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News Release
Legacy Health's Rehabilitation Institute of Oregon named a top rehab hospital in the country by U.S. News & World Report - 11/17/23

Legacy Health’s Rehabilitation Institute of Oregon named a top rehab hospital in the country by U.S. News & World Report

Oregon’s oldest rehab center is also celebrating 75 years of serving the people of Oregon and Southwest Washington; Joanna Adams was one of them.


PORTLAND, Ore., November 17, 2023 - Legacy Rehabilitation Institute of Oregon (RIO) at Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center was ranked one of the top rehabilitation hospitals in the country by U.S. News and World Report. RIO’s team of health care professionals have treated patients with conditions ranging from strokes to burns to spinal cord and brain injuries for 75 years. During the pandemic, RIO cared for severely ill Covid-19 patients who needed inpatient rehabilitation. 


“I’m proud of this recognition because of the exceptional work our RIO staff delivers daily to help patients recover from serious conditions,” said Kevin O’Boyle, Legacy Good Samaritan president. “At RIO, we offer the highest level of care to our patients, round-the-clock, in a caring environment.” 


Joanna Adams spent several weeks in RIO after a snowboarding accident in 2009. As a 21-year-old, she already had a biology degree, an emergency medical technician certificate, and experience working as a rehab aide in a skilled nursing facility. So, when she hit the slick, icy mountain slope, she instantly knew she had a spinal cord injury and broke her back because she couldn’t feel or move her legs. After several days at Oregon Health Sciences University Trauma Center, her caregivers suggested RIO for inpatient rehabilitation. She was paralyzed with only movements of her arms and upper body.


“They said RIO could help me gain independence and adjust to my new life,” said Adams. She spent five weeks at RIO surrounded by a team of healthcare professionals. “It was a beautiful plan to get holistic support from social workers, nurses, physical, occupational and recreational therapists, and a neuropsychologist.” 


Adams led an active life before her accident. “I had tears when I looked in the mirror and saw myself sitting in the wheelchair, wondering what my life would be like,” she said. Her therapists planned to get her back to driving with hand controls and learning adaptive sports like tennis and skiing. Adams had goals before the accident.  She completed graduate school and was the first person with paraplegia to graduate from her physician assistant program. She now practices working with patients with spinal cord injuries or neurological diseases like Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis. She got married and has two young children. 


“I now send my patients to RIO,” said Adams. “I love educating my patients to get them back to a functional life. The support at RIO is incredible. When I follow up with patients, they say, you were right.”

(Joanna and Kevin are available for interviews). 



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Joanna Adams, paralyzed from a snowboarding accident, spent several weeks at the Legacy Good Samaritan Rehabilitation Institute of Oregon spent several weeks in RIO after a snowboarding accident. After the accident, she regained her active lifestyle. Photo credit: Joanna Adams



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RIO is the first in the Pacific Northwest to offer the ZeroG® Gait and Balance Training System, a robotic body-weight support system. The system prevents falls and uses dynamic body weight support to allow patients to practice walking, perform balance exercises and move from sitting to standing. Patients using the system may start exercising and walking faster, potentially shortening their length of stay. Photo credit: Legacy Health


Kevin O’Boyle, Legacy Good Samaritan President. Photo credit: Legacy Health


About Legacy Health

Legacy Health is a locally owned, nonprofit health system driven by our mission to improve the health of those around us. We offer a unique blend of health services—from wellness and urgent care to dedicated children's care and advanced medical centers. We care for patients of all ages when and where they need us across the Portland/Vancouver metro area and mid-Willamette Valley. With an eye toward a healthier community, our partnerships tackle vital issues such as housing and mental health. Legacy strives to help everyone live healthier and better lives, with the vision of being essential to the health of the region. For more information, visit www.legacyhealth.org


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