In case you missed it, Dr. Samara Crudup and her dog Snowball were featured on the Fox 32 Chicago News!!

While both segments aired on April 30, 2020, the 5 pm and 9 pm news segments were a little different.

Check out the debut of Dr. Samara Crudup and her dog Snowball on the 5 pm segment here:

And check out the debut of Dr. Samara Crudup and her dog Snowball on the 9 pm segment here:

During this ever-changing and unprecedented time, Beecher Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation has implemented telehealth visits with their Physiatrist, Dr. Samara Crudup, from Integrated Rehab Consultants (IRC) and her pet therapy dog Snowball!

Dr. Crudup got Snowball when he was nine weeks old. “I knew I wanted to use him as a therapy dog, so we registered him and had him go through training. It is incredible to see that regardless of whether he visits in person or not, the patients can feel bonded to him even via telemedicine, “Says Dr. Crudup.

These visits take place throughout the week at their skilled nursing facility located in Beecher, Illinois. The original intent of the program was to assist residents with their physical recovery. However, the mental and emotional benefits of this program have far exceeded all expectations. “These virtual visits provide our residents with a positive outlet as a way to alleviate some of the anxiety and tension surrounding these times,” says Steven Brummer, Administrator at Beecher Manor.

The residents at Beecher Manor that have participated with Dr. Crudup and Snowball have expressed pure joy and gratification from their interactions and look forward to their weekly telehealth visits. “Beecher Manor is very thankful for Dr. Crudup, and Snowball’s visits help bring joy to our resident’s lives during these challenging times,” states Heather Mensik, Regional Director of Business Development for Beecher Manor.

Dr. Crudup said, “Seeing my patients every day and helping them improve their quality-of-life is what brings me the most joy; It’s why I went to medical school, and it’s what drives me. Many patients are struggling in therapy with shelter limitations and the inability to see their families due to Covid-19. Patient morale is low right now, and Snowball has brightened up their day and helps ease them into the new virtual visits.”

Physiatrists are licensed physicians who completed additional training in physiatry. Physiatry, also known as Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R), is a branch of medicine that aims to enhance and restore functional ability (bone, brain, neuromuscular experts) and quality of life. Physiatrists specialize in restoring optimal function to people with injuries to the muscles, bones, ligaments, or nervous system while managing pain. They are an essential part of the team for Skilled Nursing Facilities who specialize in rehabilitation. Having the physical and even virtual presence of PM&R during this pandemic at the facilities helps not only continue to care for patients clinically, but reassure staff, nurses, patients, and families that everything is going to be ok and they are not alone.

Integrated Rehab Consultants (IRC) is the largest physiatry group in the country specializing in post-acute rehabilitation in Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) and Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRFs). IRC doctors work with SNFs and IRFs to optimize therapy treatment plans, focusing on functional rehabilitation and recovery for patients with physical and cognitive impairments. They can help patients discharge quicker and safer – adding a needed layer of clinical oversight and capabilities for post-acute facilities, who specialize in rehabilitation and see a higher acuity patient.

For more information about physiatry and IRC, you can watch this video