Saint Agnes Hospital

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Saint Agnes Celebrates 10-Years of Independence in Rehabilitation

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Dubbed "Independence Square," Maryland's only virtual village for physical rehabilitation has helped more than 5,000 joint replacement patients and significantly decreased extended hospital stays.


Baltimore, Md. – This month, Saint Agnes Hospital celebrates the 10th anniversary of Independence Square. The only one of its kind in Maryland, Independence Square is a 4,800-square-foot virtual village, where after surgery, patients can practice navigating their way through true-to-life situations, gaining skills and confidence to complete everyday tasks before going back out on their own.

“Before Independence Square, we worked with patients one at a time in the gym or in their rooms, and we had to actually ask family to leave because there was very little space,” recalls Carolyn Moore, Administrative Director of Rehabilitation Services and one of the members of the planning team for the facility. “Now, patients give peer support to each other, families participate in therapy, and patients are so much better prepared for discharge.”

In the village setting at Independence Square, patients experience all types of surfaces they will need to navigate: grass, gravel, sand, curb, steps, ramp, cobblestones—even brick sidewalks. They also may engage in essential activities like shopping for groceries, boarding a bus or car, getting in and out of bed, and using an ATM.

The facility was launched in 2003 with a kick-off by then First Lady of Maryland Kendel Erlich, and was made possible by more than $400,000 in donations and in-kind support raised by the Saint Agnes Foundation.

Since its opening, more than 5,000 joint replacement patients have been helped at Independence Square, in addition to thousands of other patients needing rehabilitation. The success of the facility is unprecedented. Prior to its opening, fewer than 25% of Saint Agnes joint replacement patients went home directly from the hospital, having extended stays in sub-acute care or an inpatient rehabilitation facility. Less than a year later, more than 75% of joint replacement patients went directly home.

Independence Square was designed by a team of architects and designers, with extensive input from the hospital’s rehabilitation staff. It incorporates a “local flavor” into the design, which is created by large wallpaper photographs and murals of Baltimore landmarks, including Mt. Vernon, Camden Yards, the Inner Harbor, and local neighborhoods.

Related Resources

360 Blog: "Independence Square, A Unique Rehabilitation Environment"

Independence Square: Maryland's only "Living Rehabilitation"
Includes virtual tour of the facility.

360 Blog: Read related articles tagged with “Independence Square”

About Saint Agnes Hospital
Founded by the Daughters of Charity in 1862, Saint Agnes Hospital is a 296-bed hospital currently undergoing a $200 million-plus expansion emphasizing patient safety in a high quality healthcare environment. Saint Agnes is the oldest Catholic hospital in Baltimore, Maryland and is a full-service teaching hospital with residency programs in medicine and surgery. The hospital’s key institutes include the: Cancer Institute; Cardiovascular Institute; Maryland Metabolic Institute; Orthopedic & Spine Institute; Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery; and The Bunting Health Institute for Women & Children. Saint Agnes opened the first Chest Pain ED in the world more than 30 years ago, and continues to expand and grow its Emergency Services.

About Saint Agnes Hospital Foundation
The Saint Agnes Foundation is a nonprofit corporation that raises millions of dollars annually in support of Saint Agnes Healthcare. Its focus is on the strategic expansion of the six centers of excellence, new health programs, campus expansion, supplemental education for health care professionals, and leading-edge medical equipment and technology.

Media Contact:
Amanda Karfakis


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Please direct all media inquiries to our PR firm, Vitamin.

Amanda Karfakis
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