Augusta AD Rehab as a Model of Care

Uptown VAAugusta, Georgia is unique for a number of reasons. Perhaps you notice the heaping piles of azaleas, or that golf course, or the downtown with much character and few people. Perhaps you notice that the city is “well laid out with wide and spacious streets”, as George Washington once did. Perhaps you notice the paper factory, and it’s none-too-pleasing aroma that drifts with the wind. You might, if you’re in healthcare, notice that there are several major hospital systems in a relatively small town. If you’re in healthcare or the military, what you should notice, is the VA Active Duty Rehabilitation Center.

Augusta’s Uptown VA Medical Center is home to the nation’s only Active Duty Rehabilitation Unit located within a VA facility. It’s integrated. It’s also closely associated with Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center at Fort Gordon, the Army’s home for the Southeast Regional Medical Command. Many injured soldiers come to visit Augusta, and for good reason. The cooperation has garnered the interest of Congress as a model for care. Make sure to visit Laurie Ott and the CSRA Wounded Warrior Care Project, who are major advocates of this unit.

The national media also has taken note. This week the unit was featured on NBC’s Nightly News with Brian Williams. Also featured was MSgt. Thomas Morrissey, a wounded veteran, and former patient of mine. He is an amazing man who survived a harrowing ambush in Afghanistan, and I’m happy to share his story here. Tom was kind enough to acknowledge the benefit of the OT and PT components of his recovery. The unit is cool, Tom is cool, and I’m proud to see it highlighted on a national platform!

5 Replies to “Augusta AD Rehab as a Model of Care”

  1. This is an awesome story and brings such a positive light to what we strive to do on a daily basis!

    1. Without getting into specifics of the care episode, he was, as you can tell, extremely motivated. I think with any patient like that it’s good to be clear about what you can do now…and what you need to be able to do to get to here. Set clear goals and map out a process so that you and the patient can focus on those. Yes, very refreshing to have such a driven patient!

  2. Eric,

    How would you categorize MSgt. Thomas Morrissey on a confidence or self-efficacy scale?

    His self-efficacy was the reverse of many of our patients who have to be convinced that "Yes, you CAN do it!".

    You had to talk him down (it sounds like) and make him realize he was not going back to his unit, without breaking his fighting spirit and possibly causing a depressive episode.

    Tim Richardson, PT

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