Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center

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Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center
Los Angeles County Department of Health Services
Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center logo.png
Location 7601 East Imperial Highway, Downey, California, United States
Care system Public
Funding Government hospital
Hospital type Specialist
Affiliated university USC[1]
Emergency department None
Beds 395
Speciality Rehabilitation hospital
Founded 1888
Website www.rancho.org
Lists Hospitals in California

Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center is a rehabilitation hospital located in Downey, California, United States. Its name in Spanish means "Friends' Ranch".[2]


The hospital's polio ward, circa 1953

Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, or Rancho, dates back to 1888 when indigent patients from the Los Angeles County Hospital were relocated to what was then known as the Los Angeles County Poor Farm. Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy were started in the late 1920s. The Rancho rapidly expanded after it was designated as a respiratory center for polio patients in 1951. In 1955, Dr. Vernon L. Nickel developed the halo vest, a device which is still in use to immobilize the cervical spine following severe neck injury or certain types of surgery. Drs. Jacquelin Perry and Robert Waters contributed to advances in pathokinesiology and treatment of spinal cord injuries, and other advances in rehabilitation of orthopedic and neurologic disorders were made in ensuing years. The Rancho Los Amigos Scale, a widely used scale to determine the cognitive level in brain-injured patients, was developed in the 1970s.[3]


Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center is one of the largest comprehensive medical rehabilitation centers in the U.S. providing services to a wide range of individuals with catastrophic illnesses and injuries.

Rancho specializes in helping patients with disabilities regain skills and learn techniques to accomplish the basic activities of daily living, and returning to work or school if possible.

For more than two decades, Rancho has been ranked among "America's Best Hospitals" in Rehabilitation Medicine by U.S.News & World Report.[4] In 2011, U.S.News ranked the Downey, California-based hospital 7th among the 138 hospitals rated in the Greater Los Angeles area.[5]

Rancho is licensed for 207 beds.[2] It cares for approximately 4,000 inpatients and conducts 78,000 outpatient visits annually.[6] The hospital provides rehabilitation services in stroke, spinal cord injury, brain injury, pediatrics, orthopedics and diabetes care, pressure ulcer management, limb preservation and post- amputation care.[7] These services help patients to obtain as much independence as they are able, so they may return to their family, school or a job if feasible.[2]

As the rehabilitation arm of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services healthcare system, Rancho is becoming an enhanced medical home for stroke and spinal cord injury, providing lifetime care for seniors and persons with disabilities.[8] Rancho continues to pioneer creative programs that promote recovery, community reintegration and independence for persons recovering from or living with physical disability, including such programs as:

  • Day Rehabilitation Program
  • Rancho Wellness Center
  • KnowBarriers Patient Achievement Program
  • Acute Stroke Services
  • Advanced Robotics Center
  • Virtual Reality Center
  • Rehab Engineering
  • Pathokinesiology Laboratory
  • Adult Day Services and Alzheimer's Day Care Resource Center
  • Center for Applied Rehabilitation Technology
  • Spinal Cord Injury Project
  • Aging with a Disability
  • Dentistry for People with Disabilities
  • Advanced Diagnostic/Monitoring Laboratory
  • Telemedicine

These programs serve patient needs directly and provide advocacy, research platforms, education, and easy access to services.

Rancho also provides its patients with many innovative patient programs that strive to promote self-esteem and achieve independence. These include:

  • The Art of Rancho Program
  • Don Knabe Pediatric Arts Program
  • Performing Arts of Rancho
  • Wheelchair Sports Program
  • Therapeutic Horseback Riding Program
  • Spinal Injury Games
  • Patient Fashion Show
  • Winter Therapeutic Sports Program
  • Pet Therapy Program
  • Pediatric Carnival Day
  • Rancho Stroke Walk

Rancho continues its mission of providing each patient with the best possible medical and rehabilitation services, while advancing its service delivery model and access to one of the best physical medicine and rehabilitation care facilities in the country.[2][9]


  1. ^ "USC & Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center: A Partnership That Changed the Practice of Physical Therapy" (PDF). In Motion. University of Southern California Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy. Fall 2011 – Winter 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center in Downey, CA - US News Best Hospitals". Health.usnews.com. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  3. ^ "Rancho's History". Rancho.org. 2011-01-01. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  4. ^ "U.S. News Best Hospitals: Rehabilitation". Health.usnews.com. 2010-07-14. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  5. ^ "Best Hospitals in Los Angeles, California - US News Best Hospitals". Health.usnews.com. 2011-03-29. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  6. ^ "About Us". Rancho.org. 2011-01-01. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  7. ^ "Rehabilitation". Rancho.org. 2011-01-01. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  8. ^ "County of Los Angeles - Department of Health Services". Ladhs.org. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  9. ^ "Mission". Ranchos Los Amigos. Retrieved 13 August 2012. 

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