Female brain injury patient wearing orange tanktop while working with therapist

Brain Injury


Team Effort. Individualized Care.

Brain injury, whether traumatic or acquired, can take many forms and affect human function in many ways, including memory, physical abilities, cognitive (thinking) abilities, behavior, decision making and more. Within this wide continuum of symptoms and severity, the Rehabilitation Center offers an in-depth and comprehensive program designed to help individuals with brain injury return to the highest level of function and independence possible.  

Since the Rehabilitation Center began treating individuals with spinal cord injuries more than forty years ago, thousands of adults, adolescents and children, along with their families, have trusted us with their care. Each year an average of 320 people receives inpatient rehab in a specialized, 32-bed unit dedicated to brain injury care. Because we work with so many patients, we are experienced across all aspects of rehabilitation. This directly helps create better patient outcomes, including much higher than average discharge-to-home rates, and functional gains immediately after leaving the Rehabilitation Center and over time.

Male brain injury patient snuggling with black Lab therapy dog


The Rehabilitation Center helped pioneer the multidisciplinary team approach to brain injury care and continues to develop innovations and make contributions to the understanding and treatment of brain injury. The team-oriented approach to care is led and coordinated by the largest number of board-certified physiatrists (physicians who specialize in physical medicine and rehabilitation) on the West Coast, along with other physician specialists including neurologists, nurses, therapists, social workers, case managers, psychologists and other health professionals with specialized training in brain injury rehabilitation.  

In all cases, throughout the inpatient experience and beyond, the most important members of this team are the individuals with brain injury and their families who are encouraged and supported to take part in every aspect of care.

Male brain injury patient bowling with help of therapist 


Every brain injury, like the person who sustains it, is unique. That's why we never forget that while there are many different forms of brain injury, there is only one of you. It's also why we direct the full resources of our capabilities, our four decades of experience and our highly skilled, multidisciplinary team toward a completely individualized rehabilitation program for each patient. We also make sure that the rehab and recovery program is flexible enough to adapt to changing conditions during the process. As a result of this highly personalized approach we don't just treat brain injury; we treat the brain injury that affects you and your family.


Our long experience in the area of brain injury rehabilitation has clearly shown how important family and friends can be to the rehabilitation process. Since the time we treated our first patients more than 40 years ago, we have worked hard to provide a very welcoming setting for our patient's "support systems." We closely involve friends and family in support groups, recreational activities and outings, as well as in the rehab process itself, including early goal-setting and frequent team meetings. Because our physician specialists are in-house, not just "on call," they are closely connected to the inpatient program and available and responsive to patients and families. This distinctive level of access on the part of exceptionally talented and dedicated physicians is one of the hallmarks of the rehabilitation experience at SCVMC.


  • 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, and stroke. 
The Joint Commission and CARF Accreditations Logo 

Patient Story


Our highly-trained team of doctors, nurses & therapists went the extra mile.

Brain injury Education Resources

Brain Injury Patient Outcomes

Traumatic Brain Injury Chart 2017.png

How satisfied were our patients with their care?

  • Over 95.9% of our patients rated their care as good to excellent.
  • 92% of our patients would recommend our hospital to their friend and family.

Where did our patients get discharged to?

  • 86% of our patients were discharged to a home setting compared to a national average of only 75%.
  • Only 2% of our patients were discharged to a skilled nursing facility compared to the national average of 12%.

How complex are the patients we treat medically?

​Based on case mix index, a measurement of the complexity of the medical needs, our patients were nearly 13.7% more medically complex than the national average.

Who are our patients?

  • The average age for patients with traumatic brain injury was 42 years old and the average age for patients with non traumatic brain injury is 50, with an overall average patient age of 45.
  • We serve adolescents starting at age 14 with an individualized, developmentally appropriate plan of care. 
  • 69% of the patients were male and 31% were female.
  • Patients stayed an average of 18 days in the hospital.

Quality of Life:

97.6% of our patients agree that the rehab program prepared them for going home.¹



MedTel Outcomes provides rehabilitation centers with patient satisfaction information and follow up data after discharge

Male brain injury patient walking with help of therapist 


Journey to Recovery

This highly individualized program is designed to help patients with severe brain injuries reach their fullest potential for independence. Led by our inpatient physiatrists with the full support of the multidisciplinary care team, Journey to Recovery features a careful evaluation to determine what specific therapies will be the most effective based on each patient's particular needs. Journey to Recovery also focuses on a safe and caring environment with minimal use of restraints, tubes and sedating medications. 

Respiratory rehabilitation Unit (RRU)

Critical Services for Patients, a Valuable Resource for Referring Physicians:
The Respiratory Rehabilitation Unit is a unique component of our overall rehabilitation program. The availability of this intensive care setting within the Rehabilitation Center allows for earliest possible admission and treatment following a brain injury, providing rehabilitation-focused care for medically complex patients including those who have just had or are about to have surgery. 
The use of medical intensivists in the RRU, physicians who specialize in the care of critically ill or injured patients, is an approach that SCVMC helped pioneer and is a valuable complement to the work of the spine surgeon and neurosurgeon in the operating room. Although the RRU primarily treats individuals with spinal cord injury, patients with traumatic brain injury accompanied by respiratory concerns are also cared for in this distinctive medical setting.

The Trauma Center is also equipped with a helipad, and accepts patients from across Silicon Valley. 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.
High Quadriplegic Program - A note to physicians:
The Rehabilitation Trauma Center provides around-the-clock respiratory management for ventilator dependent patients. Our specialization in invasive and non-invasive respiratory technology has resulted in an outstanding record of successful vent weaning and home discharge. In addition, our rate of pulmonary emboli occurrence is exceptionally low and therapeutic bronchoscopies average less than one per 100 patients.

Female rehabilitation patient in wheelchair sitting in snow throwing snowball ​

Technology Assistance Program (TAP)

This program gives rehab patients with traumatic brain injury and stroke the skills and access needed to connect with people, information and resources. TAP delivers needed technology includes:

  • Adaptive equipment     
  • Computer loans and individualized training     
  • Web-based patient education     
  • Video conferencing  
Patients are introduced to TAP as quickly as possible so that it becomes a natural part of their rehabilitation as well as their lifestyle when they return home.

Women with Disabilities Healthcare Clinic

This specialized resource is designed for women with disabilities to receive routine health care. The Women with Disabilities Health Care Clinic promotes long-term gynecological and general health maintenance for women with brain injuries and other disabilities in a safe and comfortable environment. The clinic has a wheelchair-accessible scale and a pelvic examination table, which can be lowered to allow transfers from a wheelchair level. All staff members at the clinic have the training and the sensitivity to meet the needs of women with disabilities. For more details, please call (408) 885-5920.

Other Programs

The Rehabilitation Center's brain injury program also includes a variety of educational resources for patients and families, and specialized peer and support groups:

  • Group for individuals with mild brain injury or those who have substantially recovered from a traumatic brain injury
  • Disabled Students program
  • Day Center programs
  • Outreach clinics designed to serve Northern California and Central Valley communities