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Minneapolis VA Health Care System


Recreation Therapy Service

What is Recreation Therapy?

In 1945, the VA established the first "Recreation Service". The term "Recreation Therapy" was introduced in the 1950s with the inclusion of Recreation Therapy as an evidence-based treatment approach. The formative years of Recreation Therapy have seen the development of undergraduate, graduate and doctoral education programs as well as the establishment of professional organizations. Recreation Therapy is viewed as a means toward recovery.

recreation therapy service

Recreation Therapy provides treatment services and recreation services based upon the principle of assessed individual patient needs. The purpose of Recreation Therapy services is to restore, remediate or rehabilitate using leisure activities in order to improve functioning and independence as well as to reduce the effects of illness or disability. In addition, Recreation Therapy staff provide recreation resources and opportunities in order to improve health and well being.

In The News

Registration for the Summer Sports Clinic is open until March 1, 2017 (the earlier the application gets submitted the better). Recreation Therapy Service would like to form a team from Minneapolis. Eligibility: Participation is open to U.S. military service Veterans with orthopedic amputations, traumatic brain injuries, burn injuries, psychological trauma, neurological conditions, PTSD, visual impairment, spinal cord injuries and other eligible injuries incurred in the last six years.  

Areas of Service

Minneapolis VA Health Care System has a team of 17 Recreation, Music and Art therapists providing services to patients in Community Living Centers, Inpatient Psychiatry, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Polytrauma (Inpatient and Outpatient), Transitional Rehabilitation (PTRP), Adult Day Health Care Program, Psychiatry Partial Hospitalization Program, Outpatient Mental Health, Spinal Cord Injury & Disorder Center and Home and Community Care-Medical Foster Care Program.

Services of Recreation Therapy

  • Assessment of leisure functioning
  • Developing programs based on assessed need
  • Implementation and evaluation of programs
  • Discharge planning
  • Community reintegration outings
  • Public transportation education and utilization
  • Community resource development
  • Adaptive recreation participation
  • Evaluation of adaptive equipment
  • Stress management
  • Relapse prevention
  • Coping techniques
  • Holiday and special events programming
  • Leisure education with Veterans and their families
  • Fitness and wellness programs

recreation therapy service

Recreation Therapy Service Code of Ethical Conduct

The health and safety of our patients, employees, and community is our top priority. We put Veterans first regardless of their individual backgrounds, beliefs, cultures, and religion. Our service advocates or encourages Veterans to participate in the highest level of their care possible.

Contact Info


  • One Veterans Drive,
    Minneapolis, MN 55417

Contact Number(s)

  • 612-725-2000

Hours of Operation

  • Monday - Friday
    8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.