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Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VAMC

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Philadelphia VA Medical Center has established its Polytrauma Site as part of its designation as a Polytrauma Network Site within the Polytrauma system of care. This Network Site will provide a high level of expert care, a full range of clinical and ancillary resources, and it will serve as a resource to other facilities within the network. The facility will coordinate the care and level of services required to meet the needs of the TBI and amputee populations, and ensure that patients have access to the same high level of care across the network. 

While serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), military service members are sustaining multiple severe injuries as a result of explosions and blasts. Polytrauma is defined as injuries to physical regions or organs systems, one of which may be life threatening, resulting in physical, cognitive, neuromuscular, psychological, or psychosocial impairments and functional disability.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) frequently occurs in polytrauma in combination with other disabling conditions such as amputation, auditory and visual impairments, SCI, PTSD, and other mental health conditions.

Injury to the brain is the impairment that primarily guides the course of the rehabilitation in patients case managed by the Polytrauma Network Site (PNS).


To provide the highest quality comprehensive interdisciplinary rehabilitation, medical care, and coordination of care for the severely wounded with complex injuries in OIF/OEF, and to further their return to the highest level of independent function.


  • Neuro Rehabilitation
  • Cognitive Rehabilitation
  • State-of-the-art Prosthetics
  • Visual Rehabilitation
  • Psychological Services
  • On going Case Management Services
  • Psychosocial Services
  • Physical Rehabilitation

The Polytrauma Team

The Polytrauma Team functions as an interdisciplinary team that is characterized by a variety of disciplines working together as a team in the assessment, planning, and implementing of the polytrauma patient’s plan of care.  The Team functions as a unit to achieve maximum patient and family outcomes.  Team members include:

  • Nurse Case Manager - Performs an in-depth assessment of functional status, acuity level and prognosis, and the need for specific services and resources including the level of rehabilitation. Working in collaboration with the rehabilitation team, the nurse manager sets long- and short-term goals, and collaborates with the Social Worker to coordinate with all disciplines involved in patient care, treatments and rehabilitation. The Nurse Manager also identifies and tracks all PRC patients from admission to discharge, serves as a resource person for patients, families and staff, and functions as regional coordinator to give support, guidance and education.
  • Social Work Case Manager - Evaluates the emotional, social, and functional needs of the patient; advocates for the patient and family; provides supportive services for the family and caregiver; addresses home and community environment issues; coordinates with interdisciplinary team to develop treatment and discharge plans; and provides ongoing case management services.
  • Rehabilitation Physician - Serves as Team Director and has overall team responsibility. The physician completes initial assessment to determine and establish treatment plan on the day of admission to the program, and manages rehabilitation related medical problems of polytrauma patients.
  • Psychologist/Neuropsychologist - Psychologist assesses the patients’ psychological status, provides brief psychological interventions for assessed problems, and consults appropriate programs and services for appropriate interventions. Neuropsychologist assists with determination of the need for a neuropsychological evaluation, performs a neuropsychological evaluation of patients demonstrating cognitive problems, and provides feedback of cognitive problems to providers.
  • Speech Language Pathologist - Evaluates and treats speech, language, and cognitive deficits as a result of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), manages speech and swallowing disorders resulting from a wide variety of medical diagnoses, provides assistive and augmentative devices, and trains patients in the use of assistive and augmentative devices.
  • Physical Therapist - Provides services to patients who have impairments, functional limitations, disabilities, or changes in physical function and health status resulting from injury, disease or other causes. Evaluates, assess, educates and uses treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function and prevent disabilities. Develops goals and expected outcomes for interventions in collaboration with the patient and/or family. Develops treatment plan that includes intervention, prevention, promotion of health, wellness, and fitness to be accomplished within a specific time and frequency.
    Provides treatment interventions that include but are not limited to therapeutic exercises, functional training in self care and work (job/school/play), manual therapy techniques, and prescription and application of assistive devices and functional training in community and leisure integration or reintegration.
  • Occupational Therapist - Works with the patient in purposeful activities or interventions designed to achieve functional outcomes to gain independence in all facets of daily living skills. Services typically include activities of daily living, neuromuscular disorders, orthotics, prosthetics, upper extremity, low vision/blind rehabilitation, pre-vocational training, adaptive equipment, assistive devices, durable medical equipment, community transition, home modifications, and sensory and cognitive integration.
  • Prosthetists and Orthotists - Evaluate for the emotional and functional needs, goals and potential of patients who have sustained limb loss, neuromuscular, or skeletal injury and/or impairment.  They design, fabricate and fit artificial limbs and external orthopedic braces to maximize functional potential during and after the acute and sub acute stages of rehabilitation, make appropriate adjustments and component changes to prostheses and orthoses to maintain proper fit and to keep up with functional improvements achieved in the rehabilitation process, and educate the patient, family members, and caregivers on the proper donning, doffing, use and care of the appliances being used.
  • Others specialists can be consulted by the Team, as needed, including Rehabilitation Nurses, Audiologist, Chaplain, Kinesiotherapy, and other medical and surgical specialists.

Contact Info


  • Philadelphia VA Medical Center

Contact Number(s)

  • 215-823-5800 Ext. 5951

Hours of Operation

  • Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.