Frequently Asked Questions

Find out the answers to frequently asked questions that our patients and referring providers ask. Can’t find the answers you’re looking for? Contact us!

General Information

Sheltering Arms Institute, a collaboration with VCU Health, is a nationally recognized nonprofit physical rehabilitation hospital and network of outpatient centers. Sheltering Arms Institute brings together the brand and clinical reputation of Sheltering Arms and the nationally ranked programs and research of VCU Health.

Sheltering Arms Institute’s main campus is conveniently located just west of Richmond, Virginia 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. Additionally, we have seven outpatient centers located throughout Central Virginia. To view all of our locations, please visit

Sheltering Arms Institute is its own entity. It is a joint venture between Sheltering Arms and VCU Health, not a merger, and neither organization is acquiring the other. The two organizations are the parent companies of Sheltering Arms Institute.


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

Sheltering Arms Institute’s main campus is located near major highways to be easily accessible for everyone. Additionally, the campus is on the Greater Richmond Transit System (GRTC) bus stop and affordable transportation is also offered by Uber Health. We also have a Transportation Resource Guide that lists many other transportation services available in the Richmond area.

Becoming a Patient

For inpatient rehabilitation, patients need a referral from a physician, hospital, or healthcare facility. For more details about the admissions process to become a patient at our hospital, please visit or call our admissions team at (804) 877-4000, then press option 1.

For outpatient therapy, please call (804) 764-1000, then press option 2, or visit to request an appointment.

Sheltering Arms Institute accepts patients aged 13 and older.

Most insurance plans are accepted, including Medicare and Medicaid. One of our admissions coordinators works with each patient and their family/caregiver to confirm specific insurance coverage. For a full list of accepted insurances, please visit

Yes. Patients must complete an application and screening process to see if they qualify. For more information and to download an application, please visit

The average length of stay at Sheltering Arms Institute for inpatient rehab is 7-21 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 or educational sessions, particularly as graduation nears. All patient rooms are 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 out-of-town family members whose loved ones are currently receiving medical care.

Please note: Due to COVID-19, our visitor policy changes frequently. Please visit for the most up-to-date visitor policy.

Patients may be admitted from acute care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, or from home. Referrals are accepted from physicians and healthcare facilities in addition to hospitals. Referrals may be made through Allscripts (now Veradigm), Epic, and naviHealth, or via fax to (804) 877-4003. For more information, please visit

For inpatient rehabilitation at Sheltering Arms Institute, 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.

For individuals interested in outpatient therapy, one of our customer service representatives can help you or your loved one schedule an initial evaluation by calling (804) 764-1000, then press option 2, or by visiting After your evaluation with a specialist, your therapist will estimate your recovery time and work with you to develop a customized treatment plan to help you achieve your best recovery.

For individuals interested in inpatient rehabilitation, every 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 fully participate in therapy and set the tone for ongoing recovery.

· Ask your case manager, social worker, or physician to send a referral to the hospital admissions department at Sheltering Arms Institute via Allscripts (now Veradigm), Epic, or naviHealth, or fax (804) 877-4003, 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 with 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; however, at Sheltering Arms Institute, we exceed that benchmark. Individuals participating in our program can expect an average of 3-5 hours of therapy each day. In addition to physical, occupational, and speech therapies based on specific needs, other therapies such as recreational therapy and music 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 our patients and their caregivers face. Participants can learn how to adapt to their own unique situations from specialists and each other.

The following schedule is a sample and for illustrative purposes only. Individual schedules vary based on each patient’s care plan and level of injury.

7-9 a.m. – Physician Rounds

8:30-9 a.m. – Breakfast

9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. – Physical / Occupational / Speech / Recreation / Therapy

12:30-1 p.m. – Lunch

1-4 p.m. – More Therapy

4-5 p.m. – Therapeutic Recreation Groups

5:30-6 p.m. – Dinner

6-7 p.m. – Therapeutic Recreation Groups

7-8 p.m. – Medications and Bedtime Preparations

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