TIRR Memorial Hermann

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TIRR Memorial Hermann
Memorial Hermann Healthcare System
Location Located in the Texas Medical Center in Houston, Texas, United States
Coordinates 29°42′33″N 95°23′39″W / 29.709262°N 95.394191°W / 29.709262; -95.394191Coordinates: 29°42′33″N 95°23′39″W / 29.709262°N 95.394191°W / 29.709262; -95.394191
Funding not-for-profit
Hospital type Rehabilitation Hospital
Affiliated university Baylor College of Medicine and University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Patron None
Emergency department No
Helipad Yes
Beds 134
Founded 1950s
Website http://tirr.memorialhermann.org
Lists Hospitals in the United States

TIRR Memorial Hermann (the four initials stand for "The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research") is a 134-bed rehabilitation hospital, rehabilitation and research center, outpatient medical clinic and network of outpatient rehabilitation centers in Houston, Texas that offers physical rehabilitation to patients following traumatic brain or spinal injury or to those suffering from neurologic illnesses.[1] In 2014, U.S. News & World Report named TIRR Memorial Hermann to the list of America’s Best Hospitals for the 25th consecutive time.[2]

TIRR Memorial Hermann's main campus offers inpatient rehabilitation in the Texas Medical Center in Houston, Texas. There are three outpatient rehabilitation locations in the greater Houston area.

TIRR Memorial Hermann is a teaching hospital for Baylor College of Medicine and University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.[3][4]


TIRR Memorial Hermann traces its roots back to the early 1950s when polio was at the height of its epidemic in the United States. At the beginning of that decade, William A. Spencer, M.D., established one of the first polio treatment centers in the nation in Houston. The Southwestern Poliomyelitis Respiratory Center was dedicated to patient treatment and research and performed groundbreaking work.

Dr. Spencer was notably involved in developing the physiograph, a device recognized in the March 22, 1954 issue of LIFE magazine for its ability to record vital functions. This technology advanced teaching and research efforts and is credited as an early example of the sophisticated monitoring systems we use today.[5]

With the discovery of the polio vaccine in the 1960s, the expertise developed by this nationally recognized respiratory center was applied to rehabilitating catastrophically injured patients. Much of what was learned in treating polio survivors would prove very valuable and applicable to other disabling injuries and illnesses.

Awards and rankings[edit]

US News & World Report[edit]

For 25 consecutive years, TIRR Memorial Hermann has appeared on the list of America's best rehabilitation hospitals published by U.S. News & World Report magazine, since the survey began. In 2014, TIRR Memorial Hermann was ranked the #3 rehabilitation hospital in the nation,[6] the 4th best hospital overall in Houston and 7th in Texas.[7]

Joint Commission & Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities[edit]

TIRR Memorial Hermann has earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval and Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities Accredited in:[8]

  • Inpatient Rehabilitation Programs – Hospital (Adults)
  • Inpatient Rehabilitation Programs – Hospital (Children and Adolescents)
  • Interdisciplinary Outpatient Medical Rehabilitation Programs (Adults)
  • Interdisciplinary Outpatient Medical Rehabilitation Programs (Children and Adolescents)
  • Vocational Services (Adults)

American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)[edit]

In 2013, TIRR Memorial Hermann was recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center with the Pathway to Excellence designation.[9]


The main campus for inpatient rehabilitation and research at TIRR Memorial Hermann is in the Texas Medical Center at 1333 Moursund Street Houston, Texas.

Outpatient rehabilitation facilities include:

  • TIRR Memorial Hermann Outpatient Rehabilitation - Kirby Glen
  • TIRR Memorial Hermann Outpatient Rehabilitation - Memorial City
  • TIRR Memorial Hermann Outpatient Rehabilitation - Northwest Houston
  • TIRR Memorial Hermann Outpatient Rehabilitation - The Woodlands

Outpatient medical clinic:

  • TIRR Memorial Hermann Outpatient Medical Clinic


Patient programs at TIRR Memorial Hermann include:

  • Brain Injury and Stroke Program
  • Spinal Cord Injury Program
  • Specialty Rehabilitation Program
  • Amputee Program
  • Outpatient Rehabilitation Program
  • Outpatient Rehabilitation for Children and Teens
  • TIRR Memorial Hermann Challenge Program
  • Outpatient Medical Clinic
  • Cancer Rehabilitation

Academic Affiliations[edit]

TIRR Memorial Hermann is home to the Baylor College of Medicine/University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Alliance (BCM/UTHSC-H PM&R Alliance). Formed in 1996, The BCM/UTHSC-H PM&R Alliance provides the largest physical medicine and rehabilitation residency training program in the nation, with 41 residents and seven postgraduate fellows in 2009. The Alliance has 70 faculty and works at all of the nine major health care institutions in the Texas Medical Center.[10]


TIRR Memorial Hermann is one of only fourteen sites nationwide to have the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Model Systems programs.[11]

Brain Injury Research Center[edit]

Founded in 1987, the Brain Injury Research Center (BIRC) at TIRR Memorial Hermann studies recovery from brain injury. BIRC at TIRR Memorial Hermann was one of the original TBI Model Systems sites. The TBI Model System program now consists of 14 centers around the United States.

BIRC is a collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine, the University of Texas Health Science at Houston, other academic institutions and funding from the U.S. Department of Education's National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), from the National Institutes of Health and private foundations to conduct groundbreaking research on recovery from brain injury and interventions to improve outcomes for persons with brain injury.[12][13]

Spinal Cord Injury[edit]

The Model Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) System program, sponsored by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, and the United States Department of Education, provides assistance to establish innovative projects for the delivery, demonstration, and evaluation of comprehensive medical, vocational, and other rehabilitation services to meet the needs of individuals with spinal cord injury.

Independent Living Research Utilization[edit]

Established in 1977, the Independent Living Research Utilization (ILRU) provides comprehensive resources necessary to achieve an advanced level of independence once a rehabilitation patient is discharged from care. The ILRU program at TIRR Memorial Hermann is a community-focused model led by Lex Frieden, regarded worldwide as one of the leading experts in disability policy, the current chairperson of the board of the National Council on Disability (NCD) and president of Rehabilitation International.[14]

ILRU serves as a comprehensive information resource on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Housed at ILRU, the ADA Resource Center provides training, technical assistance and informational resources to employers, consumers, architects, businesses, media and disability organizations. ILRU is funded through private foundation grants and grants from numerous public agencies, including the United States Department of Education, the United States Department of Health and Human Services, and the United States Department of Labor.

The UTHealth Motor Recovery Lab at TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital[edit]

Research at The UTHealth Motor Recovery Lab at TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital is dedicated to enhance motor recovery of the upper extremity after neurological disorders, such as stroke, spinal cord injury, and traumatic brain injury. Specific interests include robotic rehabilitation, breathing-controlled electrical stimulation, and spasticity.[15]

Notable physicians and professionals[edit]

  • R. Edward Carter, M.D. - internationally recognized physiatrist, president of the American Spinal Injury Association, 1973-1977 and president of International Spinal Cord Society, 1988-1992[16]
  • William H. Donovan, M.D. - internationally recognized physiatrist, president of the American Spinal Injury Association, 1987-1989, recipient of the Distinguished Clinician Award from the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation [17]
  • Lex Frieden - disability policy expert, disability rights activist, architect of the Americans with Disabilities Act and director of the Independent Living Research Utilization (ILRU) program at TIRR Memorial Hermann
  • Paul Randall Harrington, M.D. - designer of the Harrington Rod, the first device for the straightening and immobilization of the spine inside the body
  • William Spencer, M.D. - established one of the first polio treatment centers in the nation, the Southwestern Poliomyelitis Respiratory Center
  • Carl E. Josehart, CEO - December 2006 to present
  • Martin Grabois, MD

Notable Patient Alumni[edit]

  • Greg Abbott - Texas Attorney General and candidate for 2014 Texas Governor[18]
  • Emilio Navaira - American country and Tejano musician of Mexican descent
  • Kevin Everett - NFL tight end football player[19]
  • Gabrielle Giffords - Congresswoman and 2011 Tucson shooting assassination survivor[20]
  • Tim Melton - KTRK TV sports anchor and reporter[21]
  • Chad Waligura - American outdoor writer, magazine editor, and professional disabled hunter named Buckmasters' Challenged Hunter of the Year
  • Nate Lytle, author More God: Seeing the Blessings Through the Pain
  • Kathleen DeSilva-attorney, subject of Don't Tell Me I Can't (A Biography of Kathleen DeSilva)
  • Amobi Okoye
  • Patrick Alan Nunnelee - U.S. Representative for Mississippi's 1st congressional district since 2011.



  1. ^ American Hospital Association. http://www.ahadataviewer.com/
  2. ^ U.S. News & World Report. http://tirr.memorialhermann.org/patient-resources/rankings
  3. ^ Baylor College of Medicine. http://www.bcm.edu/gme/?pmid=4231
  4. ^ UTHealth. http://www.uth.tmc.edu/schools/med/phymed/index.html
  5. ^ "Nine Tests in Ten Minutes" LIFE Magazine. 22 Mar 1954. p. 74 http://books.google.com/books?id=ZkgEAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PA74&dq=william%20spencer&pg=PA74#v=onepage&q=william%20spencer&f=false
  6. ^ http://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/rankings
  7. ^ http://tirr.memorialhermann.org/patient-resources/rankings
  8. ^ Joint Commission. http://www.qualitycheck.org/qualityreport.aspx?hcoid=9103
  9. ^ American Nurses Credentialing Center. http://www.nursecredentialing.org/Pathway/DesignationOrganizations/PathwayOrgCategory/PathwayDesignatedOrganizations.html
  10. ^ Baylor College of Medicine. http://www.bcm.edu/pmr/alliancepage https://www.bcm.edu/gme/?pmid=4231
  11. ^ Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center. http://www.msktc.org/researchcenter/detail/TIRRTBI
  12. ^ TIRR Memorial Hermann. http://tirr.memorialhermann.org/research/traumatic-brain-injury-model-system/
  13. ^ Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Developing Strategies to Foster Community Integration and Participation (CIP) for Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury. http://www.tbicommunity.org
  14. ^ Independent Living Research Utilization. http://www.ilru.org
  15. ^ UTHealth Motor Recovery Lab at TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital. http://www.uth.tmc.edu/schools/med/phymed/research/
  16. ^ American Spinal Injury Association. http://www.asia-spinalinjury.org/leadership/board.php
  17. ^ Baylor College of Medicine. http://www.bcm.edu/pmr/?PMID=15254
  18. ^ Fernandez, Manny. "Candidate Draws Support and Critics for Talk of Disability" New York Times. 22 July 2013. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/23/us/candidate-for-texas-governor-draws-support-and-critics-for-talk-of-his-disability.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
  19. ^ Warrow, John. "Bills Kevin Everett Leaves Rehab Center" USA Today. http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/football/2007-11-18-3603719092_x.htm
  20. ^ Woodruff, Bob. "Gabrielle GIffords Released from TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston" ABC News. http://abcnews.go.com/Health/gabrielle-giffords-released-tirr-memorial-hermann-hospital-houston/story?id=13850257#.UZKxoKLku6V
  21. ^ Woodruff, Bob. "Longtime Houston sportscaster Tim Melton not giving up despite stroke " KHOU. http://www.khou.com/sports/Longtime-Houston-sportscaster-Tim-Melton-not-giving-up-despite-stroke-207319011.html


  • U.S. Dept. of Health, Education, and Welfare (1995). American Rehabilitation. United States Rehabilitation Services Administration. 
  • Heather Green Wooten (2009). The Polio Years in Texas: Battling a Terrifying Unknown. College Station, Texas: Texas A&M University Press. 
  • Richard Verville (2009). War, Politics and Philanthropy: The History of Rehabilitation. University Press of America. 

External links[edit]

  • TIRR Memorial Hermann [1]