center. A live Twitter chat will also take place during that time so anyone who cannot attend in person can ask questions using the hashtags #TBIMonth and #TBIChat to @hennepinhc.

What:              Ask the Brain Injury Experts
When:             Wednesday, March 13, 2019 from noon to 1pm
Where:            Hennepin Healthcare Clinic & Specialty Center
715 S. 8th St. Mpls., MN 55404, 1st Floor M. Stillman Education and Community Center (Parking is available beneath the building.)

Throughout the month of March the TBI Center is sponsoring educational events for the public to raise awareness about traumatic brain injury. Although they are free, some of these events require registration. More information is available at  hennepinhealthcare.org/tbimonth 

Each year, more than 2.5 million Americans sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Among children and young adults, TBI is the leading cause of death and disability. In Minnesota, nearly 100,000 brain injuries occur annually. A large percentage of those injuries are mild to moderate cases and often go untreated. As a Level I Trauma Center, Hennepin Healthcare admits and treats the most traumatic brain injuries in the state. For more information about TBI programs and services, go to hennepinhealthcare.org/tbi

 

Researchers at HCMC awarded grants for Traumatic Brain Injury and Spinal Cord Injury

Last year the Minnesota State Legislature established the Spinal Cord Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury Research Grant Program (136A.901).   The grants support research into new and innovative treatments and rehabilitative efforts for functional improvement of people with spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries. The first research grants were announced January 25, and three out of four of the new grants were awarded to researchers at Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC). Continue reading “Researchers at HCMC awarded grants for Traumatic Brain Injury and Spinal Cord Injury”

Removing clots provides additional benefits for stroke patients compared to medications alone

HCMC patients enrolled in study that shows clot-busting medications aren’t the only options in stroke care

Rick and BearTaking his dog out for a walk left Richard Juergensen speechless – but thanks to a life-saving technique and the quick actions of a neighbor, the 55-year-old survived a stroke and is already back to work.

On the chilly -8 below evening of Tuesday, March 4, Juergensen and his chocolate lab, Bear (see photo) began their evening routine going outside for a walk. After Bear made a pit stop in the front yard, Richard remembers his arm suddenly going numb. “I grabbed hold of my arm and it was just kind of flopping around,” he explains. “Then my right leg went numb, too. A neighbor saw me and asked me what was wrong, but I couldn’t answer him. I knew what I wanted to say, but couldn’t say it.”

His neighbor quickly called 911 and Hennepin EMS paramedics recognized his symptoms as a likely stroke so notified the hospital of a “Stroke Alert” and transported him to Hennepin County Medical Center, where he was evaluated by their stroke team. “When I was in the emergency department I felt like giving up because people were asking me questions and I knew the answers, but couldn’t articulate them,” said Juergensen. “It was very scary.”

He was found to have an occlusion – a clot – in one of the branches of the middle cerebral artery in his brain and was immediately taken to an interventional radiology suite, where the clot was removed using a Solitaire™ stent retriever and a special suction device called Penumbra™. Because Juergensen was on blood thinners, he could not receive the clot-busting medication, alteplase (also known as tPA), leaving him mechanical thrombectomy as his only treatment option.

“As the only Minnesota hospital to enroll patients in any of four recent research studies about whether clot removal using state-of-the-art devices is as beneficial as IV tPA, we were in a perfect position to treat Mr. Juergensen,” explains HCMC’s Dr. Bharathi Jagadeesan. “The research trials demonstrated that this technique works, and that clot-busting medication isn’t the only answer.”

In fact, if mechanical thrombectomy (blood clot removal) is performed, patients have a longer window of time to receive treatment and more patients have a good outcome when compared to clot-busting medication therapy alone.

“IV tPA, or clot-busting medication, is still our first-line therapy; however, it must be administered within 4.5 hours of the onset of stroke symptoms and is not safe in patients with a significant bleeding risk, like Mr. Juergensen,” said Dr. Jagadeesan. “So if the patient cannot be given IV tPA or if stroke symptoms persist after tPA is started, it’s great to know that we have the specialized equipment and highly skilled interventional team that are needed to successfully perform mechanical thrombectomy.”

“When I woke up Wednesday morning, everything was back to normal,” said Juergensen. The night before I thought my life was changed forever. Now words can’t express how grateful I am for the care I received.”

Juergensen was discharged from HCMC on March 6, just 3 days after having what would most likely have been a major stroke if he hadn’t received emergency treatment. He returned to work a week later.

“Mr. Juergensen is an excellent example of the life-saving and life-changing outcomes that can be achieved with prompt and precise medical intervention,” said Dr. Jagadeesan.

The Hennepin Stroke Center at Hennepin County Medical Center is a national leader in the treatment of ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes with some of the fastest clot-busting drug delivery times in the U.S. HCMC is the only hospital in Minnesota who enrolled patients in the SWIFT-PRIME stroke trial which demonstrated improved outcomes in patients receiving IV tPA plus cutting edge endovascular therapy compared to patient’s receiving IV tPA alone. The Hennepin Stroke Center is nationally certified by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) for rehabilitative care after a stroke occurs.

Cancer Center receives STAR Program® Certification

The Comprehensive Cancer Center at Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) announced today that it has earned its STAR Program® Certification from the Massachusetts-based Oncology Rehab Partners, leading experts in the field of survivorship care.  HCMC Comprehensive Cancer Center is leading the way by offering excellent cancer rehabilitation services to its patients by becoming STAR Program Certified.

STAR Program Certification uniquely qualifies facilities like the HCMC Comprehensive Cancer Center to offer premium cancer rehabilitation and survivorship services to people who suffer from debilitating side effects caused by treatments.

To receive its certification, HCMC Cancer Center implemented the STAR Program which involves training clinicians and focusing on improving patient care outcomes. The healthcare services offered by the STAR Program are covered by most insurance providers, including Medicare, and will be offered to patients by a knowledgeable and sensitive medical staff that is specially trained to work with survivors of all forms of cancer.

The multidisciplinary group includes the medical director of PM&R, advanced practice providers, nurses, physical therapists and lymphedema specialists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, dietitian, social work, and exercise trainer.  The collaborative group will be one of the first multidisciplinary STAR Programs in the state of Minnesota.

They will work together with each patient on a personalized rehabilitation plan to increase strength and energy, alleviate pain, and improve daily function and quality of life.

Syndal Ortman, RN
Syndal Ortman, RN

“We pursued grant funding to cover the cost of the training for 25 participants as part of our Survivorship program.  Being awarded the full amount not only validated our belief that there has been a gap in care for our patients, but it also provided organizational support for our cancer survivors.  We’re very excited to be able to fill the gap and offer these services,” Syndal Ortman, RN, DNP, HCMC Survivorship & Cancer Rehab Program Director.

STAR Program Certification provides hospitals and cancer centers with the tools needed to quickly and effectively implement high quality survivorship services.

About the STAR Program The STAR Program is a best practices multidisciplinary cancer rehabilitation service-line model that improves patient care. STAR Program Certification provides healthcare facilities and clinicians with the tools (education,  training, evaluation and treatment protocols, and outcomes support) to develop and deliver state-of-the-art cancer rehabilitation services to survivors who suffer the side effects and after effects of treatments – whether they are in remission, living with cancer or cured. All of the services integrated in the STAR Program, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, mental health counseling, and consultations with rehabilitation medicine physicians (physiatrists), are typically covered by health insurance. Learn more at www.OncologyRehabPartners.com.

HCMC’s EMG lab achieves national accreditation

HCMC’s EMG lab received Laboratory Accreditation status from the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM). Ezgi Tiryaki, MD, certified by the American Board of Electrodiagnostic Medicine (ABEM), is the laboratory’s medical director.

“I am excited to receive AANEM Laboratory Accreditation status,” explains Dr. Tiryaki. “This signifies our commitment to the best quality of care and outstanding service to our patients and referring providers. We owe this achievement to the initiative and hard work of our EMG laboratory coordinator Gordian Yap and the strong support of our HCMC administrators, and we’re proud to be the first laboratory to be accredited with exemplary status in the state of Minnesota.”

HCMC’s laboratory is a main teaching site for an EMG fellowship through the University of Minnesota and the EMG technician program through the Minneapolis Community and Technical College. Physical medicine and rehabilitation, neurology, neurosurgery, medicine and podiatry residents as well as medical students rotate through the laboratory to learn about the procedure and its indications.

“Being accredited will allow us to teach all these learners about the process of quality improvement and system-based practice,” says Dr. Tiryaki.

Continue reading “HCMC’s EMG lab achieves national accreditation”

Jack Jablonski discharged from HCMC


On Monday, January 23, Jack Jablonski was transferred from Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) to Sister Kenny Institute  for rehabilitation by the two paramedics who were on duty when the 16-year-old was injured.

On December 30, HCMC paramedics Scott Brethorst and Geoff Antonenko responded to a call from St. Louis Park Rec Center, where a hockey player was down after being checked. The paramedics immediately went out on the ice to care for Jablonski. “There are certain types of calls we remember for the rest of our lives, ” explains paramedic Scott Brethorst. “And this was one of them.”

After assessing Joblonski, Brethorst’s concern was easily read by his colleague, paramedic Geoff Antonenko.

“I remember Scott gave me a look that said, ‘this is serious,'” said Antonenko.

Jablonski spent the next 24 days at HCMC, where his room took on the look of a pro shop with autographed jerseys and memorabilia from sports teams  and celebrities throughout the country.

Emergency Medical Services supervisor Wade Johnson, who is also the coach of the Hennepin Generals hockey team, heard of Jablonski’s pending discharge and knew that Brethorst and Antonenko would like to see him before he left HCMC.

“One of our new ambulance rigs was arriving on Monday morning, so we arranged it so that the two paramedics who brought him to HCMC in December could bring Jack to the next part of his journey,” said Johnson.  “His story touched us all, and we wanted to do this for him.”

“We don’t often get the opportunity to follow up with the patients we care for, so it was an honor to see this courageous young man again,” said  Brethorst.  “Like I said, there are certain calls you never forget.”

Paramedics Scott Brethorst and Geoff Antonenko wait outside Jack's room to transfer him to Sister Kenny Institute