Helping patients get back to doing what they love

Rehabilitation serves a unique purpose in the medical world.

Rebecca Susa-Newman is the director of rehabilitation at Aurora Medical Center in Summit.

“Our primary goal is to get patients back to doing what they were doing before their illness, injury or surgery, even if it’s learning another way to do it,” explained Rebecca Susa-Newman, Director of Rehabilitation at Aurora Medical Center in Summit. “Simply put, the doctor fixes the mechanics of what is going on; we teach you how to use it.”

The services offered at Aurora in Summit are some of the most robust in the Aurora Health Care system.

“We offer everything in one location, including sports medicine, women’s health, pediatrics, oncology, neurology and other areas of specialty care,” said Rebecca.

And the benefits to patients can extend to many areas of their lives.

“Physical and occupational therapy treatments directly improve a patient’s physical self. With an improved and more functional body, we indirectly help their vocational, social, and psychological welfare which allows them to be a more productive and functional person in society,” said Amy Ford, DO.

Working with every type of patient

What’s also key about rehabilitation are the close relationships patients and caregivers develop.

“We work with every type of patient, and we build relationships with them,” said Rebecca. “We really get to know them through one-on-one interactions.”

Dr. Ford helps a patient with shoulder strengthening exercises.

By spending so much time with  patients, it’s easy for caregivers to see the positive impact rehabilitation has.

“Patients are very appreciative to be performing activities that provide a better quality of life and which allow them to maintain their independence,” explained Dr. Ford.

For some, rehabilitation can be life-changing.

“I just talked to a patient the other day who said she wouldn’t be walking if it weren’t for physical therapy,” recalled Rebecca. “Another patient had breast cancer, and her treatment had gone really well, but she was having a hard time doing what she loved – running. She came in, we worked with her, and six months later I got a letter saying she’d just finished a 5K run.”

Providing the best care possible

The hospital is now looking to expand the program even further, which is why this year’s Lake Country Ball is raising funds for rehabilitation.

“We’d like to get an anti-gravity treadmill, which reduces the weight that’s put on a person’s lower extremities. It will allow us to help retrain their muscles, do higher level performance training and gait training for people at risk of falls,” said Rebecca. “We’d also like to purchase a new biofeedback unit for our pelvic floor program.”

The goal is to give patients the best care possible.

“We want to ensure we have the most up-to-date and functional equipment we can in our department.”

How you can help

You can help people get back to doing what they love by attending the Lake Country Ball on Saturday, November 4 at the Milwaukee Marriott West. Click here to purchase a ticket, or to make a gift if you are unable to attend.



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