One day at a time…celebrating 50 years of Knapp Rehabilitation


It’s hard to put into words the daily life at Knapp Rehab, Hennepin Healthcare’s inpatient acute rehabilitation unit. To end up in Knapp, something pretty awful sent you there – a stroke, a traumatic brain injury, a chronic disease, an accident.

Many patients have spent time at Knapp – days or weeks. Knapp helps patients who need intensive rehabilitation achieve the best outcomes to get back to the normalcy of their pre-traumatic incident. The patient stories that come from Knapp are both heart-wrenching and inspiring.

But one of the most inspiring stories is that of the team that makes up Knapp. Physicians, nurses, social workers, physical therapists, occupational therapists, recreation therapists, speech-language pathologists, neuropsychologists, psychologists, nutritionists and chaplains are only some of the touch points that can make up a patient’s team. That doesn’t count others from the system such as interpreters, nor the pre- and post-care teams that helped them get there and will follow up after discharge. For most members of this team, the compassion and investment come through when they talk about the work and the care they give.

With a long stay in the unit with rehabilitation several times a day, patients and staff often get attached. Past patients often stop by to say ‘hi’ and converse with their past caregivers.

It all started 50 years ago when Miland E. Knapp, MD, who was a pioneer and leader in the newly emerging field of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Minneapolis General Hospital worked with architects to design the inpatient rehabilitation unit in St. Barnabas Hospital. It was later named in his honor, and purchased by HCMC in 1991. His vision continues to influence patient’s lives every day at Knapp.

Today Knapp Rehab is still making a difference in patients’ lives. Geoffrey Roe, RN, Nurse Manager at Knapp explains “I like working at Knapp Rehab because I enjoy seeing the transitions of the patients from admission to discharge. Everyone has their own struggles to work through, and it is very rewarding to observe the patients’ personal successes and to watch the staff support them along the way. When the patients are able to discharge after completion of their goals, I see it as another win for the whole team.”

The Commission for Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) has records certifying Knapp accreditation as far back as their records go. CARF only accredits those with the highest standards of care and service.

Join us on Sunday, July 14th from 2 pm – 5 pm on the main floor in the Clinic & Specialty Center to celebrate staff, patients, and families whose lives have been touched by Knapp.

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