In the midst of a global pandemic, Dr. Lisa Charbonneau, chief medical officer of Encompass Health, shares why patients who are recovering from COVID-19 and other debilitating conditions or injuries should receive therapy at a rehabilitation hospital. 

“Many patients recovering from COVID-19 are critically ill and have been on a ventilator for two or three weeks,” said Charbonneau.  “We have found that they are impaired in their ability to walk, take care of their basic activities of daily living and extremely deconditioned, making them really great candidates for an intensive course of inpatient rehabilitation.” 

Safety is top priority and all Encompass Health hospitals have implemented protocols consistent with CDC guidelines and updates and have enhanced existing infection control protocols specific to the rehabilitation setting. The Company is assessing the situation daily to protect our patients and employees. 

Charbonneau urges any patient who needs care to pay attention to symptoms and seek rapid and appropriate care, whether at the emergency room, community hospital, rehabilitation hospital or other level of care.   

As the virus continues to impact the healthcare industry, Charbonneau suggests preparation will be key coming out of COVID-19. 

“In the coming months, there will be increased attention paid to infectious diseases and making sure we are much more prepared if the virus emerges again in the fall or winter, or should we encounter any other novel virus in the future that is this contagious,” said Charbonneau. 

Charbonneau, D.O., M.S., was appointed to chief medical officer in June 2015. Prior to that role, she served as the Company’s vice president of medical services and medical director at New England Rehabilitation Hospital of Portland, a joint venture of Maine Medical Center and Encompass Health. Charbonneau received her doctor of osteopathic medicine from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, a master’s degree in natural sciences/epidemiology from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University. She is a diplomate of the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and of the American Osteopathic Board of Rehabilitation Medicine.

Encompass Health’s Powered by Care series profiles how Company leaders and clinicians deliver on our promise of connected care and superior outcomes.  

Sign Up