Speech Therapy


Speech Therapy 150 150 Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center

Speech Therapy


As a partner with Audiology in the Communication Disorders Department, the Speech Therapy program seeks to “make communication a human right, accessible and achievable for all” (American Speech-Language Hearing Association).  Building on a strong tradition of excellence and leadership, the Speech Therapy program provides services in the acute and rehabilitation inpatient units as well as interdisciplinary and specialty outpatient rehabilitation services.   

Speech Therapy Services  

Speech-LanguagePathologists (also known as Speech Therapists or SLPs) are highly skilled professionals who help people optimize their cognitive, communication and swallowing skills. As key members of the multi-disciplinary team, speech-language pathologists collaborate to develop individualized therapy programs to meet the goals and needs of patients and their families and caregiversSLPs re-establish reliable, functional communication for people with aphasia, apraxia, dysarthria and voice disorders through advanced evaluation and treatment techniques (such as our Intensive Aphasia Program, Videolaryngostroboscopy (VLS), and Visi-Pitch).  Speech Pathologists are the preferred providers of swallowing assessment and treatment. At Rancho Los Amigos, our comprehensive swallowing program utilizes instrumental evaluation tools, such as a Modified Barium Swallow study (MBS), and Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES), as well as advanced treatment techniques (Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation and McNeil Dysphagia Treatment Program).

Who We Are  

The Communication Disorders Department currently includes 27 licensed Speech Language Pathologists averaging 12.5 years of clinical experience with complex neurological conditions. Many of us are bilingual and all have expertise working with patients from diverse cultural and ethnic communities. As of 2021, two of the 31 Board Certified Specialists in Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders in the State of California are Speech Language Pathologists on our staff. In addition, 11 of our clinicians are Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) LOUD certified; 10 are Certified Brain Injury Specialists (by the Brain Injury Association of America); and 21 are paneled providers for California Children’s Services (CCS).

Continuing Education 

For more information, click here

Graduate Student Training Program  

For more information, click here

Outpatient Referrals for Speech Language Pathology Services: 

Referrals for outpatient speech therapy evaluation and treatment are welcomedPatient Information and Community Referral forms must be completed prior to scheduling an appointment. Insurance coverage will be verified. 

Submit completed forms by fax to the Rancho Outpatient Referral Office at (562) 385-7826.  For outpatient appointments and questions please call (562) 385-7111, Option #4, 2. Office hours are Monday  Friday (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.). 

Referral to Specialty Communication Programs/Services: 

Rancho Levels of Cognitive Functioning 

In 1979, the Speech Therapists at Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center developed the Rancho Levels of Cognitive Functioning (RLOCF).  The RLOCF is an evaluation tool that describes the cognitive recovery of individuals who have sustained a traumatic brain injury.  It is used to guide the design and implementation of an effective rehabilitation therapy plan.  To learn more about the Rancho Levels of Cognitive Functioning DVD, professional reference cards, and family guide click here 

Employment Opportunities  

For information regarding employment please contact:
Sarah Taylor, Interim Director, Communication Disorders Department
Tel: (562) 385-7687 

Cardiac Diagnostic Suite 150 150 Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center

Cardiac Diagnostic Suite

The Diagnostic Suite at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center performs non-invasive testing for outpatient and inpatients, utilizing the latest technology to diagnose cardiac disease.

Non-Invasive procedures performed:

Transthoracic Echocardiography (TTE) – A transducer (a small device that produces harmless sound waves) is placed on one’s chest, and the sound waves bounce (echo) off the heart, creating images of the heart in motion as it pumps blood through the valves and chambers, on a video screen. These images help an individual’s doctor identify and treat problems such as infection, disease, or defects in the heart’s walls or valves. No preparation is required for the test. The test takes approximately 45 minutes.

Transesophageal Echocardiography (TEE) – The images produced are similar to that of Transthoracic Echocardiography, with the exception that the recorded images of the heart as in from inside the esophagus (or food pipe). Since the esophagus lies just behind the heart, TEE may produce clearer pictures of the heart’s movement than would standard (Transthoracic) echocardiography taken from outside the chest. Again, these images help a person’s doctor identify and treat problems like infection, disease, or defects in the heart’s walls or valves. Preparation: Since the cardiologist places the transducer in the esophagus, the person being tested must fast (meaning no food, water, or other liquids) for 6 hours before the test. The person is given a mild sedative (causes sleepiness) during the test; therefore, that person will need someone to drive him/her home after the test.

The test takes approximately 45 minutes

Stress Echocardiography – A transducer is placed on one’s chest and images are obtained (as with TTE) both before and immediately following exercise. The doctor compares the two images to detect any changes in the way the heart responds when exerted.

For the stress test, blood pressure is monitored and the nurse will apply electrodes to the individual’s chest to monitor his/her electrocardiogram (EKG) before, during, and after exercise. The person being tested will be asked to walk on a treadmill or pedal a bike with his/her legs or arms until the heart is beating rapidly. If the person being tested has a medical condition that prevents him/her from exercising, the heart rate may be increased by using an intravenous (given through the vein) medication (such as Dobutamine). The doctor will then compare the person’s EKG before, during, and after exercise, with the echo images obtained.

For the tests, the person must fast (no food, water, or other liquids) 4 hours before the test. The test takes approximately 45 minutes to one hour.

Stress Test (Exercise Tolerance Test) (ETT) – A test to see how the electrocardiogram (EKG) responds when exerted. Blood pressure will be monitored and the nurse will apply electrodes to the person’s chest to monitor electrocardiogram (EKG) before, during, and after exercise. The person is asked to walk on a treadmill until the heart is beating rapidly. The individual’s doctor will then compare the EKG before, during, and after exercise for any changes. The person must fast (no food, water, or other liquids) for 4 hours. The test takes approximately 30 minutes.

Holter Monitoring (24 Hours Avionics) – A continuous recording of an individual’s heart rhythm, usually for 24 hours, as the person goes about his/her daily activities. This is used to diagnose abnormal heart rhythms that may come and go during the day. No preparation required.

14 days Cardiac Monitoring (Zio Patch) – A continuous recording of an individual’s heart rhythm, usually for 14 dyas, as the person goes about his/her daily activities. This is used to diagnose abnormal heart rhythms that may come and go but no daily. No preparation required.

Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) – A recording of the heart’s electrical activity recorded on a moving paper. No preparation required.

To schedule an appointment, please contact:

Cardiac Diagnostic Suite

(562) 385-7212

Perioperative Services (Surgery + Anesthesia) 150 150 Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center

Perioperative Services (Surgery + Anesthesia)

Perioperative Programs serve inpatients and outpatients, with a focus on providing specialized services for persons with disabilities. Specialties include: diabetes/amputee, pressure ulcer management & plastic surgery for wound repair, neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery for spinal injury, stroke & adult brain injury, urology, otolaryngology, post-polio & pathokinesiology gait lab, and surgical arthritis for joint replacement.


Rebecca Chan, M.D.


Medical Staff:

Phil Tsai, M.D.

Puja Trivedi, D.O.

Randa Karas, M.D.

Mahnaz Broukim, M.D.

Josephine Calandria, CRNA

Berenice Rivera-Cruz, CRNA


Contact numbers:

Office: (562) 385-7755

The Neurosurgery Program at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center primarily serves patients that have suffered brain injuries. As part of the LA General/Rancho Los Amigos Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, the Neurosurgery service woks closely with the Epilepsy Monitoring Program at Rancho Los Amigos. Patients undergo video-EEG monitoring, imaging and neuropsychological evaluation, and when appropriate undergo invasive EEG monitoring with subdural electrodes. Resection of the seizure foci are performed at the LA General Medical center in Los Angeles. The LA General/Rancho Los Amigos Comprehensive Epilepsy Center received a Special Merit Plaque at the Los Angeles County 25th Annual Productivity and Quality Awards ceremony in 2011. In 2011, the Neuro-Spine Program initiated Phase II evaluation for patients with medically intractable epilepsy.

The Neuro-Spine Program has a comprehensive cranial vault reconstruction program that has achieved local and national notoriety for their success in treating patients with head injuries. The program is now the busiest of its kind in the United States.

With respect to peripheral nerve surgery, nerve biopsies, decompressions, and transpositions are performed. The patients that benefit from these surgeries include those with peripheral neuropathies of unknown origin, as well as those suffering from radial, ulnar, and median nerve compression.

The Neuro-Spine service welcomes patient referrals for consultation and treatment.


Program Chief:

Charles Liu, M.D., PhD


Medical Staff:

Kevin Rolfe, M.D., M.P.H.

Jonathan Russin, M.D.

Darrin Lee, M.D.

Brian Lee, M.D., PhD

Dudley Fukunaga, PA-C


Contact numbers:

Office: (562) 385-7166

Fax: (562) 385-6247

The primary focus of the Urology Program at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center is the evaluation and treatment of neurogenic bladder. Nerogenic bladder is a bladder dysfunction that often occurs secondary to a neurologic disorder such as spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and spina bifida.

Common symptoms of neurogenic bladder include urinary incontinence, difficulty emptying the bladder, a frequent urge to urinate, and urinary tract infections. These issues can often be treated conservatively with a combination of medical therapy and catheterization as needed. If more invasive therapy is required we perform cutting-edge reconstructive surgery of the bladder that can often resolve or greatly improve bothersome symptoms associated with neurogenic bladder.

Many of the surgical options that are available to our patients have been refined and advanced by the urology team at Rancho Los Amigos, specifically for patients who suffer from neurogenic bladder. The urology program welcomes patient referrals for consultation and treatment.


Program Chief:

David Alan Ginsberg, M.D.


Medical Staff:

Evgeniy Kreydin, M.D.

Shilo Rosenberg, M.D.

Raafat Rokes, P.A.-C


Contact Numbers:

Office: (562) 385-7166

Fax: (562) 385-6247

The Otolaryngology program welcomes patient referrals for consultation and treatment.


Program Chief:

Gordon Sun, M.D.


Medical Staff:

David Shamouelian, M.D.

Antonio Guillen, N.P.


Contact Numbers:

Office: (562) 385-7166

Fax: (562) 385-6247

The Spine Surgery Program at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center primarily serves patients that have suffered spinal cord injuries. Surgeries include complex spinal surgeries, neural decompression, instrumented and non-instrumented fusions, and deformity correction for patients suffering from a spinal cord injury, but patients with degenerative, infectious, and neoplastic conditions are routinely treated as well.


Program Chief:

Kevin Rolfe, M.D. MPH


Medical Staff:

John Fleming, M.D.

Dudley Fukunaga, P.A.-C


Contact Numbers:

Office: (562) 385-7166

Fax: (562) 385-6247

This program is unique to the west coast, and as the center for the county of Los Angeles.

The pressure ulcer management (PUM) a constructive plastic surgery program at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Medical Center. Consist of team of experts that aggressively manage pressure ulcer, which is a potential devastating disease that primary occurs in patients that are bed redden, or confined to wheelchair (spinal injury patients, spinal bifida patients, and patients neurologic disease).

Our team of experts deal with the patient total clinical picture. To treat and correct all the predisposing factors that contribute to the development of pressure ulcer, and prevent reoccurring ulcers in the future, by patient education and provide the best wheelchair cushion and bed to be used by the patient.

Our innovation approach to use complex reconstructive plastic surgery and pre and postoperative protocol, and this makes this program well known nationally and internationally. The experience of this program was documented by many publications and textbooks in reconstructive plastic surgery of pressure ulcer. This program is a teaching center to the plastic residents of USC and UCLA and the resident rotates regularly to Rancho. The program at Rancho has a 25 bed service for patients with extensive pressure ulcers, infected hips and heterotopic ossification of the hip joint and knee joint.

The typical hospital stay is approximately 8 weeks, this will allow sufficient time to achieve flap healing and a short rehab of the patient post the flap surgery. Postoperative protocol include the use of special bed, and physical therapy and occupational therapy to perform their protocol post flap surgery. Nursing staff are well trained to take care of the patient and to take care of the flap surgery wound.

This document will help you prepare for your surgery appointment:

· Pressure Ulcer Management Preoperative Appointment Day

· Manejo de Ulcera de Presion Dia de su Cita Preopeativa


Program Chief:

Salah Rubayi, M.D., F.I.C.S., F.A.C.S.

Professor of Clinical Surgery, Division of Plastic Surgery, USC


Medical Staff:

Kegianoosh Paydar, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Professor of Clinical Surgery Division of Plastic Surgery, U.C.I.

Lori Aliksanian, M.D.

Robert Vega, P.A.-C

Yearly Fellow


Contact Number

Office: (562) 385-7166

Fax: (562) 385-6247

The Diabetes/Amputee program welcomes patient referrals for consultation and treatment.


Program Chief:

Richard Chambers, M.D.


Medical Staff:

Tanzim Khan, D.P.M.

Mark Linam, D.P.M.

David Armstrong, D.P.M.

Laura Shim, D.P.M.

Raafat Rokes, P.A.- C


Contact Numbers:

Office: (562) 385-7166

Fax: (562) 385-6247

The Post Polio & Pathokinesiology Gait Lab welcomes patient referrals for consultation and treatment.


Medical Staff:

Vance Eberly, M.D.


Contact Numbers:

Office: (562) 385-6260

The Surgical Arthritis Program at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center provides surgical treatment primarily for arthritis of the hip and knee and upper extremity care for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. We use the latest surgical and non-surgical techniques to manage arthritis, including modern total joint replacement implants and physical therapy. The surgical arthritis program welcomes patient referrals for consultation and treatment.


Program Chief:

Donald Longjohn, M.D.


Medical Staff:

Daniel Oakes, M.D.

Robert Runner, M.D.

Soheil Najibi, M.D.

Nathanael Heckman, M.D.


Contact Numbers:

Office: (562) 385-7166

Fax: (562) 385-6247

Ortho Sports, fractures, pediatric ortho and other general orthopedic maladies are treated. The General Ortho program welcomes patient referrals for consultation and treatment.


Program Chief:

Kevin Rolfe, M.D. MPH


Medical Staff:

Soheil Najibi, M.D.

Vance Eberly, M.D.

Geoffrey Miller, M.D.

Elke Ahlmann, M.D.

Jackson Lee, M.D.

Dudley Fukunaga, PA.-C

Mondana Hatzidakis, P.A.-C


Contact number:

Office: (562) 385-7166

Fax: (562) 385-6247


Kevin Rolfe: M.D. MPH


Contact Numbers:

Office: (562) 385-7166

Fax: (562) 385-6247

Audiology 150 150 Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center


The Audiology clinic provides comprehensive audiologic services for people of all ages, including inpatients and outpatients.  The audiologist is a highly trained health care professional with expertise in the assessment and treatment of hearing, balance and other auditory disorders.  

Available services include: 

  • Diagnostic Audiologic Evaluations 
  • Auditory Evoked Potentials (AEP) 
  • Otoacoustic Emmisions (OAEs) 
  • Hearing Aid Evaluation and Orientation 
  • Electroacoustic Assessment of Hearing Aids 
  • Vestibular testing, Including Videonystagmography (VNG) and Video Head Impulse Test (vHIT) 
  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) Treatment  
  • Hearing Conservation and Monitoring Services 

If you have concerns about your hearing or balance, talk with your doctor about a referral to Audiology or email cdd@rancho.org  


Orthotics and Prosthetics Services 150 150 Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center

Orthotics and Prosthetics Services

For over 60 years, the Orthotics and Prosthetics Services at Rancho is a unique and critical resource for providing optimal patient care to individuals with neurological and musculoskeletal disorders that impact either walking or upper extremity function.

A unit of Rancho Research Institute, we provide a full range of orthotic and prosthetic services to the various diagnostic areas for both inpatients and outpatients. Staff practitioners are part of the multi-disciplinary team that works together to develop an assessment and treatment plan for the clients. Practitioners consult with therapists and physicians to determine the best design for each patient. The department’s on-site location at RLANRC allows quick response and follow-up to the needs of the medical center, as well as easy access for clinic patients. Our staffs are composed of highly skilled orthotists, prosthetist, and fitters. We provide a full range of devices for the legs, arms, and spine. Various designs, from custom to prefabricated devices, are utilized to enhance function in the most cost-effective manner. We provide excellent care to our patients.

For more information, please contact:

Director: Chuck DuBourdieu, CPO

Rancho Ext 58143

Rancho Office: (562) 385-8143

Rives Office: (562) 381-0622

Cell: (562) 522-4106

Email: chuckd@ranchoresearch.org

Email: cdubourdieuiii@dhs.lacounty.gov


To learn more about the Orthotics and Prosthetics Department, click here.

Physical Therapy 150 150 Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center

Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy 

“A Tradition of Excellence and Leadership” 

The Physical Therapy Department has a long tradition of excellence and leadership in rehabilitation. We deliver high quality, individualized care based on the latest research. Clinicians collaborate with patients for the best outcomes and demonstrate a commitment to education and a spirit of innovation and progress. 

Physical Therapists help people optimize function by improving or restoring mobility or by reducing pain and treating other impairments. Physical Therapists have unique expertise in movement dysfunction and how to promote optimal neurologic and functional recovery. Physical Therapists help improve individuals’ function, fitness, and overall health. This may be achieved through stretching, strengthening, improving neuro-motor control, exercise, pain reduction, education, or the use of assistive technology. Rancho’s Physical Therapists evaluate each person’s specific needs and in collaboration with that individual, customize a treatment plan to address their goals and particular needs. 

Physical Therapy at Rancho 

The Physical Therapy Department at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center began as an organized unit in the late 1920s and is one of the premier departments of Physical Therapy in the world, providing over ninety years of clinical expertise and leadership in rehabilitation. The Department’s commitment to excellence continues today with the delivery of individualized and collaborative care which incorporates the latest evidence into clinical practice as well as a commitment to educating the professional community and a spirit of innovation and progress. 

Our department provides both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation therapy as well as consultations for clinics and specialty services. Our physical therapists have expertise with patients with complex neuromuscular and musculoskeletal conditions. Over one-half of our PT staff has obtained a clinical Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. Over one-quarter of our physical therapists are Board-Certified Specialists (by the American Physical Therapy Association) in Neurologic, Geriatric, or Orthopedic Physical Therapy. 

Rancho physical therapists have mentored countless physical therapy interns and residents and have contributed to the training of other disciplines’ residents and interns. The University of Southern California-Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center Clinical Residency Program in Neurologic Physical Therapy is one of the first two post-professional clinical residency programs in neurologic physical therapy in the country. A residency program in Orthopedic Physical Therapy was more recently established. 

PT Department March 2020

Programs and Services in Physical Therapy 

Your physical therapist will evaluate you and make a treatment plan. Depending on your health issue, your therapist will work with you to regain your mobility and return to participating in life roles by improving function, flexibility, strength, endurance, coordination, and/or balance. 

Balance and Vestibular Program  

Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

Musculoskeletal and Orthopedic Physical Therapy Program

Pathokinesiology Laboratory 

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction / Incontinence Program   

Polio Clinic   

Seating Center   

Inpatient and Outpatient Physical Therapy Services 

The Physical Therapy Department at Rancho provides inpatient and outpatient therapy, as well as consultations for clinics and specialty services. Inpatient and Outpatient services are provided to the following rehabilitation programs: Amputations and Limb Preservation, Brain Injury, Major Multiple Trauma, Musculoskeletal Disorders, Neurologic Disorders, Orthopedics, Pediatrics, Spinal Injury, and Stroke. The PT Department welcomes referrals for outpatient consultation and treatment.

Outpatient Referrals

The Physical Therapy Department welcomes referrals for outpatient consultation and treatment. Providers and patients, please complete an Outpatient Therapy Community Referral Form prior to scheduling an appointment.

Submit completed forms by fax to the Rancho Outpatient Referral Office at (562) 385-7826. For appointments and appointment related inquiries please call (562) 385-7111, Option #4, 2. Office hours are Monday – Friday (8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.). 

Other Programs Affiliated with the PT Department: 

Student Programs for Physical Therapy  

USC/RLANRC Clinical Residency Program in Neurologic Physical Therapy   

USC/RLANRC Clinical Residency Program in Orthopedic Physical Therapy   

Research in Physical Therapy Department   

Research at Pathokinesiology Laboratory   

PT Department Publications and Presentations 

Center for Applied Rehabilitation Technology (CART)   

Don Knabe Wellness Center   

Career Opportunities in Physical Therapy (link to DHS online application) 

If you are interested in working at a world-class facility that values staff development and strives to provide the highest quality care, then Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center may be a match for you. 

For more information contact:
Physical Therapy Department
E-mail: pt@rancho.org
Tel: (562) 385-7061 / Fax: (562) 385-6690 

Occupational Therapy 150 150 Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center

Occupational Therapy

The Occupational Therapy Department at Rancho, with its long tradition of excellence and leadership in the rehabilitation community, has served as a model for the Occupational Therapy profession. The Department prides itself in the delivery of innovative, high quality, individualized care based on the latest evidence and research. Occupational Therapists partner with the individual, family members, and the interdisciplinary team to achieve the best outcomes in patient-centered care, with a strong commitment to educate and guide individuals to their highest level of independence.
Occupational Therapy addresses the physical, cognitive, and emotional challenges brought on by a disability or debilitating illness, and assists individuals with regaining the ability to participate in everyday activities. Occupational Therapy views each person as a whole being, taking into consideration unique individual needs, desires, activities, environments, and challenges. Occupational Therapists collaborate with individuals to customize a treatment plan that will address their specific goals.
Occupational Therapy provides:
•In-depth assessment of motion, strength, pain, endurance, coordination, cognition, vision, and how these impact participation in valued everyday activities, including self-care, work, and school
•Individualized one-on-one or group treatment to address impairments impacting the ability to participate in activities/occupations
•Assessment and training in the use of any equipment needed to increase independence in the home or community
•Assessment of home, work or school environments with the focus on recommending adaptations to increase safety and independence
•Training and education for caregivers related to specific needs
Occupational Therapy Programs and Services
Inpatient Occupational Therapy – We offer an intensive, patient-centered program focused on helping individuals resume their prior functional roles. This includes targeted interventions that promote independence and self-efficacy in the areas of basic self-care skills as well as the resumption and re-engagement in meaningful activities. A whole-body approach is implemented to mitigate physical and cognitive impairments and enhance the patient’s ability to carry out tasks and skills necessary to participate in the occupations they value most.
Outpatient – We offer a full range of traditional outpatient occupational therapy services via in-person or telehealth visits, as well as specialty programs to meet a variety of needs. Our specialty programs include:
o Driver Rehabilitation and Training
o Work Rehabilitation 
o Center for Applied Rehabilitation Technology (CART)
o Lifestyle Redesign
o Rancho Restorative Garden 
o Performing Arts of Rancho 

Health Services patients as well as community patients are welcome. A physician’s referral to Occupational Therapy is required. Health Services patients may obtain a referral by requesting one from their primary care provider. Once the referral is received they will be contacted to schedule an appointment. Community patients may contact the Outpatient Referral Office at (562) 385-6536 to begin the referral process.
Our Staff
Our staff are highly skilled and experienced in rehabilitation techniques and technology. We are a teaching hospital routinely training and mentoring OTA, OT Level I, OT Level II and OTD students from across the country. The OT Department provides Rancho sponsored continuing education courses to meet the needs of the clinician in the community. We routinely present at local and national conferences and serve as authors for OT textbooks.
Student Programs
Our fast-paced inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation environments provide OT Students and Residents the opportunity to establish clinical expertise, develop and implement new programs, engage in research, and practice their leadership skills. Fieldwork and residency placements as part of an Occupational Therapy degree program are available to Occupational Therapy and Occupational Therapy Assistant students. Assignments must be arranged through the school’s Academic Fieldwork Coordinator.
For more information on assignments, contact:
Robin Johnson, OTR/L, OT Clinical Fieldwork Coordinator at rjohnson@dhs.lacounty.gov or
Email oted@rancho.org
Professional Visitors Program
The Occupational Therapy Department Professional Visitors Program at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center provides tours and other customized experiences to Occupational Therapy professionals visiting from across the United States as well as from other countries. We offer tours that include a general overview of our facility, inpatient and outpatient services, and select specialty programs. Depending upon the interests of the individual or group, we can provide more customized Occupational Therapy Department-specific experiences that might include a tour of Rancho’s Technology Lab with its state-of-the-art robotics equipment, the Center for Applied Rehabilitation Technology (CART), the Occupational Therapy-directed Rancho Works Café & Gift Shop, the Lifestyle Redesign informed program, the Driver Rehabilitation program, and Work Rehabilitation services.
To find out more about the Occupational Therapy Professional Visitors program, including our fee schedule, or to arrange a tour, please contact oted@rancho.org
Occupational therapists at Rancho work in a state-of-the-art environment that values occupation-based, evidence-based, and patient-centered care. As a member of the occupational therapy team, you will work with expert clinicians who are committed to helping patients maximize their abilities and engage in the daily activities they want and need to do most. https://dhs.lacounty.gov/rancho/careers/
For more information, contact:
Michele Berro, MA, OTR/L
Acting Director of Occupational Therapy and Recreation Therapy
Phone: (562) 385-7464
Fax: (562) 385-6690
E-mail: mberro@dhs.lacounty.gov

Neurology 150 150 Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center


The Neurology Division at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center serves inpatients and outpatients with an array of neurological conditions and diagnoses. The Department provides diagnostic and therapeutic care for patients with acute and chronic stroke, post-stroke prevention, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, neuromuscular diseases, movement disorders, dementia, cerebral palsy, and traumatic brain injury. Magnetic Resonance Imaging and extensive neurophysiology/electroencephalography services are available, including 24-hour video-EEG monitoring.


For more information regarding the Rancho Los Amigos Epilepsy Center, please click here.

Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center
Department of Neurology
7601 Imperial Highway
Downey, CA 90242

Department Chair:
Susan Shaw Huang, M.D.
Telephone Number:
(562) 385-6008
(562) 385-6247 (Fax)

Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center is accredited by the NAEC as a level 4 epilepsy center.  Level 4 epilepsy centers have the professional expertise and facilities to provide the highest level medical and surgical evaluation and treatment for patients with complex epilepsy.

Pediatrics 150 150 Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center


Chair: Acting, Melanie Sarino, M.D.
Phone: (562) 385-7847

Recreation Therapy 150 150 Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center

Recreation Therapy

Recreation Therapy

Recreation Therapy utilizes various leisure modalities as a form of treatment to improve the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social functioning-of individuals with disabilities or illnesses.  In addition, recreation therapists employ treatment modalities which enhances the sense of well-being, facilitates continued involvement in the rehabilitation process, establishes new life goals for continued growth and assists with the development of self-advocacy.


The mission of Recreation Therapy is to provide services in a culturally sensitive manner with focus on utilizing the individual patient’s existing skills and leisure interests as functional modalities to achieve patient-centered goals and outcomes.  The services are designed to focus on pre-morbid leisure interests, as well as on facilitating the development of newly learned skills for daily living and community functioning.  Recreation Therapy collaborates with the interdisciplinary team to address the whole person with the focus on enhancing independent functioning within physical, emotional, social, and cognitive domains in order to meet the patient’s overall rehabilitation goals.  The department believes that Recreation Therapy is a profession that promotes wellness and improves the quality of life through leisure.


The vision of the Recreation Therapy staff is to offer a model program that is an effective patient-centered provider of Therapeutic Recreation services in a rehabilitation/medical setting.  Recreation Therapy is to be an integral and well-respected member of the interdisciplinary team, providing unique and needed services, which create positive outcomes and improve the patient’s leisure functioning and overall quality of life.

Recreation Therapy Programs Offered at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center (Rancho):

  • Adaptive Outdoor Adventure Program – Provides opportunities for participants to engage in a variety of activities to enhance leisure exploration, continued involvement in the rehabilitation process, overall quality of life, and the ability to establish new life goals for continued growth. Adaptive Outdoor Adventure Program webpage
  • Adaptive Sports – Introduces adaptive equipment as an alternative to enjoy various leisure pursuits which include adaptive cycling, sit to stand assistive devices and virtual sports stimulation activities.
  • Adolescent Support Group – Provides opportunities for adolescents to transition from inpatient to outpatient and a way to meet new people while being provided with emotional support from staff.
  • Adult Fine Arts Program – Offers professional instructor led courses focused on the development and appreciation of the fine arts and introduces participants to a variety of mediums, techniques and concepts. The clinical expertise of recreation therapy is incorporated to offer assistance with adaptive techniques to achieve goals. Art of Rancho webpage
  • Animal Assisted Therapy –A treatment using interaction with animals to promote positive and beneficial changes in the patient’s emotional, social, and physical well-being.  Animal Assisted Therapy webpage
  • Aquatic Therapy –A valuable treatment modality, which provides an alternative medium for therapeutic exercise and endurance, range of motion, ambulation, and dynamic standing activities.
  • Art –Utilizes various mediums of art to assist with developing new leisure skills as well as improve mood, cognition and physical abilities in an inpatient setting.
  • Ceramics Program –A program focusing on fine motor skills and strengthening while utilizing various forms of clay to design creative ceramic projects.  With this treatment modality, patients will learn the basic process of pouring clay molds and working with modeling clay from start to finish.  Patients will have the opportunity to socialize and increase confidence while interacting in a group setting.
  • Community Reintegration –Provides a safe opportunity for patients to apply skills learned in therapy into a community based setting. Safety awareness, problem solving, money management, community mobility, social skills and community resource awareness for overall executive skill functioning are essential to the therapeutic process.
  • Don Knabe Pediatric Arts Program – The program consists of training in fine arts and graphic arts for participants, all of whom experienced a disabling injury or illness as a child or a young adult. Pediatric & Adolescent Art Program flyer
  • Gardening-An innovative treatment modality using plants and flowers to improve sensory skills, fine/gross motor skills and promotes leisure pursuits.
  • Leisure Skills Development – Our therapists are highly skilled in developing individual and group patient centered programming and treatment goals. Treatment plans are designed to target specific impairments for overall enhanced functional outcomes.
  • Relaxation/Guided Imagery/Aroma Therapy –Incorporates various techniques for an overall increase in relaxation and pain management. The program focuses on educating patients in alternative methods to manage stress/pain.
  • Sailing – A seasonal program designed to educate and facilitate basic sailing skills and expose people with disabilities to outdoor recreation options.
  • Therapeutic Horseback Riding – In addition to increasing balance, strength, and endurance, this program teaches basic horseback riding skills and other related assisted activities such as grooming, feeding, and handling in a safe therapeutic environment.
  • Wellness Programming – Introduces patients to overall health and well-being through activities such as seated tai chi, guided imagery and aroma therapy.
  • Wheelchair Sports Program – Provides outpatients the opportunity to participate in success-oriented competitive wheelchair sports activities for all levels and ages of disabilities and injuries. Wheelchair Sports Program webpage

Our Services:

  • Inpatient Rehabilitation
    • Adult Brain Injury
    • Pediatrics/Adolescents
    • Spinal Cord Injury
    • Neurorehabilitation
  • Ortho Diabetes/Medical-Surgery/Medicine
  • Pressure Ulcer Management