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St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Ann Arbor Recognized For Stroke Care

When Linda Watkins of Ypsilanti suffered a stroke about a week ago, she went to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Ann Arbor for treatment.  The hospital had just recently received recognition for it's stroke rehabilitation center from the Joint Commission.

The commission named St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Ann Arbor the first hospital in Michigan to be a certified stroke rehabilitation center of excellence. 

Good news for Watkins, who came to St. Joseph's after feeling numbness in her mouth and the lower left side of her face.  She was also having trouble lifting her left foot to climb stairs. 

She's thankful her stroke wasn't more severe, and she says the therapy she received was a real team effort.

"They work closely together so the patient can get what they need in a timely manner."

One of the devices they're most proud of in the rehab center at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Ann Arbor is the Lokomat. 

Dr. David Steinberg is the hospital's  Medical Director for Rehabilitation Services. 

He describes the Lokomat as an exoskeleton, similar to RoboCop, which supports a patient and "un-weights" them.

"And allow them to be upright and to start the pre-mobility, pre-walking tasks and skills," Steinberg says, "and guide their body through more smooth, sequenced movements that mimic real walking and help to reinforce nerve pathways and neuromuscular control."

Dr. Steinberg says receiving the certification as a stroke rehabilitation center of excellence is recognition that St. Joseph Mery Hospital Ann Arbor is a state leader in using evidence-based practices and best practices to treat stroke patients.