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Staten Island University Hospital Hosts the (Rehab) Olympic Games

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The closing ceremonies may be over, but a group of patients at Staten Island University Hospital North have brought the excitement of the 2012 Olympic Games right here to the North Shore-LIJ Health System.

Patients and staff from the hospital’s Inpatient and Outpatient Physical Therapy units gathered to compete and to celebrate their recent accomplishments in physical therapy.

About 30 patients lined up on walkers, crutches and canes to make their way down the “Olympic Trail” alongside their therapists, passing along a torch to the finish line.

Linda Spadafina, Assistant Manager for Outpatient Physical Therapy at Staten Island University Hospital North says the main goal of the event – to demonstrate that therapy can be fun.

“We’re always trying to motivate and advocate for our patients and we thought, wouldn’t it be fun to bring the thrill of London right here to our department? It’s wonderful to be part of a health system that allows its staff to engage patients in these unique opportunities.”

The event lasted about a half-hour until the last patient finally lit the Olympic torch.  “If you make therapy fun, it’s more successful,” said Spadafina. “If you think about it, the true Olympians in London are all similar to our patients.  You take an Olympian who spends moments being dedicated to their sport, and that’s what these patients are – dedicated to their sport of recovery.”

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