by Jessica Ennis
Brady Curry, 3, receives physical therapy in the new LeAnn Rimes Adventure Gym.
photos by Dana Johnson
A zip line, an eight-foot climbing wall and a mock apartment complete with a bed, kitchen and bathroom are just a few of the new features available to patients at Pediatric Rehabilitation Services which recently opened at Vanderbilt Health at One Hundred Oaks.
The office, which will serve about 100 patients a day, or nearly 25,000 visits each year, is the first to move to Vanderbilt's new campus at One Hundred Oaks.
The service provides physical and occupational therapy to patients who have neurologic impairments, orthopaedic injuries, developmental delays, congenital syndromes or other disabilities that impair physical function and health status.
"The advantage of being in this new location is accessibility," said Erik Hamnes, director of Pediatric Rehabilitation Services. "These kids are coming in every week and sometimes it's for a year or more. They also come with a lot of equipment like wheelchairs, walkers and crutches. It's much easier to be able to park right outside the entrance of the clinic, and it is convenient to all interstates."
The new facility contains state-of-the-art equipment and new features, and is more than double the size of the current office, located in The Vanderbilt Clinic.
"We can do so much more here," said Hamnes. "Before, we had to do a lot of our work in the hallway because we simply didn't have enough room."
The named areas of the clinic were made possible by donations from Mike Curb, chairman of Curb Records.
The LeAnn Rimes Adventure Gym features a performance stage, a zip line over a pit of foam, and an eight-foot-tall rock climbing wall. Two large sets of specially designed stairs in the corner of the gym offer a place for children to work on climbing skills, but with a destination. Once they climb the stairs, they will have the option of coming down a slide.
The gym also has a soccer goal and a small basketball court with an adjustable goal. The court and walls are decorated with a Vanderbilt Commodores theme.
There is an undulating wood track where patients can push themselves on their stomach on scooter boards while following the track. Also in the gym is a Nintendo Wii video game station and monkey bars.
The Katie Darnell Wheelchair Clinic honors the late brain tumor patient who was treated at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, and died in 2003.
Lindsay Hart, 3, has some fun with physical therapist Jodi O'Hara.
"The reason we named the Katie Darnell Wheelchair Clinic after Katie Darnell is because she was such a tremendous inspiration. Katie discovered she was a songwriter while a patient at Children's Hospital," Curb said. "She had an incurable form of cancer, and even in her illness, she still managed to demonstrate a courage that is almost impossible for any of us to imagine."
The wheelchair clinic allows patients to be properly fitted for a wheelchair that will give them the most mobility possible.
"Our wheelchair clinic has such an immediate impact on the kids," Hamnes said. "We want to get them in a wheelchair that fits them, looks cool and helps them improves mobility."
The wheelchair clinic also has space for a casting area. Serial casting is used in patients who have limited range of motion, and provides a slow muscle stretch.
The Kevin Michael Crawler Gym, also named by Curb, is for children up to age 2 who are not walking yet. Different mechanisms and tools are used to help patients sit up, pull up, crawl and move around.
"Recently our daughter became very ill, discovered she was diabetic, and lost a baby, so the value of a pediatric facility became more real to us," Curb said. "We obviously wanted to name one of the rooms the Kevin Michael Crawler Gym because it coincided with the loss of our grandchild, and brought a specific focus there," Curb said.
The Linda Curb Orthopaedic Gym, named after Curb's wife, has exercise equipment for children ages 8 to 13, including treadmills, arm bikes and weights to rehabilitate patients with orthopaedic injuries.
The Courtney and Megan Sibling Play Area provides toys and a reading area for siblings to play with while their sibling receives therapy.
"The bottom line is it's all about helping children," Curb said. "There are so many things that we want to say ‘yes' to and can't, but we did want to make sure that we completed something that started when I was chairman of the Board of Children's Hospital."
© 2016 Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt