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Inpatient Rehabilitation

State-of-the-Art Rehab Facility in Cape Girardeau

As the leading inpatient rehabilitation facility in the region, Saint Francis’ state-of-the-art, 24-bed unit (23 bed facility with a transition to home apartment) offers comprehensive and coordinated programs in one convenient location for patients with cognitive, physical, functional and behavioral deficits.

Our program significantly exceeds regional and national outcomes for returning patients back to their home. In most cases, the less time that a patient is required to stay in the hospital the better. Patients are more comfortable at home in a familiar setting and when he/she is able to leave the hospital sooner it indicates a better and faster recovery.

Our rehabilitation program averages 90% discharge to community, compared to regional and national averages of 75% and 77%, respectively.

Inpatient Rehab Discharge to Community

Recognitions & Accreditations

Inpatient Rehabilitation Medical Director

Board certified physical medicine and rehabilitation physician Heidi J. Hunter, MD, is the full-time medical director for Inpatient Rehabilitation. Dr. Hunter is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Medical school, and served as Chief Resident at Ohio State University Medical Center. Her clinical interests include traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury and stroke patients.

  • A colleague plays table games with rehab patients


Inpatient Rehabilitation Services

Case Management

Case managers lead the rehab team in assessing progress, identifying goals and planning for equipment, services and other needs to ensure a safe and efficient discharge.

Community Reintegration Program

This group provides a structured learning environment that demonstrates the skills necessary for a successful return to a community setting and helps improve patients’ ability to return to social/ leisure activities post-discharge.

Hearing Assessments

Upon completion of a referral-based hearing assessment, healthcare providers at Saint Francis Medical Center offer suggestions to patients on hearing devices and other treatments.

Neuropsychology Services

As the only provider in the region with both a neuropsychologist and a behavioral psychologist on staff, Saint Francis Medical Center provides expert care for patients suffering from emotional/cognitive problems due to bodily injury. Inpatient rehabilitation staff helps patients develop coping skills, establish appropriate expectations and modify their lifestyle in accordance with any physical limitations to maintain a positive outlook on life.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists and assistants at Saint Francis Medical Center are focused on increasing independence and improving quality of life. This involves developing individualized treatment programs for patients to help them reach goals in regard to the social, emotional and physiological effects of illnesses and injuries, including spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and dementia. Caregivers also assist patients in restoring daily living activities, such as self-care, work and leisure.

The team works with the patient and family to establish a customized intervention plan that encourages active participation in the therapeutic process. Interventions focus on adapting the environment, modifying tasks and teaching specific skills to increase performance of daily activities.

Pastoral Care

Pastoral Care provides spiritual and emotional support to patients. They may also assist with stress reduction, healing touch and holistic healthcare programs addressing health and wellness.

Pet Therapy

Patients have the opportunity to spend time every week with animals provided by the local Pet Pals program. Pet therapy facilitates socialization, improves self-esteem, motivation, orientation and cognition. This program is currently paused due to COVID-19, but should return in the future.

Physical Therapy

Through the use of exercises and applications that promote and restore normal function and development, physical therapists and assistants at Saint Francis Medical Center help patients overcome injuries and other physically debilitating conditions.

An neuro developmental treatment-oriented and vestibular rehab program is available for neurologically impaired patients. Additional services include lymphedema, bariatric and wound care management.

Rehab Nursing Team

The Inpatient Rehab staff includes RNs, LPNs and nurse assistants, all specially trained in functional independence and rehabilitation. They provide care in areas including:

  • Activities of daily living (ADLs)
  • Bowel and bladder management
  • IV therapy
  • Medication management
  • Transfers and mobility
  • Wound care / dressing changes

Respiratory Therapy

Respiratory therapists at Saint Francis Medical Center help patients offset conditions and diseases affecting breathing by providing advanced treatments, such as endotracheal intubation, ventilator management, arterial line insertion, high frequency oscillatory ventilation, nitric oxide and heliox (under the direction of a physician). Additionally, respiratory therapists offer aerosolized medication and pulmonary hygiene (breathing exercises, postural drainage and percussion).

Speech-Language Pathology

The Saint Francis speech-language pathologist, patient and family work collaboratively to establish a care plan following assessment. Treatments cover a range of deficits including language, cognitive, voice and swallowing. Our certified/trained staff helps patients maximize their return to function through some of the most advanced interventions available, including VitalStim®, DPN, FNMES, FEES, MBS, TEP and alternative communication devices.

Stroke Education Group

For patients who have been diagnosed with stroke, this group helps individuals gain knowledge of stroke symptoms and consequences, transitional issues involving moving from a hospital to community setting, and resources available after discharge.

For more information on Inpatient Rehabilitation Services, call 573-331-5980.

Meet the Providers:

  • Heidi Jo Hunter, MD

    Heidi Jo Hunter, MD


    Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation


    Cape Girardeau
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