SANDY — In 1999, Utah physician Dale Hull suffered a spinal cord injury while jumping on a trampoline.
The split-second result was paralysis from the neck down. This life-altering event changed everything and he became the patient in a world where he had once been the practitioner. A three-month hospital stay was followed by therapy at his home.
Six months after his injury, Hull had some neurological recovery but was essentially nonfunctional and wheelchair dependent. He was introduced to physical therapist Jan Black and with her guidance, they began to see improvement. Two and a half years of persistent, intense and consistent therapy culminated with Hull walking, unassisted, as part of the 2002 Winter Olympic Torch Relay.
Hull and Black recognized a need to provide others the same rehabilitation opportunity. It was clear that more progress was possible if individuals were given more time and guidance. Unfortunately, traditional insurance benefits are often limited when it comes to outpatient therapy. Clinics willing to provide specialized care are rare because of the limited reimbursement and the necessary expertise and equipment.
In 2004, Hull and Black decided to open Neuroworx to provide dedicated therapy for people with paralysis from spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, strokes and other neurological conditions. Their mission has been to make comprehensive outpatient neurological rehabilitation available to as many people as possible regardless of resources.
To date, Neuroworx has provided care for more than 1,000 patients. The majority of the patients have been from Utah, but patients have come from 24 other states and three foreign countries. Staff and equipment have been continually added. However, space for more growth is extremely limited.
“Due to increased demand, we simply need more room to serve more people,” said co-founder Black. “These injuries require extra time and effort — more visits than typically covered by insurance, more time per visit, more intensive therapies, more specialized equipment, and more expertise. Neuroworx is designed to meet those needs.”
This month, Neuroworx announced groundbreaking for a new facility at 9800 South State in Sandy, Utah.
The new building will be a 24,500-square-foot, two-level center. Adults and children with neurological conditions will have access to the facility. It will include a specialized aquatic therapy area, an enlarged land therapy space containing state-of-the art robotic equipment for gait training, and a gymnasium for wheelchair/walking practice and to promote wheelchair-based sports.
“We are incredibly grateful for the cooperation, support and philanthropy of so many in our community to make this a reality,” said Hull. “We especially express appreciation to Workers Compensation Fund, the Sorenson Legacy Foundation and the Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation for their generosity.”
Construction on the building is slated to begin in September with completion anticipated in spring 2015. The groundbreaking event is scheduled for noon on Aug. 27 at 100 West Towne Ridge Parkway in Sandy. An open house will follow from 2 to 3 p.m.
The new building will have specific areas for donor naming opportunities. There is an ongoing need for equipment and patient care. Those interested in making a donation* to Neuroworx may contact Hull through firstname.lastname@example.org.
*KSL.com has not verified the accuracy of the information provided with respect to the account nor does KSL.com assure that the monies deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.
Rachel Lewis is the communications director at Workers Compensation Fund and has an MBA from the University of Utah. She has been contributing to KSL.com as a business writer since 2012.