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Servicemember Transitional Advanced Rehabilitation (STAR) Program

Servicemember Transitional Advanced Rehabilitation (STAR) Program STAR is a residential rehabilitation program designed for the evaluation and treatment of active-duty service members, special operations forces, and veterans impacted by mild TBI and other polytraumatic injuries. For information about the STAR program, please call either of the Admission Case Managers at 804-675-5000 Ext. 5648 or 3478.


Servicemember Transitional Advanced Rehabilitation (STAR) is a unique and comprehensive rehabilitation program offered in a therapeutic residential setting to facilitate recovery, maximize function, and promote successful community reintegration, return to duty, or transition to employment.

Vision Statement:

To be the frontline healthcare provider who empowers our nation’s heroes to be better by enhancing physical, cognitive, spiritual, and social performance.

Program Overview

STAR program services are comprehensive and facilitated by a core interdisciplinary medical and rehabilitation team and an array of clinically indicated consultative services.

Every patient is unique and the length of stay is determined by each patient’s rehabilitation goal.  All patients receive an initial two-week evaluation after which the length of stay is determined and treatment is initiated.  An estimated length of stay can be anywhere from 45-90 days, with 60 days as the average.

Location and Environment

The STAR program is housed in the Polytrauma Transitional Center (F-5 on the interactive map found at the link below) on the campus of the Central Virginia VA Health Care System in Richmond, Virginia, allowing patients opportunity for rehabilitation and recovery away from their up-tempo environments.  While participating in the program, patients enjoy a residential setting where every patient is assigned a private room with a private accessible bathroom, a double-sized bed, a desk with a standing desk option, an armoire, and a closet.  Shared common areas provide large-screen televisions and opportunities for camaraderie with other SOF patients in the program.

Services Offered

The STAR Program offers a therapeutic environment with structured daily schedules and flexible priorities according to individual patient goals.  Each patient is involved in treatment planning, which may involve family member participation at the Service Member’s request.  Both individual and group treatment sessions are offered.

STAR patients participate in therapeutic outings that are incorporated into the treatment plan. In addition, patients are free to pursue leisure interests on evenings and weekends (as COVID protocols allow). 

The STAR Program offers a full spectrum of rehabilitation services and follows an interdisciplinary team model which enhances the efficiency and standardization of treatments.  Medical staff are accessible and located within the building. 

The core STAR team and services include:

•    Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
•    Nurse Case Management
•    Nursing Care Services
•    Social Work Services
•    Neuropsychology & Mental Health Services
•    Physical Therapy 
•    Occupational Therapy 
•    Speech-Language Pathology 
•    Recreational Therapy 
•    Kinesiotherapy
•    Vocational Rehabilitation 
•    Vision/TBI Optometry

Specialty/Consultative Services May Include:

•    Pain Management
•    Headache Treatment
•    Headache Management including Botox
•    Integrative and Whole Health Services
•    Pain Clinic including Biofeedback 
•    Acupuncture and Dry Needling
•    Assistive Technology
•    Adaptive Sports
•    Audiology Services
•    Prosthetic & Orthotic Services

Eligibility Criteria

Service Members and Veterans who benefit the most from the STAR program are:

•    medically stable, 
•    have the potential to successfully participate in groups and individual therapy sessions, 
•    are willing to follow the program’s and the facility’s rules, 
•    and have goals that can be addressed by the program. 

Service Members and Veterans participating in the STAR program should not have:

•    active substance abuse concerns, 
•    exhibit behaviors posing a risk or safety threat to themselves or others, 
•    or exhibit behaviors that require intensive mental health services.

What to Bring

Medical Information/Items:

•    Any assistive technology or medical devices you may use.
•    Prosthetic, orthotic, or assistive devices (i.e. wheelchair, necessary charging equipment, CPAP, etc.)
•    A list of any contacts (family/support persons, providers) that the STAR Program staff may need to contact on your behalf.


•    Military ID and a copy of a valid driver’s license. Your driver’s license is required if you plan to drive while in the program.  A valid ID may also be needed for community outings.

Documents Needed for Vocational Rehabilitation: 

•    Separation Papers (DD 214)
•    Performance Evaluations
•    Military Training Record
•    Training certifications 
•    Previous resumes or employment forms
•    Awards & Citations
•    Letters of commendation and letters of appreciation
•    College and Military transcripts


•    Workout clothes and footwear
•    Swim trunks
•    Several changes of clothing (jeans, polo shirts, t-shirts)
•    Business attire for vocational settings 
•    Casual attire for community outings that are appropriate for different types of seasonal and weather conditions
Personal Care Products:

•    Any personal care items you use.
•    Laundry pods, bed linens, and towels are provided.   


•    Personal electronic devices, including cell phone, tablet/laptop, and charging equipment.

What NOT to bring:

•    Firearms, knives, and/or other supplies/weaponry
•    Alcohol and illegal substances
•    Chemical liquids (nail polish/nail polish remover)
•    Glass items, including glass picture frames
•    Non-prescribed medications (including creams, mood-altering substances, and over the counter medications)

Frequently Asked Questions

How will I get my medications?

All medications are kept at the nurses’ station in a secured cabinet. Your medications will be in an individual drawer within the cabinet that you will have a key to access. The self-medication policy will be reviewed with you upon admission to the STAR Program.

Will my family be able to accompany me during therapy appointments? 

The Service member/Veteran and their family are considered as integral members of the rehabilitation team. Family members may be invited to participate in therapies by the treatment team or at the patient’s request; however, they typically do not accompany patients throughout each therapy day.  Family members are invited to participate in admission and discharge conferences.

Is lodging available for my family if they visit me while I am in the STAR program?

Yes. Family members/caregivers will be able to stay at the Hospitality House, located four miles from the STAR program facility, for a short period of time. The STAR program Social Worker will work with Service Members, Veterans, and their families prior to their arrival in the program so that appropriate accommodations can be made.

What do I need to wear?

Comfortable clothing may be worn to daily therapy sessions; a military uniform is not required to be worn during the regular therapy day (0730-1630). It is suggested you bring business and business casual attire for community and vocational outings.   

Can I bring my car?

You must have a valid driver’s license and have been cleared by your physician (since the time of your injury). 

Can I leave on weekends?

STAR patients are permitted to leave the facility after therapy day is over Monday through Friday but must return by curfew at 2300.  On weekends, patients are permitted to leave at the conclusion of their therapies on Friday and must return by 2300 on Sunday.

What Patients are Saying about the STAR Program

About Therapists / Staff:

“All the therapists are top-notch in their respective disciplines.”
“The staff went over and above for me to ensure that I received the care I needed.”
“The therapists are awesome in all ways.”
“They pushed when I needed it.”
“The staff were extremely caring and professional.”
“The staff were open-minded and flexible.”
“They were always available and put forth maximum effort.”
“They worked diligently and relentlessly to help me achieve my goals.”
“The STAR Program staff are some of the most resourceful people I know.”

About the Milieu:

“I enjoyed meeting and being around the other patients.”
“The relationships built with other patients is something that can’t be replicated.”
“It was helpful to be able to share experiences with other Service Members going through the same thing I am going through.”

Best Aspect of Program:

“I believe the treatment phase was the best aspect of the STAR program.  This phase allowed me a time within a 20 year military career to address and begin treatment of my medical conditions.”

Overall Satisfaction:

“I have already recommended the STAR Program to multiple people and will continue to do my best to be a poster board for the hard work that goes on here every day!”
“I learned so much through this program and cannot thank the staff enough for the help they provided me.”
“Excellent program!  I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to take part in this!”
“The program exceeded my expectations.”
“I would not be where I am today without this program.”
“Overall, the program made me better and more confident.”
“A lot was fit into a short amount of time, and it was all helpful.”
“I really enjoyed being here.”
“This place is warm and has great energy.”
“I am leaps and bounds ahead of where I used to be and am more prepared than most average employees and job seekers.”
“I would have missed out had I not come here.”


Randi Hickman, RN

Admissions Case Manager


Amanda Wall, BSN, RN, CCM

Admissions Case Manager


William Robbins, M.D.

Medical Director


Daniel Menz-Erb, MHA, MBA, LCSW

Polytrauma Program Director