You Can Help Assure the Best in Rehabilitation Care

The Eksoskeleton, featured in the video above, is one of the projects that the Foundation supports in the Acute Rehabilitation Unit. 

About our Acute Rehabilitation Unit

Patients requiring acute rehabilitation services have highly complex needs. Stroke victims, patients with traumatic brain or spinal cord injuries, and those who are recovering from other neurologic surgeries need the expert care of specialized professionals. Our Acute Rehabilitation Center is the most distinguished acute rehab program on the central coast and has been going strong for over 20 years. Dominican Hospital is the only certified Primary Stroke Center on the Central Coast.

About the Key Initiative

The completion of the Acute Rehabilitation Unit in April 2013 marked a new milestone for Dominican for care of patients with stroke, brain or spinal injury. The total project cost of $12 million included $10 million from Dignity Health and $2 million from private donations. A lead gift of $500,000 from the Monterey Peninsula Foundation named the Assisted Daily Living Apartment, where patients can practice the activities of daily living with their families before heading home.

Why is this important?

Stroke and Brain Injury Care

It is critical that stroke victims be treated within three hours of the onset of their symptoms. Three-quarters of all area stroke patients in Santa Cruz County are cared for at Dominican Hospital.

Dominican Hospital’s Acute Rehabilitation Brain Injury Program offers a full continuum of care that includes acute rehabilitation and outpatient therapy services. Patients with physical and cognitive limitations re-learn the tasks of daily living. Our rehabilitation team assists patients’ family and friends with the adjustment and re-establishment of life within the community.

Spinal Cord Injury Care

Many conditions can lead to a spinal cord injury, resulting in physical impairments that can dramatically impact daily life for patients and their families. Trauma, tumors, infections, immune diseases, vascular disorders, degenerative disorders or surgical complications can all lead to a spinal cord injury that make once-common daily activities more difficult to perform. Rehabilitation is essential for these patients.

Dominican’s Acute Rehab Center is unlike most hospital-based rehab programs. Family members and friends can stay on the unit with patients, if they choose, and become part of the treatment team. The nurturing environment, which is complemented by cutting edge technology, keeps patients engaged and families informed.

The Need

Funds are being used to purchase state-of-the-art therapy and neurosurgery equipment, appropriate furniture, and a Patient Support Fund. Numerous naming opportunities are available recognizing donations from $10 thousand to $1 million.


Vestibular Rehabilitation

The RealEyes System is a computerized aid for vestibular rehabilitation to help minimize dizziness and balance, funded by the Foundation. This allows the therapist to work with the patient on head and body movements to provoke, reduce, and eliminate their system of dizziness and vertigo.

We are the only outpatient nerotherapy provider for vestibular rehab in this region.

Mary Anne Kramer-Umer, Outpatient Therapy Manager

Wheelchair dance

Wheelchair Dance

As one of the more innovative donations by the Foundation and organized by the ARU Center, the Wheelchair Dance brought together people of all abilities with many in wheelchairs, others with injuries, cognitive disabilities, or blindness to enjoy the pleasure of dancing.

Dancing can improve cognitive function, balance, gait, mood, and motor control.

Dr. Bonny Masters, physiatrist with Dominican who facilitated workshop

For more information, please contact us at (831) 462-7712 or email at