EAST GOSHEN — Main Line Health’s Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital and Paoli Memorial Hospital hosted U.S. Representative Chrissy Houlahan, D-6e, of Easttown on Monday.
The visit to Bryn Mawr Rehab was led by President Donna Phillips and her staff. The group covered a lot of ground in the large facility. Several specialists interacted with the MP.
Houlahan asked several questions and talked about her priorities, her career and her family’s connection to health care.
She was particularly interested in aerial lifts. The lift is top hung and is used to transfer patients into bed and from bed to a wheelchair, while increasing mobility.
“Since the goal of rehabilitation is increased independence, patients get up and out of bed and wheelchairs multiple times throughout the day for dressing, therapy, and meals. “, according to Bryn Mawr’s rehab release. “The process of getting in and out of bed can be difficult for both the patient and the staff.
“The risk of injury to the patient and staff is high when a patient loses balance or loses strength in their legs during transfer in or out of bed.”
The elevator makes it safer for patients and staff, according to Sharon Strohecker, vice president of patient care services.
Staff members asked Houlahan to help support the purchase of 34 new elevators for $825,000. The installation now relies on 50 Hoyer elevators.
Houlahan noted that she is one of 435 members of Congress and that making laws is a team effort.
She asked Bryn Mawr staffers to reach out to lawmakers with their priorities, and specifically where to send resources, while participating in the process.
“It’s like a rugby match – the rugby ball bounces back and forth,” Houlahan said. “Help me push the ball.
“If you see something, say something.”
The rehab includes a water pool, specializes in oncology, treats post-COVID, brain injury and concussion patients. The rehab even houses families of patients on campus.
Rehab recently received a nationally prestigious accolade from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities for its inpatient cancer rehabilitation program.
“Cancer rehabilitation deals with weakness, pain and fatigue, changes in function related to the brain, head and neck, spinal cord and other tumors, and conditions resulting from cancer and cancer treatments,” read a statement released by Main Line Health. “The care team and the patient work together to achieve individualized goals.”
Houlahan told the tour group near the end of the event that his main issue in Congress was health care.
“I like the atmosphere here,” she said. “You can feel it.
“It’s a testament to all of you. It’s a place you want to be.
Houlahan, a US Airforce veteran, spoke about her brother, a US Army surgical nurse whom she often uses as a sounding board.
“The real thing is there aren’t enough nurses,” she said. “There is a care crisis.
“I really want to help.”
Jon Stallkamp, Chief Medical Officer of Main Line Health, told the MP about the need for more hospital beds for mental health patients, particularly after the recent closure of Brandywine Hospital.
“Especially after COVID, mental health has become such an issue,” Stallkamp said. “Healthcare workers are put at risk.”
Houlahan said COVID has created another generation of veterans — healthcare veterans.
Houlahan also said some don’t want to acknowledge the pandemic is still ongoing.
“In the mind of the government, COVID does not exist,” Houlahan said. “Of course it exists.
“We have to start getting creative.”