Education & Volunteering

At Sheltering Arms Institute, we are dedicated to advancing the science of physical rehabilitation by helping future professionals on their educational and training journeys. We offer the following opportunities for graduate and post-graduate students.


Sheltering Arms Institute offers volunteer experiences for students at all undergraduate levels as well as adults. Click here for a listing of all current volunteer opportunities.

Clinical Rotations

Sheltering Arms Institute offers placements for students enrolled in accredited graduate programs for physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech and language pathology. Placements are arranged directly with the schools.

If you would like more information about our graduate student programs, please contact:

Shawnna English
Manager Clinical Support


Sheltering Arms Institute’s residency program is offered in partnership through VCU Health. Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R) is a 3-year, fully accredited PM&R program that accepts six residents annually through the National Residency Match Program.

When residents complete our fully accredited PM&R program, graduates demonstrate the knowledge and skills to be highly skilled and competent physiatrists. Residents test applied interventions for people with acquired disabilities and their family members, in areas such as cognitive and behavioral rehab, adaptation and community re-entry that guide the field of PM&R for the future.

The program incorporates several tools which enable the graduates to have the extensive skills needed to be leaders in their field.

A combined approach of extensive clinical exposure, bedside teaching, formal lectures, research mentoring and well-being is provided by an experienced and nationally recognized faculty. An interdisciplinary team approach is utilized, working closely with physical, occupational and speech therapies, nursing, psychology, social work, athletic trainers, along with other medical and surgical specialties, such as orthopedic surgery, neurology, and neurosurgery to provide the residents with the most comprehensive education available.

Extensive training is provided for injection and interventional pain management. Residents are exposed to ultrasound diagnostics with their performance far exceeding the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education recommended target numbers.

Education and Grand Rounds cover the breadth of the field of acute and chronic neuromusculoskeletal conditions in PM&R. We want to provide our patients the power to overcome and return them to life. Some of the many topics included for discussion include:

  • Functional anatomy
  • Physical therapeutics
  • Rehabilitation of brain disorders
  • Rehabilitation of spinal cord injury
  • Rehabilitation of musculoskeletal disorders
  • Orthotics and prosthetics
  • Rehabilitation of muscle and nerve disorders
  • Sports medicine
  • Electrodiagnosis
  • Pediatric rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation of connective tissue disorders
  • Cancer, cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Pain management and rehabilitation
  • Industrial Rehabilitation
  • Business administration

For additional residency information, please contact:

Jenny Salomonsky
Residency Program Manager
Phone: (804) 828-2017
Mailing address:
VCU PM&R Residency Coordinator
P.O. Box 980667
Richmond, VA 23298

Katherine Dec, MD, FAAPMR, FAMSSM
Residency Program Director
Phone: (804) 828-5002
Mailing address:
VCU Department of PM&R
P.O. Box 980677
1223 East Marshall Street
Richmond, VA 23298


Residents are provided research mentorship and have a successful record of national presentations and publications. There are multiple subspecialty opportunities including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, polytrauma, amputation and prosthetics with and noted centers of excellence.

Fellowships within the department include VCU Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in traumatic brain injury, polytrauma, and spinal cord injury medicine. Additional opportunities include pain management, and advanced rehabilitation research.