Recreation Therapy Service - Minneapolis VA Health Care System
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Minneapolis VA Health Care System

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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 services to restore, remediate, and/or rehabilitate functional capabilities for Veterans with injuries, chronic illnesses, and disabling conditions. Recreation Therapy services embraces a philosophy of health promotion and disease prevention facilitated by qualified clinicians designed to support each Veteran’s self-directed, self-determined, and fully independent participation in their chosen life pursuits. Recreation Therapy services include assessment and treatment for physical, cognitive, emotional, psychosocial, and leisure deficits. Services are provided based upon applying the best available research evidence, using expert clinical judgment in consideration with the Veteran’s individual goals, preferences, and values.

National Veterans Sports Programs & Special Events

National Veterans Sports Programs & Special Events Your courage, your determination and your drive all led you to serve America proudly. Those same characteristics will also lead to satisfaction and success in adaptive sports. Disabled Veterans of all ages and abilities report better health, new friendships and a better quality of life when participating in adaptive sports  

Areas of Service

Minneapolis VA Health Care System has a team of 15 Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists (CTRS) and 2 Board Certified Music 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, Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program (CPRP), Spinal Cord Injury & Disorder Center and Medical Foster Home 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.