An ongoing collaboration between the Burke Rehabilitation Hospital staffed Rehab department, and Nursing at The New Jewish Home’s Westchester campus enhances and supplements the progress patients and residents make in physical therapy.

Staying as mobile as possible helps older adults remain independent, minimize the risk of falls, maintain their skin integrity, and offers many other health benefits. The restorative nursing program at The New Jewish Home’s Sarah Neuman campus in Westchester enables older adults to maintain the level of functioning they have achieved with their physical therapists from Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, and even helps them make impressive mobility gains.

The Restorative Nursing program was created to keep rehabilitation patients stay active while they await discharge from The New Jewish Home, Sarah Neuman. While Sarah Neuman’s nursing staff benefit from regular training from Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, this specialized program is implemented by two certified nursing assistants (CNAs) under the supervision of Burke’s Theresa Trombetta, Clinical Team Leader of Rehabilitation. After the prescribed course of physical therapy is completed, discharge can be delayed due to insurance issues, adjustments needed in their home environment (e.g. their home has stairs and the patient may not be able to manage stairs), or the need to secure home care services. “These patients are at a level that is too high to require the skill of a therapist,” said Wil Siegel, The New Jewish Home, Sarah Neuman’s Director of Rehabilitation from Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, “but we want to help them maintain the level of function that was achieved while under the care of the rehab team.”

For each patient they are assigned to work with, the two CNAs, Bevil Walters and Mischma Desrosiers, receive hands-on training from a physical therapist from Burke Rehabilitation Hospital. Burke Rehabilitation is nationally recognized and provides leading physical rehabilitation treatment, research and graduate medical education. The CNAs then demonstrate to the therapist what they have learned. “Training is individualized for patients’ specific needs,” Theresa said. “Sometimes a patient has a weaker side, or needs different precautions taken related to their blood pressure or oxygen levels.”

Mischma described working with a woman who had had spinal surgery. “She could barely walk, and her left side was weak. After she finished her PT, we were trained to walk with her. We walked with her every day, until she was discharged. Before she went home, she was able to walk with a walker and then with a cane.”

Another patient was recovering from a stroke. “When we met this gentleman, he could pull to stand but couldn’t walk without the therapist’s assistance,” Bevil said. “We were trained to work with him on pulling to stand, and after we helped him get stronger, a therapist reassessed him and gave us permission to walk with him. Eventually, he walked home.”

The Restorative Nursing program also helps long-term residents stay mobile. A resident could be referred to rehabilitation therapy for changes in their functioning, perhaps related to a fall or an illness. “When their rehab ends, we want to maintain that level,” Theresa said. As with short-term patients, Mischma and Bevil are trained on how to work with each resident in order to meet their specific needs.

“Residents who receive this kind of help have fewer falls and less muscle atrophy,” Theresa said. “It helps them feel more comfortable and more confident taking care of themselves. If we take them off the program, they will see decline. Movement is good when it’s safely prescribed.”

Bevil and Mischma work with their patients 2-5 days per week to maintain their current level of functioning—and they sometimes see improvement as well. “We have patients who can now get out of their bed and go to the bathroom by themselves, which they couldn’t do before,” Mischma said. “We continue working with them as long as we can.”

They also continue to collaborate closely with physical therapists from Burke Rehabilitation Hospital. “When we realize someone is improving, or if there’s a decline,” Bevil said, “we ask Theresa to reassess them.”

By building on the strengths of two departments at Sarah Neuman, the Restorative Nursing program continues to positively impact patients, improving their lives by helping them regain mobility.

About The New Jewish Home

For over 175 years, The New Jewish Home has helped older New Yorkers live full and meaningful lives by providing outstanding health care and innovative programming. The New Jewish Home is a comprehensive, mission-driven nonprofit health care system serving older adults of all faiths, ethnicities, and income levels. With campuses in Manhattan and Westchester, The New Jewish Home provides specialized short-term rehabilitation in partnership with Mount Sinai Health System, NYU Langone Health and Burke Rehabilitation Hospital; person-directed long term skilled nursing; adult day health care; geriatric care management and senior housing. The New Jewish Home is a proud partner and founding agency of UJA-Federation of New York. For more information, visit

About Burke Rehabilitation

Burke Rehabilitation is a nationally recognized and accredited not-for-profit healthcare organization that provides leading physical rehabilitation treatment, research and graduate medical education. Burke offers a full spectrum of inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services to improve the quality of life for people following an injury or surgery and those managing symptoms from chronic conditions. Recently ranked as a top rehabilitation hospital by US News & World Report, Burke Rehabilitation has the lowest hospital readmission rate in the country and is the largest provider of stroke rehabilitation in New York. In addition to its hospital in White Plains, NY, Burke has 13 outpatient locations in Westchester County, the Hudson Valley, and the Bronx, with additional sites planned. Burke is a proud member of the Montefiore Health System. For more information, please visit