Physical therapist Caitlin Guzy supports patient Luis González during his physical therapy session in the clinic’s new space.

Sunlight, street-level visibility and greater privacy – these are just a few upgrades providing a better experience for Ambulatory Rehabilitation Services patients, families and staff in the department’s new clinic in the Shapiro Cardiovascular Center.

Formerly located on the ground-level Pike at 45 Francis St., Rehab Services’ outpatient team began seeing patients in its new main campus space on Oct. 23. The department relocated to the first-floor area of Shapiro formerly occupied by the Great Living Café.

While the previous location used curtains to separate patient areas, the new clinic space contains five private exam rooms. Frosted glass on the windows ensures patient privacy for the Francis Street-facing open treatment and gym space.

“The new rehabilitation space is wonderful,” said patient Luis González, who has been receiving physical therapy at the Brigham following surgery. “I like how there is so much natural light. It’s nice to be able to look out the windows when I’m doing my therapy. I enjoy every minute when I’m here. I’m feeling better each time I come for therapy, thanks to the great therapists who spend time working with me.”

In addition to providing a better overall experience, the exam rooms will enable the department to expand its service line at the main campus to provide pelvic floor and lymphedema care soon, said Reg Wilcox III, PT, DPT, MS, OCS, who was recently named executive director of Rehab Services. Until now, pelvic floor care was only available at the department’s other ambulatory clinics: 850 Boylston St. and the Brigham and Women’s/Mass General Health Care Center in Foxborough.

The relocation to Shapiro offers other benefits for patients. Aside from being easier to find, the new space is more centrally located within the hospital – and closer to other clinics Rehab Services patients often visit when they come in, such as the Orthopaedic and Arthritis Center, Wilcox said.

“We provided excellent care in the old space, but this new location offers many opportunities to better serve our patients and staff in a convenient and expanded healing environment,” he said.

Wilcox, who has been with the department for 17 years, said one of his short-term goals as the new executive director is ensuring the Rehab Services team uses the new space effectively to meet the needs of patients seeking ambulatory rehabilitation care on the main campus.

Patients from Orthopaedics, Rheumatology, the Neurosciences and Internal Medicine and Primary Care are often referred to Rehab Services for outpatient care. As patient volume in those areas grows, it is important that Rehab Services is well-positioned to serve those patients, Wilcox said. This new space will assist with those plans.

“My big strategic goal is to have rehabilitation resources and staff, both ambulatory and inpatient, in the places they need to efficiently and effectively meet the needs of patients,” he said. “It’s about providing the right care for the right patient at the right time in the right location.”

The clinic’s former space at 45 Francis St. – also vacated by Orthopaedics and Rheumatology when they moved into the Building for Transformative Medicine last year – will be used in the upcoming Emergency Department (ED) expansion. A construction project expected to last several years, the ED expansion will add 30 patient rooms, larger trauma bays, a second CT scanner and areas dedicated to oncology and behavioral health patients.

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