Injuries and disorders of the spinal cord VA Bronx Health Care

Our vision

That by providing the necessary support and understanding, all wounded 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 promotes and supports patients’ overall health by providing medical, physical, psychological, recreational education and therapy, and spiritual support to achieve the highest level of independence and quality of life.

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

We continue to follow veterans after discharge, including a 90-day follow-up that ends with an inpatient stay. The veteran will be followed up with each service to review their current status, progress and have the opportunity to voice any concerns after the transition to the community.

Our programs

The 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 ability and motivation 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 who can participate.
Therapy will provide six days a week for up to three hours per day to achieve goals measured in functional independence. Patients work towards maximum performance in occupational/self-care activities, mobility and transfers, bowel and bladder management, and psychological adjustment and health. Additional programming may include wheelchairs, family education and, if appropriate, driving instruction and vehicle modifications/adaptations. On average, patients overall receive an hour and a half of physical and occupational therapy along with recreational, speech-language pathology, mental health support, dietary counseling services, and more.

Restorative rehabilitation

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

Outpatient rehabilitation

The outpatient rehabilitation program offers an interdisciplinary therapeutic team to optimize functional abilities. Interventions may include functional mobility training, wheelchair assessments, wheelchair training, and assistive technology and prescription training.

Outpatient care

The SCI/D Outpatient Clinic provides continuity of care after hospital discharge with the ultimate goal of helping people achieve healthy lifestyles. The outpatient clinic performs the important function of performing comprehensive preventive annual physicals in person and via VA Video Connect (VVC) telemedicine for 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 pressure ulcer prevention and treatment, chronic pain treatment, spasticity treatment, including medical treatment with Botox and Baclofen. We offer psychological support for life stressors and/or adaptation to SCI/D.

The SCI/D Outpatient Clinic is staffed by board-certified physicians, psychologists, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, social workers, therapists, nutritionists, health technicians, and a medical assistance assistant. The clinic offers EKGs, bladder scans, teleretinal exams and diabetic screening.

The clinic offers preventive care such as immunizations, smoking cessation advice and weight management. Veterans are provided individualized care, including education about the causes and management of autonomic dysreflexia.

Home care program

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

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

Home care staff perform home assessments to address safety and accessibility issues. In addition to veterans enrolled in the home care program, home care staff also supervise SCI/D veterans living in community nursing homes.

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