Ascension Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Hospital, Milwaukee, 2022 Community Benefits

Brain Injury Day Treatment Center

Ascension Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Hospital brain injury patients and staff enjoy a day at the Milwaukee County Zoo.
The Ascension Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Hospital’s Brain Injury Day Treatment (BIDT) program in Milwaukee is a subsidized service that supports people's recovery from traumatic brain injury and stroke. It serves as a transition between acute or rehab hospital stay and return to work, school, volunteering and/or home management.

Patients typically participate in the program two to three days a week from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and taper down as their skills improve and discharge from the program approaches. This community reintegration program offers a host of services, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, vocational counseling, community outings, recreational therapy, case management, nursing, psychology, driver’s evaluations, neuropsychology testing as well as a variety of educational and skill-building groups led by therapy staff.

“Traumatic brain injury and post-stroke patients are referred by their provider, hospitalists and via outreach,” said Jenna Piala, PT, DPT, rehabilitation services supervisor, Ascension Sacred Heart. “We’ve assisted everyone from teenagers to robust 80-year-olds. We work on getting people back to living their lives, helping them with everything from cooking in the kitchen, to walking up and down steps, to creating art and returning to work.”

After a patient completes evaluations, the multidisciplinary team develops an individualized treatment plan to meet the patient’s unique needs. Family training and team conferences are a part of the program to ensure maximal progress and carryover at home. Conditions that could benefit from the BIDT program include but are not limited to CVA (stroke), TBI, anoxia (lack of oxygen), brain abscess, encephalitis, meningitis and brain tumors.

“We’ve had so many success stories of transitioning patients and helping them return to work,” added Jennifer. “One patient was a vendor at the Milwaukee Brewers games and is now back at the stadium doing what he loves.”