Putting Safety First, Hackensack Meridian JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute Urges Patients: Don’t Delay Care

July 30, 2020

Hackensack Meridian JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute is urging patients to seek the physical therapy and rehabilitation services they need to improve their overall health and wellbeing — and to prevent the long-term complications of delaying care.

JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute is following strict protocols and putting safety at the forefront as physicians, therapists and other health care professionals treat patients who need everything from stroke and cardiac rehabilitation to physical, speech, occupational therapy and more.

“Rehabilitation is essential to our patients’ overall health and wellbeing. Our safety protocols will be strictly followed and enforced,” said Sara Cuccurullo, M.D., medical director and vice president of JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute.

Dr. Cuccurullo said JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute has expanded the footprint of its rehabilitation services to space patients at least six-feet apart from each other. Patients in the Stroke Recovery Program exercise aggressively on recumbent bike and, as a result, are spaced 12 feet apart.

Patients will be given masks upon entering the rehabilitation institute, and rooms will be sanitized between each patient after visits to their physical medicine and rehabilitation physician. Patients also have the option of telehealth visits, when appropriate.

Throughout the nation, there have been reports of people avoiding care for non-COVID-19 medical conditions, leading some experts to fear there will long-term consequences of patients foregoing needed health care. For instance, rehabilitation in the early months after a stroke, heart attack or brain injury can make an enormous difference in a patient’s outcome.

Additionally, many people working from home, hunched over computers for long periods of time, have reported issues with lower back pain and other ailments that could improve with physical rehabilitation as well as a consultation with a physician specializing in pain.

“We want our patients to get the health care and rehabilitation they need,” said Dr. Cuccurullo. “And we want them to know we are hyper vigilant about keeping everyone safe.”

Other protocols include:

  • Maintaining schedules that limit the number of patients in the institute at any given time
  • Enforcing social distancing, as recommended by the CDC
  • Screening all patients’ and team members’ temperatures
  • Cleaning and disinfecting on a rigorous level—while heavily concentrating on frequently touched surfaces, equipment and exam rooms
  • Mandating a face mask for all patients and employees at all times while in our facilities

For an appointment or more information, visit JFKJohnson.org.

About Hackensack Meridian Health JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute

Offering New Jersey’s most comprehensive rehabilitation services, the JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute is a 94-bed facility located in Edison, N.J. serving residents of the tristate area for more than 40 years. Its mission is simple: provide quality rehabilitation for adults and children living with disabilities to obtain optimal function and independence within an accepting community. JFK Johnson Rehabilitation has developed programs in specialties that include brain injury, stroke rehabilitation, orthopedics/musculoskeletal and sports injuries, fitness, cardiac rehabilitation, women’s health, pediatrics and a prosthetics and orthotics lab. It is the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department of the Hackensack Meridian Medical School at Seton Hall University and Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. To learn more, visit JFKJohnson.org