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Meet Cece Fortune – Rehab Coordinator Extraordinaire

August 6, 2021

One of rehab therapist Cece Fortune’s favorite Springwell stories is how she and her team helped to engineer a resident’s comeback.

“The resident had started using a wheelchair and needed help getting around and could only do sitting exercises,” Cece recalled. “She wanted to get back to walking and I said, ‘OK, let’s give it a try, no harm no foul.'”

Cece and her team started a rehab program specific to the resident’s needs and stayed with it, measuring progress along the way.

“By the time we were done with her therapy she was so much more independent and able to do things with her family again and walk around the building by herself,” Cece recalled with a smile. “That was pretty awesome.”

As LifeBridge Health Coordinator of Outpatient Rehabilitation, Cece manages the rehab needs of residents by mapping out customized plans, whether it’s help with bathing and dressing needs, addressing issues with swallowing or working on their balance. She works closely with the nursing staff to maintain a team effort to meet the needs of the residents. The communication between Cece and nursing assures there’s a team approach to supporting the residents’ rehab program.

“My primary role is to find out who is having changes in their abilities and help them to become more independent,” she said.

A native of Indiana, Cece comes from a military family and earned her degree in occupational therapy from the University of Indianapolis. Occupational therapists play a special role in rehab, focused on restoring independence, function and the performance of daily activities by individuals of all ages, ideal for those in a community such as Springwell.

Cece has worked at Springwell for more than 10 years and, compared to her experience working in other settings, the local ownership and management is what makes a big difference in the quality of care for the residents.

“Phil and the team are right here, they’re not in another state, so if we make a request they’re not evaluating statistics from other communities to make a decision. It’s not based on numbers, it’s based on need,” she said.

That corporate independence is reflected in the feel of Springwell, even down to the lobby and common areas, Cece says.

“It’s very warm and homey here. Cozy and welcoming. The staff greets you, there are lots of places to sit and there are lots of bathrooms, which is important to my folks,” Cece says.

Even while the emphasis on safe distancing continues, Springwell offers a lot of activities to make sure residents don’t get lonely and so they have something to do when they are ready for interaction, she said.

“Part of the reason you move to a community like Springwell as opposed to getting care at home is to have more social interaction and more communication with people so you don’t spend your time alone,” Cece said. “And if people want to be alone for a while, they can always go to their residence, that’s not frowned upon.”

And if someone needs help remaining independent, Cece and her team are there to design a custom plan.

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