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Veterans Affairs Medical Center Martinsburg, WV. Recreation Therapy Internship. Mission Statement. “Honor America’s veterans by providing exceptional health care that improves their health and well-being” “Heroes Serving Heroes”. About the V.A.M.C.

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Veterans affairs medical center martinsburg wv

Veterans Affairs Medical Center Martinsburg, WV

Recreation Therapy Internship

Mission statement
Mission Statement

“Honor America’s veterans by providing exceptional health care that improves their health and well-being”

“Heroes Serving Heroes”

About the v a m c
About the V.A.M.C

  • Martinsburg VAMC provides general medical, surgical, and psychiatric services to veterans in 23 counties in West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The Medical Center has a fully integrated inpatient and outpatient primary care program, and provides a full range of outpatient services.

V a demographics
V.A. Demographics

  • 566 Inpatient Beds

    • 68 Hospital Beds (7 ICU, 38 Medical/Surgical, 23 Psychiatry)

    • 178 Community Care Center (Including 16 Palliative Care Beds)

    • 312 Rehabilitation Domiciliary (109 Health Maintenance Beds, 77 Cat 5 Beds, 66 GOALS Beds, 10 Mainstream Beds, 50 PRRP Beds)

    • 8 Transitional Housing

V a demographics1
V.A. Demographics

  • Martinsburg Currently Serves 129,391 Veterans in 23 Counties in Western MD, WV, South Central PA, & Northwest VA.

  • Average Age: Inpatient – 61 Years Outpatient – 64 Years

  • Age is Vastly Changing Due to the Amount of Troops Coming Back from Iraq

  • FY ’08 1,583 full time employees

Recreation therapy
Recreation Therapy


  • The mission of recreation therapy, a direct-care interdisciplinary service, is to improve and enrich bio-psycho-social functioning through active therapy and/or meaningful therapeutic activities to maintain or improve functional independence and life quality. The intended outcome of the service is independence in life activities based upon patient/resident needs and goals.

  • The mission is accomplished through the professional skills of Therapists, Specialists and Assistants through a four-step process of assessment, planning, intervention/activity implementation, and evaluation of services delivered. The mission includes state of the art clinical care, education, technology, and research within the scope of recreation/creative arts therapy service.

Recreation therapy1
Recreation Therapy


  • To provide an activity based patient-centered service that integrates function, quality, and meaning to one's life .

Community living center
Community Living Center

  • CLCs accommodate convalescents or other persons who are not acutely ill and not in need of hospital care, but who require nursing care and related medical services.

  • CLCs are a skilled nursing facility designed to care for residents with various functional impairments who require nursing care, supportive personal care, specialized services, and or individual adjustment services regardless of age.

Community living center1
Community Living Center

  • Psychiatric Care

  • Dementia Care

  • Respite Care

  • Rehabilitative Services

  • Restorative Care

  • Hospice and Palliative Care

  • Geriatric Education and Management

Community living center recreation
Community Living Center & Recreation

Recreation Therapy professionals create the opportunities for residents to be gainfully occupied with activities that are suited to the individual, yet rejuvenate the spirit, jog the mind, and enhance quality of living in an culturally transformed setting

Community living center recreation1
Community Living Center & Recreation

  • Leisure activities reflect the interests, needs, and wants of the residents.

  • Leisure assessments are used to determine leisure interests, adaptations needed for leisure functioning and patterns of leisure participation.

  • Planned and unplanned leisure activities are available to the residents.

  • RT assists the residents in adapting activities and equipment to meet their current abilities.

Community living center recreation2
Community Living Center & Recreation

Leisure time is a very important part of a person’s life. Time not obligated for any task is leisure time. Residents have the right to spend leisure time as they would prefer and as they would if they were home. This may be in a large group, off-station, in a small group, with family or friends, with staff or as an individual. Past leisure skills may be rekindled or new ones learned. RT’s help residents to maintain as active a lifestyle as the resident chooses. Leisure time is part of this lifestyle.

Community living
Community Living

  • Rehabilitation: Functions as a member of the medical team, has knowledge of the illness and problems of the mentally, emotionally, and developmentally disabled and the geriatric patient.

  • Education: Provides education and counseling in coping with leisure time, particularly with regard to a patient returning to life in the community. Creates-designs a specialized recreational program.

Community living1
Community Living

  • Research: Interviews patients to learn their backgrounds, interests, and skills; identifies problems and needs.

  • Evaluation: Analyzes the success of a program for each individual patient.

  • Activates: Implements the program of action. Teamwork-between patient and medical staff to provide the most optimum discharge plan and community re-entry.

Community living2
Community Living

  • Innovates: Modifies activities to suit each patient’s capabilities.

  • Organizes: Organizes the recreational program utilizing the facilities and community resources; re-establish purposeful lifestyle to become a functioning person of the community again.

P r r p

Post-Traumatic-Stress Residential Rehabilitation Program

  • Focus on combat veterans with diagnosed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

  • Serves combat veterans of all age groups with focus on Vietnam, Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), and Operation Desert Storm veterans with combat related PTSD.

P r r p recreation
P.R.R.P. & Recreation

  • Leisure education courses are provided to educate veterans about different types of leisure/recreation as well as the benefits and barriers to safe recreation practices.

  • Divisional activities that allow veterans to utilize various recreation areas at the facility that include but are not limited to: use of the bowling alley, hobby shop, and fitness center.

  • Community outings/trips are required and help to educate veterans about various recreation/leisure opportunities in the community as well as reintegration into a safe and beneficial social setting. Once a month ceremonial trips to the Vietnam War Memorial and the Vietnam Wall in Washington, D.C. are required.

G o a l s

Gaining Occupational and Life Skills

  • Serves homeless veterans of any age with a focus on obtaining vocational rehabilitation skills as well as life skills that will aid the veteran in returning to productivity in the community.

  • Veterans are also assisted in obtaining safe and affordable housing during their stay in the G.O.A.L.S. program.

  • Average length of stay is 4-6 months.

  • Veterans are taken from recreation assessment until discharge with individual goals in mind.

G o a l s recreation
G.O.A.L.S. & Recreation

  • Leisure education courses are provided to educate veterans about different types of leisure/recreation as well as the benefits and barriers to safe recreation practices.

  • Physical fitness classes are a part of the program requirements.

    • Education on proper weight training.

    • Physical and emotional benefits of overall physical fitness.

  • Required community outings/trips

    • Provides education to veterans about various recreation/leisure opportunities in the community as well as reintegration into a safe and beneficial social setting.

G o a l s1

  • Social Affairs are held weekly.

    • Specifically for G.O.A.L.S. patients & staff.

  • Veterans have a chance to socially interact with their peers as well as the staff who serve them.

  • These social gatherings include: Cookouts, ice cream socials, BINGO, and live music.

Cat 5

Center for Addictions Treatment

  • Abstinence based substance abuse

    program that provides both outpatient

    and residential treatment for veterans

    suffering with substance use disorders.

  • The goal of CAT-5 is for each veteran to learn

    and understand the function substance plays

    in his/her life. Teaching effective tools that

    help sustain one’s recovery and opportunities to

    practice them.

Cat 51

  • Mission: Provide a comprehensive continuum of care so that each eligible veteran has the recovery tools necessary to live a balanced, productive and service-oriented lifestyle.

  • Services: 80-Bed residential program for veterans needing a structured, protected, and intensive treatment experience. Length of stay can range from 2 weeks to 6 months.

  • Incarcerated Veterans Outreach: Reaches out to veterans in prison 6 months pre-release, brings them directly into residential treatment, and offers transitional supportive housing in the community.

Cat 52

5 Phases (Program Tracks)

  • Detoxification: Veterans are medically detoxed from addictive substances in a controlled inpatient environment.

  • Evaluations: Veterans complete a variety of assessments and evaluations, complete orientation and are medically and psychiatrically, stabilized.

  • Basic Education: Veterans receive an individualized treatment plan, learn about the function of addictive behaviors in their lives, identify relapse triggers, and learn alternative and healthy behaviors to help sustain recovery.

Cat 53

4. Cornerstone: Veterans acquire employment in the community. Groups meet to focus on how to use work as a recovery tool. Barriers which veterans routinely hit in early recovery are addressed as veterans experience them. Veterans also learn life skills and money management in preparation for returning to the community.

5. Aftercare: Veterans complete 3 months of bi-weekly outpatient appointments to focus on integrating and maintaining their recovery skills into a routine part of a balanced lifestyle.

Cat 5 recreation
CAT-5 & Recreation

  • Leisure Educations Classes: Promote the veterans the opportunity to learn the knowledge and skills necessary to lead a more productive leisure lifestyle and that supports a balanced recovery program.

  • Aerobic Exercise: Veterans will attend a mandatory 3x’s/wk morning exercise class to increase cardio vascular fitness and overall muscle tone.

  • Community Outings: Veterans will attend at least one off station trip/month as a way to promote reintegration back into the community and learn to enjoy themselves substance free.

  • Community Recreation Night: Veterans will attend a mandatory Thursday night activity such as going to the bowling alley, hobby shop, playing softball/volleyball as a way to practice their social interaction skills and learn new activities or get back into past recreation activities that will be of carry over value once discharged.

Recreation therapist salaries at v a m c
Recreation Therapist Salaries at V.A.M.C.

Effective as of January 2008

  • Grade 7/Step 1 – $39,330

  • Grade 9/Step 1 - $48,108

  • Grade 10/Step 1 - $52, 979

    • Grade 10/Step 2 - $ 54,745

    • Grade 10/Step 3 - $ 56,511

    • Grade 10/Step 4 - $ 58,277

  • Locality Payment of 20.89%


  • 480 hour requirement

  • 12 weeks

  • 40 hours/week

  • Different tour of duty requirements

  • 2 week intervals with each program

  • Special project requirement


For more information or if you are interested in an internship with the Department of Veterans Affairs please pick up a packet of information!