By MIRANDA BAINES
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
The skies were filled with color Thursday morning as Vidant Edgecombe Hospital celebrated National Rehab Week in the hospital's therapeutic courtyard.
“The Town of Tarboro…encourages all citizens to renew their commitment to people with disabilities and to the efforts of rehabilitative medicine improving the quality of life,” Tarboro Mayor Pro Tem Taro Knight read from a proclamation declaring Sept. 15-21 at National Rehabilitation Awareness Week. “Tarboro is extremely proud and honored to have the rehab unit at Vidant Edgecombe.”
When Knight finished, rehab patients and staff released a colorful array of balloons. Rehab patients, with the assistance of staff, then played games designed to enhance recovery.
Patient Dorothy Conner of Scotland Neck, played “ladder ball,” a game where balls attached to strings are tossed onto a standing rack resembling a ladder
The exercise helps improve “balance, strength and endurance,” according to Vidant Edgecombe rehab unit staff member Brooke Lampron
William Nicholson, a patient from Whitakers, tried his hand at “washers,” a tossing game that helps improve eye-hand coordination, according to Artima Lomas, certified occupational therapy assistant.
“They’re still getting the benefit of therapy. It takes them outside the four walls of the hospital for a little while,” said rehab unit program manager Shannon Peaden.
To Peaden, getting outdoors during the celebration is one more step for patients toward re-establishing independence.
“I think it just provides a renewed sense of wellbeing, a fresh outlook on things,” she said.
While Thursday’s event wrapped up the rehab week celebration, the week began with a kickoff breakfast Monday for rehab unit staff.
National Rehab Week is designed to “promote the value of rehabilitation; to highlight capabilities of people with disabilities; to salute the professionals who provide service to people with disabilities; and to show the nation’s commitment to fulfill the unmet needs of people with disabilities.”
The inpatient Vidant Edgecombe rehab unit opened in 1991 and merged with Vidant Medical Center’s inpatient rehab program in 2010. The two sites combined offer 91 acute rehab beds. Inpatient acute rehab services are for patients who have suffered “functional deficits as the result of injury or illness and can only be provided within a hospital setting which as access to 24 hour medical care,” according to information provided by unit diretor.
“Since the opening of the rehab unit in 1991, we have helped countless patients regain independence and a renewed sense of self-sufficiency,” Peaden said.
The Tarboro rehab facility is at 111 Hospital Dr., and the Greenville facility is located at Vidant Medical Center at 2100 Statonsburg Road in Greenville. Referrals can be made to either facility by calling the central intake referral line at 847-8389.