Speaker Spotlight: Hal Hargrove and Mike Alpert (Working 2 Walk)

During last year’s Working 2 Walk in Vancouver, Dr. Dale Hull, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Neuroworx in Utah, delivered a presentation called “Paying For After-Hospital Rehabilitation Through State Legislation” which you can find in our Vimeo album, and currently featured on the Video Library page of our website. Dale described the success at securing state funding to assist in paying for ongoing therapy for individuals with SCI and TBI. The presentation articulated an important feature of how we need to think about the efforts to provide curative interventions for paralysis. Specifically, how will we pay for the ongoing and necessary access to exercise and therapy?

One of the critical pieces inherent to their success in Utah is the collection of critical health data from the population that Neuroworx serves. That’s why this year we invited Hal Hargrave and Mike Alpert from The Perfect Step in Claremont California. They represent another center who have recognized the need to collect data related to the public health impact of exercise and therapy. They have implemented a long term study in partnership with Kaiser Permanente to build a case for ongoing access to rehabilitation and exercise.

We hope you’ll join us in Cleveland (register now!) to participate in these important conversations….most importantly to bring them home to your communities and colleagues.

Speaker Spotlight

Exercise is Medicine: How to Reduce Secondary Complications and Increase Quality of Life Outcomes for Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury

Hal Hargrave | Founder, Educational & Marketing Director, The Perfect Step
Mike Alpert | President/CEO, The Claremont Club

The Perfect Step at The Claremont Club is a renowned paralysis recovery center located in Southern California. Our staff has more than 45,000 hours of experience and a facility that has amassed more than 80,000 client hours in its 12-year history. This has presented an opportunity for us to explore creative benchmarks within our program and then to pass those on to our clients living with spinal cord injuries. Not only are we believers in the notion that exercise is the most powerful form of medicine in the world, but we believe that our methodology and our approach towards recovery is beneficial to the physical, mental and emotional well being of those living with spinal cord injuries. We have begun the process to provide empirical data that supports these claims.

We have a firm belief that our program not only provides physical recovery, but that it also reduces the susceptibility to secondary complications in our spinal cord injured clients while boosting their mental and emotional well-being. Through our copyrighted methodology the “S.T.E.P. Method©”, our approach towards table work (Patterned Neural Activity Recruitment©), loadbearing, and the incorporation of exercise, we believe that we are giving our clients the best shot at recovery. Our current IRB approved study, in partnership with Kaiser Permanente (in Fontana, California) and Doctor Robert Salas, is revealing these positive benchmarks relating to increased quality of life and decreased secondary complication measures that prove the effectiveness of our program in the lives of those living with spinal cord injury. This multi-year study is currently finishing up its first year, using a survey form to collect data. 45 of our spinal cord injured clients have responded candidly to the survey to indicate the positive effectiveness that the program is having on their life.

With this data, we hope to be able to present our findings in the near future to insurance companies to get third-party reimbursement. We also hope to present it at the governmental level to get governmental reform for programs like ours. It is our hope that similar outpatient exercise and activity-based therapy programs are able to get more visibility because of their positive works, rather than constant scrutiny because of a perceived lack of credibility of non-licensed therapists. The power of this approach will come down to strength in numbers. The more facilities that we can get in our corner to obtain important data like this, the more we will be able to turn heads to make a real difference.

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