Brain Injury Rehabilitation & Recovery

Shepherd Center has a full continuum of services to treat people who have experienced a traumatic or non-traumatic brain injury, including a stroke.

Our programs are designed to treat specific conditions, such disorders of consciousness (when a person is in a minimally conscious state following brain injury) and specific age groups, such as our adolescent program.  

Call our admissions department at 404-350-7345 to initiate a referral to Shepherd Center.

In addition, Shepherd Center has a 10-bed ICU, allowing our specialists to see complex brain injuries and address secondary complications resulting from the injury.

Our post acute services include a day and residential program, outpatient services, a care program that assesses long term needs of patients, a program for military members with mild TBI/PTSD (called the SHARE Military Initiative), and respite and long term care.

Download our brochure, patient testimonials and fact sheet.

Your Treatment Team

Shepherd Center’s brain injury rehabilitation program is managed by physiatrists and a multidisciplinary team of specialists, and coordinated by case managers who develop discharge plans focused on community reintegration.

We have treated thousands of people with brain injuries, and our medical outcomes exceed regional and national averages.

Brain injuries may result in significant impairment of an individual's physical, cognitive and psychosocial functioning. Shepherd Center is equipped to meet the medical and clinical needs for people who require ICU-level care, to post-acute services, such as our Day Program or Outpatient Services.

Download this outcomes sheet containing information comparing Shepherd Center's outcomes for people with brain injury as compared to the national average. 

A Family Environment

To help families take an active role in rehabilitation, we provide temporary housing for families of patients who live more than 60 miles from the Center.

Acute Care / ICU

A person's best chance for recovery may begin with Shepherd Center's program for the acutely injured. Here, our goal is to manage a patient's medical status and get him or her ready for rehabilitation. This phase includes everything from monitoring drug therapies and nutrition to getting the patient mobile and out of bed as soon as possible.

Shepherd Center's Intensive Care Unit accepts the most medically fragile patients—including those who are ventilator dependent, but weanable, those who have a dual diagnosis of brain and spinal cord injury, and those who are comatose or minimally conscious. Working to achieve a certain level of responsiveness, the ICU team has a goal of quickly transitioning the patient from intensive care to inpatient rehabilitation.

Disorders of Consciousness Program

The Disorders of Consciousness (DOC) Program is a short-term, three-to-five-week program, with about one and a half hours of therapy daily, for patients who are semi-comatose or minimally conscious (Rancho I-III). It takes into account a slow response to therapeutic intervention.

Reducing medical acuity, preventing medical complications and continually measuring arousal and attention to the environment are key components of this program. The program also addresses neuropharmacological management, nutritional management, maximizing mobility, and family education and training.

The interdisciplinary team works closely to facilitate the patient's recovery by offering an individualized plan of care that balances medication management, therapies, environmental stimulation and rest. At Shepherd Center, we believe in educating each family to help you care for your loved one in the event that he/she is not ready for active rehabilitation.

For more information about our program, click here. Also, read about patient outcomes in a downloadable document available by clicking here.

Inpatient Rehabilitation

Inpatient rehabilitation involves both the patient and his or her family in a treatment program that takes into account all of the physical and cognitive changes that have taken place, as well as the information the patient and family need to prepare for the future.

Our 30-bed, secured care unit is home to a program that treats not only brain injury but also patients with stroke and diagnoses including encephalitis and anoxia. We also have specialized programs for adolescents recovering from brain injury.

The unit includes a large therapy gym, a transitional living apartment with full kitchen, a recreation/classroom for adolescents, accessible bathrooms, private treatment rooms and a computer lab.

As recovery progresses, a patient enters the post-acute phase and may make the transition to Shepherd Center’s day or residential programs.

Day Program at Shepherd Pathways

The Day Program enables patients with brain injury who no longer need 24-hour nursing care to continue their recovery and rehabilitation.

Shepherd Center's Day Program takes place at Shepherd Pathways, a nearby facility in Decatur, Ga., and includes treatment rooms, two large therapy gyms, a computer lab, outdoor sports equipment and putting green for recreational and leisure activities.

Whether they are living alone or with family, patients in the day program arrive each day to participate in facility-based training and re-integration training into the community.

Patients and their therapists organize activities like grocery shopping, accessing transportation, dining out at local restaurants, and pre-vocational and vocational assessment and counseling to help patients make a smooth transition to their communities, school or work.

Shepherd Center housing for patients in the day program is limited and patients must live more than 60 miles from the Center to be considered for housing. Please discuss predetermined limits with your case manager. 

Brain Injury Residential Program

Shepherd Center’s post-acute program includes a residential component in a local community setting for people with brain injury who have completed their inpatient program and are ready to live in the community, but still need 24-hour support.

The residential program has 11 designated beds that are supported by 24-hour supervision from an LPN and residential assistants, who support individual treatment goals.

A physiatrist directs  each patient's care with the support of nurses, therapists, psychologists, recreational therapists , vocational specialist and many more. Specially trained life skills coaches work with residential patients to implement behavior and personal management plans. Patients also receive assistance with activities of daily living, medications and management of behaviors.

Outpatient Brain Injury Services

Every brain injury doesn’t require the full spectrum of care. Shepherd is often called upon to provide expertise in one aspect of care or evaluation.

At Shepherd Pathways, we offer specialized therapies, evaluations and programs, including:

  • Adolescent and Young Adult Program
  • Center for Diagnostic Evaluation–Medical Legal Consultation
  • Acute Mild Brain Injury program
  • Neuropsychological Testing
  • Counseling
  • Vestibular/Balance Program
  • Swallowing Program
  • Sports Concussion Program
  • Outpatient Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy

Educational Resource

Shepherd Center provides an educational website to provide patients and caregivers with important information they will need when they return home. Visit the website at

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