Care Matters Spotlight – Riverside Health & Rehabilitation

Ms. Turner arrived at Riverside Health and Rehab after suffering a devastating brain bleed that resulted in her depending on both breathing and feeding tubes. Upon arrival, Ms. Turner’s initial prognosis was that she likely would need to reside in the long-term care facility with assistance. 

While at Riverside, Ms. Turner received physical, occupational and speech therapy services alongside a restorative nursing program. The Riverside team worked closely with the facility team to ensure she received the best possible care. In time, she began to flourish, and her abilities with therapy improved, as well as her independence with the Riverside nursing team. 

During her stay, Ms. Turner enjoyed reminiscing about cooking for her “babies” and was able to improve her functional communication skills by talking about the recipes she cooked for her family.

After three months, Ms. Turner was able to get in and out of bed independently, walk household distances and climb stairs with supervision, complete all her self-care tasks with set-up, and enjoy meals again!  With the improvements Ms. Turner made over the three-month stay at Riverside Health and Rehab she was able to regain her functional independence to return home with her family. Way to go Ms. Turner and team!

Care Matters Spotlight October 2020

Mr. Borden admitted to Holzer Senior Care Center with the ultimate goal of returning home with his wife. Upon admission, Mr. Borden required the use of a feeding tube for nutrition and a mechanical lift to complete transfers. At first, returning home with his wife seemed like a lofty task due to the amount of assistance Mr. Borden needed.  He soon became unmotivated and thought this goal was impossible due to apparently insurmountable tasks.  Both he and his wife thought that he would be staying at the facility forever.

In the midst of this, Mr. Borden had a brief readmittance to the hospital and then returned to Holzer Senior Care Center with a new outlook and motivation.  After putting his all into and excelling in an aggressive therapy program tailored to meet his needs, Mr. Borden began eating regular food and was able to walk out of Holzer Senior Care following his intensive program.  What a great testament not only to Mr. Borden, but also to the excellent therapists and staff at Holzer Senior Care Center!

Mr. Borden’s ultimate goal was met; he was able to return home with his wife. Mr. Borden is pictured here, with his PT and OT, heading to embrace his wife after months of being separated from each other.  The staff, Mr. Borden, and his wife had a “going home” parade and sang “O Happy Day” as Mr. Borden walked to the car.  Needless to say, it was an emotional day for everyone as the Bordens hugged each other for the first time in 4 long months!

Great job Mr. Borden and awesome job, team!

Care Matters Spotlight: Sept. 2020

Mr. Bell lives with us at Terra Bella Health and Wellness Suites. He survived a major stroke that left him unable to swallow, requiring a feeding tube and unable to speak. Mr. Bell was referred to speech therapy with a main goal of wanting to eat his favorite foods again. Elsa, our speech language pathologist, began intensive dysphagia intervention tailored to Mr. Bell’s personal goals.  His therapy sessions included VitalStim, a device that provides neuromuscular electrical stimulation to improve his ability to safely eat again. 

Mr. Bell’s self-motivation and consistent progression in therapy helped him achieve his goals and aided in the removal of his feeding tube. He is now safely able to eat by mouth again and enjoys eating snacks, especially desserts. His gains in therapy have facilitated improvements in his overall quality of life.

Congrats to Mr. Bell on his success in speech therapy!

Care Matters Spotlight – August 2020

Mrs. Mabary was admitted to Care Nursing and Rehab in Brownwood, TX, after a fall led to a hip fracture on her right side which also had a prior transtibial amputation.  Prior to her injury, Mrs. Mabary walked up and down the 20 stairs to her bedroom with her prosthesis.  However, due to weight bearing restrictions, the therapy team had to get creative with a technique for going up and down the stairs.  At first, Mrs. Mabary was unable to hop up and down even one step without her prosthesis.  After working hard in therapy, she is now more than halfway to her goal of 20 steps as she is able to hop up and down a step 13 times!

Her drive and determination didn’t stop there!   When Mrs. Mabary arrived at Care Nursing and Rehab, she had a great deal of pain and required moderate assistance for bed mobility and transfers.  Now she can perform bed mobility and transfers with someone just standing nearby for assistance, and with decreased pain.

Luckily for Mrs. Mabary, communication and training with her son (with whom she lives ) is easily achievable as her son is a certified nursing assistant at the facility. Mrs. Mabary has a follow up appointment next week, and the team is hoping for great news regarding her weight bearing restrictions. In the meantime, she will continue working hard to improve her strength and balance.

Thank you, Mrs. Mabary, for being a great example of perseverance while also encouraging the other residents to strive hard in therapy.  You are an inspiration to us all!

Care Matters Spotlight: Sandra Douglas

Sandra Douglas was transferred to Riverfront Rehabilitation for therapy needs following a right sided CVA. Upon admission, Mrs. Douglas was evaluated by and participated in skilled PT, OT, and SLP where she worked on improving independence in many areas including mobility, ADLs, communication, and swallowing.

Recovery from right sided CVA and COVID-19

Progress in therapy took a couple of detours when Sandra tested positive for COVID-19 and had a hospital stay for pneumonia. This setback didn’t stop Sandra or her therapists! 

Sandra worked very hard in all areas of therapy especially communication and swallowing.  At the beginning of her stay, she was nonverbal and received nutrition exclusively through her PEG tube.  As her communication improved, she began asking for her grandson and daughter.  The therapy staff was able to help Sandra communicate with them by phone and Facetime. 

On the last day of therapy, Sandra was able to verbalize to her SLP that she was hungry.  Due to the significant progress made with her swallowing ability, she was able to enjoy chips and soda!

Sandra was able to safely discharge home with her grandson and daughter. According to the therapy staff, Sandra is a true testament of how hard work pays off.

Care Matters Spotlight: June 2020

Joseph Scopelliti was admitted to Laurel Brook after being diagnosed with COVID-19 at the hospital. Prior to his hospitalization, Joe was independent and living at home. Following his fight against COVID-19 he was debilitated and on oxygen. 

Joe’s PT and OT created patient centered plans of care to address functional mobility, ADLs, endurance and strategies to combat shortness of breath. He worked hard to get back to his prior level. In fact, Joe was such a hard worker that he motivated other residents at the facility including his own roommate.  The therapists report when they knocked on the door, Joe was ready to go. Despite having in-room treatments, Joe and the therapy crew used objects in his room to simulate his home environment to prepare him for a safe discharge.

Upon discharge, Joe was successfully weaned off his supplemental oxygen and was able to walk out of the SNF independently without an assistive device! He did an amazing job in a short amount of time and was able to return home completely independent. We are really proud of Joe and hope that he continues to succeed at home!

Care Matters Spotlight: Leisure Village Achieves 100% Clinical Ladder Champion Level I Facility

Reliant’s Clinical Advancement Ladder was created to recognize therapists who have a high level of expertise in an area of clinical practice. Therapists may specialize in one of many tracks including cardiopulmonary, dementia, dysphagia, geriatrics, neurology, orthopedics, or wound care. Therapists emulate Reliant Rehabilitation’s core principles while providing mentorship and education to fellow therapists, as well as exemplary patient care that leads to successful outcomes. Since its launch one year ago, we have over 120 therapists across the country who have earned the status of Champion Level I.

This month, we would like to give a “shout out” to our therapy staff at Leisure Village Health Care Community in Tulsa, OK.  All the therapists at this facility have achieved Champion Level I on Reliant’s Clinical Advancement Ladder.  Congratulations team and “Way to Go!”

A group of people posing for a photo

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Pictured: (starting at the top then clockwise) Donna Miller, Colleen Weber, Jennifer Smith, Brittain Keifer, Christina Casey, Mike Larkins and (in the center) Director of Rehabilitation Ashley Howard

Care Matters Spotlight: A Personal Dedication to Self Restoration

When the director of rehab of our partner facility in Shenandoah, IA shared the success of Mr. Lundgren, one phrase stood out in the telling of the story: “Mr. Lundgren’s personal dedication to self restoration.” That phrase articulates an emotional intelligence that is critical in the rehabilitation process: the patient’s buy-in.

Mr. Lundgren admitted to the facility last year following multiple falls at home resulting in significantly reduced physical function and a severe fear of falling. He and his therapists discussed his personal goals and developed a plan of care to restore his physical function while considering his desire to eventually walk without an assistive device.

Any individual who has been through a traumatic experience, illness, or unexpected outcome can easily conjure up the memory of succumbing to the fear of the condition. Many let the fear take over, causing a crippling effect on both the mind and the body. Mr. Lundgren was very nearly there; however, with the help of his dedicated therapists, nursing, administration, and ancillary staff he claimed a personal dedication to self restoration and persevered in his rehabilitative journey.

Following a combination of personalized and individual treatment sessions, participation in regular group activities, and training with restorative nursing he has been able to achieve complete independence with ADLs, live pain free, has not had a fall in over seven months, but most importantly….. is walking throughout the community without an assistive device.

Congratulations Mr. Lundgren, and thank you for the reminder that when we believe in ourselves we can overcome anything!

2019 Care Matters Award Winners

Our CEO Chris Bird presented the two 2019 Care Matters Awards to two very deserving therapists in the field. Meet them here in these tribute videos.

Diamond Morales has been with Reliant since May 2012 and works in the Cross Pointe Care Center in Dania, Florida. See her story here:

Tammy Alexander has been with Reliant since July 2011 and works in the Trail Lake Community in Fort Worth, Texas.

Dream Big and Set Goals

Kathleen Savina admitted to our partner facility in Maryland in early January. She was evaluated by therapy following a hospitalization for pneumonia which greatly impacted her functional ability. The rehab team quickly learned Ms. Savina was an inspiration with a determined plan to return home soon.
Although Ms. Savina has required the use of oxygen, she hasn’t let this slow her down or limit her goals. Last year, she completed a 5K while carrying her oxygen in a back pack. In contrast, earlier this month, due to the recent illness, she was only walking 10 feet. Some individuals may have struggled with this significant change, but her therapists say she is such a motivated individual both in and out of the rehab gym.
As she progressed in her therapy, her spirits remained high and her plans to return home became a reality. Her unwavering determination is a testament to goal setting and discipline.
Congratulations Ms. Savina! We are proud to be a part of your journey!

Care Matters Spotlight: The Power of Therapy by Kerry Frazier, Director of Rehab, Mineola, TX

Morgan Woods

Morgan Woods was a high spirited life-of-the-party kind of guy. He was always smiling, loved to dance and was an avid wood worker. Prior to his admit he lived in another SNF and was sent out to the hospital with symptoms of Altered Mental Status. He was treated for bacteremia and toxic metabolic encephalopathy and admitted to our facility to be evaluated by Hospice.

I know all of this because at admit, I spoke at length with his daughter, Temika, as she was really on the fence about either trying therapy or admitting to hospice. I explained the process therapy would follow and she decided to give us a chance, and let us see what we could do to help. 

At evaluation, he was bedridden with numerous bed sores, received nutrition via a PEG tube, and was unable to sit up or make purposeful movements. Over the past few weeks, nursing has worked hard to treat his ulcers and they have completely healed. Therapy began with small goals, such as sitting on the side of the bed, reaching out for objects, etc. As therapy progressed this is what we are able to share:

September 6, 2018


He stood in the standing frame for the first time. He fatigued very quickly and would not reach out to engage in any tabletop activity.
September 18, 2018


He took his first steps using a rolling walker and the assistance of two therapists. The week prior he took his first steps in the therapy gym with the assistance of three therapists.

October 17, 2018

He is now walking down the hallway with no assistive device and hand held assistance of two therapists.

Morgan has started tapping his feet and dancing in his wheelchair when we play his favorite music like Michael Jackson or Motown. He will reach out to play balloon toss and will flash you the best smile!
During all of this, he took his first bites of food and is now feeding himself and enjoying food daily. Morgan has worked hard and is making wonderful progress. His family is thrilled and so are we!We look forward to seeing him progress even further and one day be able to dance again!

Care Matters Spotlight: When the Real House Moms of Nocatee Unite After Hurricane Michael

Monday, October 8th: Catherine Schuman (Katie), an SLP at a facility in Ponte Vedra, FL, received notification their facility would be housing displaced residents evacuating from the path of Hurricane Michael. The residents and staff arrived with a few changes of clothes, prepared to return to Port St. Joe after Michael’s dissipation.

Wednesday, October 10th: Hurricane Michael devastated Port St. Joe in a way none of them expected. Homes were destroyed, vehicles flooded, and possessions lost.

Katie recognized the need immediately, not only for the residents, but the CNAs and nursing staff who accompanied them, and now had no idea when they would return home or what would be left. Katie has been part of a moms group in Ponte Vedra for several years now, and when it came time to elicit the generosity of the “Real House Moms of Nocatee” she didn’t hesitate.

The response to her call for adult clothing and toiletries was overwhelming. The donations received filled two rooms in the facility. Today she says “They’re good. There is enough.” Other organizations continue gathering for children and families affected, but Katie’s desire was to ensure her residents and colleagues were comfortable. Katie was insistent in sharing the thanks and praise with her fellow neighborhood moms because without them it wouldn’t have been possible to meet the need.

To the Real House Moms of Nocatee and Katie Schuman, thank you for your compassion and deliberate action to ensure our residents and staff are cared for. Katie, we are honored to have you as one of our own.