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The Latest in Assistive Technology for Spinal Cord and Brain Injury

Shepherd Center's Assistive Technology Center works with technologies like smart phones, tablets and voice-activated devices to provide assistance and support to people living with disabilities. Shepherd Center occupational therapists evaluate each user's lifestyle requirements and functional abilities, then provide custom modifications to hardware, software, electronics and other appliances so that users can live safely and function productively. Adina Bradshaw, a speech pathologist at...


Animal Assisted Therapy Aids in Rehabilitation Process

Animal assisted therapy can play an important part in the rehabilitation process for patients with spinal cord injury or acquired brain injury. Shepherd Center "employs" multiple therapy dogs who bring joy to patients and also help with therapeutic exercises. In addition, they assist with tasks such as opening doors and switching lights on and off. Shepherd Center exercise physiologist Mary Ashlyn Thiede discusses the role of therapy dogs and the benefits of animal assisted therapy.


Identifying and Managing Chronic Back Pain

At Shepherd Spine and Pain Institute, doctors offer a variety of treatments and comprehensive care for chronic back pain, one of the most common types of pain that people experience. In today’s podcast, Dr. Erik Shaw, an interventional pain management specialist at Shepherd Spine and Pain Institute, addresses the causes of back pain and how to know when your pain has become a chronic problem requiring medical attention. Dr. Shaw also explains the variety of treatment options available for...


Providing Additional Levels of Care with Comprehensive Rehabilitation

The CRU was designed for patients who are admitted with conditions that occurred post-injury or disease and offers treatment to stabilize these conditions and help secure better health. Wes Chay, MD, discusses The Comprehensive Rehabilitation Unit at Shepherd Center, and how it provides additional levels of care to help secure better future health.


Healthy Living with Progressive MS

Progressive forms of MS are characterized by a sustained build-up of symptoms with an insidious increase in disability. With Primary Progressive MS (PPMS) in particular, disability accumulates twice as fast as in those with Relapsing MS (RMS). This means that people with PPMS experience more problems with walking, more difficulty remaining in the workforce, and require more assistance with everyday activities. Ben Thrower, MD and the medical director of the MS Institute at Shepherd...


Treating Sport-Related Concussions

Concussions are mild traumatic brain injuries caused by a sudden jolt or blow to the head and typically resolve within a week or two. In typical concussions, headaches and other symptoms subside, and patients feel as capable as they did before their injury. Russell Gore, MD, director of Shepherd Center’s Complex Concussion Clinic, will discuss sports related concussions and the rehabilitation process.


Fitness and Healthy Living After Injury

In today’s podcast Rebecca Washburn, MS, discusses the importance of fitness after injury and the ways Shepherd Center’s facilities and programs promote healthy living for people with disabilities.


The Ongoing Medical Needs of Patients With Catastrophic Injury

Patients with catastrophic injury face a higher severity of illness requiring complex medical management. As medical complexity evolves in the course of rehabilitation, Shepherd Center assures access to specialized medical needs. A team of experts including physiatrists, internal medicine/pulmonology intensivists and specialized clinicians collaboratively manage the most medically complex, traumatic patient care needs. In today’s podcast, Shepherd Center chief medical officer Michael...


Disability Employment and Accessibility in the Workplace

Shepherd Center provides assistance from vocational rehabilitation case managers after rehabilitation for a spinal cord or brain injury. They assist clients in returning to their previous jobs, pursuing new employment options or preparing them for employment in the future. Case managers make recommendations and help implement workplace accommodations to support the client’s independence and autonomy. Additionally, case managers educate employers and help manage clients’ disability...


The Role of CBD Products in Managing Multiple Sclerosis

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant often used by patients as an oil to manage the symptoms of chronic conditions. In today’s podcast, Ben Thrower, M.D., the medical director of the Multiple Sclerosis Institute at Shepherd Center, will discuss the use of CBD products in managing the symptoms of MS.


Participating in Sports Teams after Injury

Shepherd Center sponsors 11 sports teams that enable individuals with physical disabilities to participate in sports on a recreational or competitive level. Athletes compete in local and regional competitions, as well as at the national and international levels. Regular practice sessions offer expert instruction, as well as camaraderie and peer support. In today’s podcast, sport teams coordinator Matt Edens discusses the program and how it raises awareness about disabilities and increases...


Promoting Teen Driver Safety with AutoCoach App

In partnership with the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, Shepherd Center has created AutoCoach, an app that teaches parents how to effectively and safely teach their teen to drive. AutoCoach aims to improve parental supervisory behaviors and involvement through quizzes, distraction notifications, driving logs and a ten-chapter curriculum based on best practices. In today’s podcast, Shepherd Center director of injury prevention Emma Harrington discusses how the app aims to...


The Importance of Caring for Caregivers

Caring for a person with a neurodegenerative disease can be extremely challenging. Beyond the potential physical exhaustion caregivers may experience, they also may experience emotional and psychological changes when having to take care of someone else, and it is a potential problem that needs to be addressed. In this podcast, Deborah Backus, director of multiple sclerosis research at Shepherd Center and co-author of the paper “Coping With Caregiver Burnout When Caring for a Person With...


The Value of Peer Support After Injury

People with spinal cord injuries and their families often feel anxious about returning home after rehabilitation and dealing with the many challenges related to living with such injuries. Patients with SCI who receive more intensive peer mentorship have more active engagement in rehabilitation, greater self-efficacy and lower hospital readmissions. In this segment of Shepherd Center Radio, Minna Hong, the Spinal Cord Injury Peer Support Program supervisor at Shepherd Center, discusses the...


SCI in the First 72 Hours

Today, Shepherd Center access case manager Dorea Fowler discusses treatments for people with spinal cord injury in the first 72 hours after injury. This podcast describes the way spinal cord injury affects the body, including the levels of injury and muscles that coordinate with those injuries, and how people with spinal cord injury differ from other patients in an intensive care unit.


Respiratory Therapy During Rehabilitation

When a patient has a spinal cord injury, depending on the level of injury, breathing can become the most important issue they and their family are facing. When a patient has limited use of their diaphragm, respiratory therapists assist through ventilator management or coughing assistance. Respiratory therapists keep the patient breathing and get them breathing on their own before physical recovery can begin. Shepherd Center respiratory therapist Kelley Taylor is here today to speak about...


Stroke: Recognizing Symptoms is Vital to Recovery

About 700,000 strokes occur in the United States each year. To serve the healthcare needs of these patients, Shepherd Center provides a full continuum of services – from inpatient rehabilitation to outpatient care for stroke rehabilitation. The hospital’s program specializes in rehabilitation for people who may be in college, raising a family or in the prime of their career. In today’s podcast, Dr. Andrew Dennison, a board-certified physical medicine and rehabilitation physician with an...


Common Complications After Discharge from Rehabilitation for Brain and Spinal Cord Injury

Secondary complications are a major health issue for people living with brain and spinal cord injury. Secondary conditions are negative health outcomes that occur as a direct result of a disability. The most common secondary conditions for these patients are pressure sores, respiratory complications, urinary tract infections, spasticity and neuropathic pain. Today, Angela Beninga, D.O., a staff physiatrist in Shepherd Center’s Multispecialty Clinic and the director of Shepherd Center’s...


Neuroimaging Research and Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis

The Andrew C. Carlos MS Institute at Shepherd has extensive experience treating people with multiple sclerosis (MS), suspected MS or related disorders. The MS Institute at Shepherd has treated thousands of people with MS using a wide range of neurological and rehabilitative services. Additionally, Shepherd Center engages in research to improve clinical outcomes and the quality of life for individuals with MS. Today, Dr. Guy Buckle, M.D., MPH, director of neuroimaging research at Shepherd...


Rehabilitation Admissions Under Workers’ Compensation

Are you a workers' compensation case manager, claims manager or life care planner who are seeking options for their injured client? In this podcast, Heddi Silon, the director of workers compensation at Shepherd Center, discusses the admissions process for patients covered under worker’s compensation. In this segment of Shepherd Center Radio, we discuss options for patients who need a “tune up,” those who never participated in rehabilitation, or injured workers who have previously...