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Spinal Cord Injuries and Disorders

James J Peters VA Spinal Cord Injury/ Disorder (SCI/D) Center provides a full range of services based on a Hub & Spokes model of care. The 48-bed comprehensive SCI/D Center provides acute medical treatment as well as ongoing medical care and rehabilitation services in a continuum of care that includes acute medical inpatient units, an inpatient and outpatient acute rehabilitation program, and a variety of outpatient clinics and programming.

The newly modernized Spinal Cord Injury and Disorder Inpatient Ward is now open! 

Our Vision

That by providing necessary support and understanding, all injured Veterans will fully achieve their cognitive, emotional, and functional potential.

The James J Peters VAMC SCI/D Acute Rehabilitation Program has been CARF accredited since 2003.

Our SCI/D Acute Rehabilitation Unit is fully staffed by a dedicated interdisciplinary treatment team. Our comprehensive programming fosters and maintains patients’ overall health by providing medical, physical, psychological, recreational education and therapy as well as spiritual support for attaining the highest level of independence and quality of life.  

Other services important to persons with a spinal cord injury, such as speech and swallowing dysfunction, psychiatry, urology, neurology, neurosurgery, infection control, plastics, and general surgery are available through in-house consultants.

We continue to follow Veterans after discharge including a 90-day follow-up which is completed through an inpatient stay. The Veteran will be followed by each service to review their current status, progress, and have the ability to voice any concerns after transitioning into the community.

Our Programs 

James J Peters VA SCI/D Center offers rehabilitation to Veterans with a documented diagnosis of spinal cord injury/disorders who are experiencing a reduced level of function. The patient must have the cognitive capability and motivation to be able to participate in and benefit from rehabilitation.

Our facility has two rehabilitation programs.

CARF Intensive Acute Rehabilitation   

The Acute Rehabilitation program provides services for those medically stable patients able to participate.
Therapy will provide six days a week for up to three hours a day to attain Functional Independence Measured goals. Patients work to achieve maximum outcomes in occupational/self-care activities, mobility and transfers, bowel and bladder management, and psychological adjustment and wellness. Additional programming may include wheelchairs, family training, and if appropriate, driving instruction and vehicle modifications/ adaptations. The average overall patients receive one and a half hours of physical therapy and occupational therapy along with recreational, speech-language pathology, mental health support, dietary consultative services, etc.

Restorative Rehabilitation

A Restorative Rehabilitation patient does not meet the criteria for acute rehab. Treatment includes wheelchair and caregiver training, driver rehabilitation, and transition to home services. During Restorative Rehabilitation program, patients may receive moderate therapy to improve in some areas of functioning while reinforcing and stabilizing skills in others.

Outpatient Rehabilitation

The outpatient rehabilitation program offers an interdisciplinary therapy team with the goal of optimizing functional abilities. Interventions may include functional mobility training, wheelchair evaluations, wheelchair training and assistive technology training, and prescription.

Outpatient Care

The SCI/D Outpatient clinic provides continuity of care after inpatient discharge with the ultimate goal of assisting people to achieve a healthy lifestyle. The outpatient clinic serves the important function of performing comprehensive preventive annual physical exams in person and through VA Video Connect (VVC) Telemedicine for the veterans enrolled in our program. We provide comprehensive medical care for Veterans with Spinal Cord Injuries including spinal cord disorders caused by Multiple Sclerosis. The clinic offers prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers, chronic pain management, spasticity treatments including Botox and baclofen pump medical management. We offer psychological support for life stressors and/or adjustment to SCI/D.  

The SCI/D Outpatient clinic is staffed with certified physicians, psychologists, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, social workers, therapists, dieticians, health care technicians, and a medical support assistant. The clinic provides EKG, bladder scans, tele-retinal examinations, and screening for diabetics.

The clinic offers preventative care such as immunizations, smoking cessation referrals, and weight management. Individualized care is provided to Veterans including education on the causes and management of autonomic dysreflexia.

Home Care Program

The SCI/D Home Care provides ongoing in-home continuity of care and monitoring of the newly injured, as well as established Veterans at risk for additional medical problems. SCI/D Home Care staff help Veterans and family members make a smooth and effective transition from the hospital to the community.

The SCI/D Home Care interdisciplinary team members provide collaborative clinical care services such as skilled nursing, care management, psychosocial, rehabilitative, nutritional support, and skin and wound evaluation/management to improve quality of life. Each Veteran will have a designated primary physician, nurse, and social worker. 

Home care staff conduct home evaluations to address issues with safety and accessibility. In addition to Veterans enrolled in the home care program, home care staff also monitors SCI/D Veterans residing in community nursing homes. 

SCI/D Services Provided

  • SCI/D Medical Care
  • CARF Rehabilitation Services
  • Social Work
  • Wound Care
  • Pain Management
  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Speech Pathology
  • Recreation Therapy
  • Psychology
  • Nursing
  • Nutrition Services and Consultation
  • Pharmacy
  • Respiratory Therapy Services and Consultation
  • Chaplain Services
  • Telehealth Services
  • Assistive Technology
  • Home Safety and Accessibility Evaluations
  • SCI/D Respite Care
  • Onsite consults to Radiology, Acute Medical, and Surgical Services
  • Advocacy Services