Last week’s Health & Wellness program meeting was quite the treat! On behalf of Access Services, Global Paratransit, Inc. provided Torrance Area Chamber members with a ride to tour the Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center in Downey. Access Services is a government subsidized ride-sharing service providing transportation for people with disabilities who are unable use regular bus and light rail services. There is an admissions process to become a member with Access Services, but there is no age requirement. The service costs just $2.75 per ride under 20 miles. Members’ spouses may ride for free, but friends cost an additional $2.75. Access Services regularly provides transport as far as Disneyland for members in the South Bay area.  
Upon arriving at Rancho Los Amigos, we learned about the $800 million construction project currently in progress to open by 2020. The new building will include a serene outdoor area for recuperation exercises as well as for events like Rancho’s annual wheelchair races. Maive Vasquez, RN, Clinical Rehabilitation Specialist at Rancho, shared that Rancho takes an average of 40 referrals per day. The average stay at Rancho is 12-17 days, but can last longer at the discretion of doctors and the patient’s insurance. During their stay, patients receive three hours of rehabilitation therapy each day.  
Full 1-bedroom apartment models and kitchens are on the premises to help patients and their families navigate through learning new techniques to get back to their normal routines. Family members are encouraged to attend therapy sessions, so that they’re prepared to assist in the patient’s continued recuperation after leaving Rancho. Rancho prides itself in helping patients get ready for life back at home in addition to recovery. Patient artwork is also featured throughout the hospital, such as the tile mural shown here.  
Additional features of the hospital include dance, Zumba, yoga, and weight training classes, a garden maintained by patients that is used for cooking projects, and a state of the art robotics lab that features the revolutionary Indego exoskeleton (shown here), which is a set of robotic legs that assists patients in walking. The Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce extends a big thank you to Gilbert Salinas, Chief Clinical Officer, and Bobbi Tanberg, Assistant Hospital Administrator for providing the tour. Thank you to Rogelio Gomez of Access Services for providing information as well. It was evident how valuable this program meeting was to our attending health industry members. Thank you to Shirley Pe and Khryste Langlais, Health & Wellness co-chairs, for providing the connections for this unique and exciting program meeting. Looking for more information about Health & Wellness? Take a look at the program page, and RSVP to the next meeting!

by Brandon Smith

Brandon is the Communications Coordinator for the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce. His primary responsibilities include design, marketing, and editorial. He also designs and maintains Feel free to contact him at any time.

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