About our program
At Penn State Health Rehabilitation Hospital, we approach pediatric rehabilitation with the goal of improving physical function and fostering emotional well-being throughout a child’s recovery.
Our approach to treatment
Clinicians work with pediatric specialists, referring physicians, schools, the family and child to set goals and review progress. We also help families identify additional services and resources available to them within their communities. Our pediatric unit offers therapeutic equipment and furniture, games and activities, appropriate for children, in a colorful and cheerful setting.
It takes a team
We know that families play a critical role in the healing process. That’s why we consider them part of our rehabilitation team.
Working together, physicians, nurses, and physical, occupational and speech-language therapists determine a rehabilitation treatment program uniquely designed to achieve the best possible outcome for each patient.
Our pediatric team meets daily, constantly assessing each child’s progress against the treatment plan, adjusting as needed to reach recovery goals. Families play an integral part in this process, weighing in on decision making, taking an active, ongoing role in the patient’s therapy, and learning how to care for their child post-discharge.
Emotional comfort and assistance
We are attuned to the emotional well-being of our young patients during their stay. At all stages in their recovery, we invite one parent to stay at the child’s bedside overnight during non-visiting hours. We also encourage families to take advantage of housing at the Ronald McDonald House, located just a few miles from our hospital.
As treatment progresses and where appropriate, our on-staff teacher reintroduces patients to learning and helps to coordinate curriculum and educational resources with a child’s school system.
Core pediatric programs offered
Established in 2010, our pediatrics team collaborates with a child’s referring medical team to assess and determine suitability for admission into one of its three core programs.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and minimally conscious program
The TBI program serves the needs of children who have had a mild to moderate brain injury or suffered lack of oxygen to the brain due to an event such as a near drowning or stroke. The admission, which often lasts two- to four-weeks concentrates on the child’s significant need for assistance with cognitive, motor and behavioral recovery.
The minimally conscious program, a sub-set of the TBI program, is designed to improve the outcome of patients who have had severe brain injury or stroke and have not yet achieved significant responsiveness to environment or functional movements. Patient alertness and overall outcomes are enhanced through a blend of intensive therapy, medication and nerve stimulation, typically spanning six-to-eight weeks.
The mobility program is designed for patients who need to rebuild strength due to prolonged hospital stays, traumatic injuries or weakness caused by medical conditions.
The program covers an array of issues from building cognitive abilities and emotional resilience to relearning fine and/or gross motor skills.
Duration of treatment varies based on a patient’s condition. However, the goal is to consistently work toward making the patient as independent as possible, including transitioning him or her back to school.
Spinal cord injury program
The spinal cord injury program was developed for pediatric patients with traumatic and other spinal cord injuries. The team works with the patient, for approximately five-to-six weeks, toward achieving as much functional independence as the injury will allow.
In all programs, families receive comprehensive training on how to care for their child when returning home. This also includes assistance in securing outside resources such as professional home care, if required.
Did you know?
We offer the only family-centered pediatric rehabilitation program in central Pennsylvania.
Some of our referring hospitals include:
- Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
- Geisinger Medical Center
- WellSpan York Hospital
- Lancaster General Hospital
- Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Let us help
For questions about our program or to make a pediatric referral to Penn State Health Rehabilitation Hospital, please reach out.