St. Rita’s Looks to Engineering for Care Delivery Solution

(Lima, September 14, 2016) St. Ritas inpatient rehabilitation unit has been using bright light therapy in order to help patients with seasonal depression and other rehabilitation conditions including: traumatic brain injury, delirium, Parkinson's disease and strokes. Bright light boxes were brought to the hospital nearly five years ago and have positively benefited rehabilitation patients. However, the boxes are cumbersome, bulky and finding an open outlet can be difficult making it challenging for staff to use them.

On Friday, September 16, three University of Tennessee Knoxville engineering students and their professor will be conducting a field visit beginning at 11 a.m. Their goal is to help find a simple, low-cost way to deliver an equal phototherapy dose in a way that is more convenient for staff, and well tolerated by patients.

This partnership was developed by Dr. Esther Strahan, an affiliate clinical psychologist at St. Ritas, whose brother is an engineering professor at the University. The school offers a program that allows students the opportunity to help design and implement solutions for an organization at the cost of the school.

Last Christmas, we were talking about real-life problems we encounter in hospitals that might benefit from a novel engineering solution. He told me about this program, and we went from there, said Dr. Strahan.

St. Ritas is excited to partner with The University of Tennessee Knoxville engineering school and look forward to this effort in improving bright light therapy for our rehabilitation staff and patients.

Editors Note: Students and St. Ritas staff will be available at 2:15 p.m.

For more information, please contact:
Courtney OBanion
Communications Coordinator
St. Ritas Health Partners
O: 419-226-9802
C: 567- 242-4078