National Rehabilitation Hospital

National Rehabilitation Hospital
National Rehabilitation Hospital
MedStar Health
Location United States Washington D.C, USA,
Funding Not-for-profit
Founded 1986

The National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) is located in Washington, D.C., and specializes in treating persons with physical disabilities, including spinal cord injury, brain injury, stroke, arthritis, amputation, multiple sclerosis, post-polio syndrome, orthopedic, and other neurological conditions. The National Rehabilitation Hospital, also known as NRH, was founded in 1986, and is a member of the MedStar Health system, the Washington, D.C.-Baltimore region’s largest non-profit healthcare organization.[1]

NRH has grown from a single hospital into the NRH Medical Rehabilitation Network, which provides inpatient, outpatient, and day treatment programs. The network provides more than 350,000 ambulatory visits annually in addition to the hospital’s more than 2,200 inpatient admissions. Since its inception, NRH has admitted in excess of 35,000 inpatients and provided over 2 million outpatient visits.[2]


Reputation and Accreditation

Physicians nationwide consistently rank NRH among “America’s Best Hospitals,” as reported by U.S. News & World Report. For sixteen consecutive years, NRH has been consistently listed in the annual ranking as one of the nation’s best hospitals for physical rehabilitation. In 2007, NRH made a move from 10th to 9th place and achieved a high reputation score of 10.9.[3]

NRH is fully accredited by both the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations JCAHO,[4] and the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities CARF, earning an impressive fourteen CARF commendations in the 2007 accreditation survey. CARF is a private, not-for-profit organization that promotes quality rehabilitation services. Their standards are reviewed annually and new ones are developed to keep pace with changing conditions and current consumer needs. NRH has received a three-year accreditation from CARF, and its Spinal Cord Injury, Stroke and Brain Injury programs are the regions only CARF accredited specialty programs.[5]

Types of Specialty Care: Inpatient, Outpatient, and Day Treatment

NRH’s board-certified physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, psychologists, vocational rehabilitation counselors, and other clinicians work in teams to meet the needs of patients with a wide range of neurological, and orthopedic conditions. NRH provides highly specialized acute inpatient rehabilitative care at its Washington, D.C., location on a campus adjacent to its MedStar Health sister hospital, the Washington Hospital Center. NRH works in partnership not only with the Washington Hospital Center, but also with a number of other leading acute care facilities throughout the region. Acute rehab begins at onset of injury and illness, and continues after hospitalization through NRH Regional Rehab – 33 outpatient sites located throughout the Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, and Maryland region.

(See for a list of outpatient locations.)

In addition, for those needing more intense therapy following hospitalization, NRH offers unique Day Treatment programs for stroke, brain and spinal cord injury, which provide continued comprehensive care to maximize potential for recovery.

Special Programs

The NRH Spinal Cord Program is designated as one of only 14 Model Spinal Cord Injury Systems in the country, by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), a part of the U.S. Department of Education. Through this highly competitive five-year grant, NRH established the National Capital Spinal Cord Injury Model System (NCSCIMS) — a multifaceted program incorporating acute and rehabilitative clinical care, and research and training components.[6] The program is stimulating the development of dramatic therapeutic improvements and their rapid translation into clinical practice.In addition, NRH’s Spinal Cord Program is the area’s only CARF Accredited Specialty Program for Spinal Cord Injury and Disease.[7]

The Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Spinal Cord Injury (SCI): Promoting Health and Preventing Complications through Exercise is also funded by the NIDRR. The $4 million, 5-year grant allows NRH to further extend its research and training efforts on secondary conditions in people with SCI. The RRTC is a unique collaborative effort of national leaders in SCI-related research, clinical expertise, support and education organizations, independent living centers, and consumers with SCI.[8]

The NRH Stroke Recovery Program is among the largest programs in the country and offers one of the most advanced programs of its kind in the region. NRH patients benefit from the exceptional skills and resources of the area’s only CARF Accredited Specialty Program for Strokes.[7]

The NRH Brain Injury Program takes an innovative, comprehensive approach to care using repetition to expand on small incremental gains in recovery—to achieve the best possible outcome. This focused and proven method of care attracts a variety of patients including politicians and military service members from across the U.S.

The orthopedic programs at NRH utilize the most technologically advanced diagnostic and therapeutic equipment to address such issues as arthritis, amputation, joint replacement, and a full range of other orthopedic injuries and conditions. Throughout patients’ rehabilitative experience, NRH relies upon a number of innovative assistive technology devices that have been developed by NRH’s research team, and which have been quickly moved from laboratory to bedside for optimal recovery.

The National Center for Children’s Rehabilitation (NCCR) at NRH addresses an unmet regional need and raises the bar for care of pediatric patients with neurological, orthopedic injuries, and other illnesses. The only center of its kind in the area, the NCCR is a joint service of NRH and Children's National Medical Center and offers an innovative approach to children's rehab in a state-of-the-art and secure unit.[9]


The Christoph Ruesch Research Center at NRH is dedicated to implementing initiatives that probe new rehabilitative interventions to address the health and rehabilitative needs of person with disabilities, and to develop better ways to deliver and pay for these services. There are four unique centers conducting both laboratory and clinical research: the Assistive Technology Research Center, the Center for Post-Acute Studies, the Neuroscience Research Center, and the Center for Applied Biomechanics and Rehabilitation Research. Dozens of studies are underway in the development of improved rehabilitative diagnosis and treatment methods, and technology aimed at improving long-term independence for persons with a variety of disabling conditions. Among these are a unique study to evaluate the value of activity-based rehab and FES, functional electrical stimulation, for spinal cord injury patients, a project to test the value of patient navigation to improve long-term outcomes for stroke and spinal cord patients, and a program to reduce secondary incidents among the capital region’s stroke patients.[10]


External links

Coordinates: 38°55′49.9″N 77°0′47.9″W / 38.930528°N 77.013306°W / 38.930528; -77.013306

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