A National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

Make an appointment: 800-826-HOPE


Rehabilitation Services

Rehabilitation (noun): The process of restoration of skills by a person who has had an illness or injury so as to regain maximum self-sufficiency and function in a normal or as near normal manner as possible.*
Cancer and its treatment can interfere with one's ability to engage in necessary and meaningful acitvities of daily living (ADL's). City of Hope Rehabilitation Specialists strive to minimize these effects to ensure the patient maintains or regains the maximum degree of function, comfort, and quality of life possible at any stage of the cancer journey. Rehabilitation Services are available to both inpatients and outpatients of all ages.
If you would like to be evaluated by Rehabilitation Services, please ask your physician for a referral.
*Definition credited to medterms.com
Contact Us:
Telephone:     626-256-4673 extention 63339 or 62412
Fax:                  626-930-5369
Hours:              Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location:         Main Medical Building, Room 1026
**All Rehabilitation Services require a doctor's order or prescription.**



Physical Therapy

City of Hope's Physical Therapy Program helps patients who have been weakened by disease or treatment regain and maintain their maximum level of function and independence.
Side Effect Management
Fatigue and pain including post-surgical pain are common during treatment and recovery.  Our physical therapists are highly experienced in treating these conditions with a variety of techniques such as manual therapy, transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation, modalities, customized bracing, body positioning, therapeutic exercise and education.
Wound Care
Cancer patients can experience skin problems for a variety of reasons, including after effects from radiation therapy or delayed healing. Skilled in wound care, including the cleansing and application of dressings, our therapists work closely with plastic and reconstructive surgeons and nurses to bring the latest treatment advances to our patients.
Mobility Training
Patients may experience loss of mobility for many reasons including weakness, pain, loss of sensation, neurological deficits, or joint problems. City of Hope Physical Therapists are available to assess patients and provide treatment to address these problems in order to achieve the highest level of mobility possible.
Balance Disorders
City of Hope Physical Therapists are experts at assessing and treatment balance disorders that may arise from disease, cancer treatment, or prolonged bedrest. They provide important assistance in helping patients prevent falls.
Musculoskeletal Disorders
Our Physical Therapists are highly qualified to assess and treat a variety of musculoskeletal disorders that arise from cancer or cancer treatment. These problems are typically addressed with strengthening exercise, and use of prosthetics or orthotics.
Prolonged bedrest and hospitalization have be shown to result in rapid decline in overall strength and flexibility. Our Physical Therapists provide treatment to help patients prevent of minimize this loss of strength, or to restore it as quickly as possible
Our outpatient Physical Therapy Staff are available to assist patient who experience incontinence. (See Continence Recovery Program)
Palliative Support
Physical therapists also play an integral role in the comprehensive palliative support of patients, providing pain management and quality end-of-life care.

If you would like to be evaluated by a Physical Therapist, please ask your physician for a referral.



Occupational Therapy

City of Hope's Occupational Therapy program focuses on restoring skills and teaching adaptive techniques to help patients resume their day-to-day lives with the greatest independence possible.

Comprehensive Breast Cancer Program
Our Occupational Therapists have developed a comprehensive breast cancer rehabilitation treatment program. Patients are evaluated by an Occupational Therapist prior to surgery where baseline status is determined. Patients are provided with education regarding exercise and activity to begin immediately following surgery and are followed up until the patient has regained her arm range of motion and resumed day to day activities.
Building Endurance and Function
Cancer patients can sometimes encounter difficulties performing normal everyday tasks as a result of fatigue or limitations in physical function. Occupational therapists assist patients in addressing these problems by using a combination of adaptive techniques, energy conservation measures and the use of specialized equipment.
Adaptive Techniques and Equipment for Activities of Daily Living
Occupational Therapists are uniquely qualified to develop adaptive techniques or suggest adaptive equipment to assist patients in achieving the highest level of independence in day to day functioning as possible. Often a combination of exercise, habit change, and use of equipment lead to the restoration of one's independence after physical changes brought about by cancer or its treatment.
City of hope offers lymphedema assessment and treatment by Certified Lymphedema Therapists. (See Lymphedema Program).
If you would like to be evaluated by an Occupational Therapist, please ask your physician for a referral.

Recreation Therapy

Intensive cancer treatments can be as emotionally demanding as they are physically challenging.
City of Hope’s Recreation Therapy Department works to promote a greater sense of well-being in patients through leisure activities that foster intellectual, emotional, social, and educational growth. Our Recreation Therapists are an essential component of both the adult and pediatric treatment teams.
Through an array of programs – both group and individualized – children, adolescents, and adults can pursue their personal interests in an environment that is as welcoming and respectful as it is compassionate and supportive. Our therapists provide guidance and resources to help patients adjust to the hospital environment, find ways to be active, and give voice to their emotions, feelings, and stressors, as well as to meet and interact with others in similar situations.
Recreation therapy is provided for inpatients. If you would like to participate in recreation therapy, please ask your physician for a referral.

Speech and Language Pathology

Sometimes treatments for cancer  can cause temporary or permanent changes in speech, communication, swallowing, or cognitive skills. Through retraining or the use of prosthetic devices, these effects can often be minimized or, in some instances, reversed.
City of Hope’s Speech and Language Pathologists are experts at restoring speech to patients who have undergone a variety of surgical and reconstructive procedures. They provide training in the most up to date techniques for alternative speech, including a variety of voice prostheses.
Our Speech and Language Pathologists are also experts at treating swallowing disorders. They are an integral part of the Head and Neck Team and work closely with the surgeons, dieticians, and oncologists to ensure the best possible outcomes.
Cognitive Deficits
They also provide treatment for cognitive disorders that may arise from the cancer or as a result of the treatment, including memory and other cognitive exercises, and adaptive strategies.
If you would like to be evaluated by a Speech and Language Pathologist, please ask your physician for a referral.



Lymphedema Program

Cancer patients often contend with swelling or edema (a build-up of fluid) as a result of having lymph nodes removed during surgery or damaged from radiation or cancer. This condition is known as lymphedema.
City of Hope Rehabilitation Services has therapists who are certified in the treatment of lymphedema. This certification ensures that the therapists have completed extensive education and training in the latest treatment techniques and use of compression garments to ensure the best possible outcomes.
The swelling characteristic of lymphedema can result in great discomfort, the inability to fit into clothes and the loss of range of motion and function. Swollen limbs can adversely affect body image and make it difficult to perform daily activities such as walking and reaching. The affected area is also at risk for infection.
Lymphedema therapists use a combination of treatments to manage the condition. These may include manual lymph drainage, compression bandaging, exercise, the use of a pneumatic sequential compression pump, and/or compression garments.

City of Hope Rehabilitation Services has Certified Lymphedema Therapists. This certification ensures that the therapists have completed extensive education and training in the latest treatment techniques and use of compression garments to ensure the best possible outcomes.



Urinary Incontinence Program

Incontinence can be an unwanted side effect of certain surgeries such as prostatectomies or bowel surgeries. It can interfere with one's engagement in work, hobbies, socialization, and quality of life. This can lead to isolation of those that suffer from incontinence.
City of Hope Rehabilitation Services provides treatment for incontinence using a program designed here at City of Hope specifically for CIty of Hope patients for both men and women. Using a combination of biofeedback and progressive pelvic floor exercises, patients can regain the confidence and quality of life they deserve by reducing or eliminating incontinence.
If you would like a referral to the Continency Recovery Program, please ask your physician for an order or a prescription.



STAR Certification

City of Hope is proud to announce that it has become a STAR (Survivorship, Training, and Rehabilitation) Certified Institution with it's first cohort of certification recipients in collaboration with Oncology Rehab Partners. The goal of this program is to ensure our patients receive the most up-to-date, evidence based rehabilitation services available.
These members of the City of Hope health care team completed 25 hours of training and successfully passed the certification exam:
Melanie Ahrens,  DPT Physical Therapist
Linda Allen, PTA Physical Therapist Assistant
Peggy Burhenn, MS, CNS, AOCNS Professional Practice Leader
Toni Carreras-Irwin, RC, RTC Recreation Therapist Lead
Joseph Chao, MD Physician, Medical Oncology
Michael Chou, DPT Physical Therapist
James Corradi, PTA, HFS-HCSM Physical Therapist Assistant
Shaka Graves, RTC Recreation Therapist
Jennifer Hayter, MA, OTR/L, CLT-LANA, SWC Director, Rehabilitation Services
Sherry Hite, MOT, OTR/L Occupational Therapy Lead
Norma Hook, MPT Physical Therapist
Tracy Jimenez, MPH, RD, CSO Clinical Dietician
Valerie Linane, MA, CCC Speech and Language Pathologist
Cecilia Mangali, DPT Physical Therapist
Priscilla Park, MA, OTR/L Occupational Therapist
Sonia Smith, RN, NP Supervisor, Outcomes Research
Belinda Torrez, MA, OTR/L, CLT-LANA, PAM Occupational Therapist
Peggy Trindle, RN, CPHN Quality Improvement Specialist
Ron Vandenbrink, RPT Physical Therapist
Gouri Varatkar, MPTh, GCS Physical Therapy Lead
Carin van Zyl, MD Physician, Supportive Care

Support This Program

It takes the help of a lot of caring people to make hope a reality for our patients.  City of Hope was founded by individuals’ philanthropic efforts 100 years ago. Their efforts — and those of our supporters today — have built the foundation for the care we provide and the research we conduct. It enables City of Hope to strive for new breakthroughs and better therapies, ultimately helping more people enjoy longer, better lives.

For more information on supporting this specific program, please contact our Donor Relations Department at 800-667-5310 or developmentrelations@coh.org. Or, to make a gift that supports all the research at City of Hope, donate online now.
We thank you for your support.
Patient Care Overview

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Cancer Care
For the 11th year, U.S.News & World Report has named City of Hope one of the top cancer hospitals in the country.
  • Immunotherapy — using one’s immune system to treat a disease — has been long lauded as the “magic bullet” of cancer treatments, one that can be more effective than the conventional therapies of surgery, radiation or chemotherapy. One specific type of immunotherapy, called adoptive T cell thera...
  • Today, when cancer spreads from its original site to other parts of the body, a process known as metastasis, patients face an uphill battle. Treatments are poorly effective, and cures are nearly impossible. Further, incidence rates for these types of cancers are increasing – particularly for cancers that have s...
  • Thanks to the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), high school students across the state gained valuable hands-on experience with stem cell research this summer. City of Hope hosted eight of those students. As part of the CIRM Creativity Awards program, the young scholars worked full time as m...
  • Radiation therapy can help cure many children facing Hodgkin lymphoma and other cancers. When the radiation is delivered to a girl’s chest, however, it can lead to a marked increase in breast cancer risk later in life. A recent multi-institutional study that included City of Hope’s Smita Bhatia, M.D., M.P.H., t...
  • A patient diagnosed with cancer – especially a rare, advanced or hard-to-treat cancer – needs specialized care from exceptionally skilled and highly trained experts. That kind of care saves lives, improves quality of life and keeps families whole. That kind of care is best found at comprehensive cancer centers ...
  • Appetite loss may be common during cancer treatment, lasting throughout your therapy or only occasionally, but it can be managed. Below are tips from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) that can help you keep your weight up and, in doing so, keep your body well-nourished. (See the end of this article for a deli...
  • Myelodysplasia, sometimes referred to as myelodysplastic syndrome or MDS, is a rare group of blood disorders caused by disrupted development of blood cells within the bone marrow, resulting in a decreased number of healthy blood cells. People diagnosed with the condition, considered a precancer, may be at great...
  • Twenty years ago, scientists discovered that a mutation in a gene now widely known as BRCA1 was linked to a sharply increased risk of breast cancer, paving the way for a new chapter in identifying women at risk of the disease and giving them options to potentially avoid an aggressive cancer. But experts have al...
  • The Eugene and Ruth Roberts Summer Student Academy at City of Hope turned 54 this year. Marking the occasion, the academy announced a new scholarship in honor of longtime director Paul Salvaterra, Ph.D. Salvaterra, a professor in City of Hope’s Department of Neurosciences, has led the summer student acade...
  • Stevee Rowe has a very personal connection to the research she’s conducting on neural stem cells: Her late father participated in a City of Hope clinical trial involving neural stem cells. Rowe — her full name is Alissa Stevee Rowe, but she prefers to use her middle name — will enter her senior year at the [...
  • Although multiple myeloma is classified as a blood cancer, patients with this disease often experience bone-related symptoms, too. This includes bone pain, frequent fractures and spots of low bone density or bone damage that show up during a skeletal scan. Here, Amrita Krishnan, M.D., director of City of Hope&#...
  • Women using some birth control pills, specifically those with high doses of estrogen and a few other formulations, may be at an increased risk of breast cancer, a new study has found. At first glance, the findings seem alarming, but a City of Hope breast cancer surgeon is warning against overreaction. The study...
  • Cancer is hard enough on the immune system, and chemotherapy takes an additional toll. This double blow to the immune system means cancer patients are more likely to develop infections than people not fighting cancer. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one out of every 10 cancer...
  • Some proteins really know how to multitask. Some of the best are called G-protein coupled receptors, or GPCRs, for short. New research by City of Hope scientists Nagarajan Vaidehi, Ph.D., and Supriyo Bhattacharya, Ph.D., shows how a single GPCR can have very different effects in a cell depending on the molecule...
  • A common surgical device, often used for minimally invasive hysterectomies, may be riskier than previously thought because of its potential to spread several types of cancer, not just uterine cancer, a new study has found. One out of every 368 women treated with a power morcellator – a device that cuts the uter...