The Rehabilitation Center

The 21-bed Rehabilitation Center at Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital is specifically designed for rehabilitation patients. Private and semi-private rooms are available and all rooms are equipped for use by patients with physical disabilities.

Additional areas for relaxation and recreation are available. Professional rehabilitation nursing is provided on a 24-hour basis. Therapeutic services also are provided on the unit for maximum convenience and patient accessibility.


Independence Square

A replica of a community street - provides an additional setting for therapeutic interventions. It is complete with a grocery store, deli, theater, church, bank, car, and farm work area. Independence Square presents patients with familiar challenges, which can be overcome in a safe environment.


Philosophy of Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation emphasizes restoring an individual to the highest level of function possible following a disabling disease or injury. Each rehabilitation patient is a person worthy of respect and has a right to dignity and assistance in overcoming life- and lifestyle-threatening conditions.

Using an individualized treatment approach of support, prevention, restoration, and education, patients can work to regain and maintain as independent a lifestyle as possible.


Mission Statement of 5-West-Rehabilitation

Our purpose on Rehab is to care for, motivate and teach you to adapt and grow toward your fullest potential.

  • Our vision is to be a unified interdisciplinary team that:
  • Provides exceptional care through excellent teamwork
  • Assures that all patients/families feel safe, comfortable, educated and involved in their care.
  • Is respected for our high quality care, multidisciplinary expertise and professionalism
  • Consistently achieves extraordinary customer satisfaction

Rehabilitation Team

A team of health care professionals work to help every patient obtain the highest level of achievement possible. Depending on the patient's needs, the rehabilitation team will include any or all of the following:

  • Physiatrist (physician specializing in rehabilitation)
  • Rehabilitation Nurse
  • Physical Therapist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Speech and Language Therapist
  • Recreational Therapist
  • Neuropsychologist
  • Nurse Case Manager
  • Social Worker
  • Dietician
  • Chaplain
  • Additional members as indicated


To assure early involvement in a comprehensive rehabilitation program, evaluation by the rehabilitation team is initiated upon admission to the unit to determine the patient's:

  • Medical and neurological status
  • Strengths and deficits in sensory, motor, and speech/language abilities
  • Psychosocial needs
  • Level of cognitive functioning
  • Special equipment needs
  • Long- and short-term goals
  • Family support


A physiatrist-directed program structures the patient's day to meet individual needs. A coordinated scheduling system incorporates each therapy/discipline as needed.

Therapy is scheduled Monday through Saturday. Patients can expect to receive 3 hours of therapy daily (spread throughout the day) on at least five out of seven days. Follow-through by rehabilitation nurses assures consistency on a 24-hour basis in meeting rehabilitation goals.

Family Participation

While rehabilitation team members work to care for the entire spectrum of patient needs, the patient's family is expected and encouraged to participate actively in the treatment program. Family members are encouraged to maintain involvement in the rehabilitation process by attending therapy sessions, by having discussions with team members, and by working with the team on specific patient goals. The family is often the most important factor in determining the patient's future quality of life. Teaching and counseling the patient's family is an integral part of the rehabilitation program. Rehabilitation team members are available to discuss any concerns which may arise.

Rehabilitation Conferences 

The rehabilitation team holds formal conferences on each patient every week. Long- and short-term goals are established with the patient/family and revised as appropriate. In addition to regular team conferences, staff members meet formally with the patient and family as needed. These meetings are useful for discussing and clarifying the patient's needs and goals, and redirecting the team approach. Contact with the referring physician is maintained throughout the patient's rehabilitation program. Following treatment, the patient is referred back to his or her own physician for any necessary continued medical care.


Discharge planning begins upon admission and continues throughout the rehabilitation treatment process. Therapeutic community visits help prepare the patient and family for discharge. Discharge will occur as determined by the rehabilitation physician, in collaboration with the patient/family and the rehabilitation team. Discharge arrangements are made when the patient is able to manage in a community setting, or when it becomes evident that a long-term care facility is needed for extended rehabilitation. The staff assists the family in scheduling rehabilitation or medical follow-up, making long- or short-term living arrangements, and obtaining information about services or programs available in the community.


Hospitalization costs for rehabilitation usually are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and other major health insurance programs. Determination of reimbursement is made prior to admission. Financial counselors are available to assist in determining the level of coverage from an individual's insurance.




We are accredited by:


  • Adult Inpatient Rehab
  • Children and Adolescent Inpatient Rehab
  • Adult Stroke Specialty Program


  • Nationally recognized as a Primary Stroke Center offering advanced stroke care


  • Nationally recognized for nursing excellence

Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital is a major acute care and teaching facility which offers a wide range of inpatient and outpatient services, as well as educational programs for patients and their families, professionals, and the surrounding community.

The hospital's medical staff consists of physicians from Marshfield Clinic, one of the largest private multi-specialty group practices in the nation. Marshfield Clinic offers a full range of medical and support services, with a medical staff numbering over 600.

Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital began providing rehabilitation services more than 35 years ago. Accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities was granted in 1975, and has been maintained continuously since that time.

Admission Criteria

Admission to the Rehabilitation Center is determined by the physiatrists and the referring physician with the assistance of the rehabilitation admission coordinator. The patient should be able to participate in and benefit from the full range of rehabilitation services. Patients appropriate for referral include those with impairments in two or more of the following areas:

General mobility: Difficulty with turning in bed, sitting up, balancing, transferring, moving about and maneuvering a wheelchair.

Self-care skills: Problems with bathing, dressing, feeding self, swallowing, toileting, home management and money/math skills.

Perception: Poor memory, lack of insight into limitations, poor concentration, disorientation, difficulty with thinking skills and making decisions, impaired safety awareness, difficulty perceiving the environment and impaired judgment.

Communication: Difficulty with expressive or receptive language, reading and/or writing.

Endurance: Difficulty tolerating the energy demands of basic activities of daily living and household mobility.

Psychosocial functioning: Impaired ability to initiate or interact with others in a manner which is acceptable/appropriate.

These impairments may be the result of:

  •  Stroke
  •  Brain injury
  •  Spinal cord injury
  •  Orthopedic condition
  •  Amputation
  •  Neurological disorder
  •  Multiple medical conditions
  •  Multiple trauma

Functional impairment, the ability to benefit from a comprehensive rehabilitation program, the patient's social support network, and discharge disposition options are the major factors in determining appropriateness for admission.

Patient Outcomes

Rehab Center's Patient Outcomes Exceed Regional, National Benchmarks

 "Rehabilitation is the process of helping individuals relearn or adapt skills in order to be as independent as possible within the limits of an injury or illness." The rehabilitation center on Five West at Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital is committed to this process. The treatment team, composed of professional nursing and therapy staff and led by a physiatrist, works with our patients to optimize their function.

All patients are assessed on admission and discharge, and this information is submitted to a national database. This program allows us to compare our outcomes to regional and national counterparts.

The rehabilitation center outcomes at Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital are outstanding compared to regional and national data. View our most recent report card.

Success Stories

Determination, Technology, Faith Help Teenager Pull Through
The fall of 2004 was an exciting time for Mike Cornelius and his daughters Becky and Rachael. Becky was going to college in Madison and 16-year-old Rachael would be a junior at Rhinelander High School. But on August 12, as Mike was helping his oldest daughter move into the dorms in Madison, he received a phone call from the Oneida County Sheriff's Department telling him that Rachael was involved in a very serious motor vehicle crash.

Guillain-Barre Syndrome Slows But Doesn't Stop Wisconsin Rapids Man
On February 12, 2005, Wisconsin Rapids resident Jim McConnell came face-to-face with a little-known condition called Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS), a reversible condition that affects the nerves in the body. It is rare; only two in every 100,000 people have it. GBS can result in muscle weakness, pain, and even temporary paralysis of the facial, chest, and leg muscles.

There Is Life After A Stroke
Just ask Knute Wallin of Greenwood, a retired high school biology teacher and principal, and an avid hunter and fisherman. He also was well known for being an emcee and entertainer. He and his son and brother-in-law were in demand for many banquets and parties, where they'd play banjos and guitars, and tell jokes.

Waukesha Man Beats Odds to Survive Devastating Motorcycle Accident
By all reaches of the imagination, Gary Natvig, a 56-year-old resident of Waukesha, is lucky to be alive. On May 28, 2005, Natvig was traveling with his son and two others to his niece's high school graduation. All four were on separate motorcycles, and the trip was going smoothly, until disaster struck.

Wisconsin Rapids Woman Keeps Smiling Through Life's Challenges
The past five years of Sharon Riedel's life have been a roller coaster ride of health issues. Riedel, 67, of Wisconsin Rapids, suffered a stroke about five years ago. Then, in 2001, she underwent heart bypass surgery at Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital. Last June, 2005, she suffered a second stroke. She is diabetic, and experiences neuropathy, a nerve disorder that causes pain and numbness in her hands. She also encounters periodic tremors in her hands, which she attributes to the neuropathy and her second stroke.

Regaining Living Skills in Independence Square

Big accomplishments arise from many small successes. Independence Square is a community of step-by-step successes and celebrations for persons who are working to regain living skills lost because of a brain or spinal cord injury, stroke, or other neurological or orthopedic illness. At Independence Square, success is celebrated by mastering one task at a time:

  • learning to climb a stair again
  • counting change correctly
  • ordering from a menu
  • maneuvering around a curb 
  • pounding a nail

Relearning each lost skill moves a person one step closer to the ultimate celebration of personal independence and a new beginning.


A Natural Extension of Expertise

Independence Square is the newest addition to the Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital's rehabilitation continuum and is the only facility like it in the area. Independence Square is located on the fifth floor of the west wing of the Hospital, next to the inpatient Rehabilitation Center. With Independence Square just down the hall, patients will be able to work at rebuilding their skills during their hospitalization, in addition to participating in scheduled outings into the community.

The care and treatment plan at Independence Square is supervised and carried out by a highly skilled team of inpatient professionals: physical, occupational, speech, and recreational therapists; social workers; discharge planning nurses; and rehabilitation nurses and physicians. All are dedicated to helping patients pursue a plan of treatment that will enable them to live life as fully as possible, regardless of the nature of their individual challenges. Independence Square is a major step in helping individuals attain the goal of personal independence and re-enter the community as soon as possible with self-confidence and skill.  


Learning in a Safe, Controlled Environment

At Independence Square, patients learn to walk, talk, think, write, and pursue daily living activities in a controlled, real-world setting. This city block, located at Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital, Marshfield, contains a simulated street complete with working replicas of a:

  • grocery store
  • delicatessen
  • theater 
  • church
  • bank
  • car 
  • farm work area

It also presents many familiar obstacles:

  • curbs
  • concrete sidewalks
  • steps
  • in-store lighting and flooring
  • heavy doors
  • sloped floors 
  • tight spaces

Farm: In the farm area, patients will learn how to avoid injuries when loading heavy materials onto the back of a pickup truck. Other skills include working with plants, and garden and hand tools. Grocery Store: In the grocery store area, patients will learn how to reach for foods, maneuver a cart or hand basket and deal with bright lights and glare. They'll also learn how to plan a menu, select the right items, pay the correct amount, and count change. Bank: Thought process skills are the focus of the bank area, where patients will fill out deposit slips, make payments, count change, and balance a checkbook. Car: A real car--minus the motor--is located here. Patients will practice getting in and out of the car, loading the trunk and back seat, and filling the gas tank. Theater/Church: In the theater/church, patients will practice walking on a sloped surface in dim light and maneuvering around a narrow aisle and theater-style seats.

Here, individuals can learn how to maneuver with a newly acquired wheelchair, cane, walker, or prosthesis. They learn how to reach for items on grocery shelves and carry them without losing their balance. They practice getting in and out of a car, using bank teller machines, and maneuvering around theater or church seating. They can also learn how to load items into a car or onto a pickup truck bed and how to bend over properly to work in a garden.

Some also practice cognitive skills--such as filling out bank deposit slips, counting change, and checking a list.

Contact Us

Rehabilitations Admissions Coordinator
Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.


fax 715.387.7543



Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital
611 Saint Joseph Avenue
Marshfield, WI 54449


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