Charles Alfonso is the first therapist at Bayhealth to hold the title of certified stroke rehabilitation specialist, and among only three in Delaware with this certification, Bayhealth announced June 1.

In his role with the inpatient physical therapy department at Bayhealth, Alfonso said he enjoys working with acute care patients. The certification makes him better-equipped to help those who’ve suffered a stroke with their physical challenges.

As a traveling physical therapist, Alfonso started working frequently at Bayhealth eight years ago, then joined the organization full time in 2015.

“I’ve always been passionate about care in the neurologic setting, and providing immediate and comprehensive care here best prepares patients for what they will encounter,” said Alfonso. “A driving factor for me in pursuing this certification was the fact that early intervention is proven to help these patients regain outcomes close to where they were before they got sick.”

To become a CSRS, Alfonso completed rigorous coursework over four weekends and passed a certification examination that covered theoretical approaches to rehabilitation as well as practical treatment and evaluation strategies for stroke patients applicable to various settings. Offered by the American Stroke Association, the CSRS program is the field’s only stroke certification for rehabilitation professionals and is valid for two years.

Alfonso often sees patients at their worst after they’ve suffered a stroke, brain bleed or exacerbation of a chronic condition.

“Usually we have a limited amount of time to work with them on mobility and function to get them to the next phase of their rehabilitation — whether that’s home, an outpatient clinic or a rehabilitation facility,” said Alfonso.

“Charles is a highly respected physical therapist who consistently provides the best possible care to our patients, especially neurologically involved patients in our critical care areas like the ICU and Neurosurgical ICU,” said Supervisor of Inpatient Physical and Occupational Therapy Brian Lewis. “We are very proud of Charles' commitment to exceptional patient care and his sharing of that knowledge with teammates.”

For more, visit bayhealth.org/inpatient-rehabilitation.