News

New Medical Director Jeremy Kokkonen

Rehabilitation Hospital of the Northwest welcomes Dr. Jeremy Kokkonen as our new Medical Director.

Dr. Kokkonen has extensive training in osteopathic medicine, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and interventional and medical pain management. He holds a special interest in treating strokes and spinal cord injuries.

A Brigham Young University graduate, Dr. Kokkonen attended medical school at A.T. Still University/Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, Mo. He then continued with residencies at Valley Hospital Medical Center in Las Vegas, and served as chief resident in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. He completed a fellowship in interventional and pain management at Nexus Pain Care in Provo, Utah.

Prior to joining our medical team, Dr. Kokkonen served as an interventional medicine and pain management physician in Ogden, Utah. He is looking forward to working in an inpatient setting again.

Dr. Kokkonen is involved in numerous professional, educational, and community volunteer activities, including the American Osteopathic Association, American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians, and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Read More

Certified as Center of Excellence for Stroke Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation Hospital of the Northwest Becomes the First in Idaho to be Certified as a Center of Excellence for Stroke Rehabilitation

Seventy-six year-old Judy Gray of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, had just finished dinner at a restaurant with her husband when she knew something was wrong. Her body felt limp, she had double vision, and she couldn’t speak. Even though she wanted to go home and lay down, her husband immediately called 911.

Gray was taken to a local hospital where she learned she had a stroke. After receiving initial medical treatment, Gray was transferred to Rehabilitation Hospital of the Northwest to receive continued care.

Gray is one of numerous patients who have received rehabilitation following a stroke at Rehabilitation Hospital of the Northwest. The hospital recently became the first in Idaho to be certified by The Joint Commission for Stroke Rehabilitation. Certification is voluntary and given after a rigorous on-site review of the hospital’s practices, programs, and outcomes in patients who have suffered from strokes.

“Strokes can happen to anyone at any time,” says Dr. Steve Foster, Associate  Medical Director of Rehabilitation Hospital of the Northwest. “They occur when blood flow and oxygen is cut off to an area of the brain, causing brain cells to die. This, in turn, affects the abilities controlled by that part of the brain. To get the most successful results for stroke patients, we use best practices and follow evidence-based clinical practice guidelines.”

Foster says by doing this, the hospital can provide patients with quicker recovery times, allow more patients to discharge to home, and help patients gain more physical and cognitive independence.

At the hospital, an interdisciplinary healthcare team works with patients and their family members to create individualized treatment plans so the patients can progress at their own ability levels. The rehabilitation team includes specially trained physicians, nurses, case managers, and occupational, speech, and physical therapists – among other medical professionals. Patients receive 24-hour rehabilitative nursing care and daily physician management.

Gray received physical, occupational, and speech therapy at the hospital for two weeks to help her re-learn how to walk, speak, and perform daily activities like brushing her teeth and eating.

“Looking back, I had symptoms prior to this stroke,” Gray says. “I thought my double vision was because of cataracts. I was always active – boating, golfing, traveling, and exercising. I didn’t recognize the double vision as a symptom of stroke, but now I know.”

“Strokes can have debilitating effects on individuals and their families,” says Maureen Fakinos, Interim Chief Executive Officer of Rehabilitation Hospital of the Northwest. “We take our responsibility seriously to ensure that our patients are provided the best opportunities for recovery.  The review and certification provided by The Joint Commission lets us – and the community – know that we’re setting a new standard of care for stroke patients. Patients don’t have to leave the area to receive this higher level of service.”

Gray says she feels she wouldn’t have been able to progress as well if it weren’t for the healthcare team and treatment she received at Rehabilitation Hospital of the Northwest. Her goal is to be able to golf again and to walk independently without a walker or wheelchair in the near future.

“I experienced so much care and compassion from the hospital staff,” Gray says. “I’m so grateful for them. And, I’m so thankful that my husband insisted on calling 911 that night instead of allowing me to go home and ‘sleep it off.’ I know my outcome would have been much worse if it wasn’t for him. My advice to anyone who thinks they might be experiencing stroke symptoms is to get to the hospital as fast as you can.”

Read More

Rostron Named New Nursing Director

Nicole Rostron has been named the new director of nursing at Rehabilitation Hospital of the Northwest.

Rostron has held numerous management and leadership positions as a registered nurse, most recently serving as nurse manager at a rehabilitation hospital in Arizona. She also has served as a charge nurse in a mixed medical-surgical-telemetry and progressive care unit, as well as inpatient rehabilitation and in-home settings.

Rostron earned a a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ, and an associate’s degree in nursing and science from Pima Community College in Tuscon, AZ. She also holds a certification in neuroscience nursing.

Rostron has been an expert lecturer and speaker at the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses National Conference. She is the member of the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses, the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses, and Sigma Theta Tau, an Honor Society of Nurses.

Read More

Free Community Stroke Awareness Fair

The community is invited to a free Stroke Awareness Fair at 1:30- 4 p.m. on Wednesday, May 24 at Rehabilitation Hospital of the Northwest.

Individuals attending the event will learn more about strokes and how they can affect you or a loved one.
All-day activities will include:

  • Stroke risk assessments, including blood pressure testing
  • Diet and nutrition education
  • Stroke education, including prevention and warning signs
  • Information from local medical centers and clinics
  • Free healthy snacks, and more.

Presentations will include:

  • 1:30 p.m. – “Heart Health and Stroke Prevention” by Dr. Madeleine Geraghty, Stroke Hospitalist at Deaconess Hospital and Rockwood Neurology Center
  • 3:30 p.m. – “Life After Stroke – Returning Home” by Jennifer Plummer, Physical Therapist (MS, MPT, LVT) and Team Lead at Kindred at Home

For more information, call 208-262-8700 or email stephenchun@ernesthealth.com.

Read More

Rehabilitation Hospital of the Northwest Provides Nationally Recognized Care to Community for 3rd Year in Row

For the 3rd year in a row, Rehabilitation Hospital of the Northwest has been acknowledged for providing nationally recognized rehabilitative care to its patients. The hospital was ranked in the Top 10% of inpatient rehabilitation facilities nationwide for providing care that is patient-centered, effective, efficient and timely.

“This means that in the Inland Northwest area, we’re providing the highest level of rehabilitative care available anywhere in the United States right now,” says Dave Cox, CEO of Rehabilitation Hospital of the Northwest. “Patients and their families don’t have to leave the area to receive the latest in technology and clinical protocols – we’re providing it here in our own backyard.”

The hospital was ranked from among 781 inpatient rehabilitation facilities nationwide by the Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation (UDSMR). The UDSMR is a non-profit corporation that was developed with support from the U.S. Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. UDSMR maintains the world’s largest database for medical rehabilitation outcomes.

“This national ranking speaks highly of the commitment and dedication of our employees and medical staff,” Cox says. “Our staff is passionate about helping patients return home at their highest possible levels of productivity and independence. And for anyone who has ever as had a family member or friend needing healthcare, that matters. We consider it a privilege to be able to provide this higher standard of care to our community.”

Rehabilitation Hospital of the Northwest provides specialized rehabilitative services to patients who are recovering from disabilities caused by injuries, illnesses, or chronic medical conditions. This includes strokes, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and amputations, along with illnesses such as cerebral palsy, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.

Read More