Advanced Treatments and Technologies

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The SHRI staff is dedicated to caring for the whole patient.

The SHRI staff, along with animal-assisted therapy
dog and handler, is dedicated to caring for the
whole patient.

Rehab patients enjoy the scenery and surroundings in the Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Institute's new home 

Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Institute (SHRI) is a comprehensive provider of rehabilitation services, solely dedicated to meeting the needs of persons with physical disabilities.

The programs at Sacred Heart are designed by professionals who respect the uniqueness of each individual and take into account an understanding that each situation involves challenges of a different nature. Patient care teams treat the whole patient, striving to meet not only the physical needs, but also addressing emotional, social, psychological and spiritual aspects of change and adjustment for the patient and the family.

In late December, SHRI moved from Columbia Hospital to Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital Milwaukee. SHRI’s inpatient department is now on the eighth floor of the main hospital. SHRI’s outpatient department is conveniently located on the first floor of Columbia St. Mary’s Women’s and Specialty Hospital. 

SHRI's accessible layout includes a kitchen to improve the patient experience. 

SHRI's accessible layout includes a dining room/lounge areas to improve the patient experience.

SHRI's accessible layout includes
a kitchen (top) and dining room/
lounge areas (above) to improve
the patient experience.

Equipment in SHRI's rehab gym safely assists patients in therapy.

Equipment in SHRI's rehab gym
safely assists patients in therapy.

Patients improve walking skills with help from the Bioness L300 Neuroprosthesis, which was funded by the Foundation.

Patients improve walking skills
with help from the Bioness L300
Neuroprosthesis, which was
funded by the Foundation.

Improving the patient experience

Patients enjoy access to nature and enjoy exceptional views. In addition to the more accessible layout of the new hospital, the environment and atmosphere are conducive to treating the patient’s mind, body and soul. The new artwork, paint colors and incredible views of the lake, Milwaukee skyline and gorgeous sunrises and sunsets have a calming effect on the entire Institute.

Unique to the Institute are the dining room/lounge areas. In these rooms, families and patients can gather, relax, use a computer or use the kitchen. SHRI is the only floor in the hospital with this layout – designed to encourage socialization within the unit. Larger patient rooms were designed with the needs of each member of the team in mind – the caregiver, the patient and their family. They also have larger bathrooms to accommodate the needs of patients in the rehab setting.

At its new location, SHRI is able to integrate therapy services and teamwork in one convenient location. According to Dr. Elizabeth Davis, Medical Director of Acute Care Rehabilitation Services at Columbia St. Mary’s, this new space presents continuity within the hospital and promotes a continuum of care. "For example," she explained, "patients are now able to receive dialysis in their rooms. This conserves their energy and allows them to really take advantage of a full day of therapy without having to go to different areas or different campuses."

Advanced treatments and technology

The SHRI staff use Vocera – a wireless communication technology that allows users to communicate instantly with each other from any location. Staff and patients have reacted positively to this change. Before the move, staff relied on overhead pages. Now, the Institute is able to maintain a quiet and calm atmosphere thanks to Vocera.

SHRI has several therapy areas and two rehab gyms. One rehab gym is equipped with a ceiling lift system which can assist with supporting a patient during abmulation. Cheryl Michler, Director of Patient Services at SHRI, explained, “The life system facilitates the safety of the therapist and patient while walking.”

The Bioness L300 Leg Neuroprosthesis, funded by the Foundation, is used during the therapy to provide electrical stimulation to the lower leg muscles. The L300 is specifically designed to stimulate the muscles that bend the ankle to lift the foot off the ground during walking. “We use the unit to help improve walking for our patients - who are recovering from stroke or brain injury,” said Laura Gaudynski, SHRI Therapy Supervisor.

The other rehab gym houses a kitchen that allows patients to function as they would at home, under supervision of the SHRI team. The new space is also equipped with a washing machine and dryer. In addition to cleaning linens and other hospital garments, these are used for patients' personal clothing while they stay at SHRI. Dressing is frequently part of therapy activities for a patient.

SHRI’s new home has been embraced by staff, patients and their families. Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Institute has been providing consistent and excellent patient outcomes since 1863. This new, nurturing, safe and supportive environment ensures those outcomes will continue through integrated therapy and teamwork, as well as the convenient location of both inpatient and outpatient departments.

Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Institute is now located at Columbia St. Mary's Hospital Milwaukee, 2301 N. Lake Dr., Milwaukee, WI 53211. For more information, please call 414-298-6750.


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