Grant Application

Charlene Subrick, PT, MPT, and Sarah Kyper, PT, DPT, UPMC Mercy Rehab

Proposed Innovation

Patients who are discharged from inpatient rehabilitation can face an enormous challenge in reintegrating into the community when they return home. Functional gains may have little impact once they leave the facility to cope on their own.

This innovative project plans to create an interactive community-based re-entry program that takes patients and their caregivers outside the hospital to fish so they can practice skills learned during inpatient rehabilitation.

Improvements in Action

“Gone Fishing” is an interactive program that allows patients to leave the hospital to fish on the shores of the Allegheny River. Under the watchful eyes of therapists, nursing staff, and other members of their medical team, patients will encounter uneven sidewalk surfaces, street crossings, and public transportation during their journey to Pittsburgh’s North Shore. Each patient will be outfitted with customized fishing gear, medical equipment, and instructions to meet their goals and needs.


Being able to return to an acceptable lifestyle and participate in both domestic and leisure activities can have a big impact on a patient’s perceived quality of life. Participating in this fishing outing is expected to increase patients’ self-confidence and independence as they learn to navigate in the community. It also is expected to encourage a return to leisure activities following their inpatient rehabilitation stay.