UI Hospitals and Clinics

Rehabilitation Services

Helping each person make the most of his or her abilities is the goal of our specially trained therapists. They help identify what is limiting the person and then develop a treatment program using music therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, therapeutic recreation, pulmonary rehabilitation or a combination of them to help each person function in his or her world.

More than 100 skilled professionals work together in a variety of settings that include the classroom, worksite, athletic field, home and others.

Rehabilitation programs include:

Pulmonary Rehab Sidebar

Locations and Contact

Rehabilitation Therapy

0733 Pappajohn Pavillion
Elevator I, Lower Level

UI Hospitals and Clinics Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program


Location and Contact

Rehabilitation Therapy

0733 Pappajohn Pavillion
Elevator I, Lower Level

Rehabilitation Therapies Sidebar

Locations and Contact

Rehabilitation Therapy

0733 Pappajohn Pavillion
Elevator I, Lower Level

Sports Medicine

2701 Prairie Meadow Drive, Iowa City

Women's Health Physical Therapy

Pelvic floor physical therapy is provided by therapists with advanced training. Therapy can help people who are having any of the following symptoms:

What to expect during a visit

  • Therapy sessions will take place in a private treatment room.
  • Depending on the condition, a physical therapist will:
    •  Examine leg strength, Examine leg and spine flexibility
    •  Examine pelvic floor muscle strength and tenderness. This is done internally, likely through the vaginal canal.
  • A home exercise program will be designed to assist patients in reaching their goals.
  • The duration and frequency of appointments depend on the patient's condition, examination findings, patient's goals, and other factors.
  • Appointments generally last around 45 minutes.

Conditions affecting the pelvic floor:

Related Links:

Related Clinics:

Care Team:

Amy Uitermark, PT, DPT

Vestibular Rehabilitation

Vestibular rehabilitation is an exercise-based program, designed by a specialized physical therapist, to reduce dizziness-related symptoms and improve balance. Dizziness often occurs as a result of an inner ear (vestibular) problem. Inner ear dizziness, called vertigo, results in a feeling of spinning or movement of your environment. Our physical therapists can help you manage your dizziness and get moving again. Vestibular rehabilitation includes a thorough evaluation and personalized exercise program for your specific needs.

Common diagnoses seen by Vestibular Rehab Physical Therapists:

Fact Sheets:

For more information on Vestibular Rehabilitation, read the patient education fact sheets from the American Physical Therapy Association.

Related Clinics:

Care Team:

Mary Shepherd, PT

Pulmonary Rehabilitation

The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program is a comprehensive, interdisciplinary program including doctors, nurses, and physical therapists that is designed for those who have lung problems. The program includes a thorough patient evaluation followed by monitored & supervised exercise training, education about pulmonary conditions, and behavior change. Assistance with smoking cessation is provided when needed. The program is designed to improve disease-related symptoms, improve quality of life, reduce hospitalizations, and promote adherence to healthy behaviors.

Common conditions treated include:

Related Clinics:

Care Team:

  • Kathy Boyd, PTA
  • Kim Eppen, PT, PhD
  • Jane Greiner, RN, BSN
  • Janie Knipper, APN, MA
  • Nancy Lane-Gipson, RN
  • Debra Parrott, PT, CCS, CES

Prosthetic Rehabilitation

Expert care is provided for the patient who has had an amputation whether due to injury or disease. Rehabilitation may be initiated during the patient’s hospital stay and continue as an outpatient for prosthetic training with a new artificial limb. Therapists work closely with the local prosthetists to provide coordinated care. Our therapists provide care to restore mobility, decrease pain & swelling, and improve function.

Related links:

Care Team:

Dick Evans, PT, OCS

Brachial Plexus Conditions

The Brachial Plexus is a group of nerves starting at the lower portion of the neck and continuing to the upper shoulder. These nerves control arm and hand movement and feeling. Injury to the brachial plexus can cause pain, numbness, and tingling in the arm and make moving the arm difficult. Our team of physical and occupational therapists can help manage this condition and educate patients. Bracing or splinting can be custom made if needed.

Causes of Brachial Plexus Injury

Injuries can occur from excessive stretching or compression of the brachial plexus. This may happen during birth, contact sports, or motor vehicle accidents. Inflammatory condition, such as Parsonage-Turner syndrome, can also cause brachial plexus dysfunction.

Related Links

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) is a group of inherited disorders involving connective tissue in the body. People with EDS typically have loose joints and stretchy skin. Symptoms of EDS can include joint pain or popping, joint dislocation or instability, flat feet, back pain, and easily bruised or stretchy skin. Physical and occupational therapists participate in interdisciplinary care by developing safe strengthening and stabilization exercises to improve joint stability and activity tolerance. Custom splints can be made to stabilize joints of the wrist and hand. Therapists can recommend adaptive devices which will aide in reducing stress on joints while still allowing patients to perform daily, work, or sport activities.

For more information:

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

Traumatic Conditions

Due to our Level I Trauma Center designation, our highly skilled physical and occupational therapy staff treat a wide range of traumatic conditions from falls to motor vehicle accidents. We work with people who have had simple & complex fractures, amputations, and dislocations. Therapy can include stretching, strengthening, and splinting or bracing when needed. Our therapists work closely with the patient’s healthcare team to achieve their goals and return to the activities they enjoy.

Upper Extremity Fractures:

  • Humerus fractures
  • Radius fractures
  • Ulna fractures
  • Carpal fractures
  • Metacarpal fractures
  • Phalangeal fractures

Lower Extremity Fractures:

Spine Conditions

Injuries to the back and neck can significantly impact abilities to participate in daily, work, and sport activities. Our therapists provide individualized care addressing patient’s specific needs. Interdisciplinary care provided by our healthcare team helps patients achieve their goals and return to activities they enjoy.

Spine Conditions:

Spine Surgeries:

Wrist and Hand Conditions

Our hand therapy team treats all surgical and non-surgical conditions of the wrist, hand, and elbow. Our physical and occupational therapists provide individualized treatment plans for elbow, wrist, and hand conditions. Custom splints can be made to protect healing joints or improve function of the wrist and hand. Our goal is to help every patient improve their quality of life and return to activities they enjoy.


  • Distal radius fractures (Colles fracture)
  • Complex wrist fractures, dislocations or wrist ligament repairs
  • Metacarpal fractures
  • Phalangeal fracture
  • Carpal fractures (scaphoid fracture)
  • Carpal dislocations
  • Mallet finger


  • Wrist pain
  • DeQuervain's tenosynovitis
  • Extensor carpi ulnaris tendinitis
  • Flexor carpi ulnaris or radialis tendinitis
  • Intersections syndromes
  • Stenosing tenosynovitis (trigger finger)

Nerve Injuries:

Tendon repairs:

  • Flexor tendon repairs of fingers and thumb
  • Extensor tendon repairs of fingers and thumb
  • Tenolysis

Ligament repairs:

  • UCL repair of the thumb
  • RCL repair of the thumb
  • Sagittal band repairs


Shoulder and Elbow Conditions

Injuries to the shoulder and elbow can significantly impact abilities to participate in daily, work, and sport activities. Our therapists provide individualized care addressing patient’s specific needs. Interdisciplinary care provided by our healthcare team helps patients achieve their goals and return to activities they enjoy.

Common Shoulder Conditions:

Common Shoulder Surgeries:

Common Elbow Conditions:

Hip, Knee, Ankle, and Foot Conditions

Injuries to the lower extremity can significantly impact the ability to participate in daily, work, and sport activities. Our therapists provide individualized care addressing each patient’s specific needs in order to help achieve their goals. Interdisciplinary care provided by our healthcare team helps patients to get back on their feet in order to return to activities they enjoy.

Common Foot Conditions:

Common Foot Surgeries:

Common Knee Conditions:

Common Knee Surgeries:

Common Hip Conditions:

Common Hip Surgeries:

Orthopaedic & Sports Therapy

The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics orthopaedic rehabilitation and UI Sports Medicine teams provide therapy services to treat musculoskeletal conditions involving the spine and extremities. We provide rehabilitation for individuals with pain or difficulty functioning during daily activities, work, or sport. Our experts specialize in rehabilitating both postoperative and nonoperative musculoskeletal conditions for patients of all ages and activity levels. We focus on interdisciplinary care with the rest of our patients’ healthcare team to achieve optimal outcomes.

Common Musculoskeletal Conditions:

Related Clinics:

Care Team:

Neurological Rehabilitation

Neurological rehabilitation at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics encompasses comprehensive evaluation and treatment of individuals with movement problems due to disease or injury of the nervous system. The goal of treatment is geared toward assisting individuals achieve a more independent lifestyle. Therapists determine appropriate assistive devices and adaptive equipment to aid in activities of daily living. We serve a wide variety of conditions and ability levels. Our physical and occupational therapists coordinate care to meet the needs of the individual.

Common conditions treated include:

Related Clinics:

Care Team:

Stephanie Evans, PT, DPT
Mary Shepherd, PT

Lymphedema & Venous Edema

Our therapists provide treatment for swelling caused by lymphedema and venous edema. Clinicians who provide this care have obtained certification as lymphedema specialists through advanced training.

What is lymphedema?

Lymphedema is caused by an abnormality of the lymphatic system leading to excessive buildup of lymph fluid. Stagnant lymph fluid contains protein and cell debris that causes swelling of affected tissues. It can be congenital (primary lymphedema) – presenting at birth, puberty, or mid-life. Lymphedema can also occur as the result of cancer surgery and/or radiation (secondary lymphedema). It can develop within a few months or 20+ years following surgery/radiation.

Lymphedema is progressive and if left untreated, can lead to chronic inflammation, irreversible fibrosis (hardening of the tissue), infection, and loss of limb function.

Lymphedema has no cure, but can be successfully managed when properly diagnosed and treated. Early diagnosis is essential to prevent the condition from progressing.

Treatment for lymphedema:

Treatment for lymphedema can include some or all of the following:

  • Skin care
  • Compression bandaging
  • Measurement and fitting of compression garments
  • Manual lymph drainage
  • Exercise

What is venous edema?

Venous edema is also known as chronic venous insufficiency. It is a condition in which the blood flow through the veins is impaired. Venous edema is not the same as lymphedema, but has similar characteristics and is often treated in a similar manner.

Related links:

Care Team:

Independent Pool Cost and Parking

The following pool policies have been established for all independent pool patients:

  1. You are responsible for checking in at the reception desk of Rehabilitation Therapies and paying for you pool session prior to using the pool.
  2. If your medical status has changed, you must get a new referral from your doctor stating you are able to come back for pool therapy. At that time a therapist must reevaluate you to determine your status for resuming a pool program.
  3. For the protection of all patients, those with contagious conditions, infections, open wounds, or incontinence are not allowed in the pool.
  4. If you miss pool therapy for 30 days or more, you must get a new referral to resume pool therapy. During your absence, your previously scheduled pool times will be opened up for other patients to use.
  5. If you discontinue using the pool due to a medical condition change or for an absence of 14 days or more, you will not be guaranteed your original time. You will be rescheduled in the available time slots.
  6. The maximum number of appointments you may schedule per week is 2 visits. If there are additional times available, appointments may be scheduled on a first come, first served basis.
  7. Independent pool appointments are a maximum of 1 hour each. Please make sure you exit the pool on time. You may only swim during your assigned hour slot. If you arrive for your appointment late, you will be expected to exit at the end of your scheduled hour. The Department of Rehabilitation Therapies closes at 6:00 p.m. and all patients must be dressed and prepared to leave the locker room facilities by that time.
  8. Please call to cancel your pool time 24 hours in advance in consideration of patients who may be waiting for pool time. Please call if you will be late for your appointment. Failure to notify us if you will be late for your session may not guarantee that the pool staff will still be available for coverage of your pool time.
  9. You may pick up a locker key at the front desk to secure all personal items in a locker. Please return the key to the front desk before you leave. These lockers are used by multiple patients, so you may not store items in them.
  10. You are required to shower before entering the pool.
  11. You must wear a bath blanket/cover-up and footwear to and from the pool and dry off thoroughly before exiting the pool area.
  12. Do not apply perfume, lotions or cologne before or after pool therapy.
  13. If you are not capable of entering/leaving both the pool and locker room without assistance, you will need to provide your own assistant.

Cost and Parking:

You may purchase independent pool sessions for $6.00 per visit. If you wish to purchase more than one visit at a time, we sill log your visit credits.

  • $6.00 = 1 visit
  • $60.00 = 11 visits
  • $108.00 = 20 visits

Your health insurance carrier will not be directly billed for independent pool sessions. Most insurance companies will not cover charges for these sessions. You are responsible for contacting your own insurance company if you want to find out their policy on reimbursement.

Hemophilia Physical Therapy

The University of Iowa is a regional center of the National Hemophilia Foundation that provides comprehensive care to patients with hemophilia and other bleeding disorders. Two physical therapists, with more than 50 years of combined experience, provide care to both the adult and pediatric populations. They are part of a comprehensive care team including hematologists, nursing care coordinators, dentists, and social workers.

Treatment for Hemophilia:

Eighty percent of the bleeds incurred by patients with hemophilia are musculoskeletal in origin. A physical therapist helps evaluate the stage of the joint or muscle bleed and provides care aimed at decreasing pain & swelling and increasing range of motion & strength in the involved area. Physical therapy is instrumental to restoring function and returning to regular daily activities.

Related links:

Care Team:

Dick Evans, PT, OCS
Joel Lee, PT, MPT

Physical Therapy Direct Access Statement

Physical Therapy Direct Access1:

Currently, 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC) allow physical therapists to evaluate patients without a prior physician's referral and 48 states, including Iowa, improve accessibility further by allowing physical therapists to evaluate and treat patients without a referral from a physician.

Benefits of Direct Access2:

  • Patients who visited a physical therapist directly for outpatient care had fewer visits and lower overall costs on average than those who were referred by a physician.
  • Health care use did not increase for patients directly accessing physical therapy services, nor was continuity of care hindered.
  • Patients seen via direct access were still in contact with physicians during and after physical therapy.

Communication with your physician is important:

  • Physical therapists will refer a patient to a physician if their condition is determined to be in need of a physician's evaluation.
  • Patients should continue regular care and communication with their primary care physician.


Most insurance companies cover direct access visits to physical therapists. Medicare recipients are required to have a physician authorize physical therapy care. Patients utilizing worker's compensation require a physician referral. Contact your medical insurance company to find out if they pay for physical therapy without a physician referral.



  1. www.apta.org/FederalIssues/DirectAccess/; Last Updated: 5/16/2014; Contact: advocacy@apta.org American Physical Therapy Association
  2. Pendergast J, Kliethermes SA, Freburger JK, Duffy PA. A comparision o f health care use for physician-referred and self-referred episodes of outpatient physical therapy. Health Services Research. Published ahead of print September 23, 2011. DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-6773.2011.01324.  

Chronic Pain Physical Therapy

Chronic pain is a unique and challenging condition. In most situations pain is a sign that something is wrong and needs to be urgently addressed. When the underlying problem is taken care of, the pain goes away. However in chronic pain conditions, the pain itself is the problem. Chronic pain is pain that is not associated with any actual or impending injury. It may have begun with a specific injury but is lasting longer than it should or is out of proportion with the injury.

The quality of life and degree of suffering for people with chronic pain conditions can almost always be improved. However, complete resolution of chronic pain is not always possible. Appropriate management of chronic pain conditions typically takes a coordinated effort from multiple providers, including physical therapists. Our therapists are experts in contributing to the interdisciplinary management of chronic pain conditions. We work closely with other healthcare providers to help patients gain control over their pain.

Related links:

Care Team:

Nicholas Cooper, PT, DPT, OCS
Pam Lee, PT, MPT Jeff Nicholson, PT, MPT
Amy Uitermark, PT, DPT

Aquatic Therapy

Aquatic Therapy at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and UI Sports Medicine is a part of a comprehensive rehabilitation program for patients with orthopaedic, neurological, or pulmonary problems. Physical therapists will provide an evaluation and develop an individualized program for each patient. Exercise programs in this setting are supervised and guided by our staff. The aquatic setting can be utilized to facilitate mobility and reduce impact forces on joints.

Conditions which may benefit from aquatic therapy:

Independent Pool Therapy Option:

Independent Pool Cost and Parking

Related Clinics:

Meet Our Rehabilitation Services Care Team

Physical Therapists

Denny Bewyer
Senior Physical Therapist
Spine Rehab

Kathy Boyd
Physical Therapist Assistant

Nicholas Cooper
Senior Physical Therapist
Spine Rehab

Kim Eppen
Clinical Specialist-PT
Pulmonary Rehab

Dick Evans

Stephanie Evans
Senior Physical Therapist

Jeff Fleming
Senior Physical Therapist

Brett Ford
Senior Physical Therapist

Joel Lee
Senior Physical Therapist
Outpatient and Sports Medicine

Pam Lee
Senior Physical Therapist
Spine Rehab

Jon Lueth
Senior Physical Therapist
Sports Medicine

Auriel Luna
Physical Therapist Assistant
Sports Medicine

Shannon Miers
Senior Physical Therapist
Outpatient and Sports Medicine

Jeff Nicholson
Senior Physical Therapist
Spine Rehab

Debra Parrott
Senior Physical Therapist
Outpatient and Spine Rehab

Paul Pursley
Senior Physical Therapist
Sports Medicine

Katie Ryan
Physical Therapist Assistant
Sports Medicine

Mike Shaffer
Sports Medicine

Mary Shepherd
Senior Physical Therapist
Outpatient and Vestibular Rehab

Kolleen Shields
Senior Physical Therapist
Sports Medicine

Amy Uitermark
Senior Physical Therapist
Outpatient and Women’s Health

Barb Van Gorp
Clinical Specialist-PT
Outpatient and Sports Medicine

Occupational Therapists

Kathy Kurk
Senior Occupational Therapist

Kim McClintick
Occupational Therapist

Health Library

UI Health Care, in a partnership with ADAM Multimedia Encyclopedia, offers you these select topics on Rehabilitation Services:

Why Choose Us?

Our rehabilitation services provide a full range of therapy options from certified and experienced therapists. Our interdisciplinary teams of therapy specialists work with people recovering from stroke, heart attack, bone and muscle injuries.

  • Our Sports Medicine Clinic offers rehabilitation services to the casual and the serious athlete.
  • Several of our therapy staff members hold a faculty appointment in the UI Carver College of Medicine. In 2010, U.S. News & World Report ranked the college's physical therapy program fifth among all universities nationally.
  • Our Child Life program, established in 1976, is the oldest such program in Iowa. Certified child life specialists provide care tailored to the needs of each child and their family members.
  • Three board-certified music therapists work closely with other members of the medical and Rehabilitation Therapies team to enhance the quality of life for all patients.
  • Occupational therapy can prevent injury or the worsening of existing conditions or disabilities. Because of this, occupational therapy keeps health care costs down and maximizes the quality of life for the individual, their family and other caregivers.
  • UI Hospitals and Clinics is one of the few medical centers in Iowa that offers certified therapeutic recreation specialists who play a vital role in enhancing the quality of life for their patients.

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