Recreation Therapy - Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital
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Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital


Recreation Therapy

Recreation Therapy at Hines VA Hospital provides services to inpatients in the Blind Rehabilitation, Community Living, and Spinal Cord Injury Centers; Mental Health; Rehabilitation; Polytrauma; as well as to outpatients. Recreation Therapy uses a variety of treatment options based on the patient’s interests and functional status.

Therapeutic Recreation is part of the total rehabilitation process. It addresses the recreation aspect of the Veteran’s life through therapeutic goals. Veterans are given the opportunity to explore past and present recreation interests as well as develop and pursue new interests through the many programs offered on campus and in the community.

Benefits of Recreation Therapy

  • Physical
    • Increase physical well-being and abilities
    • Improve pain management
  • Emotional
    • Develop positive coping strategies
    • Decrease anxiety
    • Enhance creative expression
  • Social
    • Increase knowledge of community resources
    • Improve appropriate social functioning and interpersonal skills
    • Facilitate independence and confidence
  • Cognitive
    • Increase sustained and alternating attention
    • Improve time management

Recreation Therapy for Inpatients

Recreation Therapy is offered on many inpatient units. Both group and individual programs are offered which may include music, art, memory enhancement activities, gardening, yoga, sports, current events, social events and community outings.

Recreation Therapy for Outpatients

Recreation Therapy offers a wide variety of programs to meet the needs of the individual Veteran already in the community. Programs are offered in four categories. A Consult to Outpatient Recreation Therapy is required for participation in all outpatient Recreation Therapy programs. This may be requested through your physician.

  1. Therapeutic Programs - are goal based and assist the Veteran in attaining specific outcomes.
  2. Social/Leisure Programs - are open to all Veterans with an active consult to Recreation Therapy and provide an opportunity for interacting with other Veterans in a structured setting. Program have an maximum participation limit. Early registration is suggested.
  3. Experiential Clinics - will offer the Veteran the opportunity to explore new areas of interest.
  4. Adaptive Sports Program - provides an opportunity for Veterans to participate in a variety of sport activities in preparation for attending national VA sponsored events. Requirements include participation in sport practices, fund raising and the annual Hines Adaptive Sports Day. 

National Events

For more than 20 years, the Department of Veterans Affairs has sponsored four national rehabilitation special events for our nation’s Veterans. In 2008, two additional programs were added to this roster. All of these annual national programs promote the healing of both body and spirit as they motivate eligible Veterans to reach their full potential, improve their independence, achieve a healthier lifestyle, and enjoy a higher quality of life overall.
Each year, VA sponsors or co-sponsors these programs for U.S. military Veterans served by VA medical facilities nationwide. Each event improves awareness of the therapeutic value of recreation, sports, or creative arts therapy in the lives of our nation’s Veterans. For more information about each of these outstanding programs, click on the links above.

Contact Info


  • Bldg. 9 Rm. 103

Contact Number(s)

  • 708-202-2261

Hours of Operation

  • 8:00am - 4:30pm