Inpatient Rehabilitation

Wake Forest Baptist Inpatient Rehabilitation programs focus on reducing activity limitations and maximizing quality of life for individuals who have experienced life altering injury or illness.

Our team knows that each patient is unique, with specific needs, capabilities and potential. Therefore, each patient's treatment is completely individualized and modified as recovery progresses. Together, the rehabilitation team, which includes the patient and family/caregiver, set goals and work together to achieve these goals.

Our Inpatient Rehabilitation programs are committed to excellence in rehabilitative care, as evidenced by multiple accreditations by CARF, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.

The most common conditions for patients needing intensive inpatient rehabilitation include, but are not limited to, stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury, trauma, amputation, and other neurological and orthopedic conditions.

Working with the patient and family, our interdisciplinary team of rehabilitation experts prepares an individualized and flexible Plan of Care that guides the rehabilitation journey for each patient. Our ultimate goal is to return each patient to the highest level of independence within their home and community.

Partners for your Path to Improving Independence - Wake Forest Baptist Health Inpatient Rehabilitation Programs

An inpatient rehabilitation stay after a significant injury or illness will include an interdisciplinary team of healthcare providers all working with you and your family to set goals specific to your needs. The team will utilize individually designed treatments to help you return to as much independence as possible. This video includes three past patients describing how the rehabilitation stay worked for them and how the rehabilitation team are your partners "for the long haul."

Admission Criteria and Referrals

Patients admitted to an Inpatient Rehabilitation Program must have realistic rehabilitation goals that reflect the potential for gaining independence or achieving a higher function in self-care activities, speech/language function or cognitive function.

Patients must be responsive to verbal and/or visual stimuli and be able to consistently follow at least one-step commands.

Additionally, a patient must:

  • Require and be able to participate in physical, occupational, and/or speech therapy at least 3 hours each day.
  • Need more than one type of rehab therapy and have a potential for functional improvement.
  • Have a supportive social system and expected, defined discharge destination other than a skilled nursing facility.
  • Be medically appropriate for an inpatient hospital environment and have stable vital signs.


  • To make a referral, call 336-713-8500 or 888-650-9568.
  • Referrals are accepted from a variety of sources including acute care units at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, other acute hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, long term acute care facilities, and outpatient clinics.
  • Adolescents and adults may be referred by families, physicians, social workers, case managers, nurses or other health care professionals.
  • After a referral is made, a team of rehab professionals will work with the patient and family to determine the most appropriate program and setting for rehabilitation services. A nurse evaluator and/or rehabilitation physician will complete a clinical evaluation of the patient's rehab needs.
  • Wake Forest Baptist completes a financial clearance process for each patient prior to an Inpatient Rehab admission. Many insurance companies must approve the rehabilitation stay prior to admission in order to offer insurance coverage. If a patient does not have insurance coverage for a rehabilitation stay, the patient and/or family will be notified. Any estimated financial responsibilities will be communicated to the patient and family. Financial counselors at Wake Forest Baptist are available to help patients apply for financial assistance, as needed.

What to Expect Prior to Your Rehab Admission

It is our goal to help you find the best and most appropriate rehab program for your specific needs. After a referral is made, a nurse evaluator and rehab physician will evaluate your medical and rehabilitation needs.

To qualify for admission to an Inpatient Rehabilitation program you must:

  • Require and be able to participate in physical, occupational and/or speech therapy at least 3 hours each day
  • Need more than one type of rehab therapy and have potential for functional improvement
  • Be medically appropriate for an inpatient hospital stay and have stable vital signs
  • Have a cognitive level of three or higher on the Rancho Lost Amigos scale (for patients with a brain injury)

Wake Forest Baptist performs financial clearance for each patient prior to admission to the Inpatient Rehabilitation program. Many insurance companies must approve the rehabilitation stay prior to admission in order to offer insurance coverage. If you do not have insurance coverage for a rehabilitation stay, you and/or your family will be notified.

Wake Forest Baptist accepts payment from all major private insurance plans, worker’s compensation, Medicare and Medicaid.

Our Facility

Patients admitted to our inpatient programs require intensive rehabilitation services in a hospital setting and most often have conditions such as stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury, trauma, amputation and other neurological and orthopaedic conditions.

Our programs are offered in a 39-bed state-of-the-art facility in the Sticht Center on Aging and Rehabilitation, located on the campus of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

The facility includes the following programs:

What to Expect During and After Discharge

Your care coordinator will work with you, your care team and your family/caregiver to coordinate the best discharge plan for your individual needs. Many activities must be completed prior to discharge. For example:

  • Your care team will make recommendations for equipment you will need at home or modification that you will need to make at home for you safety and continued recover.
  • Your care coordinator will arrange for delivery of equipment.
  • Your care team will determine if you will need assistance from a home health agency, which includes nursing and/or therapy at home.
  • Your care team will review all discharge instructions with you
  • The unit secretary will schedule follow-up appointments with your physician.

After discharge from the Inpatient Rehabilitation program your journey will continue and you may need additional resources to assist with lifestyle changes. If you have additional needs or questions about community resources, please email

Why Choose Wake Forest Baptist for Inpatient Rehabilitation?

Our exceptional facilities include:

  • A dedicated brain injury unit
  • Heated therapeutic pool
  • Spacious rooms and showers
  • Home of the region’s Resource Center for the Brain Injury Association of NC

Advanced technology and treatment includes:

  • VitalStim Therapy System for swallowing difficulty
  • Deep Pharyngeal Neuromuscular Stimulation
  • Bedside fiber optic endoscopic evaluations of swallowing
  • Weight bearing assisted treadmill therapy (LiteGait System)
  • Functional Electrical Stimulation – Bioness
  • SaeboFlex custom fabricated splint

Comprehensive Care and Expertise including:

  • More than 35 years offering inpatient rehabilitation programs
  • Board certified rehabilitation physicians
  • Certified rehabilitation nurses
  • Certified brain injury specialists
  • Clinical psychology and neuropsychology
  • Seating and wheeled mobility evaluations
  • Home evaluations for home modification recommendations
  • Animal Assisted Therapy Program
  • Recreation therapy-led community re-entry outings
  • Assistive technology specialist and services
  • School tutoring education program
  • Peer-mentor and family support programs