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Director of Cardiopulmonary Therapy Program and Colleagues at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital Publish Pandemic Research

Released October 5, 2021

White Plains, NY – Burke Rehabilitation Hospital announces the publication of significant research stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Danielle Struble-Fitzsimmons, DPT, Ph.D., Director, Cardiopulmonary Program led the study, entitled A Retrospective Quality Improvement Study to Describe Operational Management Strategies in an Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility During the COVID-19 Pandemic.  The study appears in the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine Archive of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Between March and September 2020, Burke Rehabilitation Hospital reorganized its entire facility to provide quality care to both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients. During the height of the first wave of the pandemic, the hospital census grew to greater than 50% COVID-19 positive patients. The study explored the changing interventions and patient outcomes that resulted from this hospital-wide reorganization.

Burke preserved inpatient rehabilitation services during the pandemic and developed processes that aligned with five operational priorities: communication, personal protective equipment, clinical service delivery, discharge planning, and patient, family, and staff support. Data were collected in Burke’s inpatient rehabilitation units.  The analysis included both qualitative and quantitative approaches, gathering information from “real-time” adjustments to safety measures, staffing needs, and attention to patient and staff well-being.

The study found that modifications to Burke’s clinical and therapy practices led to new processes for creative bedside interventions and virtual and simulated caregiver training. The ability to transform these core elements of practice offers sustainable and relevant remedies through the continuing COVID-19 crisis and beyond. 

As noted in the study, “Leaders at other institutions are encouraged to maintain flexibility as they implement their emergency operations plan and prioritize communication, PPE, clinical and scheduling needs, discharge planning, and patient, family, and staff support to safely provide rehabilitation services during additional waves of COVID-19 or similar crisis scenarios.”

Contributors to the study include Rachel Feld-Glazman, MS: Neurologic Therapy Program Director Elizabeth Dominick, DPT; Vice President, Inpatient Rehabilitation Sandra Alexandrou MPT; Elizabeth Rider, MOT; Claudine Bogosian; MHA, Jessica Norton; DPT, Lisa Pacheco, DPT, and Director of Recreational and Adaptive Sports Eileen Andreassi, MA.


Burke Rehabilitation Hospital is a not-for-profit acute rehabilitation hospital in White Plains, NY. Founded in 1915 through an endowment from philanthropist John Masterson Burke, it is the only hospital in Westchester County dedicated solely to adult rehabilitation medicine. Burke is a member of the Montefiore Health System, Inc. The hospital offers both inpatient and outpatient programs for those who have experienced a disabling illness, traumatic injury, or surgery. For additional information, please visit

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