Inova Inpatient Rehab Program – Treatment Team - Your Providers

A physiatrist is a doctor who specializes in restoring functional ability and quality of life after an illness, disease or injury. He or she is responsible for your medical care, leads the rehabilitation treatment team, and prescribes all rehabilitation services. Other specialists may be consulted depending on your medical needs.

  • Disease or injury specific information
  • Blood pressure monitoring
  • Blood sugar monitoring
  • Skin care
  • Bowel and bladder management
  • Medications and treatments
  • Safety

The nursing staff will work closely with you on a 24-hour basis and will be best able to answer many of your questions. They will teach you about your diagnosis and care.

Your case manager serves as a liaison between you, your family, the treatment team, and your insurance company. His or her primary objective is to manage your care at an appropriate level to help ensure you receive the greatest benefit from rehabilitation. Your case manager also coordinates arrangements with the treatment team, and with you and your family, for ongoing medical and rehabilitation needs after discharge. He or she will gather information to provide the team with a profile of your life situation before hospitalization. During the program, your case manager will be available to address your concerns and to serve as a liaison with the rehab team. He or she will coordinate family training sessions and meetings and can provide educational materials about your illness or injury. Your case manager will be particularly helpful in finding community resources and in helping you cope with adjustment issues.

  • Strength, movement and endurance
  • Functional mobility
  • Balance and coordination
  • Education and safety

We are thankful to our dedicated therapists who continuously utilize the latest evidence-based interventions, seek professional development through specialty certifications and continuing education, and provide customized treatment plans to each patient in order to maximize their independence and safety with all aspects of mobility.

  • Self-care and living skills
  • Vision and visual-perception
  • Cognition (thinking skills)
  • Education and safety
  • Arm function

Self-care and daily living skills: Many patients are unable to perform routine daily tasks and must depend on others for basic self-care such as bathing, using the toilet and dressing. Your occupational therapist will assess your ability to perform daily activities and assist you in practicing the skills needed to reach greater independence. Daily living skills may be used to improve mobility, strength, motor control, endurance, and/or coordination. If you need special equipment, your occupational therapist may recommend it and help teach you how it should be used.

Vision and visual perception: Some patients may have visual or visual perceptual problems that reduce their ability to understand what they are seeing and how this affects their ability to function in their environment. Your occupational therapist will help identify troublesome areas, work on these problems through specific exercises and activities that teach compensation techniques for these deficits.

Cognition (thinking skills): Some patients also may have difficulty with attention, memory, processing, reaction time, and other thinking skills. Your therapist will plan structured activities to retrain former skills, improve deficits and/or teach compensatory techniques.

Education and safety: Safety for patients and caregivers as they transition home is one of the occupational therapist’s primary objectives. This will be addressed by completion of family training sessions, possible suggestions to modify the home environment, or specific equipment recommendations. Occupational therapists may also provide educational resources to help you achieve individual goals.

Arm function: Occupational therapists also focus on strength and the quality of movement in your arm(s). If arm function has been affected by illness or injury, occupational therapists work with you on maximizing your arm movement and recovery using a variety of evidence-based treatments and technologies including electrical stimulation (if not contraindicated), robotic therapy, manual therapy, mirror therapy, and modified constraint induced therapy, to name a few.

  • Speech
  • Language
  • Cognition (thinking skills)
  • Swallowing
  • Education and safety

Speech: If there is weakness in coordination or difficulty planning movements of the muscles of the jaw, lips, tongue, palate, or vocal cords, the speech language pathologist may prescribe exercises to help strengthen and coordinate those muscles. Your therapist may teach you strategies to improve smoothness and clarity of speech for communicating in daily interactions.

Language: Of the five language areas, one or more of the following may be affected in patients after a stroke or acquired brain injury

  1. Auditory comprehension/processing: the ability to understand what is said
  2. Verbal expression: the ability to use language to express thoughts and feelings
  3. Reading comprehension: the ability to understand written words
  4. Written expression: the ability to express thoughts in writing
  5. Pragmatics or social appropriateness: how one uses verbal and nonverbal communication to convey a message, i.e. eye contact, facial expressions, initiating conversation, staying on topic

Cognition (thinking skills): The areas affected in cognition can include attention/concentration, reasoning, memory, organization, problem solving and judgment. An impairment in one or more of these areas can affect a patient’s ability to communicate and perform effectively in his or her environment. Your therapist will plan structured activities to retrain former skills, improve deficits and/or teach compensatory techniques.

Swallowing: The speech language pathologist can address swallowing difficulties (dysphagia). State-of-the-art evaluation procedures are available for accurate diagnosis and to determine if aspiration (food/liquid entering the airway) is occurring. Your therapist may recommend a combination of exercises, compensatory postures, maneuvers and/or a modified diet texture to help you swallow safely.

The rehabilitation team for each of our patients includes a psychologist trained in clinical psychology, rehabilitation psychology, or neuropsychology. Our psychologists are available to work with patients and family members as well as consult with other members of the rehabilitation team to assist the patient with adjustment to their health status and hospitalization.

Horticulture Group

Patients engage in gardening and plant-based activities with their peers to achieve therapeutic treatment goals. This group meets outside at the pavilion and offers many other activities and games for various patient interests.

Canvas Painting Group

Patients of all abilities meet weekly for a painting project with step-by-step guidance from a volunteer community artist, striving to inspire and uplift those who may have experienced illness or injury through visual arts. Some individuals realize art is a talent they never knew they had, others find a new way to express emotions, or just enjoy the company of their peers during a fun project.

Animal Assisted Therapy

Animal-lovers enjoy this volunteer service program! Our therapy animals make special visits to interested patients and never run out of love to give each and every one. Research has shown animal assisted therapy to be effective in lowering blood pressure, improving pain, mood and more.


Volunteers at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital, in parternship with our Chaplaincy Program, share their talents by playing soothing music and crowd favorites for patients in rehab. Many patients enjoy listening or singing along.

Community Outings

Using our wheelchair accessible van, and in collaboration with physical, occupational, and/or speech therapy, patients travel to actual community settings in order to practice life skills, challenge their abilities, and prepare for life after discharge. Some past outings have included, but are not limited to, the grocery store, local restaurants, clothing stores, Old Towne Alexandria, local parks, and Topgolf.

The role of the dietitian on the rehabilitation team is to help meet your specific nutrition goals. For example, the dietitian monitors tube feeding adequacy, helps you change from tube feeding to oral diets, and monitors calorie and dietary needs to ensure you have the nutrients to optimize recovery. In certain cases, the dietitian will meet with you and your family to review food likes and dislikes, instruct you on your diet prescription and provide you with up-to-date and accurate nutrition information.

A full-time hospital chaplain and trained volunteer chaplains from a variety of religious backgrounds provide spiritual and emotional support to patients and families. To request a visit by the chaplain, call the chaplain’s office at 703-664-7263 during business hours. Volunteer chaplains are available to you at all times and can be reached by calling the hospital operator, 703-664-7000, and asking for a chaplain to be paged.

Palliative care is the medical specialty focused on the treatment of pain, stress and other symptoms of a serious illness. At Inova, the palliative care team assists patients and their families whether undergoing treatment or transitioning to hospice. Palliative care provides an added layer of support for patients at all ages and at all stages of any serious or advanced disease, whatever the prognosis.