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Emerging Consciousness Program

Depending on the severity of an injury, an individual can experience impaired consciousness resulting in confusion and disorientation, as well as more acute disorders of consciousness (DOC) including coma, unresponsive wakefulness (UW), and minimally conscious state (MCS).

Nexus Health Systems Emerging Consciousness Program – also known as The Phoenix Project – is a holistic program combining a variety of specialties, including neuropsychology, neuropharmacology, physical, occupational, and speech therapy. Founder and Chief Medical Officer Dr. John W. Cassidy formalized the program in early 2018, and since then, the team has seen significant improvement in the wakefulness and awareness of patients admitted to the program.

Because of Nexus Health Systems neurocontinuum, many patients in The Phoenix Project take advantage of seamless treatment provided in a least restrictive environment. Across multiple facilities, including Nexus Children’s Hospital, Nexus Specialty Hospital, and Nexus Neurorecovery Center, Nexus offers intensive care, post-acute rehabilitation, community-based assisted living, and outpatient services.

ADMISSIONS 855.729.0855

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Watch Our Project in Action

Patients of all ages are admitted to Nexus Children’s Hospital and Nexus Specialty Hospital as part of the Phoenix Project. Individuals in our program admit with a disorder of consciousness due to an acquired brain injury. More specifically, patients fall into the following categories:

Trauma (TBI)
Motor vehicle accidents
Gunshot wounds
Industrial accidents
Stroke (Cerebrovascular Accidents)
Aneurysms/AV malformations
Cardio-Pulmonary arrest
Toxicity from drug overdose or poisoning
Near drowning/asphyxia/hanging

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The Phoenix Project Objectives & Evaluation

Objectives of The Phoenix Project begin with determining and monitoring the patient’s level of consciousness and evaluating barriers to recovery of consciousness. Focus during this time includes:

  • Normalizing his or her sleep/wake cycle
  • Improving alertness during the day
  • Initiating sensory stimulation treatment
  • Beginning medically appropriate rehabilitation

Overall, the program aims to improve cognitive, functional, and behavioral capabilities to a level where the patient who was in a coma, vegetative state, or minimally conscious state can re-enter society and families can safely take him or her home.

Utilizing the JFK Coma Recovery Scale-Revised (CRS-R), Nexus Health Systems’ interdisciplinary medical team diagnostically assesses patient progress, predicts outcomes, projects disposition needs, plans treatment, and judiciously communicates with insurers. After a patient progresses to a minimally conscious state, other evaluative tools are used to measure the patient’s awareness, including tolerance to sitting upright, tracking, using extremities in a purposeful manner, and following commands.

For more information on Nexus Health Systems’ Emerging Consciousness Program or to admit a patient or loved one, please contact our admissions team at 855.729.0855.

Reap the Benefits of Comprehensive Care

Contact our Admissions Department for more information and to begin the recovery process today.