Physical Therapy - Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center - Richmond, VA
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Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center - Richmond, VA


Physical Therapy

McGuire VA Medical Center’s (VAMC) physical therapists are state licensed health care professionals that graduated from a college or university accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy (CAPTE).  Our national governing body is the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

Physical Therapy provides advanced, evidenced-based clinical services in these areas:
McGuire VAMC PT offers comprehensive services, programs, and therapies designed to meet your specific goals in a variety of treatment settings. Our experienced staff include skilled specialists who provide education, hands-on interventions and exercises customized to treat your injury or condition.

No matter the type or mechanism of injury, our licensed physical therapist can help you maximize your function and independence by improving strength, mobility and coordination/balance.  We often employ various assistive technologies when/where indicated.

Beginning with a thorough evaluation your physical therapist works with you to set attainable goals and helps you achieve them through customized exercises and therapeutic techniques. Your physical therapist alsocreates home exercise and strengthening programs specific to your needs; in addition to, ordering and instructing in use of any adaptive therapy aids.

We offer the following therapy services which include, but is not limited to:

  • Assistive device training
  • Balance screening
  • Gait training
  • Electrical stimulation for pain control and/or to improve function
  • Hot and cold treatments
  • Injury prevention education
  • Pain management
  • Patient, family and caregiver education
  • Range of motion exercises
  • Manual Therapy -  Soft tissue and joint mobilization
  • Spasticity management
  • Strength training
  • Transfer training
  • Ultrasound therapy
  • Wound care
  • Biofeedback

For questions regarding Physical Therapy Services:

Supervisory Contacts:
Tanya G. Scott, Department Supervisory
Main Hospital, Room 1S-140
Contact numbers:  office 804-675-5326, Pager 804-659-1087

Jeffery Spears, Outpatient Section Supervisor
Main Hospital, Room 1S-115
Contact numbers:  office 804-675-5000, extension 2633, Pager 804-659-0400

Lynette Villadelgado, Inpatient Section Supervisor
Main Hospital, Room 1T-152
Contact numbers:  office 804-675-5000, extension 4721, Pager 804-351-0339

Other PT staff contacts:
Karissa Serio, Tele-Rehabilitation
Main Hospital, Room 2B-165
Contact numbers:  office 804-675-7568, Pager 804-351-0676

Elmer Ligh, Integrative Pain
Building 507C, Room 101
Contact numbers:  office 804-675-5000, extension 3507, Pager 804-659-1058

Patricia Young, Amputee Coordination of Care
Main Hospital, Room 2B-151
Contact:  office 804-675-5000, extension 3292, Pager 804-256-3371

Jennifer Floyd, Falls
Main Hospital, Room 1M-130
Contact:  office 804-675-5000 extension 3281 Pager 804-351-2161

INPATIENT CARE (Acute Care/ICUs, CLC, and Rehabilitation)

Providing a higher level of care than nursing homes, our inpatient acute rehabilitation centers give you the physical, emotional, mental, social and spiritual support you need for a positive outcome and faster recovery.

Experienced licensed physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, registered nurses, neuropsychologists, social workers, recreation therapists and kinesiotherapists work together to ensure the best recovery possible. Our care team works with veterans and active duty servicemen and women to create an individualized plan to increase your independence and confidence and improve the quality of your life.

Richmond VAMC uses state-of-the art equipment to ensure maximal improvement and safety. Your family members and loved ones will also get the education and training they need to help you thrive. McGuire VAMC Physical Therapy serves the needs of patients with acute or chronic injuries/debilitating illnesses who can benefit from acute or intensive comprehensive therapy services. We help patients recovering from a range of conditions including:

  • Stroke
  • Brain Injury
  • Spinal Cord Injury & Disorders, including ALS and MS
  • Multiple Fractures or Trauma
  • Complex Medical Conditions
    • Cardiovascular
    • Organ Transplantation
    • Cardiopulmonary
    • Joint Amputations
    • Metabolic Disorders
    • Neuromuscular disorders
    • Musculoskeletal disorders
    • Wound Care

Acute Medicine and Surgery

Goals of treatment:

  • Evaluate and treat the Veteran after surgery or illness to return the individual to the prior level of function or better.
  • Evaluate for equipment needs at home and train the patient and/or family with new equipment for the Veteran’s safe use.
  • Determine if the Veteran is at optimal function for returning home or has needs for skilled inpatient, skilled nursing home, home health or outpatient PT for further rehabilitation. 

Programs and Services provided:

  • General reconditioning
  • Pre- and post-operative services: Besides treating patients who have undergone general orthopedic procedures, physical therapists also provide services to patients with the following conditions undergoing other types of surgeries:
    • Parkinson’s Disease:  prior to and after Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) procedure
    • Bariatric surgery
    • Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) surgery
  • Group Education Classes:
    • Diabetic Education Classes: Physical therapists provide education in prevention and symptom management, equipment recommendation, available resources and referrals 
  • Emergency Department: PTs provide fall and mobility assessment, equipment recommendation or prescription (walkers, canes, rollators, wheelchairs)

Community Living Center and Mental Health

Programs and services:

  • Fall Prevention and Balance Retraining


Physical Therapists work with other rehabilitation specialists to provide individualized treatment programs to help restore or maximize functional outcomes and safety. With a focus on relearning activities of daily living, the McGuire rehabilitation programs include individualized behavior management techniques, family support programs, progressive therapy and educational services.

Polytrauma offers inpatient acute rehabilitation for patients with amputations, neurological conditions such as stroke and traumatic brain injury, post-op cardiac surgery, and for those with multiple injuries resulting from trauma.

Programs and Services:

Amputee Care

  • The physical therapist in the Amputee Program provide therapy specific clinical and client coordination throughout the continuum (acute care to inpatient rehabilitation transitioning to outpatient rehabilitation) of care.  A comprehensive approach is provided for all client specific needs of those with amputations.

Spinal Cord Injury& Disorders (SCI&D)

During your recovery after a spinal cord injury, your rehabilitation care team will help you set goals for recovery and will work with you to create an individualized treatment program to meet your goals. Your physical therapist will monitor your functional mobility progress and adjust your treatment according to your status. Throughout your stay, you and your family will be provided with instructions and education in how to maximize your independence, including efficient and safe ways to use equipment that you may need at home and in the community. Physical therapists participate in annual evaluations on all SCI&D clients.

The SCI department is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment that is used by physical therapists who have received specialized training to deliver various interventions. Based on the Veteran’s physician and physical therapist’s clinical judgement, the following devices are used to assist participants in regaining the highest possible level of function:

  • Body-weight supported walking/standing re-training (BWST)
    • Manual: Vector, Thera stride
    • Robotic: Lokomat, Ekso Bionics, Re-walk
  • Neuroprostheses: a well-established rehabilitation technique that uses electrical current to stimulate nerves that connect the spinal cord to the muscles producing muscle contractions. This equipment is applied using electrodes (pads) that are placed over the muscle to be stimulated:
    • Bioness, Walk-aide, Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) bike
  • Parastep
  • Orthotics or Braces
  • Training in Over-ground Walking
  • Other specialized services include:
    • Individualized manual and power chair evaluations and prescription
    • Pressure mapping, wheeled-mobility, specialized cushion recommendation

SCI&D Wound Care 

Patients with SCI are prone to getting wounds, including pressure ulcers, due to various reasons like decreased or absent sensation, difficulty moving and changing positions, muscle atrophy (shrinking) and circulation problems. That is why wound healing is a comprehensive team approach in McGuire. The wound care team includes Physical Therapists, Wound/Ostomy Nursing, Physicians, Dieticians, and Pharmacists. The Physical Therapists in this program received specialized training in wound management. This allows them to evaluate and treat pressure ulcers in the SCI population. Treatment includes cleaning, debridement, and treatment of wounds with modalities (electrical stimulation and ultrasound) to facilitate healing.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) /Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Because of the devastating effect of ALS and MS (muscle weakness causing difficulty in movement, communication, eating and eventually breathing), the McGuire ALS team created a multidisciplinary care team consisting of a neurologist, SCI physicians, a physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech language pathologist, respiratory therapist, nurse, dietician, social worker, a mental health provider and Assistive Technology. Our medical team provide the care and services in a supportive atmosphere with an emphasis on hope and quality of life.

The physical therapist’s role in the care of the patient is focused on education in energy conservation, safety, optimizing independence with energy conservation consideration, equipment assessment (personal and home), and assisting with transitioning of care.


Physical therapists address pain, loss of function, strengthening and assistive device prescription for veterans after injury, illness, or surgical interventions treating veterans across the lifespan.

  • Acute/Chronic Rehab for:
    • Joint Inflammation
    • Fractures and Breaks
    • Muscle Tendon tears
    • Neurologic Conditions
    • Orthopedic Conditions
    • Post-Surgical
    • Spinal Pain
    • Strain and Sprains
  • Adaptive Equipment (evaluation, education/training/treatment)
  • Aerobic Conditioning
  • Amputee Rehabilitation
  • Arthritis
  • Bracing/orthotic recommendations
  • Bursitis
  • Balance and Fall Prevention
  • Dry Needling: trigger point therapy
  • Education and Prevention
  • Ergonomic education
  • Functional Electrical Stimulation
  • Home Exercise Program (strengthening, balance, flexibility, other)
  • Joint Preservation and Protection
  • Pain Management can include Modality Use
    • Ankle/Foot
    • Knee 
    • Hip and Pelvis
    • Myofascial
    • Neck
    • Shoulder
    • Spine including degenerative diseases
  • Manual Therapy
    • Joint Mobilizations
    • Muscle Energy Techniques (METs)
    • Hawk Grip (IASTM): soft tissue injuries, tendon inflammation
  • Mobility – Range of Motion and Flexibility
  • Muscle Re-education
    • Electrical Stimulation
    • Biofeedback
  • Orthopedic Injury and Rehabilitation: spinal, upper or lower extremity  joint pain
  • Pelvic Floor Strengthening
  • Pre- and Post-Operative Rehab
  • Progressive exercise therapy
  • Strength Training and Conditioning
  • Sports Injury Rehabilitation
  • Telehealth
  • Tendonitis
  • Therapeutic Exercise
  • TMJ Rehab
  • Total Joint Replacement Rehabilitation
  • Vestibular Rehabilitation
  • Wound Management

Contact Info


  • McGuire VA Medical Center
    1201 Broad Rock Blvd., Richmond, VA 23249

Contact Number(s)

  • 804-675-5326
  • 804-675-6588

Hours of Operation

  • Monday - Friday
    8 a.m. to 4 p.m.