Woman going through rehabilitation with therapistsTIRR Memorial Hermann provides rehabilitation to individuals with brain injuries of all levels of severity, including traumatic brain injury (TBI), non-traumatic brain injury and brain injuries combined with bodily injury such as spinal cord injury, multiple fractures or amputations. We are committed to seeing your potential for recovery, and take pride in providing opportunities for recovery through creative, aggressive treatment planning and goal setting – regardless of the severity of your brain injury.

TIRR Memorial Hermann is proud to accept patients with a wide range of brain injuries. Our brain injury specialists are trained and highly skilled in the management and treatment of traumatic brain injuries and stroke.

What Treatment Options Are Available for Patients With Brain Injuries?

Man going through rehabilitation with womanDepending on the extent of your injury, the initial rehabilitation process can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months – and continued rehabilitation could likely continue for years. With the help of the skilled staff at TIRR Memorial Hermann, you will attempt to recover lost skills and cognitive function, as well as learn to manage your life post-injury. How you approach treatment will vary depending on your need for rehabilitation in an inpatient or outpatient setting. TIRR Memorial Hermann has programs spanning the continuum of care for patients with brain injuries, including inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, a medical follow-up clinic and a wellness program.

Inpatient Rehabilitation

Inpatient Rehabilitation is available for those needing intensive medical follow up and nursing care. The Brain Injury Rehabilitation program at TIRR Memorial Hermann maximizes outcomes by providing:

  • Comprehensive interdisciplinary care from a team of dedicated physicians, neuropsychologists, therapists, nurses, case managers and social workers 
  • Patient rooms, nursing care units and gym space specifically designed and equipped to meet the unique needs of patients with brain injuries
  • Specialized medical management, nursing and therapy in a hospital setting
  • Both individual therapy and group treatment, including weekend therapy sessions
  • Community outings to address each patient’s functional abilities
  • Support groups, counseling, designated education classes and individualized training to prepare families and caregivers
  • Unique, specialized programs within the inpatient Brain Injury Program at TIRR, including the neurobehavioral program and disorders of consciousness program
  • Programs directed by    physicians and clinical neuropsychologists with specialized interest and training in brain injury rehabilitation. We believe our success is attributable to the dedication and focus to support patients return to their families and the community faster.

Outpatient Rehabilitation

Recovery from brain injury does not end when you are transitioned from the inpatient program. It continues long after your return home.

The Outpatient Rehabilitation programs allow patients and their families to transition from the hospital setting to home while continuing to receive intense therapy services (physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech-language pathology.  Brain injury support groups, counseling, education and individualized training also prepare families and caregivers for each patient’s transition.

Challenge Program

The Challenge Program provides a comprehensive range of services focusing on community integration skills critical for the transition to independent living, school, work or volunteer activities following brain injury. This outpatient treatment approach addresses the physical abilities, memory strategies, interpersonal communication and problem-solving skills needed for long-term success.

Outpatient Medical Clinic

TIRR Memorial Hermann provides a physician follow-up and procedural clinics for patients prior and post discharge from TIRR Memorial Hermann. These clinics included physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) follow-up clinics, spasticity management, medication management, primary care, urology clinics and procedures and gynecology clinics and procedures.

Strength Unlimited

Strength Unlimited is a community-based wellness program for children and adults. The program offers advanced equipment, personal training, group fitness classes, aquatic therapy, support groups and special exercise programs for many different individuals, including those with spinal cord injuries.

Strength Unlimited goes beyond standard clinics offering only physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech-language pathology. We consider wellness a journey that never stops. Our fitness trainers serve as wellness coaches for individuals with disabilities. They have specialty certifications and training to offer a holistic approach and connect patients with the right resources if needed. The program is open to the community, offering patients continued help in achieving their mobility goals and the opportunity to stay active in hobbies and sports.

Brain Injury Rehabilitation for Patients on a Ventilator

Patients (or persons) with brain injury who are on a ventilator have unique and complex medical requirements. TIRR Memorial Hermann has a rehabilitation program designed to meet the needs of this special patient population. TIRR is the only rehabilitation hospital in Houston where the technology, expertise and medical professionals who provide this specialized care are all seamlessly integrated in an acute rehabilitation setting.

The Goal is to Go Home

In many circumstances, brain injury patients who require a ventilator are moved into a long-term acute care facility. While these facilities offer medical support, patients are not in their own homes with their own families. At TIRR Memorial Hermann, the goals is for our patients to return home to their loved ones and to lead as fulfilling a life as possible. In order to reach this goal, TIRR Memorial Hermann offers customized rehabilitation care for each patient, which includes:

  • Assessment for ventilator weaning on a daily basis
  • Ventilator management training provided to caregivers so they can take care of their loved ones at home
  • Customized therapy and cognitive rehabilitation that works in conjunction with ventilator weaning
  • Respiratory therapy team that utilizes highly advanced equipment to optimize patients’ lung health

Experts with Specialized Training

At TIRR Memorial Hermann, we have been nationally recognized for our ventilator weaning program pathway for spinal cord injury patients with a >97% success rate in weaning patients from the ventilator prior to discharge. TIRR Memorial Hermann was one of the first facilities in the United States to establish a spinal cord injury center and is internationally recognized for its expertise in the management of patients with tetraplegia secondary to a spinal cord injury who require a ventilator for breathing. We intend to use this experience as we progress with our treatment of brain injury patients who are on ventilators.

Our interdisciplinary team of medical professionals also have specialized expertise in caring for brain injury patients who are ventilated. Team members are onsite at all times and available to address any patient needs that may arise. Alongside patients' caregivers, they work together throughout recovery and rehabilitation towards discharge to their homes. Our team includes:

  • Over 20 Respiratory Therapists with advanced training, inlcuding ACLS and PALS certifications
  • A team of Respiratory Therapists who are onsite, 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • Nursing staff with specialized brain injury training
  • Specialty trained Physical medicine and Rehabilitation physicians
  • Individualized one-on-one respiratory therapy with patients
  • Respiratory Therapists are an integral part of the patients' interdisciplinary care team that manages patient care, co-treating with other therapists
  • Hospitalists are onsite 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Specialized Services

Music Therapy Program

Patient participating in music therapyMusic Therapy is neurologically based and backed by more than 10 years of research at TIRR Memorial Hermann. A music therapist's role is to address the cognitive, speech/language, physical, and psychosocial needs of a patient, using Neurologic Music Therapy techniques. Music therapy is often requested to co-treat with other therapies, such as physical or speech therapy, and to facilitate functional movements and/or cognitive and speech behaviors.

Patient Stories

  • TIRR Memorial Hermann brain injury patient Corey Nowlin

    Corey Nowlin: Learning to Communicate

    February 19, 2021

    In April 2020, Corey Nowlin suffered a severe head injury. Today, thanks to the TIRR Memorial Hermann’s Disorders of Consciousness program, he’s able to communicate again.

    Read More
  • TIRR Memorial Hermann brain injury patient Anthony Velasquez

    Anthony: Working Hard In and Out of the Classroom

    February 9, 2021

    When the final bell of the day rang, 18-year-old Anthony Velasquez walked out of his high school just as he had on every other day. It was October 2019, and he was one of a group of teens crossing the street adjacent to his school when a car unexpectedly drove around a school bus and hit Anthony....

    Read More
  • TIRR Memorial Hermann brain injury patient Emily Claire Jackson returns to snow skiing.

    Emily Claire: Back on the Slopes

    February 9, 2021

    Emily Claire Jackson Sanders has been skiing since she was old enough to walk. Her father enjoys taking his wife and three daughters to Steamboat Springs, CO to ski during the winter months. So it was unusual when 20-year-old Emily did not come down the mountain one evening while skiing with her ...

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  • Gabrielle Giffords

    Rep. Gabrielle Giffords: On the Road to Recovery

    July 13, 2017

    The Mischer Neuroscience Institute took the national stage when U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was transferred to Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center’s Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit on Friday, Jan. 21, 2011 after she was shot in the head. The Arizona congresswoman was shot at pointblank ...

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  • Jacob Smith

    Jacob Smith: Your Attitude Defines Your Future

    August 22, 2016

    Jacob Smith was returning home with other students at his high school, after attending a leadership conference in Corpus Christi for members of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). The last thing he remembers was buying snacks when the four-car caravan of students and teachers...

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  • James Durham

    James Durham's Story

    September 22, 2015

    James Durham was on his motorcycle headed home after an employee dinner. “I was about two miles from home. A woman was stopped at a traffic light but didn’t have her blinker on so it seemed that she was trying to make a U-turn,” says Durham. “When she pulled away from the ...

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  • Eileen Bogar

    Eileen Guerinot Bogar Returns to Her Life as an Attorney and Single Mom

    September 1, 2015

    Eileen Bogar’s recovery was not at all what her acute care physicians predicted. After suffering a severe bilateral brainstem stroke in mid-December 2012, she was tucked away in the intensive care unit at a hospital in Houston for five weeks. She was on a ventilator for the first two weeks ...

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  • John Keller

    John Keller: Miracle in Progress

    December 31, 2014

    When 33-year-old John Keller was first admitted to TIRR Memorial Hermann on March 26, 2008, he was in a vegetative state. On impact, Keller suffered a fractured skull and pelvis and an intracranial hemorrhage resulting in a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). Nine days later, he was transferred ...

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  • Cory Smith

    Cory Smith Rises to the Challenge

    October 22, 2014

    In May 2012, Cory Smith, a straight-A student and star basketball player at Clear Springs High School in Houston, suffered a severe intracranial empyema, an infection that arises most commonly as a complication of sinusitis or otitis, particularly in males in later childhood, adolescence or early...

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  • Joseph Huerta

    Joseph Huerta: Recovery After a Skiing Accident

    June 12, 2014

    Joseph Huerta and his siblings took off for a skiing trip. As he skied down the hill, Joseph lost his balance and went over a 15-foot cliff hitting his head on a tree. After being rushed to the hospital, going through surgery and being in a coma for 12 days, Joseph beat the odds and regained cons...

    Read More
  • Chance Both

    Chance Bothe Survives Near-Deadly Texting and Driving Accident

    September 12, 2013

    In the middle of sending a text, Chance Bothe drove off of a cliff and sustained serious injuries. After spending time in an ICU, he was sent to TIRR Memorial Hermann for rehabilitation where he recovered tremendously. "They would get him outside, and he would play basketball. We would go out and...

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  • Don Mathews

    Don Mathews' Recovery From Brain Damage

    August 6, 2013

    Don Mathews' inspiring story begins on the night of his 21st birthday party in September 1998. A successful student at Sam Houston State University, Don was celebrating with some of his college friends at a lake house on Lake Livingston. Don and his date were on their way to their vehicle, comple...

    Read More
  • Gabrielle Giffords

    Gabrielle Giffords' Extraordinary Journey

    April 10, 2013

    On January 21, 2011, United States Representative Gabrielle Giffords was transferred from the University of Arizona Medical Center to Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center’s Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit. Rep. Giffords’ physician team upgraded her condition from serious to good fou...

    Read More
  • Logan Schaefer

    Logan Schaefer: Teenager Recovering From Traumatic Brain Injury

    February 4, 2013

    On July 12, 2010, 14-year-old Logan Schaefer had a wakeboarding accident that left him unconscious, unresponsive and seizing following a traumatic brain injury. After an emergency craniotomy to relieve pressure on the brain caused by a subdural hematoma, the following day Logan awakened just long...

    Read More

Why Is Treatment Important?

Traumatic brain injury is the leading cause of disability in people under age 40. Studies have shown that the majority of recovery from TBI occurs within two years of the injury. That’s why it is important to make the most of your time in the appropriate rehabilitation program. Through our Brain Injury Rehabilitation program, we have seen patients make great strides by helping them and their families see that it is possible to live full, active lives  after traumatic brain injury.

We inspire our patients to set big goals – not just “I want to walk again,” but “I want to walk my daughter down the aisle at her wedding in six months.” At TIRR Memorial Hermann, our team is dedicated to providing any and all treatment necessary so our patients can reach their lofty goals.

What Should You Look for When Choosing a Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program?

There are many options out there that claim to offer the best treatment and rehabilitation care following a brain injury. Many of these rehab hospitals or independent facilities offer similar services, therapies and specialists,  which makes it difficult to choose between them. Here are a few questions to consider:

  • Does the facility offer a specialized Brain Injury Rehabilitation program?
  • Is the facility accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehab Facilities (CARF)?
  • Does the facility offer multidisciplinary therapy services provided by full-time staff?
  • Does the facility offer rehabilitation therapy services seven days a week?
  • Does the facility offer patient and family education and groups that are specific to traumatic brain injury?

If the rehab facility you are considering is TIRR Memorial Hermann, the answer to all of these questions is “yes.” However, if you are still unable to make a decision, refer to this larger list of questions to ask when choosing a rehabilitation program.

What Type of Results Should You Expect?

At TIRR Memorial Hermann, our Brain Injury Rehabilitation program has a very high complexity of patients when compared to other programs nationally. Our high national ranking and reputation for outstanding patient outcomes has made us a destination for patients all across the country – and the world – seeking expert inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation.

Each patient care team contributes to the decision for how long patients remain at TIRR Memorial Hermann based on their individual rehabilitation needs. In 2017, a total of 385 patients were discharged from the inpatient Brain Injury program. Their average length of stay was just 26 days, which is shorter than the national average. Of these patients, 78 percent returned home to their loved ones or to a place in their community.

After their stay with TIRR Memorial Hermann, patients are asked to complete a Patient Satisfaction Survey to rate their overall care. Patients with brain injury and their families rated their care 91.8 points out of 100. When patients and family members were asked if they would recommend TIRR Memorial Hermann to others, 91 percent responded that they would.

Why Choose TIRR Memorial Hermann for Brain Injury Rehabilitation?

TIRR Memorial Hermann’s comprehensive inpatient, outpatient and vocational services are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). We are also recognized for our long-standing commitment to educating patients, families, healthcare professionals, caregivers and the general public about rehabilitation. Our reputation is based on more than 50 years of experience in rehabilitation and research, the high caliber of our affiliated physicians and clinical staff, and our comprehensive programs and services.

Beyond all that, our Brain Injury Rehabilitation program is special because our team of physicians, therapists, nurses, case managers and social workers have one mission – to be there for you and your loved ones during what can be the most difficult time of your lives. Let us help turn the tragedy of traumatic brain injury into a triumph.

TIRR Memorial Hermann Brain Injury Research Center

The Brain Injury Research Center at TIRR Memorial Hermann is funded by multiple grants from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research and is designated as a Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Community Integration of Persons with Traumatic Brain Injury.

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Nationally Ranked Rehabilitation

For the 32nd consecutive year, TIRR Memorial Hermann is recognized as the best rehabilitation hospital in Texas and No. 2 in the nation according to U.S. News and World Report's "Best Rehabilitation Hospitals" in America.

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