Published on June 07, 2018

Rehab center receives high rating

Sterling Harris and Jordan James, Physical Therapist

Sterling Harris, left, and physical therapist Jordan
James share a laugh as he performs a dynamic
standing balance task in the form of a game of
ladder ball Monday at the Bryant T. Aldridge
Rehabilitation Center. 

Rehab center receives high rating

Staff Writer, The Rocky Mount Telegram

One of the jewels on the Nash UNC Health Care campus is the Bryant T. Aldridge Rehabilitation Center, which has been in existence since 2000.

The center recently underwent its sixth accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, and the CARF’s on-site inspection team awarded the center with the highest quality rating, placing it in the top 3 percent nationwide.

CARF is an independent, nonprofit accrediting body whose mission is to promote the quality, value and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative process and continuous improvement.

“The CARF accreditation is the highest level of achievement given to an inpatient rehabilitation facility,” said Lee Isley, president and CEO of Nash UNC Health Care. “This is the gold standard for rehabilitation care, and we are extremely proud of our BTAR leadership team.”

Brian Agan has been the executive director of the center since 2008 and has worked for the hospital for 23 years. Agan said more than 1,700 standards were surveyed for compliance by CARF during the two-day inspection and the final report showed no recommendations for improvements.

In addition, the center submitted its first application for stroke certification and also received no recommendations for improving its current stroke rehabilitation programs. Agan said about 30 percent — or l out of 3 patients — at the rehab center are being treated for stroke recovery.

“They actually do these surveys internationally in places such as Europe and Asia, which shows how this is a pretty strong achievement for this facility,” Agan said. “It speaks to the dedicated team, and the whole team contributed.”

Agan said the CARF survey for the rehab center isn’t required — the facility can operate without having a CARF accreditation.

“When you have a CARF accreditation it means you’re subjecting yourself to the highest accreditation body for rehab centers, and we’re going above and beyond,” Agan said. “We’ve chosen that we want this facility to be the best it can be. When patients are looking for a rehab hospital, that’s something they want to look at because it means the facility is really doing everything it can to provide quality and excellent care.”

The Bryant T. Aldridge Rehabilitation Center offers inpatient treatment such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and recreation therapy. 

Jordan James, a physical therapist at the center, was helping 96-year-old Sterling Harris, an Army veteran who served in World War II, do different types of therapy exercises on Monday.

James had Harris do some walking with the help of his walker in the facility’s therapy garden outside, in the rehab center’s hallway and had him do some throwing exercises in the rehab center’s gym.

James said she is helping Harris with his upper extremities for reaching and tossing as well as his standing and balance.

“With the older adults, they have some issues with their sensation and their balance,” she said. “It can get more difficult as they get older, so anything to keep them on their feet and doing dual tasks carries over when they go home.”

Harris said he is slated to leave the rehab center soon and commended the staff for his quality treatment during his stay.

“I have nothing but top praise for the professionalism and the care I have gotten,” he said.

Agan said the center has a staff of between 65 and 70 employees.

“We have very little turnover, and most of the staff have been working here for quite a long time,” he said.

The rehab center also treats patients discharged from Nash UNC Health Care and surrounding hospitals for spinal cord and brain injuries, major multiple traumas, neurological disorders, amputations, burns, polyarthritis and congenital deformities.

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