Recreation Therapy

The importance of recreation to people with physical challenges used to be overlooked or considered a luxury of extra time. The focus, of course, was on medical treatments and procedures to help improve the condition. It is now becoming more apparent, and supported by research, that recreation is a necessity for an overall healthy lifestyle. The opportunity to “re-create” ourselves through activities and exercise builds and enhances our quality of life and health, and is also restorative and relaxing.

The Christine E. Lynn Rehabilitation Center has long recognized this important component of the rehabilitation process and provides therapeutic recreation to inpatients and outpatients along with the more traditional physical, occupational, speech, psychiatric and nursing therapies. The ultimate goal is to reintegrate people back into their community, no matter what life-changing injury they have received.

Recreation as a Treatment Modality

Recreation therapy uses recreation as a treatment modality to address cognitive, physical and social behavior, and emotional deficits. Through goal-oriented and skill-based community outings, patients have the opportunity to incorporate and practice the skills gained in rehab. They have the experience of learning from real-life situations, under the guidance of professional recreational therapists. Training is also provided in community resources, transportation use, and architectural and attitudinal barriers. Patients are able to problem-solve how to best manage these situations. Each outing is specific to the individual person’s needs and abilities.

Treating the Whole Person

Therapeutic recreation specialists treat the whole person, not just the injury. An article in No Barriers newsletter reported that 31 percent of individuals with a spinal cord injury left their home less than one time per week. This shows a vital need for early exposure to community situations as soon after injury as possible, to improve a person’s confidence level, independence, quality of life and future wellbeing. All of the physicians, nurses and therapists in Jackson Rehabilitation Hospital work together as an interdisciplinary team helping each patient accomplish these goals.

Our recreation therapists encourage and motivate adults and children with life-changing injuries to remain active members of their families and their community.

Brain Injury, Stroke, and Caregiver Support Groups

Patients and families dealing with the emotional challenges of a stroke can find comfort knowing they are not alone. In these guided support groups, families can share their experience in a safe and confidential setting, while fostering strength and building connections with other patients facing some of the same challenges.

Attendance is free. Light snacks and drinks will be provided.

Jackson Memorial Hospital
Clark Diagnostic Treatment Center (DTC)
1080 NW 19th Street
Miami, FL 33127
6:30pm – 8pm

Caregiver Support Group
Room: DTC 254

Stroke Support Group
Room: DTC 251

Brain Injury Support Group
Room: DTC 252

The closest garage is directly across from the main entrance of Jackson Memorial Hospital (Clark DTC). First 2 hours are free.

2020 Meeting Dates
*Last Wednesday of each month (except holidays)
January 29
February 26
March 25
April – December: Please call the contact number below for new location information.

For more information contact:
Kelly Messett, CTRS
PH: 305-585-1264
C: 305-588-6751

Community Outreach

The Christine E. Lynn Rehabilitation Center specialists provide educational and injury prevention programs to thousands of South Florida elementary school children, teenagers and adults each year. As volunteer leaders in educating the community, Jackson’s physicians, nurses and therapists play an active role in the following programs:

“Think First Miami,” a national brain and spinal cord injury aimed at high school students using “peer messengers,” spinal cord-injured patients who describe their lives since their injuries.

“Think First Miami” is presented to approximately 15,000 tenth-graders annually, and to several thousand other adults and children at community events.

“Learn Not to Burn,” a fire prevention safety curriculum for teachers.

“It’s Just Me,” a re-entry program that helps burned children return to school.

“Stop the Violence,” an ongoing Miami-Dade public school program.

“Traumaroo,” a playground and bike safety video that features a cartoon kangaroo created by the American Trauma Society.

Rehabilitation team members also take leadership positions in community organizations, such as the Dade County Injury Prevention Coalition and the Florida Injury Prevention and Control Advisory Council.

Educational Programs

Merrick Educational Center Hospital/Homebound (H/H) instructional Program provides age/grade appropriate education by Miami-Dade County public school teachers while the student is in the hospital, and then seamlessly arranges for a teacher to come to the student’s home after discharge. Students will not be counted as absent in their home school and they will receive grades for work completed while entered into the H/H Program. Children benefit from the cognitive stimulation and normalcy provided by participating in individualized flexible learning activities while recuperating from their medical condition.