How is Pate Different?

Mary Ellen Hayden
Dr. Hayden

We understand acquired brain injuries on two levels. Pate Rehabilitation was founded more than 30 years ago by neuropsychologist Dr. Mary Ellen Hayden following the death of her son due to a brain injury.

Rehabilitation is not just a professional calling for us, it’s also deeply personal.

In addition to pioneering a new treatment model for brain injuries, creating multi-disciplinary teams and innovative programs, we are tireless advocates for brain injury treatment and research. This experience and activism for our patients makes Pate an ideal place for recovery.


Unique Treatment Model

Dr. Hayden sought to improve return-to-work outcomes after brain injury rehabilitation. For decades, rehabilitation throughout the country demonstrated significant improvements in functioning within the clinical setting but people were often unable to transfer their gains to the workplace, resulting in a frequent inability to maintain employment. Dr. Hayden had the pioneering insight that the rehabilitation environment itself impacts a person’s success.  

She identified two environmental characteristics within the clinical setting as  potentially useful elements to improve skills transfer.  Patients who responded well to high distractions/low structure (independence) had the best outcomes. Dr. Hayden created Pate’s one-of-a-kind, validated assessment tool (PERPOS) to accurately measure these tolerances in order to modify the environment therapeutically during treatment over time. By steadily increasing distractions as structure is reduced independence increases…which contributes to Pate’s consistently successful outcomes. PERPOS remains the foundation behind all we do.

Pate uses all standard diagnostic tools such as MPAI-4.  PERPOS gives therapists an additional tool to measure progress and adjust treatment plans – and the environment – to customize to each patient’s individual recovery level. Pate’s emphasis on neuropsychology is another way we’re different. Neuropsychology helps us treat the whole person, not just the injury. That includes physical, cognitive and psychological dimensions.

Pate programs provide:

  • The latest evidence-based practices
  • The latest research applied to individualized treatment plans
  • Neuropsychologists and psychologists to assess and treat emotional and behavioral processes that may be affected from brain injury
  • Unique treatments like Equine Assisted Learning, Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, canine therapy 
  • Integrative techniques like biofeedback to help patients learn to reduce stress, improve adjustment and sleep better
  • Unique benefits like Driver Rehabilitation Training, real one-the road driving, not simulators, included for all physically qualified patients
  • A comprehensive approach that treats the whole person with many disciplines working together
  • Six hours of treatment per day, the maximum amount
  • Transportation to and from treatment for most day neuro patients
  • Help with finding financial assistance for rehabilitation if needed
  • Accredited stroke specialty program
  • Wellness and prevention focus
  • One on one attention as well as community to help with reintegration
  • In-house research science
  • Sole focus on brain injuries and stroke – it’s all we do



armeo spring roboticPate offers many different treatment therapies to encompass all the deficits that brain injuries can cause.  Beyond changes in physical capabilities, people often experience changes in mood or personality, thinking or stress tolerance. Our therapies offer a holistic approach, and are combined in a personalized program for recovery.

Therapies are practical, focused on returning functionality that the individual will need when they return to their life. But therapy goes beyond just life skills. We want to help patients with skills that matter to them, the ones that make life richer, such as relearning how to woodworkbeing able to crochet again or play guitar. 

Our goal is to help people regain that beloved hobby or capability that has been affected by their injury.  This is what we would expect for our own family members.

Favorite activities are often incorporated in treatment. It helps make rehabilitation more enjoyable while providing the training people need in what matters to them most.


Programs for Every Need

Every brain injury is unique. We don’t provide one-size-fits-all treatment. Pate provides care for all levels of injuries and every person’s treatment plan is different.

We accept people across the spectrum of predicted outcomes and offer a range of programs:

Transportation to treatment is provided because we believe you shouldn’t have to think about logistical hassles during this important time.


Diverse Team Members

gait harness on treadmillOur approach is transdisciplinary, meaning many professionals will be involved in your loved one’s care. 

The team’s goal is to make each person as independent as possible, at the highest functional level they can achieve.  Our transdisciplinary approach means a panel of professionals oversees treatment. Teams include:

  • Neuropsychologists
  • Speech-language pathologists
  • Physical therapists
  • Vocational rehabilitation counselors
  • Occupational therapists
  • Psychotherapists
  • PM & R Physicians
  • Nurses
  • Program managers
  • Case managers
  • Biofeedback therapist
  • Rehabilitation technicians
  • Bilingual treatment professionals and cultural adaptations
  • Driver rehabilitation specialist



How do we do it? Pate uses proven technologies at the cutting edge of treatment including robotics like Armeo Spring and ReoGo and computerized technologies like LiteGait. 

Watch a video to see what we do and some of the equipment we use.  


Preparation for Real Life Settings

Everyday tasks like shopping
Everyday tasks like shopping

By treating functional impairments in settings which closely resemble the environment in which they plan to use their skills, we help individuals with brain injury find success outside of the clinical setting.

Success in the clinic doesn’t automatically transfer to the real world. Our approach is designed to reflect the patient’s actual home and work environments, the ones they will return to.  We ask patients what their specific goals are and design their treatment to achieve them, whether it’s returning to work, school or volunteer work they enjoy.

There are many real life tasks we take for granted that brain injury survivors must relearn. We’ve created life-like settings to practice in, like a mini grocery store.  Just a few of the everyday tasks people work on include:

  • Bathing and dressing
  • Handling money
  • Using the computer
  • Cleaning house
  • Cooking meals
  • Setting the table
  • Ordering from a menu

Before a person discharges from rehabilitation, we often go onsite to their home or workplace to evaluate the need for possible accommodations to make life easier.  These trips help us see the patient’s life which helps us further customize their treatment.


Our Own Research

brain research computerWe’re committed to not just treating brain injury patients, but actively seeking to improve all brain injury outcomes worldwide with our long history of in-house research.

Using outcome-oriented data collected over the last 20-years and through international collaborations, our clinicians and scientists are shaping brain injury rehabilitation’s future to improve lives.

Pate neuropsychologists are principal investigators on several studies trying to identify brain markers of recovery and treatment response using novel imaging techniques.

Our patients benefit from our collaboration with nationally recognized institutions and our investment in research to advance the treatment of brain injuries.



Our Unique Tool: PERPOS

To monitor success and encourage progress at Pate, we’ve developed our own unique systematic assessment program called PERPOS (Pate Environmentally Relevant Program Outcome System). PERPOS is a peer reviewed, validated measuring too that has received international recognition.

Pate’s innovative measurement tool helps guide treatment more precisely. PERPOS has been validated in the peer reviewed journal, NeuroRehabilitation. We know it works and provides an even deeper level of insight into your loved one’s injury and its specific, individual challenges.

Environmental characteristics that are most important in the rehabilitation process are the extent of distractions present in an environment and degree of structure inherent in the environment.

The level of distraction and amount of structure present in each person’s environment are the core elements of our treatment approach. The PERPOS measures these elements, and this information informs therapists how well patients perform functional activities within different environments.

Our treatment teams monitor abilities, distraction tolerance, and need for structure on a biweekly basis and they frequently adjust treatment goals accordingly to better assist a person’s ability to return to their home and work environments.


Psychological Treatment

Pate provides a variety of psychological services at all locations, including neuropsychological and behavioral. These professionals are integral members of Pate’s collaborative clinical teams and are fundamental to the assessment and personalized plan development for each person.

They understand the structure and function of the brain and how it relates to specific cognitive and physical processes including memory, ambulation, vision, executive functioning and speech production which may all impact an individual’s behavior. 

Pate’s programs take into account emotions, personality, vocation and many other aspects in psychological support.  They also treat adjustment issues which are very common. 

Our psychology professionals guide the treatment and assess progress throughout a person’s stay. They ensure that each team member keeps the whole person in mind and adjusts the treatment plan to meet the best outcomes possible.

To further help our patients, we offer counseling services to patients and their families:

  • Individual
  • Family
  • Couples
  • Substance abuse
  • Group
  • Support groups
  • Vocational


Maximum Treatment Hours Per Day

We offer every patient who is physically strong enough a full six hours of treatment per day during their rehab, exceeding the industry standard of four hours. We strongly believe this makes a difference. 


High Satisfaction with Treatment

satisfaction chartPatients feel strongly about how they are treated by our staff during rehabilitation. 98% say they were very satisfied, and were treated with dignity and respect.

Satisfaction surveys report  91% of patients and families say they would use Pate again if they or someone they loved needed our services.

We follow up with every patient and family to ask about their experience so we can continually improve. Read the latest testimonials and success stories.


Neuropsychologist Supervision

Pate’s emphasis on neuropsychology is unique. Neuropsychologists are experts in understanding how the structure and function of the brain relate to psychological processes like memory, critical thinking and judgment, and how those processes may affect behavior.  

Each Pate location is staffed with full-time neuropsychologists. All treatment plans are supervised by psychologists and neuropsychologists who head our multi-disciplinary teams and set direction.


Personalized, Meaningful Activities

wheelchair man finishes marathon
Pate staff with patient at Half Marathon

We design patient activities to be enjoyable as they build key skills at the same time. Maybe Tai Chi to help balance. Or flying a kite to work on fine motor skills.

For example, a recent patient loved to crochet but only had the use of one hand. That inspired her therapist to invent a crochet device so she could!

Another patient sent cookbooks to her family every year and didn’t want rehab to interrupt her tradition. So her therapists collected recipes from patients and staff. Patients helped assembled the printed recipes into books and then sold them for charity. Mission achieved!

Whether your main goal is regaining the ability to drive or walking in high heeled shoes, Pate therapists will learn what motivates you, help you achieve your goals, and celebrate with you when you do.

Pate doesn’t squeeze you into a treatment plan that may not fit, Pate molds the treatment plan around you. We not only take your brain injury into consideration, but also your lifestyle, your personality, your routine; your entire self.


Ongoing Education, Wellness and Prevention

Each treatment center offers an ongoing educational series with speakers on topics that matter to patients. Talks might cover common emotional responses following brain injury, basic brain anatomy and nutrition and wellness.

Our centers provide stroke educational centers that help people learn the lifestyle changes that can help them prevent another stroke, a specific risk with stroke. Stroke recurrences are common.

We have also encouraged patients to teach classes using their own expertise. Whether it’s how to do your taxes, dancing or art, these classes are a hit with patients. The individual who teaches receives the pleasure of giving away their talent to peers and helps regain confidence. 


Patient Outings

Dallas Gardening

From our community gardening program to bowling or art gallery trips, there’s always plenty to do.

Outings might be a trip to the zoo or an arboretum or attending a cultural event. These help reintroduce people to the kinds of things they’ll do back at home and to social settings they’ll face. We love picnics, cookouts and ice cream socials, too. And of course our annual Holiday Parade.


Convenient Treatment Locations in North Texas

Many times the decision on rehabilitation center treatment is based on location. Proximity to loved ones is important to patients and their families. 

Our centers in Dallas, Ft. Worth (Watauga) and Anna, TX  (outside of McKinney) make treatment convenient for people inTexas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. Our residential centers (Irving, Ft. Worth) transport patients to treatment every day for residents. We also offer free pick up/drop off transportation for day neuro patients who live within a generous radius of our centers. This helps people who find transportation affects their choice of facility.


Funding Help

If you or your loved one are having trouble finding funding, we can help by connecting you with assistance programs that you may qualify for. Just ask us.  Texas law mandates treatment for brain injury and the state offers programs you may qualify for. 


Our Brinlee Creek Location is Special

equine therapy at pateThis real Texas ranch north of Dallas is both a treatment and a residence center. Sprawling across many acres, Brinlee Creek is a certified wildlife habitat in a beautiful setting.

With residences for transitional living patients and a supported living program, it accommodates a variety of patients, including day neuro.

Life on the ranch allows patients with brain injuries to re-establish connection with the natural world and experience peaceful time that minimizes stress from the outside world. The ranch locations offers equine therapies as well as aquatic therapy. Families love to visit this center!


Admissions: What to Expect

What can you expect at Pate? You can expect compassionate people dedicated to your success. Our goal is for participants in the Pate program to successfully function in real-world environments, not just in our clinics.

The top question people ask is: how long will rehab take?

The answer depends on the type and severity of the brain injury. Some people stay with us for a few weeks, others a few months or longer.  Others come to us for day treatment while they live at home. It all depends on the individual situation. There are no hard and fast rules.

Whatever program your loved one enters, the process of rehabilitation at Pate has five phases.


Phase 1: Preliminary Assessment

After your medical professional contacts us, or you call us direct, the first step to rehab admission is a visit from a Clinical Liaison from Pate to meet the patient and talk with family. Your liaison will review medical records, perform a brief medical assessment and talk with any other professionals who may be assisting treatment.

At this first meeting, we’ll ask you about your goals and expectations. We’ll work to understand your needs. By getting to know you, we can make a recommendation for best placement into the appropriate Pate program and team. 

Our admissions coordinators will work during the initial evaluation to gather information to speak with your insurer and make sure you receive all the benefits of your coverage. Sometimes it can take a little time to receive approval, even up to a week, but don’t worry – we’re on it.


Phase 2: Admission and Intake Evaluation

When a person admits to Pate, we assemble the best team of specialists for each patient, making family an integral part of the team. 

During the first week of treatment, we conduct in-depth evaluations including speech, occupational, cognitive ability, physical/motor skills, and a functional assessment. We may also do neuropsychological testing.

(Find out why neuropsychologists are important to treatment)


You can expect a research-based treatment and evaluation. We use the standard assessment tools and our own assessment system called PERPOS (Pate Environmentally Relevant Program Outcome System) that measures an individual’s tolerance for distraction and need for structure, important factors in rehabilitation that our research uncovered. This allows us to better customize treatment plans based on individual needs.

As treatment advances, we track progress using PERPOS standards, and continuously mold and specialize the treatment plan for the best success in real world environments.


Phase 3: Program Design

After the initial evaluation, the custom treatment plan is proposed, created by a multi-disciplinary team of people who are experts in their fields. It will be your own unique treatment plan based on knowledge and understanding of an injury’s effect on brain function.

We combine that with the reality of each person’s strengths, weaknesses, interests and personality to develop a treatment plan that will be the best fit.

Treatment plans are coordinated with psychologists and neuropsychologists, experts in the structure and function of the brain related to specific psychological processes and behaviors, including memory, thinking and judgment.

Your plan will focus on three major areas:

• Physical
• Cognitive/Thinking

*The first family conference is scheduled within the first 7-10 days of treatment. The plan is reviewed with all appropriate parties and input is considered.  Constant communication among members of the treatment team ensures accountability — while constant dialogue with the patient and family helps to keep everyone informed and in touch.


Phase 4: Rehabilitation and Continuing Improvement

The active rehab phase – and how long it lasts – will be determined by the patient’s individual medical situation. As rehab progresses, Pate professionals will be able to provide families with better insight into the patient’s expected outcome.  Many brain injuries involve deficits that are not immediately apparent and may emerge over time – such as difficulties with memory or other cognition, personality changes, etc. 

As our therapists learn more about each person they treat, and encourage them toward their highest independence level possible, you should see some dramatic improvements.


Phase 5: Discharge Planning

As the patient approaches the end of rehabilitation, discharge planning helps each patient prepare for the next phase of their life. During the treatment process, we’re constantly looking at what’s next — whether it’s a smooth transition into the workplace or a move home to live with family.

Planning for the future helps us develop a personalized course throughout the recovery process. Patients may meet with a vocational counselor about their career, school or volunteer goals. Therapists may help with workplace accommodations to enable return-to-work and they may visit the patient’s home to review it for potential dangers and provide advice on helpful changes. 


Our Pledge

A trusting relationship is a vital part of rehabilitation and your success. We’ll make you feel comfortable and encouraged by understanding your needs, interests, and personality.

We pledge to treat every patient with dignity and respect and earn their trust.


Collaborative Team Input

You can expect that your team will meet to discuss how you’re doing on a frequent basis. With a collaborative team approach, we’re able to closely monitor every aspect of rehabilitation. We can change course or make adjustments anytime.

This approach allows therapists to truly know the strengths and weaknesses of each person they work with, allowing them to facilitate the best treatment approach.

On our treatment floor, it is not uncommon to see a speech therapist encouraging someone to stand or walk while working on a language activity. Our commitment to collaboration means those who participate in the Pate program perform various activities simultaneously in various environments, making their transition back to home life easier.


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Want to learn about specific programs? Read About our Programs

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