Director Clinical Success

Q&A: Get to know RESTORE-Skill’s Senior Director of Clinical Success, Lana Dorffer

What do you do at RESTORE-Skills and in what circumstances would I come to you for something?

  • I'm thrilled to join RESTORE in the Senior Director of Clinical Success role and to help clinicians provide meaningful, patient-centered care! My favorite thing to do is to collaborate with dedicated healthcare providers to innovate and deliver healthcare in a way that has never been done before. I look forward to leveraging my experience to give thoughtful clinical suggestions and creative ideas to assist users as they navigate RESTORE. It's exciting to join this team and embrace the challenge to take this platform to the next level by incorporating cognitive-communication tools which will enhance the experience all around.

How do you prefer to start and end your day? 

  • Well, I tend to be an early bird, at the start of my day I like to get organized, plan, review emails, etc., so that I can tackle the day efficiently. To end my day, I reflect on the one thing I did really well and the one thing I can improve next time. These are important parts of my work day, so I try not to book meetings early in my day or at the end of my day so I can work on projects and get organized and tackle the rest of the week.

What energizes you at work? 

  • Positive team culture, acceptance of all input, being treated professionally, and laughter.

Tell us one thing most people don’t know about you.

  • When I have time I like to dabble in photography, especially car photography.

What led you to this career path?

  • I have been a Speech-Language Pathologist for approximately 20 years. For the last 7 years, I have primarily served in management. When I first decided to go into this field, it was because my grandmother had a stroke and I got to see an SLP work with her. I have always found the “detective” part of my job to be most intriguing in order to put the pieces together to help an individual. I then decided to move into more management/leadership roles primarily for contract therapy companies. As I continued into my career I would welcome all opportunities to learn and found myself in roles including compliance, therapy documentation auditing, audit tool development, quality assurance, clinical specialist, and eventually challenged myself to become a Dementia Certified trainer. My true passion is dementia and I love to give creative ideas on how to approach care for a patient’s best ability to function while also including their family/caregiver. By joining RESTORE-Skills I hope to push myself to grow in the area of technology and provide creative ideas and solutions in the continued development of games and resources.

 

What is your favorite thing to do when not at work? 

Building memories with my family. I like to spend time with my family boating, going to baseball games, and attending all kids' activities. Our family consists of Jakob (16), Alaina (13), Lacimarie (10), and Luke (7). I love attending my son’s swim meets and band functions. I also enjoy volunteering at the school or MAPS aviation museum and riding my Peloton when I get a chance.

Name the top destination on your must-visit list,

 Maldives or Tahiti

What’s changed you about the COVID-19 pandemic, and why?

  • While working from home during the pandemic, I realized all the capabilities available with technology. It’s amazing how individuals initially in meetings became much more relaxed as the pandemic continued including myself. I certainly missed living life and connecting with people outside of the home. The importance of keeping in touch with individuals who are most important to you and learning this from others across the board was eye-opening and also reinforced my passion as an SLP with communication and reinforced the surge of technology. A bonus is that platforms like RESTORE-Skills foster inclusion of family during sessions which was a wonderful way to connect.

 

Senior Director Clinical Success

Q&A: Get to know RESTORE-Skill’s Senior Director of Clinical Success, Julie Gala

What do you do at RESTORE-Skills and in what circumstances would I come to you for something?

  • My focus at RESTORE is to ensure the clinical success of our users by providing education, program development, and support. I am passionate about educating and developing for clinicians to enhance their competence in caring for the population they serve. With my experience in several clinical roles, I have supervised clinicians, developed mentoring programs, delivered education to advance clinical knowledge, and expanded resources to support practice. As a result, I jumped at the opportunity to join RESTORE, utilizing these skills to revolutionize skill-building. Customers will come to me with any clinical needs for my support of clinical success.

What energizes you at work?

  • It's exciting to witness clinical success after a clinician has used a new technique or strategy with their patients! I am passionate about person-centered dementia care and am a PAC Certified Independent trainer eager to change the culture in dementia care. The positivity of my team energizes me, and we do not have a lack of energy at RESTORE  - we are all focused on the common goal of revolutionizing skill-building and are so excited to find opportunities to support our customers.

What three words would your friends use to describe you?

  • Outgoing, compassionate, respectful

If you could snap your fingers and become an expert in something, what would it be?

  • I would become an oncologist. Cancer is highly prevalent in my family, and I would love to find a cure to protect others from losing loved ones.

What led you to this career path?

  • My bachelor’s degree is in Early Childhood Education, and one of my courses was taught by a speech therapist. I researched career responsibilities and continued with a master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology. I always thought I would work with a pediatric population. However, I was introduced to adult care during my second-year clinical rotations. Through this experience, I gained a passion for identifying and supporting functional changes in cognition, communication, and swallowing. Fast forward several years with a practice in long-term care, I truly found my niche in supporting healthcare providers to be the most successful they can be. I held positions supervising therapists, developing resources, performing training, and assisting with clinical support. When the opportunity to join RESTORE opened, I jumped at the chance to channel my clinical knowledge into a gamification platform that can increase patient participation while reducing refusal and social isolation.

What’s something you recently saw that made you smile?

  • My 3-year-old daughter Isabella laughing hysterically at Peppa Pig on the television.

What’s one song or artist you are embarrassed to admit you like?

  • Justin Bieber- in his recent work, not the early pop stuff. But, I can’t help it, I enjoy the tunes!

What is the most exotic food you have ever tried?

  • Squid ink and several other local dishes in the Basque Country in Spain

Are you a dog person or a cat person (or neither)?

  • Dog person- I have two sweet labrador rescues (Emma and Maggie) who have traveled all across the country with us.

If you could choose a superpower, what would it be?

  • Teleportation, so I could travel anywhere anytime.

What is the top destination on your must-visit list?

  • Italy as I would love to visit the hometowns of my great grandparents

What’s changed you about the COVID-19 pandemic, and why? 

  • I have focused more on work-life balance due to the transition to remote work and realizing that time is precious. We need to make every day count with the ones we love. I am very dedicated to my work and at times I allowed it to consume my home life. 

 

Vp Customer Success

Q&A: Get to know RESTORE-Skill’s VP of Customer Success, Christine Horodecki

What do you do at RESTORE-Skills and in what circumstances would I come to you for something?

I am very passionate about Customer Success and have joined RESTORE so I may leverage my experience to enhance the customer experience. I am very focused on the customer journey and alignment with our client’s business goals. I feel strongly about partnering with our clients to achieve desired outcomes, truly understanding any challenges they are facing, and developing strong relationships. I am most excited about developing our processes and team to ensure we deliver the best experience possible for our customers. 

How do you prefer to start and end your day?

I am an early bird, so I like to get a workout in the morning and then start my workday by looking at my plans for the day/week, calendar invites for the week, action items, and emails. I do the same at the end of the day (except the workout). I try not to book meetings at the beginning and end of the day so I can get organized.

What is your favorite thing to do when not at work? 

Go to the pool with my family. We have a little girl, Ava, that is learning to swim. She is 3 ½ years old and loves the pool/water play. She used to be afraid of getting her face wet and now she dunks herself and can hold her breath. When we travel, we try to look for places that have a water park nearby or a great pool area for us and Ava.

What led you to this career path? 

I started in Account Management just after undergrad. Back then we physically drove to our accounts and held meetings onsite as the primary method of engagement. This is before SaaS was popular and customer success was not established. I did that for several years for multiple companies until I entered into the tech space and there was a shift from reactive account management to proactive customer success. I loved working with software and engaging with large complex clients. I worked in healthcare prior to completing my degree in Biomedical Science (pharmacy and then orthopedics) and was always drawn to that industry. 

What’s one thing most people don’t know about you? 

I played competitive softball. My team won the Little League Softball World Series and had the opportunity to travel playing against teams from all over the world. 

Are you a dog person or a cat person (or neither)? 

We have both, but my dog is my #1.

What’s one song artist you are embarrassed to admit you like? 

Song “Time after Time” by Cyndi Lauper. I may not be embarrassed, but I will certainly sing along when I hear it. 

If you could only eat one food item for the rest of your life, what would it be? 

Tacos - they are so versatile! 

What three words would your friends use to describe you? 

Positive, fun, caring. 

What is the top destination on your must-visit list? 

Italy. My grandmother is from a small town there. 

What’s changed you about the COVID-19 pandemic, and why? 

I let go of expectations when working remotely (for the most part).  During the height of COVID, we had a unique opportunity to get a glimpse into client’s personal lives as well as coworkers. We would see kids, pets, family members on camera and it was completely normal. I stopped worrying so much about ensuring my background was perfect and it was completely quiet at home. I worked remotely part of the week prior to the pandemic and was always overly concerned about those things. 

Q&A: Get to know RESTORE-Skill’s Chief Technology Officer, Ilya Gotfryd

What do you do at RESTORE-Skills & in what circumstances would I come to you for something?

In my role as Chief Technology Officer, my primary responsibility is to help turn the strategic vision of our digital health platform into reality. I focus on prioritizing areas that will add the greatest value to our end-users in the shortest possible time while providing an optimal user experience. Bringing, seeing, experiencing joy across our customer base is what truly drives me. You would come to me if you are experiencing a technical challenge in engaging with our platform or to make recommendations for ways in which we can enhance your experience through game/feature development, data capture, and outcome reporting needs.

Who has influenced you most when it comes to how you approach your work?

I am honestly touched by recent remarks by Elon Musk, saying “It doesn’t matter what you build, the question is are you building the best product possible?” Attention to detail earns immediate respect even in the parts that others won’t necessarily see.

Are you a dog person or a cat person (or neither)?

Apparently a dog person. While I love our cat Coda, our new puppy Tobi is completely stealing the show.

How do you prefer to start and end your day?

I start each day with a simple plan before me that I believe I can accomplish. If I make a solid dent in it, that day then it has been a success. To end my day, I like to put out my accomplishments for either my team or customers to see. Quick feedback makes the world go round and lets us all build beautiful things together.

What energizes you at work?

Interesting technical challenges that make a visible difference in user experience or the life of my colleagues. Turning interesting ideas into elegant designs and seeing them come to life.

What’s one song/artist you are embarrassed to admit you like?

Rockefeller Street by Nightcore is a song I love jamming out to in the car. In fact, if we take a car for a test drive I want to hear how it is going to sound on that sound system.

What led you to this career path?

As I progressed through my career as a software engineer I understood that underlying technologies and implementation are only a small part of the product. If we were to build something meaningful we need to care about the well-being of those that create and support what we build. We need to make sure that the time our customers spend with our product is meaningful and that we are honest about the role we play in their lives. This product really gives me an opportunity to build something truly impactful and work with a wonderful team to find what it ultimately is.

What do you do to turn things around when you are having a bad day?

Step back from a problem to drop the stress level then step back and ask important questions. Sort out what is the true goal here that will benefit everyone involved.

What’s one hobby you would love to get into?

Kite sailing has captured my imagination at the moment. Being at the edge of two elements is hyper-focused and an exceptionally freeing experience.

What’s changed you about the COVID-19 pandemic, and why?

What we are doing here and now in RESTORE-Skills was made essential and apparent through this pandemic. We can bring joy into the lives of our loved ones and make them stronger and healthier at the same time. What could be better than that?

WINK-TV INterview / Port Charolette

NEWS: RESTORE Skills featured on WINK-TV (CBS, Myers, FL)

RESTORE-Skills was featured on WINK News (Fort Myers, FL). Below is an excerpt from the segment featuring a patient & two staff members from Signature HealthCARE of Port Charlotte:

New virtual therapy technology used inside nursing homes is giving patients the care they need and giving them a way to have fun too.

Sally Connelly-Jones is a fighter. A survivor. She suffered a stroke. Beat it. Got COVID-19. Beat that too.

What’s next?

“I miss shopping,” Connelly said.

Jones lives at nursing home Signature HealthCARE Port Charlotte in Charlotte County.

Jones told us the loneliness has been almost as bad as her stroke.

“It was the stay in your room and not go out in the hall, not go outside and breathe some fresh air,” Jones said.

That stroke left her left side numb.

“I really hated therapy when I started because it wasn’t fun. It was very painful,” Jones said. “But you know, the more I work, the harder I got at it. And I said, you know, this is not going to say who I am. I’m going to dictate to it.”

What helped was new virtual technology. It looks and feels like a game, but it’s much more.

Check out the full news story HERE!

telehealth

NEWS: Ian Oppel Interviewed for “Telehealth Best Practices” Series

Below is an excerpt from the Telehealth Best Practices interview series:

In this interview series, called “Telehealth Best Practices; How To Best Care For Your Patients When They Are Not Physically In Front Of You” we are talking to successful Doctors, Dentists, Psychotherapists, Counselors, and other medical and wellness professionals who share lessons and stories from their experience about the best practices in Telehealth. As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ian Oppel.

Ian Oppel is a healthcare executive with over 25 years of post-acute healthcare leadership experience providing expertise in rehabilitation, fiscal and clinical operations, memory care, senior living, reimbursement, and regulatory compliance. Ian is currently the Co-Founder and Chief Clinical Officer for RestoreSkills, a leading edge therapeutic gamification and telehealth company.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

At one of the very first skilled nursing facilities to implement RESTORE, I was introducing the gaming platform to an 88 year-old patient who was recovering from congestive heart failure. She wasn’t enthusiastic about video games, but was a good sport and willing to try with a goal to increase her standing activity tolerance. 1 minute into the game, her two great-grandchildren ran into the room shouting “Grandma, Grandma we want to play!” She sat down with a huge smile on her face. She handed over the controls to one of the grandsons, while the other sat patiently on her lap before taking his turn. The boys’ mother came over to me and softly asked “what is this and how do I get it for my home?” Before I could answer, she continued with tears in her eyes “my son sitting on her lap is autistic and this is the first time he’s ever entered the room with my grandmother let alone allowed her to embrace him.”

To have played any part of that magical moment was incredible and to this day motivates me to do everything I can to help customers and clients to experience successes both large and small.

...

Can you share a few ways that Telehealth can create opportunities or benefits that traditional in-office visits cannot provide? Can you please share a story or give an example?

I was assisting a clinician during a telehealth session with a patient who had suffered a stroke. The patient was part of a large, supportive family who lived near Atlantic City, NJ. He was an avid gambler and the family would make a monthly visit for a weekend of slot machine play. RESTORE-Skills has a game called Jackpot, which is a virtual slot machine with settings that can be adjusted based on a patient’s physical and cognitive ability level to ensure success. The therapist coordinated a virtual session to include the patient’s brother and sister. Initially they observed the session and offered encouragement to their loved one as he played his favorite game. They began to reminisce about the last time they were in the casino together. Then it clicked for the sister as she noticed an improvement in how her brother was moving his arm while pulling the lever of the slot machine (which moved to the opposite side after each pull to challenge his range of motion and coordination). “That’s great exercise and you’re doing something you love at the same time. This makes me so happy” she exclaimed. The therapist was then able to provide the family members with a code that enabled them to all play together on the same screen in a five minute slot tournament. After the session was complete, the therapist noted that it was the longest the patient had stood while performing activity and that it was clear interactivity from his family was key in providing added motivation.

Telehealth evolved out of the need for greater access, flexibility, and demand. Access to quality health providers. Access to reliable transportation. Flexibility for busy schedules/lifestyles. Providers can better meet the increasing demand for patient visits when provided virtually from a single location.

Covid-19 has certainly accelerated the use and scope of telehealth services. At RESTORE-Skills, early on we identified that perhaps an even greater risk than covid for our clients was the challenge of mitigating the risks of social isolation for patients as visitation in senior living came to an abrupt halt. We introduced a new feature, RESTORE-Together, which enabled clinicians working with a patient in their room to invite family members, friends, or even connect with other patients/residents during treatment sessions. They were able to offer visual and verbal encouragement, as well as interactively play on the same screen from the safety of their own homes or rooms.

Check out the full interview with our Chief Clinical Officer, Ian Oppel HERE!

adopting new tech

NEWS: Adopting New Technology in Rehab

Our Chief Clinical Officer, Ian Oppel, had the opportunity to be interviewed for Episode 024: Adopting New Technology in Rehab of the Rehab U Podcast. Below, find a brief description of the insightful conversation:

In this world of ever-changing technology –from telehealth to digital practice management— one challenge presents itself: how can organization incentivize or encourage staff and clinicians to adopt these new tools into their everyday practice? Some of these tools and platforms involve large investments of man-power, time, and dollars. Organizations definitely want to ensure that their investment in innovative care actually ends up being used to improve outcomes & effectiveness of care.

Well, my guest this week, Ian Oppel, sees this firsthand everyday. He’s the Chief Clinical Officer at RESTORE-Skills, a company that gamifies the rehab process through a technological platform connecting clinicians, patients, and family/members & support systems. They’re tool allows organizations to inch closer to value-based care.

What we cover in this Episode

  • The move to Value-Based care
  • Telehealth & Virtual Care
  • How communication affects patient care, engagement, and experience
  • How we can use data and technology to promote Better Outcomes
  • Understanding knowledge transfer and how it can improve clinical outcomes
  • How technology should enhance, not detract from the patient experience
  • Taking a Biopsychosocial Approach to healthcare

Listen to Ian's full conversation with Rehab U's Rafi Salazar HERE!

Q&A: Player Dignity

Question: 

We love the RESTORE technology; however, one concern we have is that many of the games appear “child-like” and we worry about this from a dignity standpoint with our senior population. Have you had anyone else with this concern?  Any insight is appreciated. 

 

Answer: 

Thank you for the feedback and important question. 

Our platform takes into consideration that the majority of skilled nursing residents have a degree of cognitive impairment (in addition to any physical limitations). From my OT and Dementia Capable Care background, we have applied the theory of retrogenesis (back to birth) to our platform. That is not to say treat adults like children, but to appreciate that their developmental ability levels have regressed to the chronological age of 4-16 years old. It is important to keep simplistic themes, actions, and graphics for our population and to be able to grade the games based on the degree of difficulty settings.

 

RESTORE Player Testimonial

The most important key is to ensure an individual is able to experience success. We do not receive concerns related to graphics when the therapists and care partners have ensured the player meets with success and not frustration. Since many have not played these types of games before, the hesitancy is more related to anxiety that they will not perform well and therefore may remark that it is stupid or for kids, but this is typically a defense mechanism.

Video games are the most popular consumed media today and have officially overtaken the sport and movie industries in 2021. We are talking about games like Candy Crush, Mario Kart, Bubble Pop, etc. I'm currently addicted to a Harry Potter Match 3 game (and not even a huge Harry Potter fan lol). If you love games and you love competition, the graphics/animations are secondary to your success and FUN!

 

 

Director of Clinical Success

Q&A: Getting to know RESTORE-Skill’s new Director of Clinical Success, Suzi Fullam, COTA/L

What do you do at RESTORE-Skills and in what circumstances would I come to you for something?

It is a challenge to learn anything new. It takes time, interest, repetition, and often a little coaching and encouragement. As a therapist in the Director of Clinical Success role, I work directly with clinicians, no matter their level of experience, to support them in their goal to accelerate clinical outcomes through their use of our therapeutic, skill-building games. My job is to help our users reach their goals in a fun and creative way and celebrate their success along the way. Most importantly, I learn from their valuable feedback, which I take back to our development team so that we can continue to improve the platform and align RESTORE with what is being requested. 

RETSORE's new Director of Clinical Success

Suzi Fullam, COTA/L, Director of Clinical Success with her beloved dog Tuna.

Are you a dog person or a cat person (or neither)?

Dog person! My fur child’s name is Tuna, she’s a rescue, a Labradane, and like me the runt of the litter!

Who has influenced you most when it comes to how you approach your work?

My mother. She is a very hard worker and has been a role model for me growing up. She showed us as kids that with hard work you can achieve anything you want. My mom started as a secretary at Bell Atlantic which is now known as Verizon. She worked very hard and they paid for her Bachelor’s degree and Master’s Degree, both graduations I was in attendance for. After climbing the Verizon ladder, she was able to retire at the nice age of 52. She influences me to be like her, to work so hard I can have the things I want. 

 

What led you to this career path?

In my career as a therapist, I’ve come to appreciate the role technology and digital health will play in the future of healthcare. After using RESTORE in my own practice and seeing the impact tech can have on patients’ motivation and engagement, I knew I wanted to be a part of this journey to help as many people overcome their resistance to embracing that innovative healthcare technology now. 

How do you prefer to start and end your day?

I prefer to start my day with coffee, I prefer to end my day with snuggles from my dog. Although, should probably have one of those answers as exercise but so far it’s just a dream. 

What three words would your friends use to describe you?

Fun, Loveable, Loyal.

What’s changed you about the COVID-19 pandemic, and why?

My husband and I have a calendar in our kitchen, pre-covid it was full of social events every Saturday and Sunday for months. Some of our close friends and family would get annoyed by it trying to plan something last minute. Since Covid-19 our calendar has emptied and I think I like it better now than it was before. Covid-19 has made me a “home-body” and a proud one. 

If you could choose a superpower, what would it be?

Teleportation. Snap my fingers and be somewhere without having to travel or spend time on the road.

What is your favorite thing to do when not at work?

Attend Philadelphia Eagles games. I am a season ticket holder and die-hard fan!

If you could only eat one food item for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Pizza! Just plain for me, I would prefer to have no toppings at all, but a side of ranch dressing is a necessity.

WREG News Live at 9

NEWS: RESTORE-Skills featured on WREG News Live at 9

RESTORE-Skills' CEO, Eran Arden, spoke with Jerrita Patterson on WREG News' Live at 9 about connecting seniors & their loved ones.

Patterson: More and more senior citizens are really lining up to get coronavirus vaccines across the country. But for many in nursing homes, the pandemic continues to keep them isolated from both family and friends. Now, a new platform is changing the way loved ones can interact all while staying safely apart. This morning, we're live with the CEO of RESTORE-Skills, Eran Arden, to learn more about RESTORE-Together.

Patterson: Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is a motivational therapy platform, correct? Explain what this is about.

Arden: Jerrita, thank you very much! Yeah, you are correct. RESTORE-Skills is a gaming enviornment that motivates residents in nursing homes to continue building and matain the skills they need to live independetly. We use a simple computer, so no expensive devices needed, and we have about 200 activities all designed to motivate the patients to stay active. [They can] work on their sit to stand skills, motor skills, range of motion and everything in between all while playing games.

Arden: When the pandemic started, we also realized we also want to help connect family members to their loved ones in the facilities. So, we created an enviornment where residents that are isolated [in their room] can play with their loved ones [who are] at home.

Patterson: What has been the reaction from those in nursing homes? What have you heard? What have you seen so far?

Arden: The reaction is amazing and that's what empowers us to wake up in the morning and develop the [platform] and our games.

Check out the full interview on WREG News' Live at 9 Facebook page HERE!