Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

Sheltering Arms Institute – A collaboration with VCU Health, is the brand-new, 114-bed physical rehabilitation hospital for Virginia and beyond. Sheltering Arms Institute brings together the best of Sheltering Arms’ and VCU Health’s physical rehabilitation hospitals by relocating existing beds from both organizations’ three hospitals – Sheltering Arms Hanover (40), Sheltering Arms South (28) and VCU Health (46)

Sheltering Arms Institute is conveniently located in West Creek just west of Short Pump near the intersection of Route 288 and West Broad Street, 1.5 miles from I-64. The hospital’s physical address is: 2000 Wilkes Ridge Drive Richmond, VA 23233

Sheltering Arms Institute is now open and accepting patients based on bed availability. On June 13, we began moving patients from our former hospitals in phases. Moving patients in phases allowed for the most effective accreditation and regulatory reviews, which are standard requirements at a new hospital.

We chose to move the other hospitals to have a large enough space to build a brand-new, free-standing, destination hospital tailored to physical rehabilitation with all the features we wanted to offer our patients and their families. Operations at all three former hospitals have ceased.

Sheltering Arms Institute is a $95 million total project funded with $45 million in tax-exempt financing through Goochland Economic Development Authority and purchased by SunTrust (now Truist) and a $50 million capital campaign including a lead gift by the Sheltering Arms Foundation of $25 million. This project would not be possible without the generous philanthropic support of our community.

No. Sheltering Arms Institute is its own entity – it is a joint venture between the two organizations, not a merger, and neither organization is acquiring the other. Sheltering Arms and VCU Health are the parent companies of Sheltering Arms Institute, which offers acute inpatient rehabilitation. All outpatient services for both organizations will operate separately for now and into the foreseeable future.

We have implemented additional protocols such as daily temperature checks for anyone entering the facility and face mask requirements to ensure the safety of our team members and patients. For the most up-to-date visitor policy, please visit


The patient’s current acute care hospital may arrange transport via ambulance, or the patient may have a family member/caregiver provide transportation.

We chose a location near major highways so it would be easily accessible for everyone. Additionally, Sheltering Arms Institute is less than a mile from the nearest Greater Richmond Transit System (GRTC) bus stop ( and affordable transportation is also offered by Uber Health (

Features, Conditions Treated, and Services Offered

No, but there are pools at our parent organization Sheltering Arms’ Bon Air and Reynolds outpatient clinics.

Outpatient services are still offered on or nearby the former hospital campuses. There are no changes for outpatient therapy services at VCU Health. Sheltering Arms is moving a few of its outpatient services:

  • Neuro outpatient services offered at the Atlee Road location are moving to Sheltering Arms’ location on Meadowbridge Road, still on the Memorial Regional campus.
  • Outpatient services previously offered on the St. Francis campus have moved to Sheltering Arms’ expanded Bon Air neuro clinic, just 15 minutes away. Sheltering Arms also has an outpatient clinic on Hull Street, just 10 minutes away from the St. Francis campus.

No, Sheltering Arms Institute is a physical rehab hospital. However, outpatient therapy services are offered by our parent organizations Sheltering Arms Physical Rehabilitation and VCU Health System.

Some features we’re very excited about include: spacious private patient rooms with en suite bathrooms, lay-flat furniture and lounges for visitors, a 9,251 sq. ft. main therapy gym and three satellite gyms, advanced technology located throughout the hospital, four specialty units, wide doorways to accommodate wheelchairs, large picture windows to let in an abundance of natural light, and much more.

Sheltering Arms Institute brings together the brand and clinical reputation of Sheltering Arms and the nationally ranked programs of VCU Health into one state-of-the-science, destination physical rehabilitation hospital. The Institute blends advanced technology, research, and evidence-based clinical treatment to create an innovative, transdisciplinary model of rehabilitative care that facilitates superior outcomes for patients.

The experts at Sheltering Arms Institute help people recover from a wide range of illnesses and injuries. The Institute blends advanced technology, research and evidence-based clinical treatment to create an innovative, transdisciplinary model of rehabilitative care that facilitates superior outcomes for patients. We have multiple specialty units designed to treat severe and complex neurological and orthopedic conditions – stroke, spinal cord injury/complex care, traumatic brain injury, and multi-specialty.

In addition to these specialty diagnoses, other common diagnoses our patients experience include, but are not limited to:

  • Neuromuscular Disorder
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Multiple Joint Replacement
  • Amputation
  • Neurodegenerative Disease
  • Critical Illness Myopathy
  • Cardiac Complication

We specialize and treat many other conditions. For a complete list, call (804) 877-4000 or visit Here, you will be able to see our full list of services and conditions we treat.

Becoming a Patient

Sheltering Arms Institute is a rehabilitation hospital. Patients must be referred by a physician, hospital, or healthcare facility.

Sheltering Arms Institute accepts patients age 13 and older.

Most insurance plans are accepted, including Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare does not require pre-approval for inpatient rehab services; however, some Medicare replacement plans and commercial insurances require pre-approval to ensure the stay is adequately covered. An admissions coordinator works with each patient and their family/caregiver to confirm specific insurance coverage when scheduling the stay.

Yes. Patients must complete an application and screening process to see if they qualify.

The average length of stay at Sheltering Arms Institute is 8-16 days; however, this amount of time varies based on each individual’s condition(s).

Yes. Family/caregivers are an important part of the transdisciplinary model of care and may be asked to participate in therapy. Patient rooms are all private and spacious to accommodate visitors. A designated family member or caregiver is welcome to spend the night once approved by a team member. We also have relationships with several nearby affordable hotels and The Doorways, another local nonprofit that provides lodging for family members whose loved ones are in the hospital.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to COVID-19, our visitor policy has changed. Please visit for the most up-to-date visitor policy.

No. Referrals are accepted from physicians and healthcare facilities in addition to hospitals. Referrals may be made through NaviHealth, AllScripts, or via fax (804) 877-4001.

Sheltering Arms Institute is a hospital; therefore, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services requires that patients:

  • Need at least two of the three following disciplines to be considered a candidate: physical therapy, occupational therapy, and/or speech therapy;
  • Be able to participate in 15 hours of therapy per week; and
  • Have medical issues requiring physician oversight while receiving rehabilitation.

Each patient’s journey at Sheltering Arms Institute begins with a thorough pre-admissions assessment and comprehensive evaluation by one of our physicians. Patients often have multiple complex medical complications that must be effectively managed to enable them to participate in therapy and set the tone for ongoing recovery.

  • Ask your case manager, social worker or physician to send a referral to the admissions department at Sheltering Arms Institute via NaviHealth, AllScripts or fax (804) 877-4001 including:
    • General information including name, date of birth, address, emergency contact and insurance information
    • History and physical
    • Medication administration list
    • Most recent physician notes
    • Therapy evaluation(s) and most recent therapy treatment notes
  • A clinical liaison will be assigned to your case to evaluate your healthcare needs by visiting you, speaking to your family and reviewing your medical chart.
  • Once the clinical liaison gathers all necessary information, he or she will review your case with one of our physicians to determine if criteria for inpatient rehabilitation is met.

Rehab hospital patients are required to participate in a minimum of three hours of therapy each day, but at Sheltering Arms Institute, we exceed that benchmark. In addition to physical, occupational, and speech therapies based on specific needs, other therapies such as recreational therapy are a regular part of patients’ schedules.

During downtime, patients may practice walking or activities of daily living. Social and recreational events provide opportunities to socialize and network with others coping with similar diagnoses while enjoying favorite activities. Support groups and peer mentor programs are specially designed for the challenges facing our patients and their caregivers. Participants can learn from specialists and each other how to adapt to their own unique situations.

For more information on how to send a referral or become a patient, please call (804) 877-4000 or visit