The Archibald and Ehrenberg Rehabilitation Terrain Park, a component of the California Pacific Regional Rehabilitation Center, features many real-world challenges for patients in rehabilitation. Opened in November of 2007 after months of planning, the first-of-its-kind Terrain Park features a variety of walking surfaces, such marble flooring, gravel and sand hiking trails, sidewalk with a curb-cut ramp, and a cobble stone path, to help patients learn how to maneuver in different situations.
“In the past rehab was done in a gym, or in a carefully-controlled setting,” says Scott Rome, M.D., Medical Director of the Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at CPMC. “But when patients left the hospital they found themselves facing a completely different set of challenges, and sometimes they were not fully prepared for those. This Terrain Park gives us a wonderful, safe setting to help patients practice real life skills.”
Our goal at California Pacific Regional Rehabilitation Center is to prepare patients not just physically, but psychologically for the challenges that lie ahead once they have left the hospital environment and are back home. “When our patients leave here we want them to feel ready to get back to their old life as completely as possible, as quickly as possible,” says Mary Lanier, R.N., Vice President for Post Acute Services and CAO for California Pacific’s Davies Campus.
The Terrain Park was built with this in mind. We encourage our patients to return to the activities they loved before their injuries. They have the opportunity to practice in and outdoor stair climbing, walking on hiking trails, street crossing with a traffic signal, gardening techniques with special tools and entering and exiting automobiles. There is even a basketball half-court and a two-hole putting-green which add some fun to therapeutic activities such as balance and coordination training.
Cathy Kennedy, P.T., Manager of Acute Rehab Therapy and Outpatient Specialty Services, was the Terrain Park’s clinical project manager. Kennedy along with a planning team, worked with the architects to develop each element of the park. “We looked at every possible situation that our patients might encounter once they leave the safe environment of the hospital,” Kennedy says. She has worked with recovering patients for more than 20 years and this was one of the most exciting additions to a rehabilitation clinical environment she has seen. “It was important to us to respond to what our community advisors were telling us. They needed a place to gain an essential level of training to return to an active community life, and we needed that place to be safe, secure and easy for our employees to access.”
The concept for the Terrain Park originated from participants in an Acute Rehabilitation Community Advisory Meeting who thought this was a great way that CPMC could better serve the needs of the community. After months of design concept planning, Dr. Rome presented the idea to the California Pacific Medical Center Foundation who championed the idea and made it a funding priority. The park is a contained, secure and non-smoking environment that can serve as a precursor or substitute for community outings off campus. It contains an emergency call system, security cameras, a secure fence enclosure, and it is contiguous with Outpatient Therapy where a Code Blue crash cart is maintained. The Terrain Park was also intentionally designed as a garden-like atmosphere with areas for reflection, rejuvenation and inspiration.
The Terrain Park was funded almost entirely by charitable contributions, including a generous donation from Dr. Kenneth C. Archibald, the former Chair of Rehabilitative Medicine at California Pacific Medical Center, and is named in honor of Dr. Archibald and his deceased partner, Robert Ehrenberg.