Patients talking to doctor


Choosing the best rehabilitation program should not add another burden. The following check-list represents what experts in the field of rehabilitation believe to be the most important guidelines for choosing a facility, and provides information on how SCVMC's Rehabilitation Center meets these criteria. Our hope is that this information will help make your choice faster and easier, resulting in the most successful outcome possible.


Look for rehabilitation services that have demonstrated a high level of clinical quality over a long period of time.

We have continuously provided services in the areas of brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke and other neurological conditions since 1971, and have consistently rated above the regional and national industry-compiled averages for discharge-to-home, functional independence, plus high rates of patient satisfaction.


Spinal cord injury, brain injury and stroke are complex medical conditions that require a highly specialized staff and facility. Look for a facility that has teams dedicated to each specialty area.

We’re staffed by full time, board-certified physiatrists with experience and specialized training in either brain injury, spinal cord injury, and stroke. In fact, many of our highly-trained physicians, therapists, and nurses are double and triple board-certified, and are willing to go the extra mile for specialized training so they can provide the highest level of compassionate care after the unthinkable occurs. Each of these specialized services is located in its own part of the medical center.


Numbers do make a difference in rehabilitation. Centers that treat a high volume of patients - and deal with more complex cases - serve as a magnet for the most highly trained physicians, research activities and other resources.

We’ve treated more than 10,000 patients, and currently manage an inpatient volume averaging 700 brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke and general rehabilitation patients per year, more than any facility in California. These larger numbers of patients give SCVMC Rehab the skill and expertise that can only be gained through experience.​


Strongly consider rehab programs that are teaching centers for major medical schools and have been recognized on the national or regional level for outstanding achievement related to their rehabilitation capabilities.

We’re affiliated with Stanford University School of Medicine and serve as the primary training site for the largest Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency program in California.

Stanford School of Medicine


Early intervention is a key factor in reducing potential medical complications and promoting successful outcomes. Rehabilitation facilities closely connected to or within hospitals are better able to handle medical complications, allowing patients to start rehabilitation as soon as possible.

As a hospital within a hospital, the Rehabilitation Center has immediate access to the full resources of a major medical center, including Level I Trauma. We offer the Respiratory Rehabilitation Unit, an ICU-type setting where patients can receive early and aggressive rehabilitation-oriented care.

Having the highest level of emergency response on the same campus as the Rehabilitation Center means that patients don’t have to be transferred to other facilities if the need for a higher level of care arises.​


An important factor in successful outcomes is a multidisciplinary team approach to rehabilitation. Look for a facility where each patient is assigned a care team designed to meet his or her specific diagnosis.

We helped pioneer the multidisciplinary team approach to rehabilitation more than fifty years ago, and continue to refine that approach to care. Teams are made up of physiatrists, rehabilitation nurses, therapists, social workers, psychologists, case managers, and others to meet specific needs.


The ability to combine all of the medical, psychological and social aspects of rehabilitation in one site without transferring to another facility is one of the important hallmarks of an effective and successful program.

The Rehabilitation Center brings together educational classes, behavioral self-management resources, emotional coping programs, vocational and independent living skills, and a range of other support services for patients as well as family members and care givers, all in a single location.


Even when patients have the same diagnosis, their treatment plans can vary considerably. That's why it's important to develop each treatment plan based on a range of medical and personal factors, age, goals, gender and other characteristics of each particular patient.

Five decades of experience, a highly skilled, multidisciplinary team, and a comprehensive range of services are all directed toward setting up completely individualized rehabilitation programs for each patient. In addition, the recovery program is flexible enough to adapt to changing conditions over the course of treatment.


The most effective rehabilitation programs encourage and facilitate interaction between patients, especially those with similar diagnoses.

Our extensive peer support network includes multiple peer and support groups, and is coordinated by staff and trained volunteers – including those with their own rehabilitation experiences at SCVMC and other facilities. This valuable resource brings together current patients and past patients, families, and friends and is focused less on clinical criteria and more on the physical, emotional and psychological connections that develop between people with shared experiences.


Brain injuries, stroke and spinal cord injuries are complex medical conditions that affect not only the person who sustains them but also his or her family and friends. Family members should be welcome to stay overnight, meet regularly with the care team and take an active role in goal-setting and the overall recovery process.

Along with patients themselves, family members are important participants in each person's care team. In addition to helping them to be part of the recovery process, we help families in their support role with their loved ones through education and training created specifically for them.​​​


Santa Clara Valley Medical Center has been designated by the American College of Surgeons as a Level I Trauma Center for over 30 years. This is the highest level of certification possible for emergency care.

The Respiratory Rehabilitation Unit is equipped and staffed 24/7 with specially trained, board-certified medical and surgical teams to provide immediate care for patients suffering from life-threatening and disabling traumatic injuries. These critical services for both adult and pediatric trauma patients include, but are not limited to:

  • Acute care surgery
  • Anesthesiology
  • Brain Injury
  • Burn Injury
  • Cardiothoracic
  • Intensive Care Specialists
  • Neurosurgery
  • Orthopedics
  • Radiology
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Trauma Operating Room available 24/7
  • Vascular Surgery

Having the highest level of emergency response on the same campus as the Rehabilitation Center means that patients don’t have to be transferred to other facilities if the need for a higher level of care arises.

American College of Surgeons logo


  • Accredited by the Joint Commission and certified by Medi-Cal and Medicare. 
  • Seven accreditations by the Commission of the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) for adult and children/adolescent rehabilitation in spinal cord injury, brain injury, stroke, and general rehabilitation.​

joint commission and carf logo



​Santa Clara Valley Medical Center's Rehabilitation Center achieved the highest rating of any rehabilitation hospital in the state of California​​​.

Best hospitals Rehabilitation 2023-2024