Movement is Medicine


Physical Rehabilitation and Rehabilitation Physician Dr. Cielo Navato-Dehning is in the practice of helping people persist until they succeed.

Gaining independence after a life-altering injury or illness is critical to one’s overall recovery. Through the combination of clinical collaboration and advanced technologies, MidAmerica Rehabilitation Hospital provides each patient a personalized care plan created to meet that individual’s unique needs and designed to help the patient reach his or her goals.

Through an interdisciplinary team approach patients are given the necessary tools, resources, and support to achieve those goals. This includes access to physical, occupational, and speech therapists, rehabilitation physicians, rehabilitation nurses, case managers, dietitians, and more.

Located in Overland Park, Kansas, patients at MidAmerica Rehabilitation Hospital (MARH) are on the receiving end of an unwavering commitment from practitioners whose main goal is to help those patients regain independence after a life-changing illness or injury. Through their clinical collaboration and advanced technologies, this team of steadfast individuals operates through an interdisciplinary approach that includes multiple platforms of care along with the latest in technologies and expertise to help patients achieve their goals.

But patient care can be defined as more than just the clinical approaches taken. It can also be found in the hearts and minds of those who have chosen to dedicate their lives to support those individuals who have recently transitioned from an acute care hospital, frequent the emergency room, or are struggling to remain independent at home.

For complete customized rehabilitative care, MARH is the preferred destination. Navigating this journey can be challenging. Fortunately, the doctors who practice here make that experience less stressful with personalized therapy approaches, a treatment plan tailored to each individual’s health care needs, and a highly-personalized touch.

Among the medical professionals at MARH who offer these therapies, expert knowledge and innovative solutions include the hospital’s Medical Director Dr. Cielo Navato-Dehning. Her unwavering passion for medicine has become her profession and purpose.

Life gives one no greater responsibility or privilege than being of service to others.

Dr. Navato-Dehning, who is Board-Certified in General Medicine and Rehabilitation with a sub-specialty Board Certification in Spinal Cord Injury Medicine, began medical school at the age of 17, matriculating into the University of Missouri – Kansas City six-year combined Bachelor of Arts/Doctor of Medicine program. Upon graduation, Dr. Navato-Dehning completed an internship in Internal Medicine at Truman Medical Center West.

She was subsequently accepted at the University of Kansas Medical Center residency program in physical medicine and rehabilitation, which is a three-year residency program. She holds the distinction of serving as their Chief Resident for one year.

After graduation, she began her career at MARH, initially as the Spinal Cord Injury Director, practicing general rehabilitation. She hit the ground running and was responsible for the development of the hospital’s spinal cord rehabilitation program at the facility. Her successes therein eventually catapulted Dr. Navato-Dehning to become Medical Director of MARH, a position she has held for the past 16 years. Additionally, she is the Director of the hospital’s Spinal Cord and Amputee Program and also specializes in spasticity management.

It is clearly evident she wholeheartedly embraces her work with passion, enthusiasm, and purpose. Extending the best in patient care is her focus. Of course, she works in concert with one of the best care teams in the area, all of whom share her devotion to delivering the highest quality of care possible.

“Compassion is the wish to see others free from suffering.”  ~ Dalai Lama

“I am passionate about patient care and achieving good outcomes,” reflected Dr. Navato-Dehning. “There is a level of personal satisfaction that comes with seeing a dependent and ill-equipped patient graduate to a level of independence that allows them to return to their previous life. We help with those goals so they can obtain that independence.”

In working with patients, Dr. Navato-Dehning treats each one like family, extending the care and compassion she would hope members of her own family would get if they were in a similar situation.

As a result, the outstanding patient care delivered by MARH does not go unnoticed, as evidenced by remarkable recoveries and patient satisfaction.

“These are a way for patients to rate their hospital experience, and ours are consistently high,” emphasized Dr. Navato-Dehning. “We keep having robust business in our in-patient and out-patient programs to realize those scores. When a family member has a success story, they tell others. We have a good reputation with good outcomes and quality of care supported by a strong patient base.”

Built for success with a strong foundation.

Working with a patient through the rehabilitative process requires more than just experience, knowledge, and understanding; it also requires a multi-faceted approach that integrates experience with commitment, compassion, and passion. MARH checks all those boxes.

Dr. Navato-Dehning points to multiple reasons why MARH leads the way in rehabilitation hospitals, most notably implementing the latest in technologies and the consistency of staff.

“We enjoy low turnover here,” noted Dr. Navato-Dehning. “Everyone here is passionate about patient care and treats them like family. Plus, our team members have the ability to cross-cover for each other in the event someone is not available at the time.”

Other key attributes include the variety of special programs they offer. From its highly-acclaimed pharmacy program, where students from KU and UMKC rotate with the hospital, to its esteemed nursing program, in which nurses from a variety of schools can participate, MARH continues to lead the charge on all levels.

MARH also relies on a strong consulting service, including pulmonary and infectious disease experts. As a result, they were able to open their doors to patients during the pandemic.

“We were one of the first rehabilitation hospitals to take patients with Covid and critical illness related to Covid, and we are still successful in the endeavor,” she expressed.

Other specialists within their consulting base include nephrologists and a specialized wound care team headed by a wound care specialist. Additional consultants include a rheumatologist and Board-Certified Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physicians.

An Award-Winning Team.

MARH is the proud recipient of the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for    Disease-Specific Care Certification in the    following specialized rehabilitation programs the hospital offers:

Stroke Rehabilitation    |    Brain Injury Rehabilitation    |    Amputee Rehabilitation    |    Spinal Cord Rehabilitation    |    Parkinson’s Disease Rehabilitation

“Having these specialized programs keeps us ahead of our competitors, as it takes highly specialized training acquired through an intense and rigorous program,” emphasized Dr. Navato-Dehning.

MARH offers both in-patient and out-patient programs and is the only rehabilitation hospital in the metro area that has a therapeutically heated pool. Whatever needs a patient might have, MARH stands at the ready.

“We attribute our success due to the quality of care patients receive,” noted Dr. Navato-Dehning.


Giving back as a way of life.

The caring specialists at MARH always endeavor to make a difference in the lives of their patients. Together they have proven that a skilled and compassionate group of health care professionals can change the world, most notably for each individual patient they serve.

5701 West 110th Street, Overland Park, Kansas 66211

913.491.2400   |