Senator details vision of rehab clinic for vets

Stepping forward: State Sen. Tina Tartaglione demonstrates ReWalk, an exoskeleton suit that allows patients with lower limb paralysis to stand and walk.

State Sen. Tina Tartaglione (D-2nd dist.), who suffered a serious spinal cord injury in a 2003 boating accident that left her in a wheelchair, demonstrated ReWalk — a motorized exoskeleton suit that allows patients with lower limb paralysis to stand and walk — to detail her vision for a clinic to address specific rehabilitation needs of veterans.

“There are so many veterans who might be helped by this technology and other robotic rehabilitative technologies offered by MossRehab and other facilities,” Tartaglione said.

Tartaglione demonstrated the suit for U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, state Rep. Dwight Evans and Anthony Carrelli, the acting adjutant general of the Air Pennsylvania National Guard, at MossRehab in Elkins Park.

“Given the extraordinary sacrifice by those in the military and the need for exceptional rehabilitation facilities for veterans, I felt it was important to detail how a clinic featuring technologies like those at MossRehab can assist veterans,” Tartaglione said.

Tartaglione is seeking federal and state assistance in constructing the clinic. Her idea was supported by officials at MossRehab.

“MossRehab commends Sen. Tartaglione’s vision and commitment to the rehabilitation needs of our veterans,” said Thomas Smith, assistant vice president of rehabilitation.

The senator said she knows from first-hand experience that rehabilitation is difficult and frustrating, but through the efforts of specialists employing new technologies, veterans can receive life-changing services.

“We at MossRehab are thrilled with Sen. Tartaglione’s progress and the increasing walking ability, endurance and gains in joint motion she has made by using ReWalk,” said Dr. Alberto Esquenazi, John Otto Haas Chair of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at MossRehab.

Tartaglione said that while it may be challenging to try to address the funding needs associated with the establishment of a clinic to aid veterans, it is worth the effort because of the benefits for veterans. ••