House Call: Rehabilitation for severe trauma

A trauma occurs every four seconds in the United Sates, according to the American Trauma Society. The three most common trauma injuries admitted to Cone Health Trauma Center and Inpatient Rehabilitation include traumatic brain injuries, traumatic spinal cord injuries and multi-trauma injuries, which often involve multiple fractures and are sometimes paired with brain or spinal cord trauma. 

The common causes of these injuries are motor vehicle accidents, falls and incidents of assault. Cone Health Inpatient Rehabilitation Center has an exceptional trauma team comprised of physical therapists, occupational therapists, recreational therapists, speech pathologists, social workers, case managers, rehabilitation nurses, neuropsychiatrists and physiatrists dedicated to rehabilitating trauma patients in the community. 

As part of a multi-disciplinary approach to care, the trauma team focuses on helping patients improve all aspects of daily living such as dressing and bathing, mobility and balance, thinking skills, communication, swallowing and respiration, psychosocial and adjustment skills, pain control and patient safety issues. 

The ultimate goal of inpatient rehabilitation of trauma patients is to return them home rather than sending them to another healthcare facility. Cone Health Inpatient Rehabilitation Center has achieved top ten percent in the nation for two consecutive years in rehabilitation outcomes and the overwhelming number of patients who are sent home and able to integrate back into the community.

Spokesperson Background:

Karen Pulaski is the trauma team leader at Cone Health Inpatient Rehabilitation Center and a licensed occupational therapist. Karen received a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology and psychology from St. Bonaventure University in Olean, NY and earned her Master’s degree of occupational therapy from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts in 1989. She has worked for Cone Health for the past 18 years.


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