History of Knapp

The Knapp Rehabilitation Center is an 18-bed acute rehabilitation program for adolescents and adults. Services include inpatient and outpatient programs for patients with physical and neurological diagnoses. Knapp’s rehabilitation team of doctors, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, neuropsychologists, therapeutic recreation specialists, and social workers work together to help individuals return to their highest level of independent functioning.

History of the Center

The Knapp Rehabilitation Center is proud of a rich tradition of serving the people of Minneapolis, Greater Minnesota, and the upper Midwest. The Knapp Rehabilitation Center at Hennepin Healthcare was established by Dr. Miland E. Knapp, a pioneer and leader in the field of rehabilitation for more than 50 years. Dr. Knapp's work was prominent in the management of polio victims in Minneapolis during 1946 and 1952. He applied the rehabilitation techniques and therapies that worked for polio patients to patients with other impairments. During this time, the standard of care for patients was bed rest. Dr. Knapp proved that it was possible to decrease the time in which patients spent in the hospital as well as revolutionizing patient rehabilitation. He is largely responsible for the development of the medical specialty known as Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Dr. Knapp became the first chief of Physical Medicine at Minneapolis General Hospital and the first medical director of the Physical Therapy Department at the University of Minnesota. From 1944 to 1946 he was president of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and received its award for distinguished Service to the Disabled in 1956. In 1979, he received the Harold S. Diehl Award from the University of Minnesota. The American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation named him its distinguished clinician in 1982, and in 1983 he was recognized by Metropolitan Medical Center for 50 years of service. Throughout his career he published more than 100 papers on rehabilitation and lectured internationally.

In 1968, Dr. Knapp worked with architects to design the treatment facility in the (then) St. Barnabas Hospital, which was later named in his honor. In 1991, Hennepin County Medical Center purchased the Knapp Rehabilitation Center as part of their commitment to comprehensive patient care. Dr. Knapp's vision of rehabilitation medicine continues to influence patients' lives every day at Knapp Rehabilitation.