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Last summer, Magee Rehabilitation Hospital was asked by the US Army to create training materials such as posters, brochures, and a video to help Iraqi citizens learn to properly use wheelchairs. Magee happily obliged and the materials were sent to the Babil Regional Rehabilitation Center in the Babil Province in Iraq.

And the US Army said thank you.

On Tuesday, January 20, Army Captain Benjamin Kenion, who organized the project between Magee and the Babil Provincial Reconstruction Team in Iraq, delivered to each Magee therapist and staff member who volunteered their time and expertise with the project an American flag that flew over the US Embassy in Baghdad. Pennsylvania State Senator, Christine Tartaglione also issued those involved citations.

Because of his experience as an occupational therapist at Magee, Kenion realized the need for such materials when working with the Babil Regional Rehabilitation Center, which treats 250 patients a day.

The video and materials, which cover transfers, elevations, pressure relief, and basic wheelchair assessment, were produced in both English and Arabic to make them more versatile and user friendly.

"There is nothing like this in Iraq," said Dr. Sahir Jaleel Rashid Hamad Al-Maamoury, the Director of Babil Regional Rehab Center about the training video and other materials. This is the first time that a rehabilitation hospital in Iraq has worked with one in the United States. Also, Iraq gets many donations, but most are not translated or translated properly, which makes them virtually useless."

The Iraqi Ministry of Health is also interested in using the educational material throughout all 5 rehabilitation centers in Iraq.

"We are very proud of this project," said Deb Kucera, PT, MST at Magee who was instrumental in producing the materials. "The brochures and posters, the demonstration of proper wheelchair techniques in the video, even the script and narration are the result of staff who donated their time and expertise. Also, the video production department at Independence Blue Cross and Flat World Productions donated their talent and equipment to produce the video."

People Involved in the Project:

Magee Therapists

Katrina Banfe
Virginia Burmeister
Caitlin Doyle
Susan Esposito
Kelly LeBlanc
Lori Nicolini
Kate Pantolino
Christina Rinehimer
Kristine Stryd

Magee Administrators

Deborah Kucera (Director of Therapy)
Kerry OConnor (Director of Public Relations)

Independence Blue Cross Video Production Team

Dave Hering

FlatWorld Productions

Al Green


Mary Patrick

Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, founded in 1958, is a 96-bed specialty medical rehabilitation hospital providing physical and cognitive rehabilitation services. Magee’s flagship facility is located in Center City Philadelphia. In addition to the main campus that offers comprehensive services for spinal cord injury, brain injury, stroke, orthopedic replacement, amputation, pain management and work injury, Magee provides an expanding out-patient network serving the surrounding communities. In 1985, Magee’s brain injury rehabilitation program became the first in the nation to be accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. Magee partnered with Jefferson Hospital to create one of the nation’s 14 federally designated centers for spinal cord injury rehabilitation. Magee has been rated one of America’s leading rehabilitation hospitals by U.S. News&World Report. Magee provides treatment to more than 5,000 individuals annually. Magee is authorized to treat wounded military personnel returning from war. Magee is not an Obligated Group Affiliate.

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