Joanne Mak, founder of My Rehab Team, provides an interdisciplinary approach to rehabilitation for her patients. She draws on the expertise of physiatrists, urologists, specialist spinal cord injury rehabilitation nurses, occupational therapists, social workers, psychologists, and peer support workers. Patients are empowered to pursue their personal goals and become self-directed. The team is also made up of local community members and family members who provide valuable background information on their loved one. Learn more at myrehabteam.com.au.
Joanne Mak is the founder of My Rehab Team
My Rehab Team was founded by Joanne Mak. Before launching her rehabilitation business, Joanne worked in community rehabilitation in the United Kingdom. She has a Masters degree in rehabilitation and is committed to providing a service that is community-based. She has spent time working with individuals recovering from various conditions, including spinal cord injury, brain injury, and post-stroke recovery. Her passion for rehabilitation led her to pursue a career in the field.
Dr. Joanne Mak has a Masters of Science in Rehabilitation from the University of Queensland. She is a recognised APA Neurological Physiotherapist. She has been a practicing physiotherapist for 20 years and has worked in public and private hospitals in Queensland. During her career, Joanne worked as a generalist hospital based physiotherapist for 7 years. She later became a senior physiotherapist at Beaudesert Hospital and Ipswich Hospital.
Her multidisciplinary approach to rehabilitation includes physiatrists, urologists, specialist spinal cord injury rehabilitation nurses, occupational therapists, social workers, psychologists and peer support workers
The United Spinal Association (USA) offers information, resources, and one-on-one education about spinal cord injuries and other health issues. Special Tree focuses on rehabilitation programs that help clients achieve their goals. The program includes topics such as bowel care, personal care assistance, and the prevention of secondary health conditions. The group also educates clients about their environment and lifestyle.
The physical therapist assists the patient with activities of daily living and self-care. They may prescribe medication to reduce spasticity, perform stretches and teach a patient how to transfer. A nurse may help optimize bladder continence and handle emotional concerns. An occupational therapist may work with the patient to design adaptive positioning aids such as cushions in the bedroom.
An important component of Special Tree’s multidisciplinary approach is the inclusion of mental health services. In addition to physical rehabilitation, a neuropsychologist will assess the patient’s mental status, social and behavioral health, and overall emotional functioning. If necessary, the team may recommend psychotherapy, community/peer support, or additional neuropsychological assessment. Psychotherapy is tailored to a client’s unique needs and can focus on psychosocial adjustment to their disability, grief, substance abuse, and sexuality.
Patients can empower themselves to reach their goals
Empowering patients to make decisions is an important part of rehabilitation. This is especially true for elderly patients. Patients report that their goals include walking, pain relief, and a sense of autonomy. A study of elderly patients found that fewer inpatient days were associated with better functioning. Patients can take an active role in their rehabilitation, whether this means sharing their goals and preferences, or advocating for their needs.
My Rehab Team is a free app that helps patients manage their care by giving them access to their personal health records. Patients can share their rehabilitation progress with their caregivers and share their results. This helps patients stay on track during bedside shift reports, interdisciplinary rounds, physician visits, and family members. The app can also be used in other settings, including remote locations. The app is HIPAA-compliant and available on Android and Apple devices.
An empowered patient will actively ask questions and seek information about their care. The patient may even use a wearable device to track their health information. Patient empowerment is about taking an active role in their own health care, and they want a quality two-way dialogue with their providers. They will also want to have a say in their treatment plan. My Rehab Team aims to help patients achieve their goals through this new way of caring for themselves.