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‘Truly a gift’: Guthrie’s Newman W. Benson Acute Rehab Unit celebrates one year

TOWANDA — Guthrie recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of The Newman W. Benson Acute Rehabilitation Unit, a 15-bed inpatient rehabilitation center at the Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital, Towanda Campus.   

In its first year, the center’s staff of highly trained professionals has provided nurturing support and physical rehabilitation to more than 250 patients who have experienced the debilitating effects of an acute injury, impairment or illness, according to a recent press release. 

“I had a stroke and had no feeling on the left side of my body at all. The staff in the unit helped me re-learn how to walk and talk,” said Robert Silvernail, a recent patient of the unit. “I felt like a prisoner in my own body when I got here, and look at me now!”

Patients in the acute rehab unit receive a minimum of three hours of therapy each day for at least five days a week. A team of compassionate providers work with patients and those involved in their care to develop a treatment plan unique to them, so they can get back to a more normal routine at home as soon as possible, the press release said.  

Silvernail said, “In just 20 days, with the tools they gave me, I have my freedom back. I never would have thought that I’d have such a wonderful, compassionate group of people that had one goal in mind, which was to make me better.”

The unit is named in honor of the late Newman W. Benson and Patricia A. Benson’s generosity and longtime support of Guthrie.  

Patricia Benson said, “Newman’s motto was ‘ambition, commitment and excellence,’ and that is everywhere I look here and in everyone I speak to. I’m so proud of everything I hear from the patients that have spent time here. The staff is truly a gift.”

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