LASCI Visits with Neuroworx Rehab Participants in Salt Lake City

neuroworx

In mid-April, while many people were vacationing on Spring Break, LASCI founder Bert Burns was continuing the LASCI roadshow, taking our free motivational program to Salt Lake City, Utah for a special appearance at Neuroworx.

Neuroworx is a rehabilitation facility that aims to promote the rehabilitation of spinal cord injuries and other neurological conditions and to create and support the finest comprehensive outpatient neurological rehabilitation facility in their region.

Bert had a great time working with the children who are in rehab at Neuroworx!

Bert had a great time working with the children who are in rehab at Neuroworx!

The Neurworx foundation functions in five primary ways:

  1. Establish NEUROWORX, a comprehensive outpatient clinic containing the most advanced equipment and well-trained therapists to focus on the rehabilitation process.
  2. Raise funds for the ongoing acquisition of facilities, equipment, and training of therapists and financial support of patients without funding.
  3. Establish a team of volunteers made up of social workers, contractors, architects, therapists, physicians, etc. to assist an individual or family make the necessary adaptations to lifestyle and housing.
  4. Create and support a clinical research program.
  5. Educate the general public and medical community regarding spinal cord injuries and other neurological conditions and the need and benefit of progressive functional rehabilitation and exercise for these patients.

Life After Spinal Cord Injury sought to support Neuroworx in their patient-focused goals by delivering a free motivational program for Neuroworx participants and staff, with the intention of giving newly-injured individuals hope and inspiration for a full, successful life after their spinal cord injury.

As Bert arrived at the beautiful, state-of-the-art Neuroworx facility, he spent the majority of the day speaking one-on-one with individuals who were mid-process in their rehabilitation programs, answering their questions and sharing advice on rehab exercises and adaptive sports.

Then, later that evening, the Neuroworx staff delivered a special, free educational program for community care advocates, existing and past participants and their families. Bert served as the keynote speaker for the crowd of more than 40 attendees.

Participants in the Neuroworx program were able to ask Bert Burns questions about his personal experience with spinal cord injury.

Participants in the Neuroworx program were able to ask Bert Burns questions about his personal experience with spinal cord injury.

LASCI-neuroworx-3In his 45-minute presentation, Bert shared some of the cornerstones of LASCI including his own personal story of rehabilitation after SCI, and examples of adapting to life on wheels instead of walking.  He also shared his perspective on:

  • Work/School
  • Dating
  • Sexuality
  • Marriage
  • Children
  • Sports
  • Bladder/Bowel Management

After the program, Bert stayed late talking with individuals who had specific questions about their own injury and how to get back into Life After Spinal Cord Injury.

For more information about Neuroworx programs and services, please visit: http://neuroworx.org.

LASCI Meets Up With TRAILS

univofutahhealthcareOn the second day of LASCI’s visit to Utah, Bert visited with the clinical staff at the University of Utah Rehabilitation Center’s TRAILS program. TRAILS stands for Therapeutic Recreation & Independent Lifestyles, and is a comprehensive outreach program of the Rehabilitation Center at University of Utah Health Care, for individuals with spinal cord injury or disease that includes the following components.

TRAILS is designed to prepare individuals of all ability levels to engage in active living through recreational experiences. Utilizing opportunities and resources will help bridge the gap between rehabilitation and returning to the community. Participants can stay active through spinning, hand cycling, kayaking, canoeing, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, swimming, sailing, wheelchair tennis or a variety of other activities year round.

LASCI is looking forward to meeting further with TRAILS Program Coordinator Tanja Kari in order to bring a LASCI program to TRAILS participants in the near future!  Learn more about TRAILS events here.

About LASCI’s Motivational Programs

lascilogoThrough LASCI, Bert devotes considerable time as a motivational speaker for children with disabilities, rehabilitation programs, medical education seminars and other community events. Bert explains his reason for reaching out is, “I hope to convince patients in wheelchairs that they can still do all the things they want to do and more. They will just have to do them differently.”  Bert is a C6-7 quadriplegic himself. He was paralyzed in his 20s when a drunk driver hit his vehicle.

Learn more about LASCI here.   If you’d like to invite Bert Burns to speak at your upcoming event, please contact us.

Neuroworx Foundation

Editor’s note: As a Physician, Dr Dale Hull was used to helping patients. When his life literally turned upside down after a fall on a trampoline, Dr. Hull had to re-learn everything. After his recovery, he knew he wanted to continue helping patients, but in a different way. Part 5 of 5 part series. 

I’m still partially paralyzed from my chest down, and I walk with a cane. Walking has become a very conscious act for me. When I’m familiar with my surroundings, I walk without a cane. When I’m out and about, I use my cane to prevent being accused of being under the influence. So I am known as a walking clod.  I am fairly independent. I can drive myself where I want to go. I’d needed 2 ½ years in my recovery to become an Olympic torch bearer. During my recovery, I had been asked to go see quite a few people who had injuries similar to mine. Everyone wanted to know, “How did you get so much function back? What did you do to get all the physical therapy you needed?” During the time that Jan Black was working with me, she was also working with other people who wanted more therapy. Jan had worked with spinal cord injured people her entire career, and she knew that there was a better way to help people get more function, and she wanted her own clinic. Jan and I began to talk about why someone hadn’t started a special clinic, devoted exclusively to people with spinal cord injuries. We began to think that if we partnered and decided to create such a clinic, how could we make it happen.

My wife, Jan Black, Dr. Wally Lee, an emergency room physician who became a paraplegic in 2002, and I formed the Hull Foundation in November of 2003 to create a state-of-the-art spinal cord and neurology recovery center called Neuroworx. We’re a community based life and therapy center that focuses primarily on spinal-cord injuries, but we also have attracted quite a few people with brain injuries, strokes and other neurological conditions. We are trying to be very innovative and aggressive in what we offer to our clients. If you were to get injured today, you probably only would be eligible for 20 outpatient visits per year, and each one of those sessions only would account for 50 minutes of billable time (the amount of time that an insurance company would pay the physical therapist to work with you). If you had a torn rotator cuff in your shoulder, you would get 20 visits to help rehabilitate that injury. At the same time, if you broke your neck and damaged your spinal cord, you still only would receive about 20 visits.

Our foundation gives individuals an extraordinary amount of time for their rehabilitation. We may bill the insurance company for 50 minutes, but the individual actually may be here for 2 or 2 1/2-hours. We created Neuroworx as a nonprofit to try and give people as much therapy as they need, and not just the amount of therapy that we can bill an insurance company. We want to give people the ability to reach their highest level of function. But we are not miracle workers. What we have learned is that if we make individuals’ spirits walk, we have done a great thing. If we can help them obtain a small degree of independence, that can be a quantum leap for the rest of their lives. Since we give supplemental care above what an insurance company will pay for, we have to do fundraising. So, we write grants, solicit funds and do whatever we can to get our patients funding for additional help. We try to do as much charity care as possible.

We have attracted some benevolent contributions from organizations like the Christopher Reeve Foundation, which gave us a quality-of-life grant. We were very honored when the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation asked us to become a part of their neuro-recovery network. Currently there are six research facilities and five community-fitness-and-wellness centers. We are one of those five community-fitness-and-wellness centers. Part of the purpose of these community-fitness-and-wellness centers is to demonstrate that exercise can help enable people with spinal-cord injuries to get back into their communities and be healthier and have fewer medical problems, because, they have a regimen of exercise. In 2004, Jan Black and I were the only ones involved in the foundation, and we had an empty room. We had a pair of hand weights, a blue therapy mat and a red therapy ball. We were using local swimming pools for aquatic therapy. Now, we have 10,000 feet of space, lots of specialized equipment and a staff of 10. Actually we’re out of space, now. What we hope to do is to build our own building and become the best outpatient facility for spinal cord and neurologic injuries in the nation.

For more information on NeuroWorx go to http://www.neuroworx.org/ or go to their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/Neuroworx.

About the Author: For the last 12 years, John E. Phillips of Vestavia, Alabama, has been a professional blogger for major companies, corporations and tourism associations throughout the nation. During his 24 years as Outdoor Editor for “The Birmingham Post-Herald” newspaper, he published more than 7,000 newspaper columns and sold more than 100,000 of his photos to newspapers, magazines and internet sites. He also hosted a radio show that was syndicated at 27 radio stations; created, wrote and sold a syndicated newspaper column that ran in 38 newspapers for more than a decade; and wrote and sold more than 30 books. Learn more at http://www.nighthawkpublications.com