Published on June 11, 2019

Community Hospital’s Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit earns accreditation for stroke and brain injury specialty programs

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carf logoMONTEREY, Calif. — The William R. Lewis, MD, Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit of Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula has received accreditation for its brain injury and stroke specialty programs, making it the only hospital in the tri-county region with the two designations.

The Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit (IRU) also received a three-year overall accreditation, the highest level available, from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation

Facilities, International, an independent, nonprofit organization. To achieve the accreditations, the IRU underwent a rigorous peer review process, demonstrating to a team from the commission its commitment and ability to offer programs and services that are measurable, accountable, and of the highest quality. The accreditation process is voluntary, sought by rehabilitation centers that strive to excel in the quality of their care, with validation by an independent organization.

The IRU is a special unit at Community Hospital for people who have suffered a serious injury or illness such as a stroke, spinal cord, cardiac, or orthopedic injury, or amputation. Over an average stay of about two weeks, patients take part in three hours or more per day of intensive physical, occupational, and/or speech therapy five days a week.

Depending on individual needs, they may also receive services related to nutrition, neuropsychology, orthotics/prosthetics, respiratory therapy, wound care, diabetes care, and palliative medicine. The goal is to help patients achieve as much independence as possible.

“We are thrilled with the accreditations, which reflect the specialized training and dedication of our staff and their commitment to helping every patient regain life skills to the greatest degree possible,” says Mario Ruiz, director of the IRU. “Until now, the nearest hospital rehabilitation center with these specialty accreditations was in Santa Clara County, so we are pleased to make them available here in Monterey County.”

Community Hospital has been accredited as a Primary Stroke Center for a decade by the Joint Commission. The IRU’s stroke specialization further extends the advanced stroke care available to our community, where a stroke occurs, on average, every day.

To achieve the specialty stroke designation, the IRU demonstrated that it can deliver services including:

  • Minimizing impairments and secondary complications
  • Reducing activity limitations
  • Maximizing participation and quality of life
  • Decreasing environmental barriers
  • Preventing recurrent stroke

The brain injury designation is based on the IRU’s ability to deliver services that focus on the unique medical, physical, cognitive, communication, psychosocial, behavioral, vocational, educational, accessibility, and leisure/recreational needs of patients with an acquired brain injury.

Staff training to support the brain injury certification was funded in part by donations from Dr. William R. Lewis, a retired neurosurgeon for whom the IRU was named in 2018 as the unit celebrated its fifth anniversary. More than 1,000 patients have been treated and cared for by the IRU since it opened, and more than 80 percent have been able to return home rather than to another care facility.


Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, established in 1934, has grown and evolved in direct response to the changing healthcare needs of the people it serves. Its parent company is Montage Health, the umbrella for entities that work together to deliver exceptional care and inspire the pursuit of optimal health. Community Hospital is a nonprofit healthcare provider with 220 staffed acute-care hospital beds and 28 skilled-nursing beds, delivering a continuum of care from birth to end of life, and every stage in between. It serves the Monterey Peninsula and surrounding communities through locations including the main hospital, outpatient facilities, satellite laboratories, a mental health clinic, a short-term skilled nursing facility, Hospice of the Central Coast, and Montage Wellness Center. Find more information about Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula