If you have suffered from a stroke, spinal cord injury or trauma, had a joint replacement or other orthopedic or neurologic condition, the Benefis Rehabilitation Unit may be the intense program you need to get you back to your life.

At Benefis Rehabilitation, our promise is to provide a place "where quality of life counts." Our Rehabilitation Unit is a twenty-bed acute care unit located on the second floor of the West Campus, located at 500 15th Avenue South in Great Falls. With a newly remodeled space designed specifically to enhance your rehabilitation progress, and a highly qualified team of physicians, therapists, nurses, psychologists and others to assist you, we will develop a plan of care based on your goals and focused on your quality of life.

For more than 20 years The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) has recognized the Benefis Rehabilitation Unit for its quality care. Our program has qualified staff that work under the direction of a physiatrist (a physician who specializes in rehabilitation medicine).

Our Team

Team Member Roles

Physiatrists –
As specialists in the area of rehabilitation, our physicians are dedicated leaders of the team that cares for you. They have a deep understanding of the impact rehabilitation has on your life and are committed to helping you achieve your absolute best.

  • James Hinde, MD, Medical Directory
  • Bill Tacke, MD
  • Patrick Galvas, MD
  • K. Allen Ward, MD

Psychologist –
Injury and illness often mean a change in behavior. It always requires an emotional adjustment. Our psychologist is an expert in helping you and your family work through these changes.

  • Pete Stivers, MD

Rehabilitation Nurses –
Our rehabilitaiton nurses have special knowledge and credentials validating their expertise in helping you to improve existing abilities, promote health and prevent further impairments. They will help you problem-solve through your disability and promote your safe return to your life.

Physical Therapists –
Skilled at helping you to regain your strength, mobility, coordination and endurance, physical Therapists will work with you toward independence. They will make sure you have the equipment and support you need to help you when you go home.

Occupational Therapy –
It’s the little things in life that can be most frustrating. OT will help you relearn how to do things like making dinner. They are experts in equipment that can make these things easier.

Speech Therapy –
We underestimate the value of the ability to communicate. Frequently, disease and injury can make communication much more difficult. Speech therapists are experts in helping not only speech itself but the memory and thinking process it takes to do it.

Rehabilitation Counselor/Care Coordinator –
Everything becomes complicated when your life is turned upside down by injury or illness. The counselor will help you with the many issues that seem overwhelming, such as emotional needs, financial concerns, family support and added resources. They will arrange for family meetings with the team so you and your loved ones have all the information you need to plan for tomorrow.

Therapeutic Recreation and the Animal Enhanced Therapy program

The Recreational Therapist provides therapeutic recreation for the patients of the Benefis Rehabilitation Unit. The program is designed to assist the patient through a variety of sessions that will promote social, cognitive and physical functioning in a recreational setting. The fun-filled surroundings are designed to promote follow-through of such activities once the patient is discharged from the unit.

While we know being on the rehabilitation unit is hard work, we also realize healing happens during all aspects of the day. It is as important to nurture the social and fun side of your spirit too. Depending on your interests, table games, crafts, discussion groups and even Wii games are part of the stay.

The Animal Enhanced Therapy Program (AETP) uses the amazing healing powers of 15 therapy dogs. Sometimes, a comforting visit from one of these incredible, friendly animals is “just what the doctor ordered.”

Information for Your Stay

The acute inpatient Rehabilitation Unit is a beautiful new space designed to help you meet your goals and help you become very active in your recovery.

Daily activities on the rehabilitation unit include:

  • Visits from your Rehabilitation Providers.
  • Visits from your medical and/or psychologist as needed.
  • Nursing care 24 hours a day.
  • Meals will be served in the unit's dining area where you can join in the meal.
  • Therapy will be offered seven days a week and will take place in a variety of places including the unit's gym, hallways, your room, dining area and other places as needed.
  • Your therapy schedule will be posted on the schedule board daily. Family members and/or friends who may provide support after discharge are encouraged to participate in the therapy sessions.

Visiting Hours

Visiting hours are 8:30 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. daily.


Mail is delivered to the unit each day. Ask family and friends to address mail as follows:

Patient's Name
Benefis Health System
Rehabilitation Unit, Room Number _____
500 15 Avenue South
Great Falls, MT 59405


For the health and safety of all, the entire campus including buildings, sidewalks, parking lots, etc. are smoke free.


  • Each room has a telephone.
  • Local calls are free-of-charge.
  • Long distance calls must be charged to a home phone, credit card or calling card.
  • The hospital cannot accept collect calls.


  • Meals are served three times a day.
  • Menus are provided, from which the patient can select menu items for the next day.
  • Snacks are also available as appropriate for each patient.
  • The cafeteria is located on the ground floor for family convenience, and is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.,
  • Monday through Friday. From 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, and on weekends and holidays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. room service is available.


  • Mark all clothes with first and last name using a permanent marker.
  • Families are encouraged whenever possible to wash the patient's clothes, however staff will provide laundry services if needed.
  • Laundry facilities and supplies are available.

Bills and Charges

The hospital bill will include details such as:

  • Room.
  • Therapy.
  • Medicine.
  • Equipment charges.

The bill will not include doctor's fees.

For questions or concerns about the bill, please contact the business office at 406- 455-5049 or 455-3562.

Will my insurance pay for inpatient rehabilitation services?

  • Private insurance may require that the admission to inpatient rehabilitation be preauthorized. Most insurance companies will pay for medically necessary rehabilitation care after preauthorization.
  • Medicare and Medicaid will also cover inpatient rehabilitation, if it is determined to be medically necessary.
  • The Prospective Payment System (PPS) Specialist is aware of the requirements for both government-funded and private insurances, and will submit the required information to help process your health care claims.

Overnight Guests

Overnight guests are allowed on a case-by-case basis. Please discuss with the unit charge nurse or your doctor.

Electronic Devices

Wi-Fi service is available for use. The login name and current password can be obtained from the staff on the rehabilitation unit.


  • May be referred for services by a physician, insurance company, family or themselves.
  • A physiatrist evaluates patients before admission to the unit.
  • A pre-admission review is done to learn about insurance/payment and to pre-authorize rehabilitation services.
  • Information and suggestions are given to patients who do not come to the Unit about other services that may be helpful.

Discharge Planning

  • Planning for discharge begins as soon as you come to the unit.
  • The team will help plan for discharge. The point of contact for discharge planning needs is Carolyn at 455-2265.
  • Ask for the available community resources that may be helpful.
  • Questions to answered before discharge include:
    • What do I need to know to manage my illness/injury?
    • What will I be able to do? What will I not be able to do?
    • What help will I need?
    • Who will help me?
    • Will I need any special equipment? How do I get it?
    • How do I care for it?
    • Where will I go at discharge if I am not able to return home?
    • What are my medications? When do I take them?
    • Why do I take them?
    • When should I see my doctor again?
    • What does insurance cover? What does it not cover?
    • Can I drive?

Support Groups and Online Resources

Stroke Support Group

Meets the 3rd Monday of the Month at 2 p.m. at the Activity Room at Benefis Extended Care Center. This group does not meet during the months of June, July or August.

Alzheimer's Fellowship Support

Meets the 1st Tuesday of the Month at 1 p.m. at the Activity Room at Benefis Extended Care Center.

Brain Injury Support Group

Meets the 2nd Tuesday of the Month at 7 p.m. in the Malisani Room, in the North Tower of Benefis Health System. If you have questions call Chuck Bock at 406-455-2906 (leave a message) or Mike and Charlene Sullivan at 406-453-6028.

Parkinson's Support Groups

There are two groups to choose from:

Meets the 2nd Monday of the Month at 1:30 p.m. at the Rainbow Retirement Center located at 20 3rd Ave N. Questions call Lydia at 406-455-2964.

Meets the 4th Tuesday of the Month. The Deep Brain Stimulation Group meets at 12 noon and the Parkinson's Support Group meets at 1 p.m. at the First Baptist Church located 525 2nd Ave N.

Questions about either Parkinson's group, please call Lydia at 406-455-2964.

Brain Injury


Heart Disease

Neurological Disorders


Rehabilitation and Miscellaneous Resources

Spinal Cord Injury