Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center

Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Welcome to Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center’s Rehabilitation Program


Carol Patten

For more than 25 years, Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center has been widely recognized and respected for its comprehensive and compassionate rehabilitative care. Our inpatient and outpatient Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine Programs are the first choice of hospitals and health care providers throughout Vermont and central New Hampshire for their patients who need intensive or ongoing rehabilitation care.

One of only two major acute rehabilitation programs in Vermont, Mt. Ascutney Hospital continually strives to offer the most advanced facilities and patient-centered services. Beginning in 2013, we are upgrading our inpatient facility to better enable intensive and personalized rehabilitative therapy and care.

Your rehabilitation and recovery will require hard work, persistence and patience. At Mt. Ascutney Hospital, we’re committed to helping you reach your highest level of recovery. We offer the latest technologies and services to meet your needs and your own personalized team of skilled specialists from diverse disciplines to support and encourage you at every stage along the way.

"With the help of the wonderful and skilled therapists and after doing all the exercises to make my legs strong, I was soon back to my normal self. Going to the pool is a great place to exercise in the warmth of the water and get help with your body, get relief and have fun doing it." 
~ Carol Patton, Quechee, VT

Mt. Ascutney Hospital’s Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine Programs

• Extensive inpatient and outpatient facilities including the state-of-the-art Miller Therapeutic Pool for aquatic physical therapy

• A team of experienced doctors and therapists, many with specialized training and certification in rehabilitation therapy and care.

• Complementary and Alternative Medicine options.

• Addressing all aspects of recovery including emotional and social support, family involvement and education.

• Treatment for the full range of conditions including stroke and cardiopulmonary disease to recovery from significant neurological

or orthopaedic illness or injury.


Our Mission


“To improve the lives of those we serve by using an interdisciplinary team approach to help every patient achieve the highest possible level of functional independence and quality of life.”


Referral Process for Inpatient Program


You are referred to Mt. Ascutney Hospital’s Rehabilitation Program by the physician or health care facility that is involved in your medical, emergency or surgical care prior to rehabilitation.

The referring facility or physician contacts the Rehabilitation Referral Coordinator to provide information about your medical and rehabilitative needs, including diagnosis, medical stability, current level of function, and recovery goals. The Referral Coordinator meets with rehabilitation physicians to assess whether Mt. Ascutney Hospital is an appropriate placement and to determine the program level and services appropriate to your care.


If you are accepted for admission, the Referral Coordinator will confirm the date, time and program you will be admitted to, and the physician who will be overseeing your care. If we are not the best place for your recovery and care, the Referral Coordinator will contact your referring facility to explain why we cannot accept you and to suggest alternative care sites.

Insurance and Payment

We accept most major insurances. Prior to your admission, your insurance coverage will be reviewed. As much as possible, we verify the extent of your coverage, and notify you if it is less than 100% of the proposed length of stay. Financial assistance or payment plans may be available.


Advanced Physical Medicine and Rehabilitative Services

Our rehabilitation program treatments are tailored to the patient’s individual needs and may include several—or all—of the following therapeutic services.

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) is the diagnosis and treatment of injuries and illnesses that affect the body’s movement through a focus on the whole patient rather than a particular symptom or condition.


Physical Therapy (PT) uses exercise and manipulation to address movement and functional issues related to musculoskeletal dysfunction, neurological disorders, injuries and surgeries.

Other specialized physical therapy programs available at Mt. Ascutney Hospital:

Aquatic Therapy uses the weightless environment of a pool to enable patients to perform exercises that may be difficult or even impossible out of the water.

The warm water temperatures help to relax joints and limbs for exercise with little or no discomfort.


Bioness Lower Extremity Electrical Stimulation Orthotic uses mild electrical stimulation with an orthotic to decrease muscle spasms and improve lower extremity limb function.


Lymphedema Treatment improves function and reduces or eliminates swelling associated with lymphedema. At Mt. Ascutney Hospital, therapists incorporate the Vodder therapeutic massage technique and wrapping for lymphedema treatment.

Occupational Therapy (OT) addresses neurological issues associated with conditions such as stroke, spinal cord injury and Multiple Sclerosis. Treatment focuses on functional mobility, cognitive and visual impairments and introduces daily living activities such as dressing and home management. Treatment may incorporate the following specialized services and techniques:

Postural Restoration is a unique treatment approach that uses both hands-on techniques and exercises to address postural patterns and muscular imbalances associated with conditions such as scoliosis and other musculoskeletal dysfunctions.


Bioness Upper Extremity Electrical Stimulation Orthotic uses mild electrical stimulation with an orthotic to decrease muscle spasms and improve upper extremity limb function.


Certified Hand Therapy offers assessment, planning and treatment of therapeutic interventions to prevent dysfunction or restore function of the upper limb, including the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder girdle.


Dynavision Screening, originally designed as a device to improve the visuomotor skills of athletes, may be used for patients whose visual and/or motor function has been compromised by injury or disease.


Speech Therapy evaluates and treats swallowing, speech, language and cognitive-linguistic skills that may be impaired in people with neurological conditions such as stroke and Parkinson’s disease.


Recreational Therapy offers leisure lifestyle counseling to enhance quality of life after life-changing illness or disability. Relaxation and stress management techniques are taught to aid in managing symptoms.


Complementary Medicine Therapies such as acupuncture, Reiki and therapeutic massage are available on a fee for service basis through the Healing Arts Clinic in Windsor and on an inpatient basis.


Pain Management works closely with the patient and the rehabilitation team to monitor and assess pain and to provide treatment in order to both improve comfort and speed recovery.


Cardiac Rehabilitation uses exercise and education to improve physical fitness and reduce the risk of progressive heart disease in patients who have experienced a heart attack, cardiac surgery, angina or other heart conditions.

Behavioral Medicine services are available.

As a patient in the Rehabilitation Unit, you will work with a team of health professionals who are specially trained in rehabilitation and physical medicine.


Your rehabilitation team includes you and your family along with doctors, nurses and therapists with the expertise best suited to your needs. This team will design your treatment plan and provide your care.


The Physiatrist is a doctor who is specially trained in how the body’s nerves, muscles, bones and brain affect how you move. The Physiatrist leads your rehabilitation team in the design and implementation of your treatment program.


The Case Manager works with you and your family to understand and address the emotional, social, financial, vocational and educational needs that may arise as a result of your condition. The Case Manager is a key partner for you and your family throughout your stay, beginning with your admission, through treatment and in planning your discharge.


Our Nurses are involved in your care on a daily basis to help you regain optimal function and prevent further complications. Our nurses are specially trained and many are certified in rehabilitation care.


A Speech Language Pathologist may evaluate and work with you on issues related to swallowing, speaking, processing and expressing thoughts and memory.



The Physical Therapist or Physical Therapy Assistant works with you to improve your strength, coordination, balance, endurance, muscle performance and functional mobility. At Mt. Ascutney Hospital, many therapists have additional training and expertise in specialty areas such as postural and vestibular restoration, Lymphedema treatment or work capacity evaluations.


With the Occupational Therapist or Occupational Therapy Assistant, you work on the everyday tasks such as bathing, dressing, eating and managing household activities, as well as on cognitive tasks such as reading, writing and handling money. Specially trained Certified Hand Therapists also may work with you to address upper limb function involved in these activities.


The Therapeutic Recreation Therapist is involved in your treatment through leisure activities and social interaction. They focus on the hobbies and activities that make your life more enjoyable and on helping you return to those activities with whatever adaptations may be necessary.


The Registered Dietitian conducts a nutrition assessment and attends to your nutritional needs during your stay. The Dietitian also provides nutrition counseling to you and your family and works with you to develop the optimal dietary plan for when you return home.


Other Affiliated Services that are available to you include audiology, chaplaincy, prosthetics, psychiatry, substance abuse counseling, vocational counseling and driver rehabilitation.



What to Expect During Your Stay


Daily Therapy

Although you are in the hospital, the Rehabilitation Program is different than other types of hospital stays. You will be up, dressed and active, and your day may include up to five hours of therapy depending on your program level and specific treatment plan. You should bring three to four changes of clothing, shoes with rubber soles, personal toiletries and small remembrances of home. Please do not bring large sums of money or valuables.


Team Meetings

While you are at Mt. Ascutney Hospital, your rehabilitation team works with you to assess and coordinate your care. At regular meetings the team reviews your progress and goals for your treatment.


Family Meetings

At Mt. Ascutney Hospital, we include your family and friends as vital participants in your care. Family meetings with you, your family members and friends, and your rehabilitation team may occur both formally and informally throughout your stay to discuss your rehabilitation plan, progress, goals and target discharge date.


Rehabilitation Therapy Groups

If you are newly disabled, you may be involved in therapy groups that are designed to help you learn about and develop strategies for self-care and independence. These groups include education about disabilities and address memory, relaxation, life skills and exercise.



Peer Counseling/Support Services for Family

Particularly if you are newly disabled, you may meet one-on-one with a person that has a similar disability to gain practical information and emotional support from someone who knows personally what you are going through.


Pet Visits

In many cases, with prior approval, your dog or cat may be able to visit to provide companionship and comfort during your stay.

Please ask about our policy.


Home Evaluations

As your discharge date approaches, a home evaluation may be scheduled to help you and your family prepare and adapt your home. Following the evaluation, a list of recommendations is provided on how to improve the accessibility of your home to allow for your optimal independence.


Community Outings

After becoming disabled many people are anxious about things such as shopping, eating in a restaurant or attending community activities. Community outings help reduce those fears by providing education and practice in navigating public settings with a disability. Outings with family and friends also may be scheduled to give everyone an opportunity to practice adaptive skills prior to your discharge.