About Rehabilitation Medicine

Emory's Rehabilitation Medicine Program offers a wide variety of rehabilitation services on both an inpatient and outpatient basis. We employ a multidisciplinary approach to care that involves collaboration from expert specialists, physicians, and staff. There are a number of components that make the Rehabilitation Medicine Program at Emory unique:

Collaborative Approach

The Department of Rehabilitation Medicine is part of the Emory University School of Medicine. Educational components within the Department include training programs in: Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Residency, Physical Therapy, and Neuropsychology.

For over 20 years the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine has undertaken innovative research initiatives. Among academic rehabilitation medicine departments, we've ranked among the top 6 nationally in NIH funding for the past 12 years. We have also been successful in procuring other federal funding sources (including VA, NIDRR and CDC) as well as private foundations and companies (Hartford Foundation, Medtronic, and Allergen). Grants awarded to faculty in the department this year total in excess of $6 million dollars. Our faculty has generated over $20 million in funded research over the last several years.

Our faculty presently conduct research in areas of: biomechanics, exercise immunology, health services, neuromusculoskeletal, neuropsychological disorders, quality of life, stroke, and vestibular rehabilitation.

Please refer to the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine  website for more information.

Rehabilitation Accreditations


The Commission on Accreditation for Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) Accreditation

Commission on Accreditation for Rehabilitation Facilities logoThe Emory Center for Rehabilitation is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Rehabilitation Facilities CARF. CARF-accredited programs and services have demonstrated that they substantially meet internationally recognized standards. CARF accreditation means that you can be confident that an organization has made a commitment to continually enhance the quality of its services and programs, and its focus is on consumer satisfaction.

Choosing CARF-accredited programs and services gives you the assurance that:

  • The programs or services actively involve consumers in selecting, planning, and using services.
  • The organization's programs and services have met consumer-focused, state-of-the-art international standards of performance.
  • These standards were developed with the involvement and input of consumers.
  • The organization is focused on assisting each consumer in achieving his or her chosen goals and outcomes.

Emory Healthcare is accredited by The Joint Commission

Joint Commission LogoThe Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more than 16,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s predominant standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Since 1951, The Joint Commission has maintained state-of-the-art standards that focus on improving the quality and safety of care provided by health care organizations. The Joint Commission’s comprehensive process evaluates an organization’s compliance with these standards and other accreditation or certification requirements. Joint Commission accreditation and certification is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards. To earn and maintain The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™, an organization must undergo an on-site survey by a Joint Commission survey team at least every three years. (Laboratories must be surveyed every two years.)

Technological Innovation - Rehabilitation Engineering

The Rehabilitation Medicine Program employs Rehabilitation Engineering to ensure it stays abridge of the latest treatments available via technology. Rehabilitation Engineering refers to the systematic application of engineering sciences to design, develop, adapt, test, evaluate, apply, and distribute technological solutions to problems confronted by individuals with disabilities. Functional areas addressed through rehabilitation engineering may include mobility, communications, hearing, vision, cognition, and activities associated with employment, independent living, education, and integration into the community.

Research - Biomechanism Rehabilitation

Research in the Biomechanics laboratory focuses on exploring the role of muscles in the three dimensional control and coordination of limb movements, particularly those of the lower limb during locomotion. Project objectives are to examine the subtle elements that relate to the activation and mechanical output of skeletal muscle in healthy subjects. Clinical application of this information addresses the compensatory responses in patient populations following neuromuscular loss or degeneration. (eg, loss of proprioception due to injury or changes typically associated with age).

Current projects

  • Differential activation of the medial and lateral gastrocnemius muscles during turning.
  • Analysis of activation patterns of ankle musculature during experimentally controlled force trajectories.
  • The effect of ACL graft type on the neuromuscular profiles of lower extremity muscles following ACL reconstruction.

Current Funding

Spinal and musculoskeletal mechanisms of coordination during locomotion, (TR Nichols, PI) Part of program project grant ?Spinal circuits and the musculoskeletal system? (Art English, PI)

Selected Publications

Abelew, T.A., A.R. Burgess and T.R. Nichols. Differential activation of medial and lateral gastrocnemius muscles during voluntary turning. Soc. Neurosci. Abstr. CD-ROM, Program # 267.7, 2002

Murinas, K.I., T.A. Abelew, C.M.J. Huyghues-Despointes and T.R. Nichols. Contributions of individual muscles to forces exerted by the feline hindlimb on the ground. Soc. Neurosci. Abstr., CD-ROM, Program # 366.2, 2002

Abelew, T.A., P.A. Catlin, I. Gaz, C. Johnson, K. Revis and C. Zollinger. Changes in muscle activation patterns following reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament. Soc. Neurosci. Abstr. Vol. 26,p. 1230, 2000

Abelew, T.A., M.D. Miller, T.C. Cope and T.R. Nichols. Local loss of proprioception results in disruption of inter-joint coordination during locomotion in the cat. J. Neurophysiol. 84: 2709-2714, 2000

Nichols, T.R., T.C. Cope and T.A. Abelew. Rapid spinal mechanisms in motor coordination. Exer. Sports Sci. Rev. Vol. 27, 255-284, 1999

Social Work & Case Management

This is a collaborative process of assessment, planning, facilitation and advocacy for options and services to meet an individual's health needs through communication and available resources to promote quality, cost-effective outcomes. The primary responsibilities of this department are coordinating discharge planning, resource development, utilization review and communication with insurance companies and/or other payers for our patients.