Program Spotlight: Seating and Mobility Program

Program Spotlight: Seating and Mobility Program

In recent years, it became apparent to St. Mary’s that the wheelchair seating services being provided to patients within our children’s hospital were also greatly needed out in the community. Just like the patients receiving care within St. Mary’s Hospital for Children, kids with disabilities living at home face challenges such as outgrowing their existing wheelchairs and becoming increasingly uncomfortable due to the inadequate chair size.

In response to this need, in July 2022, St. Mary’s Hospital for Children’s rehab team launched a new, grant-funded Wheelchair Clinic program. The program helps kids in the community who rely on wheelchairs and other seating devices. Through the Wheelchair Clinic program, a clinician from St. Mary’s Hospital for Children will meet with the child and their family to conduct an expert evaluation of the child’s current seating circumstances. The clinician will then arrange for seating modifications that they have determined necessary to maximize the child’s comfort. In addition to making the child more comfortable, the clinician’s modifications help prevent poor health outcomes resulting from inadequate seating.

Each wheelchair clinic patient is typically seen over only three sessions, with the goal to achieve a swift and impactful resolution of the child’s seating challenges. Though still in its infancy, the Wheelchair Clinic has already helped many children in the community achieve better health and comfort.

 St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children has been the primary provider of long-term and rehabilitative care for New York’s most critically ill and injured children since the 1870s. St. Mary’s Healthcare System is one of only a handful of organizations around the country that is dedicated to providing intensive rehabilitation, specialized care, and education to children with special needs and life-limiting conditions.

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