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TIRR Memorial Hermann—Past, Present and Future

Note: As part of CARF’s 50th year anniversary celebration in 2016, we are sharing snapshots of the industries in which we offer accreditation. This is part 4 of a series: Medical Rehabilitation. TIRR Memorial Hermann was one of the first providers to receive CARF accreditation in 1967.

By Glenn Willey, Manager, Corporate Communications, Memorial Hermann Health System

TIRR Memorial Hermann in Houston, Texas, traces its roots back to the early 1950s when the polio epidemic was at its height in the United States. As the decade began, William A. Spencer, M.D., established one of the first polio treatment centers in the country in Houston. The Southwestern Poliomyelitis Respiratory Center, as it was known, was dedicated to patient treatment and research. 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 valuable and applicable to other disabling injuries and illnesses.

On May 30, 1959, the Texas Institute for Rehabilitation and Research was formally dedicated and began accepting patients. In 1978, the hospital changed its name to The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research, and in 2006, upon becoming part of the Memorial Hermann Health System, the rehabilitation hospital became known as TIRR Memorial Hermann. Today TIRR Memorial Hermann is widely regarded as a national leader in rehabilitation and research. This summer, TIRR Memorial Hermann was again named the No. 2 rehabilitation hospital in the country according to U.S. News and World Report’s Best Hospital rankings for 2016–2017. This marks the 27th consecutive year TIRR Memorial Hermann has been included in the rankings.

“At TIRR Memorial Hermann we seek to redefine rehabilitation through innovative, evidence-based rehabilitation and cutting-edge research to help our patients return to the life they love,” says Carl Josehart, senior vice president and CEO at TIRR Memorial Hermann. “Part of what makes us a national leader in rehabilitation is not just using the knowledge we have to rehabilitate but seeking and creating new knowledge to push the boundaries of what we’re able to offer our patients.”

A recent example of that philosophy is when TIRR Memorial Hermann opened the doors to the NeuroRecovery Research Center on its campus in early 2016. The 42,000 square-foot research facility represents a partnership between TIRR Memorial Hermann and the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Texas Health Center at Houston McGovern Medical School. Integrating the NeuroRecovery Research Center into its campus allows for patients, staff, physicians, and researchers to collaborate, share knowledge, and accelerate advancement of the practice of rehabilitation.

Relationship with CARF

First accredited in 1967, and continuously accredited for the past 49 years, TIRR Memorial Hermann is one of the four original institutions with programs accredited by CARF. “CARF has set standards meant to help us reach the highest possible outcomes,” says Josehart. “We’re proud of our long time CARF accreditation because we are continuously challenged to provide the very best in rehabilitation care while also being an advocate for our consumers.”

Like CARF, TIRR Memorial Hermann shares a similar purpose to provide education and training that support efforts to maintain the highest levels of service and quality. TIRR Memorial Hermann is committed to educating the rehabilitation professionals of the future and serves as a teaching site for multiple disciplines. Through its continuing education programs, TIRR Memorial Hermann seeks to ensure medical professionals have access to the latest techniques and research to better serve its patients.

But TIRR Memorial Hermann recognizes that excellence cannot be achieved by remaining static. The ASPIRE to Excellence® quality framework developed by CARF aligns with TIRR Memorial Hermann’s mission to provide a comprehensive continuum of medical rehabilitation. TIRR Memorial Hermann knows the journey to excellence requires a constant desire to be better, and not just meet expectations, but to exceed expectations. “We seek to provide the very highest level of rehabilitative care to our patients, and our long time CARF accreditation speaks to our desire to be the very best at what we do,” says Josehart. “We look forward to our continued partnership with CARF to pursue our common goal of advancing the health of our patients and to meet our goals for the next 50 years.”

(50th Anniversary,Medical Rehabilitation)

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