Intermountain Health Neuro Specialty Rehab Offers Patients Hope and Healing

Neuro Specialty Rehab at Intermountain St. George Regional Hospital offers patience a chance to recover from neurological events.

(PRUnderground) February 1st, 2024

When Lindsay Pugmire was choosing a career, he thought mechanical engineering would be a good fit; after all, he was excellent with math and problem-solving. There was only one issue: he didn’t really care about machines.

“I have always found people to be much more interesting,” Pugmire said.

So with only one year left to complete a mechanical engineering degree, Pugmire switched to physical therapy where he found an equally complicated set of “machines” in the human body — and people with whom he could connect.

“Patients are so much more than what is on their chart,” Pugmire said. “I love working in this setting where I can connect with patients and their families, to really get to know them and figure things out.”

As a physical therapist with the Neuro Specialty Rehab at Intermountain St. George Regional Hospital, Pugmire and his colleagues help patients suffering from the aftermath of a neurological event, with cases ranging from stroke and spinal cord injuries to traumatic brain injuries, amputations and more. This 20-bed facility is inside the East Tower of St. George Regional Hospital and is a certified stroke facility, as well as an adolescent-certified facility through the Commission of Acute Rehab Facilities.

“We see tragic situations, but my favorite part of being here is the whole team approach we offer to each patient,” Pugmire said. “We have specialized physicians, nurses, mental health professionals, dietitians, physical, occupational and speech therapists who are all working together to help the patient not only regain their previous level of function but in many cases, regain the ground they lost even before their neurological event.”

“I never see prior level of function as the ceiling,” Pugmire said. “In many cases, their prior level of function was not good. We can make them better than they were before they came in.”

For example, Pugmire said some patients have not exercised their sit-to-stand muscles in a long time, relying too heavily on elevating chairs and other tools that can eventually inhibit the patient’s ability to succeed.

“From a therapy standpoint, we are used to digging deep,” Pugmire said, adding that patients participate in a minimum of three hours of therapy per day, often much more. “We are fortunate in this in-patient facility we have the time to dig deep and show them what they are capable of doing and giving them some hope.”

Depending on the patient and the severity of their case, the average stay in the Neuro Rehab Unit is about 12 days. Much of the work is focused on functional skills such as walking efficiently, the ability to dress oneself, and other daily tasks. Family members are encouraged to be present at therapy sessions so they can learn how to best assist and continue training with their loved one once they return home.

“It’s very individualized, and a lot of what they gain from the experience depends on their attitude,” Pugmire said. “I try to get them to take ownership of their progress. I’m not there to control them, I want them to be the boss. The patients who take ownership of their pathway tend to do much better when they go home.”

Intermountain Health offers Neuro Specialty Rehab services at many of its facilities – for a complete list, see

About Intermountain Health

Headquartered in Utah with locations in seven states and additional operations across the western U.S., Intermountain Health is a nonprofit system of 33 hospitals, 385 clinics, medical groups with some 3,900 employed physicians and advanced care providers, a health plans division called Select Health with more than one million members, and other health services. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is committed to improving community health and is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes at sustainable costs. For more information or updates, see

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