Spinal Cord Injury Center
The mission of the Michael Bilirakis VA SCI/D Center is to improve function, promote independence, and enhance quality of life of persons served through state-of-the-art clinical care, education and research.
Veterans are part of an interdisciplinary team that includes providers, clinicians and practitioners in nursing, recreation therapy, physical therapy, vocational rehabilitation, occupational therapy, nutrition, chaplain, kinesiotherapy, family therapy, psychology, and social work at the Michael Bilirakis VA Spinal Cord Injury/Disorder Center at James A Haley Veterans’ Hospital and Clinics in Tampa, Florida.
The SCI Center provides primary care and specialty health services to persons with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI), multiple sclerosis (MS) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Our specialists provide coordinated care throughout your life. We work to help you achieve your goals for independence, productivity, and quality of life.
VA has the nation's largest system of care for spinal cord injuries and disorders. We provide a convenient, connected network of experts to care for you during each phase of your life. Our experienced primary care providers are trained to check for problems unique to spinal cord injuries.
- Pressure ulcers
- Blood clots
- Bladder and sexual issues
- Constipation and other gastrointestinal problems
- Sexual issues
- Autonomic Dysreflexia
- Multiple Sclerosis
Learn more about the VA spinal cord injuries and disorders care system
Here are some helpful links for VA Tampa Veteran patients and their caregivers:
The SCI Outpatient Rehabilitation Program provides many types of therapies and classes. These are offered as outpatient and virtual sessions. Veterans and Service Members with a new SCI or chronic SCI can take part in the program. Your primary care provider can make a referral.
For more information, please contact 813-972-2000 ext.7670
Therapies & Classes Offered:
KT Conditioning Training (12-week program)
Adaptive Sports & Recreation
Speech & Language
SCI Patient Education Classes
Behavioral Health Counseling
Prosthetic & Orthotic Services
Social Work Services
SCI/D Long Term Care
Home Care Services
Home Care Progressive Rehabilitation Program (HCPR)
HCPR provides case managed rehabilitation services for Veterans with a SCI in their home setting. Rehabilitation care is provided by the SCI Home Care (HC) team. The team consists of an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), Licensed Practical Nurse, Occupational and Physical Therapy, Psychology, Dietitian, and Social Work.
If you think you would benefit from SCI Home Care Progressive Rehabilitation, please talk with your SCI primary doctor.
For more information, please contact 813-972-2000 ext.7670
Hospital in the Home Program
ALS Care Team
Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Center at James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital
13000 Bruce B. Downs Blvd
Tampa, Florida 33612
Admission / Respite 813-972-2000
VA Travel Assistance ext. 4754
SCI Admin Office ext. 7517
SCI Outpatient Clinic
Clinic Hours: Monday- Friday 8 am -4 pm; excluding Federal Holidays
Clinic Appointment 813-972 2000 ext. 4768
Synergy PACT Team
PACT Care Manager: 813-972-2000 ext. 4545
Administrative Associate: 813-972-2000 ext. 7670
Genesis PACT Team
PACT Care Manager: 813-972-2000 ext. 7517
Administrative Associate: 813-972-2000 ext. 4768
Outpatient Therapy: 8 am – 4 pm, excluding Federal Holidays
Physical Therapy: ext. 4787, 4788
Occupational Therapy: ext. 7506
Inpatient Hours- 24/7
For Acute Issues after hours contact the Clinical Contact Center 877-741-3400 or go to the nearest Emergency Department
A referral may be initiated by the individual, family, physician social worker or case manager.
813-972 2000 ext. 4768
Referral required? Yes
Walk-ins accepted? Yes, 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Are you traveling out of the area? Are you new to the area?
Contact your Social Worker
SCI- Outpatient Social Worker ext. 7914
MS Social Worker ext. 5010
ALS Social Worker ext. 6661
SCI New Patient Links
Patient Aligned Care Team/PACT
Portable Medical Profile-MyHealtheVet
COVID-19 Vaccination Information
Peristeen Anal Irrigation System
Robotics and Advanced Technology Center
The initial focus of the Robotics Center is to increase the utilization and availability of powered robotic exoskeletons through the Exoskeleton-Assisted Ambulation Program.
Receiving a referral: Veterans are referred to the clinic by their primary care physician or recommended to the clinic by another therapist. After the consult is received by the clinic, the therapists will initiate the screening and evaluation process. In most cases, this will involve a bone density scan and a physical examination including leg length, weight, strength, balance and standing tolerance. If the Veteran meets the manufacturer’s established criteria for one or more of the available exoskeleton devices, the clinicians will help the Veteran to establish goals and trial appropriate devices to meet their specific needs.
For Veterans using the device for rehabilitation of independent gait: the clinicians will work closely with the other therapy disciplines to maximize walking time while progressively decreasing robotic assistance to improve independent gait. The robotic exoskeleton devices can be integrated into other therapy sessions when appropriate to maximize standing and walking time.
For Veterans with a diagnosis of SCI who are pursuing a device for long term use in their home and community: the clinicians will help the Veteran progress toward the advanced skills required for home use prescription. This will include training the Veteran and a qualified companion to operate the device independently in a variety of conditions. The Veteran will have the opportunity to experience two devices that are approved for home use and select the device that best suits their needs and environment. If the Veteran meets the advanced skills criteria for their selected device, the equipment can be prescribed for home use.
General Requirements and Contraindications: A neurologic diagnosis that impairs the ability to walk due to partial of complete paralysis of the lower extremities and:
- Weight less than 250
- Hand and arm strength on at least one side
- Full range of motion for standing
- No lower extremity fractures
- Cognitive ability to follow multistep instructions
- No wounds that contact any part of the device
This is not an exhaustive list. Requirements and contraindications vary between devices.