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Scripps Health opens comprehensive rehab services center in Encinitas

ENCINITAS — Scripps Health has opened a comprehensive rehabilitation services center, offering a range of therapies — including physical, occupational and speech — on an outpatient basis for those recovering from orthopedic, brain and spinal cord injuries, stroke, amputation or other physical disorders and surgeries, it was announced today.

The center, located in Encinitas Ranch Town Center at 1092 N. El Camino Real, is about five miles from Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas and replaces facilities that were previously located at the hospital.

“Scripps has created a premier center to produce the best possible results for patients, thanks to the dedication of a highly skilled and experienced team of therapists and other staff members, and state-of-the-art programs and technologies,” said Johan Otter, Scripps assistant vice president of ancillary services.

The 20,000-square-foot center features:

— A ceiling-mounted, 100-foot-long body-weight support system that lets patients progress in their ability to walk, perform balance activities and navigate stairs without the fear of falling;

— A computerized vestibular balance system with virtual reality stimulation for evaluating and treating dizziness, vertigo, balance problems and other motion sensitivities;

— A driving simulator using an array of three screens, steering wheel and pedals to measure sensory, cognitive and motor responses for evaluating a patient’s ability to return to the road; and

— A full-scale kitchen and studio apartment where patients can practice basic tasks related to meal planning and preparation, dressing, toilet use and moving in and out-of-bed safely.

“Scripps has long been an essential resource in the community for the care of patients whose injuries or illnesses, no matter how severe, have affected their ability to walk, communicate, perform daily activities or function at normal levels of strength and endurance,” said Dr. Gregory Sahagian, medical director of the Scripps Health neuroscience service line. “This new center continues that high level of care for everyone from teenage surfers and construction workers to weekend athletes and Triple Crown champion jockeys.”

The center offers a driver assessment program for those whose ability to drive is affected by impairments such as stroke, brain injury and advanced age. The program begins with an in-clinic evaluation and testing on the simulator and progresses to an on-the-road test in a dual-controlled vehicle in coordination with California Department of Motor Vehicles requirements.

An amputee clinic, staffed by a team including a prosthetist, offers services for patients being fitted with a prosthesis for the first time or returning for follow-up revisions and training.

Following rehabilitation, patients have access to a range of classes, such as balance, Parkinson’s, bone health and general exercise, focused on maintaining functional gains achieved during therapy.

Financial support for the new center included a gift from the La Verne and Blaine Briggs Rehabilitation Program — a fund established by the couple in 2004 to benefit Scripps’ rehabilitation services.