U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs


VA Palo Alto Polytrauma & Blind Rehabilitation Center

“[This facility is] amazing and unique…”

—Jason Nietupski, Director, Facilities Planning and Development, VA Palo Alto


SmithGroupJJR, with associate architect The Design Partnership, designed the VA's first and only Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center to be combined with a Blind Rehabilitation Center. At 174,000 square feet, the new facility is the largest consolidated rehabilitation center in the Veteran's Affairs system, housing 24 polytrauma beds, 32 blind rehabilitation beds, and 12 polytrauma transitional rehabilitation beds. The center also offers an outpatient physical therapy/occupational therapy clinic, an outpatient physical medicine and rehabilitation clinic, and clinical programs for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The center replaces, consolidates and expands the inpatient polytrauma programs and essential services for physical medicine and rehabilitation. Family spaces are interspersed throughout for an integrated care approach. Additional inpatient and outpatient services include physical and occupational therapy, speech therapy, gait training, driver’s training, telemedicine and cognitive therapies.

With the inclusion of blind rehabilitation facilities, SmithGroupJJR hired blind architect Chris Downey, who helped the team develop multisensory design strategies that would support blind or visually impaired veterans navigating the building.

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