West Central Alabama Rehabilitation Center

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 6, 2007

Helping patients meet their &8216;maximum life potential’

By Rett Rivers

The Selma Times-Journal

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The West Central Alabama Rehabilitation Center, located on Medical Center Parkway, is a private, non-profit organization designed to help people with special health care needs in Dallas, Wilcox, Marengo, and Perry County.

Two divisions of the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation provide services at the rehab center, Children Rehabilitation Service (CRS) and Vocational Rehabilitation Service (VRS).

CRS serves children and youth under the age of 21 who have special health care needs and also adults with a diagnosis of hemophilia. This statewide organization is available in every county in Alabama through 15 community-based offices. Multi-disciplinary teams consisting of doctors, nurses, social workers, physical therapists, speech-language pathologists, audiologists, occupational therapists, and registered dietitians provide specialty clinical services.

These professionals provide orthopedic, hearing, seizure, and feeding clinic service in this area. Specialty services are provided, regardless of a family’s income through Children’s Rehab.

Melvina Moss, CRS office coordinator, stresses the

importance of teamwork among families, communities, and health care professionals. &8220;We believe in providing family-centered, community-based health care to our clients,&8221; said Moss.

CRS collaborates with physician offices, school systems, public health agencies and many other agencies throughout the community it serves.

The Selma CRS office presently has a caseload of approximately 300 children, and each district has a parent-consultant who is important in connecting with families. Odessa Taylor, who works as the parent-consultant, was inspired to work at the rehab center after her daughter received services through the use of the orthopedic clinics.

Dianne Chandler, a social worker for the rehab center, is involved with providing Care Coordination services. Chandler and other social workers assist the clients with transportation to medical appointments, scheduling and keeping appointments, providing resource information, and assisting with other needs of the clients and their families.

VRS, which is the other division of the rehab center, provides specialized employment-related services, training, and education necessary to assist individuals with disabilities in becoming employed. This program is also designed mainly for adults.

While 2007 marks the 50th anniversary for the West Central Alabama Rehabilitation Center, other programs are set to be added to the rehab center. William Bowman and the Visually Impaired People (V.I.P.) should have space at the rehab center by the end of September. White also hopes to start the Durable Medical Recycling Program, which would re-use items such as wheelchairs, walkers, and hospital beds.

On Friday, the rehab center held a back-to-school wheelchair wash and resource round-up for its orthopedic clients. Wheelchairs were washed, detailed, and even repaired if necessary. Entertainment, face painting, health care information, and refreshments were provided for the participants. This event was made possible through generous donations from staff, local physicians, and other community agencies.