rehab equipment featured on NBC's 'ER'
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[March 24, 2009]
If you tuned in to the NBC hit
show "ER" on Thursday, you might have noticed a scene featuring an
unusual piece of equipment that has now made its home at Abraham
Lincoln Memorial Hospital.
(Picture: Alyssa Schmidt, a physical therapy
assistant, works with ALMH patient Kim Escobedo, who was using the
Proprio 5000 as part of her rehabilitation therapy.)
The Proprio 5000, seen in a flashback scene involving Dr. Neela
Rasgotra (Parminder Nagra) and Dr. Ray Barnett (Shane West), was
shipped straight from Hollywood and delivered to Lincoln after its
use as the main prop in a 45-second scene in a physical therapy
"We have been doing all kinds of testing, training and therapy on
it. It's a piece of equipment that can benefit about 90 percent of
our patient population," said Todd Mourning, manager of
rehabilitative services at ALMH. "This dynamic balance machine can
help patients of all ages, as well as provide excellent training for
athletes of all skill levels."
Developed by Decatur-based Perry Dynamics and sold nationally,
the Proprio machine assesses, measures and trains neurologic,
orthopedic or vestibular issues affecting dynamic stability,
posture, strength and mobility. It features a large, round platform
hooked up to a computer that offers various programs that change the
speed and direction of the platform. Patients then react and
anticipate the movement, training their balance and proprioception.
Joe Perry, president of Perry Dynamics, said someone doing
research for "ER" came across his equipment online.
"They were looking for rehab equipment and wanted something
really cool that looks realistic," Perry said.
The actors using the machine were not the main focus of the
scene, he said, but served as a backdrop for a scene that is part of
the climax in the episode. Shane West left "ER" in 2007 but is among
several actors who returned for appearances in "ER's" 15th and final
Perry accompanied the machine to the set and watched the filming.
He helped the actors understand how the Proprio 5000 works, and then
they did about 20 takes, shooting from various angles.
"Now I want to be an actor," Perry said. "It made me really start
to look at television from a whole new perspective."
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Mourning said he couldn't be more pleased that ALMH now owns this
versatile piece of equipment.
"The Proprio 5000 can be used on persons with balance
impairments, neurological conditions and low back pain. It can be
used to help patients recover from surgery and in athletic rehab and
training," he said. "It uses ultrasonic technology to monitor the
patient position at all times, and a skilled physical therapist is
also watching patients' movements to determine faults that happen
Safety features are built into the machine, and all therapists at
ALMH are trained in use and safety on machines, Mourning added.
The Proprio 5000, which is owned by many NFL and college teams
and several notable rehab hospital clinics, will also be
incorporated into SportsCare's "power plus performance" enhancement
plan for junior high, high school and college athletes.
"By purchasing this equipment, ALMH administration made a strong
investment in our patients and the community," added Mourning. "We
will be able to help people now to a much greater degree than we
were in the past."
[Text from file received
from Abraham Lincoln Memorial