Teenage boy in wheelchair playing basketball

St. Luke’s is dedicated to helping every patient return to their community healthy, strong and with a renewed spark for life. As the only Level I Trauma rehabilitation hospital in the Inland Northwest, we’ve been helping spinal cord injury patients regain their fullest lives for more than two decades. As the Spinal Cord Injury Destination of Choice for the Providence system and the region, we treat patients from the Pacific Northwest, Southeast Washington, North Idaho, Montana and Alaska.

No two spinal cord injuries are alike, which is why our interdisciplinary team works closely with every patient to help them achieve their best outcomes. St. Luke’s therapy program increases patient quality of life and prepares them to return to their lives as quickly and seamlessly as possible. Our outcomes speak to our excellence and to the perseverance of our amazing patients – we regularly discharge more patients to their homes than the national average for rehab facilities.

Excellence for every patient

Although the causes of spinal cord injury may vary, our quality of care is constant. Our hallmarks include:

  • Patient-centered model of care
  • Deep respect for the wants and desires of our patients
  • Recognition of our patients’ individuality
  • Tailored treatment to achieve unique goals
  • A safe and secure care setting
  • Access to ongoing support groups for spinal cord injured patients and their families
A continuum of care for every stage

Our spinal cord Injury model of care focuses on helping individuals regain and maintain their vibrant lives – today and well into the future. Our focus of excellence includes:

  • Inpatient and outpatient therapy at the same location
  • A patient-centered model of care
  • Close collaboration with other regional and community service providers
  • Outpatient services provided 5 days per week
  • Innovative, evidence-based rehabilitation
  • Assistive technology
  • Community reintegration
  • Adaptive sports and leisure programs
Innovative therapy

Our program utilizes innovative technology and evidenced-based medical and therapy interventions, including:

  • Zero-G body-weight support system
  • Lokomat robotic-assisted walking device
  • Dynavision D2 hand/eye coordination and visual awareness retraining
  • Neofect Smart Glove to improve arm and hand function
  • Saebo Mobile Arm Support to assist with arm function
  • Driving Simulator
  • On-road driving evaluations and training with specially adapted vehicle
  • St. Luke’s Community for real world practice of everyday skills
  • Aquatic therapy
  • Daily stroke education classes
  • Community outings with recreational therapists
  • In-person and virtual home evaluations
  • Hands-on caregiver and family training

We treat traumatic and non-traumatic spinal cord injuries of all levels, such as those caused by:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Gunshot wounds
  • Spinal tumors
  • Neck and back injuries

We want to help patients throughout their stay and after. St. Luke’s offers a support group for patients who have suffered a spinal cord injury. The group meets every fourth Wednesday of the month from 1-2 p.m. in-person or virtually. Call the Support Group Hotline, 509-473-6681, for more information.

For more information about our support groups and to sign up, visit our Support Services page.


Your first few days at St. Luke’s will focus on evaluations by all your caregivers. This will help you and your team to identify areas of strength and challenge, and be an opportunity to define what your goals are for your care.

Most patients have three hours of therapy per day, at least five days per week, though this can change a little from person to person. Therapists work with you where you are to move towards your goals. If you are ever feeling sick or tired, let your therapist know so that they can modify the session goals to allow you to participate at whatever level you can tolerate.

We encourage friends and family to attend and participate in therapy sessions, and also try to also make videos or provide handouts so that family can see the progress you’re making and the support you need.


A significant amount of recovery is done within the first six months to a year after a spinal cord injury. There are common symptoms associated with where in the spinal cord the injury occurs, but everyone is affected a little different. As such, it is most important to be aware of how the spinal cord injury has uniquely affected you, and only ever compare you to yourself over the course of recovery (no two recoveries are alike).

Providing the “just-right challenge”

Recovery after a spinal cord injury is best when you are being challenged to complete tasks that you can successfully complete. When activities are too easy or too hard, we don’t get the same benefit.

Our therapists specialize in determining what the “just-right” challenge is for you – where you are challenged, but you can succeed at the activity. This promotes the building of new connections in the spinal cord, and also builds your confidence. We work with your and your family to find challenges that are meaningful for you, and make sure to take how you are feeling into account every day.

Discharge Planning

Your rehabilitation team will meet weekly to discuss discharge planning. These discussions will include:

  • Determining your estimated discharge date
  • Thinking about where you will go after discharge and making this as safe as possible
  • Anticipating your need for help from family and caregivers
  • Recommendations for follow-up therapies and medical care
  • Recommendations for community services (meal delivery, caregiver services, transportation)
  • Team collaboration to solve any barriers to you returning home safely

When it’s your time to leave St. Luke’s, we will determine what therapies you would still benefit from and arrange continued services. These follow up services may include:

  • Outpatient therapies
  • Home health therapies
  • Home health nursing
  • Bath aide

Your rehab doctor will determine what follow up medical appointments are required, and St. Luke’s will schedule them for after discharge.


St. Luke’s inpatient and outpatient programs are fully accredited by the Joint Commission and CARF International, beacons in the medical community that hold health care facilities to the highest level of consistency and compliance.

The Joint Commission seal CARF Accredited: ASPIRE to Excellence