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NeuroHope: Reeve Foundation Spotlight!

NeuroHope is the newest affiliate of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation NeuroRecovery Network (NRN), and has been featured as a spotlight program on their website / newsletter!  Read the original article here! 

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“There is no preparation for a spinal cord injury,” says Chris Leeuw. “You wake up one morning a physically fit, able-bodied person and in the blink of an eye your life is completely transformed. When you are looking at paralysis and the potential permanence of that, that’s a situation that’s almost impossible to describe.”

Leeuw is the Founder and Executive Director of NeuroHope, the newest Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation NeuroRecovery Network® (NRN) Community Fitness and Wellness Facility in Indianapolis, IN. In August 2010, he sustained a level C4 spinal cord injury in a swimming accident that initially left the then 28-year-old paralyzed from the neck down. Like many, Leeuw was given a poor outlook.

“After a few weeks, I began to see some signs of hope,” said Leeuw. “Early recovery in my fingers and right leg gave me the inspiration I needed to do more. My time in outpatient therapy was up and I was still mostly paralyzed. I knew that with more rehab, I had a good chance of recovery.”

In 2011, he travelled to Neuroworx in South Jordan, UT, a NRN Community Fitness and Wellness Facility at the time.

“Neuroworx understood neurological recovery and had the resources and experience to help me get my life back,” said Leeuw. “It took two years to get where I am today, walking and independent. Recovery is slow and different for everyone, but much of the journey is similar for all who are hurt.”

Although Leeuw has had a good deal of recovery, his injury is still a big part of his everyday life.

“I wanted to bring the cutting-edge interventions I’d experienced at Neuroworx back to Indianapolis,” said Leeuw. “Living with a spinal cord injury is not just about recovery, it is about long-term maintenance. Every movement is a conscious effort. These recoveries are a lot more than neurologic return, a lot of it is maintaining your body afterward.”

In 2015, he opened NeuroHope as a part-time clinic in a small University of Indianapolis gym with a therapy mat and a vision.

“Right now in traditional healthcare, people get discharged from inpatient and insurance will reimburse only for a limited number of outpatient visits. Then they go home,” said Leeuw. “These individuals need more time to maximize their recovery. They need time to learn some of the skills to deal with their new life, and in most communities, there is no place for them to go. There is a void in long-term rehab options.”

Leeuw reached out for community support. Working with the Indiana state legislature, Leeuw received a nearly $1 million grant from the Indiana Spinal Cord and Brain Research Fund which allowed NeuroHope to expand. The facility moved into a larger space, bought new equipment and now sees 50 participants a year, with a hope to double that number by 2019.

“My main goals were to create a clinic where people could come for continued, affordable care and we wanted to join the NRN,” said Leeuw. “I saw first-hand the value of the NRN interventions and I wanted badly to bring that to Indiana.”

In 2017, NeuroHope’s staff was invited to begin training to become a NRN Community Fitness and Wellness facility.

“We are thrilled to be part of the NRN. It gives us a chance to reach more people and bring that level of care to Indiana for affordable private pay rates,” said Leeuw. “Healthcare is great here but we want to go beyond that so people can continue their care. This is about providing a wellness center in addition to therapy where disabled individuals, wounded veterans, stroke survivors, brain injury survivors can go to exercise to live a long, happy and healthy life.”

Leeuw continues, “An injury changes you, changes your family, and changes your character. Every family needs more help when they leave the hospital. Our hope is to be there for them as they navigate their new path, and put them in the best position to maximize their recovery and quality of life.”

Pictures from Rehab Week London!

Rehab Week 2017 was a smashing success!

More than 1,200 attendees from around the world gathered at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in the heart of downtown London for a series of conferences presented by the International Industry Society in Advanced Rehabilitation Technology (IISART).  The event brought together healthcare leaders, clinicians, researchers, and manufacturers to discuss the latest advances in the industry and to connect the engineers that design rehabilitative products with the providers that use them with their patients.

Booths throughout the venue displayed the world’s most cutting edge therapy resources, and talks throughout the week discussed advances in neurologic recovery, the future of robotic devices, and ideas for integrating them into comprehensive therapy programs.

NeuroHope Founder & Executive Director, Chris Leeuw hosted a panel discussion titled:  “V.I.T. – Not Only For V.I.P.: How to Make Very Intensive Therapy Effective and Affordable”, that discussed the need for greater accessibility to the state-of-the-art interventions created to help injured individuals on their road to recovery.  The expert panel featured Dr. Gery Colombo (inventor of the Lokomat and CEO of Hocoma, one of the leading manufacturers for neurorehabilitation solutions in the world), Dr. Dale Hull (Founder & Executive Director of Neuroworx, a state-of-the-art outpatient clinic in Salt Lake City), and Dr. Volker Homberg (Secretary General of the World Federation of Neurorehabilitation).

It is an exciting time in the world of neurorecovery!

Breakthroughs in research are taking place in labs around the world, and new forms of rehabilitation technology are reaching the market to help more people living with disabilities.  The goal of Rehab Week was to advance the conversation and find innovative ways to connect the industry to better serve the patients in need.

It was a fantastic week, and NeuroHope is proud to have been part of the conversation.

 

 

 

 

 

NeuroHope Shadowing Neuroworx this Week!

NeuroHope's DPT Nora Foster and I are visting Neuroworx in South Jordan, Utah this week. Be sure to "like" NeuroHope on Facebook, and follow us on twitter for pictures and updates! (link on the homepage)

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Neuroworx co-founders Dr. Dale Hull and DPT Jan Black were kind enough to let Nora shadow their operations this week. It is an awesome opportunity to learn from the best. Neuroworx has been the inspiration for creating NeuroHope. I came to Neuroworx 6 months after my injury, still wheelchair bound, and spent a year and a half in therapy there. I left my wheelchair behind when I came home in 2012.

Visit their website at: www.neuroworx.org to see what they have created in Utah. I view Neuroworx as the gold standard in SCI recovery. They are changing the paradigm in outpatient rehabilitation through aggressive, activity-based therapy, and long term access.

 

You can't recover from spinal cord injury in 8 weeks. They get it. We get it. Let's bring this quality of care to Indiana as well.

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