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Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Houston, Texas

A physician explains an X-ray image.
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
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Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Photo Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center

As a member of one of the world’s largest integrated health care systems, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center serves as the primary health care provider for more than 103,000 veterans in southeast Texas.

Veterans from around the country are referred to the MEDVAMC for specialized medical care and treatment. The state-of-the-art tertiary care facility features 352 beds, including a CARF-accredited 20 bed Comprehensive Integrated Inpatient Rehabilitation Program (CHIIRP unit), a 40 bed Spinal Cord Injury Center and a 120 bed transitional care center for long-term care.

Services Offered

The Rehabilitation Care Line provides comprehensive rehabilitation to veterans and to war wounded active duty service members. The care line, second largest inpatient rehabilitative care provider in the VA healthcare system, includes a CARF accredited 20 bed Comprehensive Integrated Inpatient Rehabilitation Program Unit, inpatient and outpatient consultation services, electromyographic and nerve conduction studies, disabled driver assessment and rehabilitation training program, aquatic therapy program, and outpatient therapy programs. Comprehensive rehabilitation programs include musculoskeletal rehabilitation, amputation prevention, stroke rehabilitation and cardiac rehabilitation.

Specialized outpatient clinics include a Regional Prosthetics Clinic to meet the needs of veterans with amputations, specialty/custom wheelchair clinics, and musculoskeletal clinics.

The Spinal Cord Injury Care Line, which includes a CARF certified 40 bed unit, provides comprehensive and interdisciplinary medical rehabilitation to acute spinal cord injured patients and sustains medical care for spinal cord injured patients admitted for management of intercurrent illness. The service, through its outpatient clinic and inpatient bed service, provides primary, secondary and tertiary care for all eligible spinal cord injured veterans in this medical district and is the SCI center for referrals in the VA South Central Health Network and active duty military covered by this geographical area.

The SCI Care Line initiated a Urodynamics Laboratory in November, 1982 as part of its Clinical Diagnostic Service. This laboratory provides sophis-ticated evaluation of patients with bladder dysfunction.

The SCI Care Line is unique in the VA system as having its own state-of-the art Research Laboratory. This laboratory is directed by the staff physician who is an expert in infectious diseases whose mission is to conduct basic science research that complements a variety of clinical projects, in order to achieve a better understanding of the specific and unique health problems that occur in the SCI population.

The Spinal Cord Injury Outpatient Clinic provides a continuum care for SCI patients and also serves as a point of contact for social and athletic programs vital to the rehabilitation of the SCI patients. The SCI Care Line also provides a wheelchair clinic for SCI patients and referrals for specialty wheelchairs.

The SCI Home Care Program is an outreach service to provide eligible SCI veterans with rehabilitative, medical, nursing and psychosocial supportive services in the individual’s home.



Hospital Appointments

Rehabilitation Care
Line Executive:

Helene K. Henson, M.D.

Rabih O. Darouiche, M.D.
Infection Control Committee
Medical Research Subcommittee

Martin Grabois, M.D.
Dean’s Committee

Jennifer Harrison, M.D.
Director, SCI/D Wheelchair Clinic
Medical Director, Outpatient SCI
Student Research Committee
Medical Records Committee

Helene K. Henson, M.D.
Graduate Medical Education Committee
Clinical Executive Board
Executive Council
Strategic Planning Committee
Cancer Committee
Council on Operative and Invasive Procedures
Medical Records Committee
Co-Chair, Major Medical Equipment Committee
Chair, Regional Prosthetics Team
Chair, Home Improvement and Structural Alterations Committee
Chair, OT Professional Standards Board
Chair, PT Professional Standards Board
Co-Chair, Rehabilitation Quality Council
Chair, Rehabilitation Care Line Performance Improvement Committee
Chair, Rehabilitation Care Line Leadership Council
Rehabilitation Care Line Safety Subcommittee

Sally A. Holmes, M.D.
Clinical Executive Board
Acquisitions and Material ManagementCommittee
Continuum of Care Committee
Chair, Major Medical Equipment Education Committee
SCI Care Line Quality Council
Co-Chair, SCI Care Line Implementation Team
Resource Management Board
Co-Chair, Home Care Advisory Board
Professional Standards Board
Co-Chair, Rehabilitation Quality Council

Walter Wade, M.D.
Director, Patient Safety Committee

Kuno P. Zimmermann, D.O., Ph.D.
Physician Manager
Rehabilitation Care Line Leadership Council
Rehabilitation Care Line Performance Improvement Committee
Rehabilitation Care Line Administrative Board


Helene K. Henson, M.D.
Kuno P. Zimmermann, D.O., Ph.D.

Spinal Cord Injury
Care Executive:

Sally A. Holmes, M.D.


Maria Dajoyag-Mejia, M.D.
Rabih O. Darouiche, M.D.
Jennifer Harrison, M.D.
Sally A. Holmes, M.D.
Walter H. Wade, M.D.

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