Just ten days after giving birth to her first child, Silas, by c-section, Connie Gardner began to experience a tremendous headache. Just moments after handing Silas over to her husband, Matt, Connie abruptly became unresponsive.
Connie had suffered a severe brain bleed and subsequent hydrocephalus when an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) ruptured in her brain. In November 2020, after nearly one month in a self and then medically induced coma at a local neuro-ICU, Connie arrived at Nexus Specialty Hospital in a minimally conscious state.
According to the American Stroke Association, stroke is one of the leading causes of disability in the United States. While about 10% of stroke survivors recover almost completely, more than 65% of stroke patients live with minor to severe impairments that affect them for the rest of their lives. While it is always important to establish a supportive care system for ongoing rehabilitation, many stroke survivors lead full, meaningful lives at home with some positive, personalized changes to their daily routines.
On April 4, the Nexus Hope Foundation’s Principle Investigator, Dr. John Cassidy, gave a presentation titled, “Impact of Zolpidem in the Treatment of Prolonged Disorders of Consciousness” to peers and colleagues at the 2022 American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington.
James Thorne woke up at Nexus Specialty Hospital on April 14, 2021 and had no idea where he was.
Six weeks earlier he had gone to sleep at a hospital in Tomball, Texas after being admitted for COVID-19, severe COVID-induced pneumonia, and several different respiratory infections. James was put on a ventilator and after suffering a number of complications from his conditions, his medical team made the decision to put him into a medically induced coma to give him the best chance at recovery. When James failed to respond to the treatment after several weeks, his wife, Carrie, made the decision to have him moved to Nexus Specialty Hospital in The Woodlands after the facility was highly recommended to her by several contacts in Tomball.
Individuals who have experienced traumatic or acquired brain trauma require specialized brain injury rehabilitation and treatment in order to meet their personal recovery goals. Families may not know where to begin when evaluating rehabilitation and treatment programs, and they may not know what treatment options are available. At Nexus Health Systems, we have pioneered patient-focused programs that provide comprehensive and seamless care for every stage of the recovery journey.
There are more than 17,000 new reported spinal cord injury cases in the U.S. each year. According to the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA), approximately 20% of these occur in children and adolescents, most commonly as a result of motor vehicle accidents or falls.
In 2016 Olivia Guindon was admitted to Nexus Children’s Hospital with a massive brain injury following a serious motor vehicle accident. She was a fighter and had overcome immense physical challenges including surgery and a 21-day coma. Olivia participated in intense physical, occupational, and speech therapy before transitioning into outpatient therapy. Nexus clinical teams were astounded at her tenacity and determination to make a full recovery. Her competitive nature left her eager to stand up from her wheelchair and relearn everyday tasks, but her true motivator was something much more special: her non-negotiable goal of getting back on the softball field.
While pediatric COVID-19 infections tend to present less severe symptoms than adults, there is still sometimes a need for pediatric respiratory services and pulmonary care during and after a COVID-19 case. For children who are chronically ill, physically fragile, or traumatically injured, the need for specialized respiratory and pulmonary care may increase.
Nexus Health Systems is excited to open their second Nexus Children’s Hospital location, in The Woodlands. The ribbon cutting took place in late September 2021 to celebrate the expansion of the hospital system’s one-of-a-kind Jump Start Health and Wellness Program for children with Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) and those struggling with childhood obesity.
Several research studies on olfactory training have been published this year, due in part to one of the potential side effects of COVID-19 infection – loss of smell, or olfactory dysfunction. While research has not yet pinpointed the reason for this side effect, it is most frequently attributed to post-viral olfactory dysfunction (PVOD). One of the most effective treatments for PVOD is olfactory training, and Nexus Neurorecovery Center has been using structured, short-term exposure to selected essential oils to help restore patients’ sense of smell. The training has also been found to help regenerate damaged olfactory sensory neurons.
Dr. Joseph S. Kass joins Nexus Health Systems as Chief of Neurology, Adult Neurocontinuum
Nexus Health Systems welcomes Joseph S. Kass, M.D., J.D., F.A.A.N. to the team at Nexus Specialty Hospital and Nexus Neurorecovery Center. Dr. Kass assumes the role of Chief of Neurology of the Adult Neurocontinuum, offering comprehensive care to patients across the neurological continuum, including individuals with brain injury and disorders of consciousness.
New 22,278-square-foot facility will offer full continuum of care, including inpatient, outpatient, day programs and respite.
Nexus Health Systems is excited and proud to expand its nationally recognized Neurorecovery Center to serve San Antonio and surrounding communities. Construction of the state-of-the-art facility officially kicked off with the groundbreaking ceremony on July 28, 2021. The newest Nexus Health Systems facility will provide an extensive array of services and activities to return people to lives of productivity and meaning as they recover from a brain injury or other neurological condition.
Every patient has a different story, and an important part of his or her journey is the time spent at Nexus Children’s Hospital. While each child is special and shows courage and willpower, we’re following up with three Nexus Champions to see how they’re doing after discharge. Read on for an update on Juan, Kale, and Jordana — plus read their stories!
Months after recovering from the acute symptoms of COVID-19, many patients are struggling with long-term effects on the brain: difficulty concentrating, memory problems, or mental fatigue. Known as “brain fog,” these lasting effects can impact even individuals who had mild cases of the virus, causing serious problems as they return to work and normal life.
Feeling safe is an important foundation for everyone in a new environment, especially patients and residents recovering from a life-changing injury or illness. To feel their best and do their best, these individuals must feel secure — and we take their trust in us very seriously.
When an individual experiences a traumatic brain injury, or an event that impacts their neurological function, frequently the symptoms aren’t just physical. When it comes to injuries to the brain, behavioral challenges can manifest as well. The focus at Nexus Neurorecovery Center is on helping residents recover from injuries or effects of an illness by addressing both physical rehabilitation and behavioral health treatment.
Nexus Health Systems officially opened their new 16-bed inpatient rehabilitation unit (IRU) at Nexus Specialty Hospital during a virtual grand opening at the end of January. You can take a virtual tour here. Fully equipped to care for higher acuity, neuro-specialty patients, the IRU is the ideal setting for individuals who are slower to recover and would benefit from daily rehabilitation.
Nexus Health Systems welcomes Zoraya Parrilla, MD to the team as a rehabilitation medicine physician. Dr. Parrilla will serve as the medical director of Nexus Specialty Hospital’s Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit (IRU) as well as an attending physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) physician at both Nexus Specialty Hospital and Nexus Neurorecovery Center.
Holistic healthcare — an approach to medicine that focuses on overall physical and mental wellbeing — is slowly becoming an accepted industry standard.
Urinary and bowel control issues occur when there is a disruption in information communicated between the brain and the areas of the body that control bladder and bowel function.
Following a stroke, some individuals may require physical, occupational, or speech therapy to help them overcome lingering neurological impacts.
For the patients at Nexus Children’s Hospital, communal mealtime is an important part of the day.
Nearly eight months into the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s still much that scientists and researchers don’t know about the virus.
Individuals suffering from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or an acquired brain injury have undergone a transformation in their lives that is undoubtedly stressful and oftentimes very scary.
For individuals with traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), the path to recovery can be daunting and stressful.
The sale of HealthBridge Children’s Hospital, a Nexus Health Systems facility, to HealthBridge Specialty Care was finalized today.
For children diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrom (PWS) and their families, it can be difficult to deal with the effects of the condition.
Nexus Children’s Hospital announces a new partnership with Pediatrix Medical Group, a MEDNAX company. Facility CEO, Mary Harbeson, said, “We are very pleased to partner with Pediatrix as they are a highly regarded medical group and one of the nation’s largest providers of neonatal and pediatric services.”
After a brain injury, most individuals require rehabilitation to regain strength and skills. The process at Nexus Children’s Hospital, is upon admission, the child is evaluated, and referrals are made to start a variety of rehabilitation disciplines, including occupational, physical, and speech therapy. However, the severity of a patient’s brain injury impacts the level of therapy the team recommends.
Neurological diseases occur when there is a dysfunction of the nervous system involving the brain, spinal cord, and/or peripheral nerves. These diseases may be acute, chronic, or a combination of both. Brain injury may occur as a sudden onset following a motor vehicle collision or stoke while cases like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), or multiple sclerosis may take some time to present.
Food control focuses on creating an environment that limits access to food. Children who have medical conditions associated with binge eating and weight gain may need to live, learn, and play in spaces that either don’t have food or have food securely stored away to prevent unlimited intake. Families with children who have Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS), a rare genetic disorder, those with medical issues like diabetes or weight gain, as well as those who are food seeking due to behavioral or cognitive issues should consider how the following information can help create safer spaces.
Having already donated $63.6k in previous years, You First Foundation recently presented Nexus Children’s Hospital with its latest donation of $19.4k at the ribbon cutting for a new wheelchair playground swing. To date, the foundation has donated over $83k dollars to Nexus Children’s Hospital in the form of the new wheelchair swing, sensory room and activities room furnishings and state-of-the-art rehabilitation equipment.
Activities of Daily Living, or ADLs as they’re commonly referred to, are grouped into lower level and higher level tasks or actions that bring purpose and meaning to a person’s life. ADLs in your life could be getting ready for work each morning, preparing meals, or taking care of children. Although these activities are often taken for granted, brain injured individuals have to work diligently to rebuild the skills necessary to successfully complete these day-to-day tasks.
Nexus Children’s Hospital offers a Pediatric Pulmonary Program for children who are chronically ill, physically fragile, or traumatically injured. The program provides care to children who require short-term tracheostomy/ventilator management, as well as those with long-term tracheostomy/ventilator dependencies who will return home.
Patients benefit from evidence-based therapies, new equipment and additional space
The therapy area at Nexus Specialty Hospital has tripled in size and will advance the hospital’s ability to use evidence-based therapies to help patients reach their treatment goals.
“Many of our patients come to us in a coma or persistent vegetative state. What we want to do, and what families are hopeful we can do, is have our patients move forward to a state where they are increasingly conscious and able to interact with the world,” says Dr. Cassidy, Founder, CEO and Chief Medical Officer of Nexus Health Systems. “Now, with novel technologies, novel medications, and novel rehabilitation strategies, we’ve been able to make that progress.”
Pediatric behavioral health services offered in an inpatient hospital setting permits caregivers to treat a child’s medical needs while also addressing behavioral challenges. Nexus Children’s Hospital is now one of the only facilities in the Houston area that successfully treats patients with serious behavioral issues, including aggression, that have underlying diagnoses such as autism, cognitive impairment, acquired and traumatic brain injury, and Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS).
After a traumatic event like a brain injury, it’s crucial for children and adults alike to be evaluated to understand how the injury affected their brain and what recommendations could be implemented for greater success in life.
Healthcare insurance seem complicated and may overwhelm patients and families. Here’s what you need to know about Medicare and Managed Medicare, as well as secondary policies.
Nexus Health Systems welcomes Monica LaBrie, PhD, BCBA, LBA, to the team at Nexus Children’s Houston. Dr. LaBrie takes on the role of Program Director for the Behavioral Health Services offered at the pediatric hospital located in the Westchase District.
Most people are familiar with the feeling of stress. Your heart may beat faster, your breath could quicken, your blood pressure might rise, and your muscles might tense up. This is called the flight or fight response — what our bodies may do in reacting to being chased by a bear, for example. This reaction improves our ability to survive the stress that is causing it.
While advances in wound care have improved management of all types of wounds, Nexus Specialty Hospital has developed a program where they have recorded increased success with complicated and non-healing wounds. Known for their specialized wound care program, the team at Nexus Specialty Hospital focuses specific attention and resources to close wounds faster and without infection or need for future debridement (removal of dead or infected tissue or foreign material).
Nexus Health Systems’ Annual Quality Reports illustrate our commitment to patients and their families. From overall patient satisfaction scores and discharge disposition, to infection control data and brain injury rehabilitation outcomes, we outperform published national statistics across our Children’s Hospital, Specialty Hospital, and Neurorecovery Center.
Check out our highlighted data from Nexus Children’s Hospital:
Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) is a rare genetic disorder that affects learning and behavior resulting from an abnormality on the 15th chromosome. Individuals experience PWS differently and can have challenges, including health problems related to overeating and weight gain, delayed puberty, failure to thrive, compulsive, self-harm or aggressive behavior, and weakened muscle tone.
When your patient or loved on has sustained a severe brain injury that results in a disorder of consciousness (DoC), including coma, vegetative state (VS), and minimally conscious state (MCS), a specialized program like Nexus’ Phoenix Project may be the right next step.
A recent white paper, To Solve Complex WC Claims, this New Model Takes an Interdisciplinary, Proactive Approach to Care, explains “treatment is often siloed into discrete products, resulting in disjointed, misaligned care…”. The author, One Call, a leading provider of specialized solutions to the workers’ compensation industry, explains a fragmented approach does not actually address patient needs or provide clear clinical outcomes to strive for.
Everyone Deserves a Vacation.
Every year for over a decade, Nexus Neurorecovery Center residents travel Burton, Texas for the Higher Ground Retreat, a weekend-long event for brain injury survivors. Hosted at the barrier-free, fully adaptive Camp For All, our residents enjoy a various outdoor activities, including horseback riding, ziplining, high ropes course, swimming, and dancing.
Director of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Dr. Savitha Bonthala recently gave a presentation on mindfulness, where she explained, “Meditation is considered a general term that covers a wide range of practices to help with awareness. There are hundreds of kinds of practices like relaxation concentration, visual imagery, and breathwork.”
For some residents at Nexus Neurorecovery Center, our Cornerstone homes and community-based living apartments is the last phase of their rehabilitation journey. Offering a higher level of independence, Cornerstone is home to six residents at a time while our apartment setting is home to nine residents.
Learn more about our Integrative Neurorehabilitation™ program >>
There is an ongoing discussion in our country regarding pain management and the importance of addressing patients’ discomfort in alternative ways. As the conversation continues, the physician leaders at Nexus Neurorecovery Center are determining best practices for Integrative Neurorehabilitation™.
This week and always, Nexus Health Systems is thankful for the work our nursing team performs every day. Across all facilities, our nurses support patients and families while providing important medical care. Although fun events have been planned to show our appreciation during Nurses Week, we’d also like to spotlight a feature nurse from each facility. Their stories are below.
After an injury or illness, individuals need comprehensive rehabilitation to lead meaningful and productive lives. Integral to their recovery is occupational therapy. Tailored therapy helps individuals regain skills to complete daily activities, from bathing and grooming, to money management and problem solving. Occupational therapy is also important because it helps individuals learn to live with any physical or cognitive deficits resulting from their injury or illness. Learning compensatory strategies can help patients live life to the fullest.
Brenna Dillon has left her mark on Nexus’ HealthBridge Children’s Hospital in Orange, California. As a Bronze Award and Silver Award recipient, Brenna set her sights on achieving the Girl Scouts’ highest honor: the Gold Award. Equivalent to the Boy Scout Eagle Scout Award, only about 5.4% of eligible scouts earn the award ꟷ and Brenna has successfully done so while impacting the lives of patients.
When most people think brain injury, they don’t often think of concussions. Yet, the reality is, concussions are a form of mild traumatic brain injury or TBI. In fact, mild TBIs are the most prevalent type of brain injury and they are often misdiagnosed initially.
In honor of family caregivers across the country, National Caregivers Month recognizes the dedication individuals have for caring for their loved ones after a serious illness or injury. Often providing care around the clock, caregivers are not only their loved one’s parent, spouse, or family member, they are their advocate. Read on for Q&A with one of Nexus’ most popular caregivers, Mama Pat.
Patients benefit from the new Activities Center, Sensory Room and state-of-the-art equipment
To date, You First Foundation has donated over $63k dollars to Nexus Children’s Hospital. Serving children with a variety of diagnoses from brain injury to autism, the facility can now provide more diverse therapeutic activities tailored to patients’ specific needs and preferences because of the foundation’s gift.
Have a Difficult Case?
Whether you have an unusual or complicated case, Nexus Health Systems is here to assist. As is any healthcare professionals’ goal, Nexus strives to help you achieve positive outcomes no matter the challenges a patient may face. For these complicated cases, Nexus Health Systems’ Director of Complex Care Ann De la Rosa is on call to help review your patient’s case file and identify appropriate next steps.
Nexus Neurorecovery Center provides both overnight respite care and day respite programs for those 16 years and older. Equipped with a state-of-the-art rehabilitation gym and programming center, our 26-acre, wooded campus provides a safe, supportive, and therapeutic environment.
Nexus Health Systems announces the launch of their Emerging Consciousness Program – also known as The Phoenix Project – for individuals with a disorder of consciousness post-brain injury. Since the program formed in early 2018, over 75% of patients have experienced improved wakefulness after being in a coma or vegetative state for anywhere from weeks to years.
Representing HealthBridge Children’s Hospital Orange, Activities Lead Megan Motis was a panelist for the “Cause Play: A Hobby in Service to Others” discussion at Comic-Con in San Diego. Last year, the Avenger Initiative – a nonprofit for individuals who enjoy costuming and putting their creativity towards volunteering – visited patients at HealthBridge Children’s Hospital Orange. Their goal is to spread happiness and encourage patients going through a tough time.
Just six months after coming out of an induced coma to control seizures following a procedure to control a brain bleed, Nexus Neurorecovery Center rehabilitation patient Kelley Cotton attended her first concert ever.
Nexus Health Systems’ pediatric facility in California, HealthBridge Children’s Hospital Orange, recently expanded their acute program to take nearly double the number of patients. Working closely with area hospitals who offer pediatric care, HealthBridge provides continuity of care and is widely viewed as a bridge between hospital and home.
Congratulations to Nexus Health Systems’ Founder, Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. John W. Cassidy, for being named a Health Care Hero by the Houston Business Journal! He received recognition for being an Outstanding Health Care Practitioner.
Pediatric and adult patients benefit from Nexus’ brain injury neurocontinuum for many reasons. As rehabilitation progress and needs change, our care settings – ranging from ICU to community-based living – afford patients the opportunity to receive care, rehab, and live in environments that are least restrictive. Following patients from admission to discharge or transition to life care, our interdisciplinary team develops evolving treatment plans and cultivates long-lasting relationships with patients.
On March 30, the nation will celebrate Doctor’s Day, recognizing the dedication and contributions physicians have to their patients and the community. In honor of that event, Nexus introduces Courtney Toomey, M.D., a PM&R physician at Nexus Children’s Hospital – Houston.
As National Brain Injury Awareness month takes center stage this March, Nexus Health Systems is reminded of the lasting impact brain injury has on patients and their families. The Brain Injury Association of America estimates over 3 million children and adults sustain either an acquired or traumatic brain injury a year, affecting their thinking, reasoning, emotions, memory, and other functions.
For the past 25 years, Nexus has advocated and worked with over 30,000 patients across our neurocontinuum of care. At our recent anniversary event, Founder Dr. John W. Cassidy said, “As a family, we Nexans need to pause and reflect on the patients and families we have taken care of in the past quarter century. It is also a time for us to celebrate the commitment to our mission.”
Nexus Neurorecovery Center physical and occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists have additional certifications that allow us to offer unique rehabilitation techniques proven to restore function and independence.
Neurologic Specialist Certification (NCS)
Certified by the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy, Nexus’ physical therapists with this certification specialize in evaluation and treatment of patients with movement issues caused by an injury or disease of the nervous system. Their advanced clinical knowledge, experience, and skill enable them to help patients improve mobility through special techniques.
HOUSTON — January 22, 2018 — Nexus Health Systems is excited to announce the restart of their national Changes Health and Wellness program at Nexus Children’s Hospital, on the west side of Houston. Reopening on January 15, the program offers support and treatment for patients with Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS), a rare genetic disorder that affects learning and behavior, and causes health problems related to overeating and weight gain. This program can also provide care for patients with other weight management related illnesses.
“Our inpatient program is one of the only available in the country for children with PWS,” said Dr. John W. Cassidy, Nexus Health Systems Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Medical Officer. “We provide a safe, structured environment where these children and their families learn behavior management strategies and coping skills.”
HOUSTON — January 2, 2018 — For the past 25 years, Nexus Health Systems has delivered a neurocontinuum of care through multiple campuses located just outside of Houston, Texas. Treating pediatric and adult patients who have experienced an acquired or traumatic brain injury, sudden accident or illness, Nexus has pioneered a holistic care model for patients who may have found traditional rehabilitation settings unsuccessful.
Celebrating their milestone, tenured employees, and most importantly, the successes of their patients over the past 25 years, Nexus Health Systems held an anniversary ceremony in December. Chief Operations Officer Joel Talley opened the ceremony thanking the audience made up of staff, patients and family members, remarking, “Today we really get to celebrate 25 years of returning patients to lives of productivity and meaning, which is an impressive vision started by Dr. Cassidy in 1992.”
Nexus Health Systems is committed to keeping their residents’ spirits up during their rehabilitation stay. Whether it’s celebrating the first few steps after a brain injury, or in the case of Clark Hoppel, celebrating his first wedding anniversary with wife Teri.
“Acknowledging patient milestones is an important part of the recovery journey,” explained Mikael Simpson, Nexus Neurorecovery Center CEO. “These special moments give our patients the drive to continue to work hard to improve.”
HOUSTON — November 28, 2017 — Nexus Health Systems announces the promotion of Joel Talley to Chief Operations Officer. Propelling Nexus’ vision, Talley will work directly with facility administration to create and communicate facility strategy. He will also oversee new program development and ensure alignment with corporate goals.
HOUSTON — November 20, 2017 — Nexus Health Systems announces the promotion of Kimberly Fields, MBA, CPA to Vice President of Finance. As the head of the finance department, Fields will oversee the accounting and purchasing divisions, manage internal and external financial reporting and cost containment, and develop performance measures that support Nexus’ strategic direction.
HOUSTON — November 2, 2017 — Nexus Health Systems is proud to announce the addition of Eric Cantrell as Chief Executive Officer of Nexus Specialty Hospital. As part of his role, Cantrell will oversee all aspects of operations at both campuses in Shenandoah and The Woodlands.
HOUSTON — September 7, 2017 — Erin Cassidy, president of Nexus Health Systems, announced that the company has rebranded and launched a new marketing campaign as of September 1. The announcement was made to all hospital leadership in late August and shared with staff leading up the public launch that happened took place this past weekend.