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Welcome to our hospital

At Encompass Health Rehabilitation Institute of Tucson, we are committed to helping you regain independence after a life-changing illness or injury. We serve the greater Tucson area as a leading provider of inpatient rehabilitation for stroke, amputation and other complex neurological and orthopedic conditions.

Using clinical collaboration and advanced technologies, we provide a personalized care plan designed to meet your unique needs and help you achieve your goals.

Our inpatient rehabilitation hospital uses an interdisciplinary team approach that includes physical, speech and occupational therapists, rehabilitation physicians, rehabilitation nurses, case managers, dietitians and more, combined with our advanced technology and expertise, to help you achieve your goals. You will receive at least three hours of therapy five days per week while under the constant care of registered nurses, many of whom specialize in rehabilitation, and frequent independent private practice physician* visits.

Rehabilitation is covered in full or part by most health insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid. Our hospital has contracts with most major insurance companies and is willing to negotiate with other companies, as needed.

*The hospital provides access to independent physicians.

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Careers

What to expect

Take a look at what happens during a stay at our hospital

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Superior amenities at our hospitals

80 Beds

Nonsmoking

Telephones

Televisions

Pet friendly

Free WiFi

Interpreter services

Support groups

Tours available

Spanish translators available

Student observation hours

Volunteers

See our hospital

We proudly display our Gold Seal of Approval™

Stroke Rehabilitation

Our hospital has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Disease-Specific Care Certification in stroke rehabilitation.

Brain Injury Rehabilitation

Our hospital has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Disease-Specific Care Certification in brain injury rehabilitation.

Hospital happenings

We are excited to highlight our speech therapist, Lauren James! Below, Lauren describes why she became a speech therapist.

- Encompass Health Rehabilitation Institute of Tucson

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Lauren James

Hospital happenings

Efrain came to Encompass Health RIT after being hospitalized with COVID-19 for several weeks. He has come a long way since he entered our hospital. Darrien, his physical therapist, along with many other members of our team pushed him to regain his strength and mobility. After being away from home for over 100 days he has finally built up the strength to return home safely.

- Encompass Health Rehabilitation Institute of Tucson

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Efrain

Hospital happenings

April is Occupational Therapy Month. Encompass Health RIT employee Joshua Hester answered a few questions to share what life is like as an OT.

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Joshua Hester

Hospital happenings

Lori Palman was doing her makeup one day when she suddenly could not use her left arm and felt the left side of her face drooping. Her husband rushed home from work and took her to a nearby hospital. She was stabilized and discharged to Encompass Health RIT.

- Encompass Health Rehabilitation Institute of Tucson

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Lori Palman

Hospital happenings

We hosted a catered taco bar lunch for Doctors' Day! We also gave our physicians gifts to thank them for all they do.

- Encompass Health Rehabilitation Institute of Tucson

We hosted a catered taco bar lunch for Doctors

Hospital happenings

On Dec. 6, 2020, John Whetstone was diagnosed with COVID-19, and later admitted to the Tucson VA Medical Center. He was cared for by our staff for two weeks before he was finally able to be discharged home!

- Encompass Health Rehabilitation Institute of Tucson

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On Dec. 6, 2020, John Whetstone was diagnosed with COVID-19, and later admitted to the Tucson VA Medical Center. He was cared for by our staff for two weeks before he was finally able to be discharged home!

Hospital happenings

We wanted to treat all of our hard working staff to some delicious coffee, tea and smoothies today! Just a simple way to say thank you and feed that caffeine need!

- Encompass Health Rehabilitation Institute of Tucson

Just a simple way to say thank you and feed that caffeine need!

Hospital happenings

Ramon is working to improve his cardiovascular endurance, mobility, strength and independence. His goal is to return home and improve his physical condition, so he can undergo a heart procedure.

- Encompass Health Rehabilitation Institute of Tucson

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Ramon is working to improve his cardiovascular endurance, mobility, strength and independence.

Hospital happenings

Our occupational therapists led a fun Zumba chair class for our patients. Class began with warm ups including shoulder rolls, deep breathing, rowing extensions, foot circles and so much more. These same warm ups can be used at home to help start the day. Patients then learned movements to get their body active! They learned arm, leg and upper body movements to go along with a song's melody!

- Encompass Health Rehabilitation Institute of Tucson

 Zumba at RIT

Hospital happenings

As a partial paraplegic, Hamza relies on his arms and upper body to navigate daily life. The 46-year-old came to our hospital to regain strength in his arms and neck after a second back surgery. In therapy, he did a variety of exercises focused on gaining strength. He is quite quick with his wheelchair, and spends much of his downtime zooming around the courtyard trying to set new time records. He is excited to get back to his normal way of life after discharge!

- Encompass Health Rehabilitation Institute of Tucson

 Hamza

Take a virtual tour

Please click on the arrows to navigate through the hallways on each floor. Use the "L" options on the right-hand side of the tour window below to navigate through different areas/floors of the hospital for a full virtual tour. See a key to "L" areas below.

L0 - Lobby  |  L1 - Game room  |  L2 - Cafeteria  |  L3 - Courtyard  |  L4 - Therapy gym  |  L5 - Patient room

Leadership and Staff

Jeff Christensen
JEFF CHRISTENSEN

Area Chief Executive Officer

Jeff brings more than 30 years of healthcare experience as the area CEO to both Encompass Health Rehabilitation Institute of Tucson (RIT) & Encompass Health Rehabilitation Institute of Northwest Tucson (SoAZ).

Jeff brings more than 30 years of healthcare experience as the area CEO to both Encompass Health Rehabilitation Institute of Tucson (RIT) & Encompass Health Rehabilitation Institute of Northwest Tucson (SoAZ). Originally from New York, Jeff relocated with his family to Tucson from Charlotte, North Carolina, where he was CEO at Carolinas Specialty Hospital. Jeff received a master’s degree in business administration from Texas A&M at Corpus Christi. He received a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy from State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center, in Brooklyn. Jeff is active with many community organizations in the Tucson area.

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Amir Buljina
Amir Buljina

Medical Director

Dr. Amir Buljina is originally from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina where he graduated at medical school and completed residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation.

Dr. Amir Buljina is originally from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina where he graduated at medical school and completed residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation. He received his master’s and doctoral degree at the University of Sarajevo. Amir moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan in 2001 and repeated a physical medicine and rehabilitation residency at the Medical College of Ohio in Toledo and worked as attending for one year. He then moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 2006 and worked as a physiatrist in an acute and subacute setting. He is board certified and a fellow of AAPMR. During his professional career, Amir worked as assistant and associate professor while attending medical school and physical therapy school, both in Bosnia and in America.

Dr. Buljina is an independent private practice physician.

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Marissa Aguirre
MARISSA AGUIRRE

Chief Nursing Officer

Marissa began her nursing career at Northwest Medical Center as a staff nurse.

Marissa began her nursing career at Northwest Medical Center as a staff nurse. She later advanced to clinical nurse leader and managed the cardiovascular intensive care unit for three years. She received her Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) in 2004 from the University of Arizona and is currently enrolled at Grand Canyon University to obtain her MBA and MSN in nursing leadership. In her new role as chief nursing officer, Marissa can ensure staff provides quality, compassionate care.

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Mary Donovan
MARY DONOVAN

Controller

Mary joined Encompass Health Rehabilitation Institute of Tucson in 1992 with more than 20 years of financial management experience.

Mary joined Encompass Health Rehabilitation Institute of Tucson in 1992 with more than 20 years of financial management experience. She holds an accounting degree from Chaparral College and has stepped-up to serve as Encompass Health’s interim administrator on more than one occasion.

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Mindy Flannery
Melinda Flannery, LMSW, CCM

Director of Case Management

Mindy Flannery, LMSW, CCM, joined Encompass Health Rehabilitation Institute of Tucson in August 2016 as a case manager.

Mindy Flannery, LMSW, CCM, joined Encompass Health Rehabilitation Institute of Tucson in August 2016 as a case manager. She received her bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona and her master’s degree in social work from Arizona State University and has nearly 20 years of experience in child welfare, behavioral health crisis intervention and medical social work. Mindy is a trainer for Prevent Child Abuse Arizona, teaching detectives, county attorneys and child welfare professionals how to interview children who are suspected victims of abuse or neglect. In addition, she has served on the Arizona Juvenile Justice Commission since 2015.

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Jeff Christensen
Scott Knox

Facilities Management Director

Scott joined Encompass Health Rehabilitation Institute of Tucson (RIT) in 2018 as the facilities management director.

Scott joined Encompass Health Rehabilitation Institute of Tucson (RIT) in 2018 as the facilities management director. He is originally from Colorado but has spent most his life in Arizona and served his country in the U.S. Navy working in aviation maintenance. Prior to joining the RIT team, Scott spent four years as director of plant operations of another hospital. He is a member of ASHE and is currently a student at the University of Arizona, Eller College of Management. 

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Lydia Martinez Rivera
Lydia Martinez-Rivera

Director of Quality and Risk

Lydia Martinez-Rivera began her career with Encompass Health Rehabilitation Institute of Tucson in 2003.

Lydia Martinez-Rivera began her career with Encompass Health Rehabilitation Institute of Tucson in 2003. She started as a certified nursing assistant and continued her education obtaining her RN in 2009. In 2012 she obtained her bachelor’s degree in nursing and her certification in Rehabilitation Nursing (CRRN) in 2015. She was promoted to infection preventionist in 2016 and promoted again to director of quality and risk management in August 2021. Lydia enjoys working for Encompass Health Tucson because she has seen the difference the hospital makes in patient’s lives.

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Jane Rosenbaum
JANE ROSENBAUM, PHARM.D.

Director of Pharmacy

Jane is a graduate of the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy.

Jane is a graduate of the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy. She has worked in Tucson as a pharmacist since 1992. She has experience in many aspects of pharmacy including acute care, long-term care, oncology and compounding.

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Donna Stuve
DONNA STUVE

Director of Human Resources

Donna, a Tucson native, has more than 20 years of professional human resource management experience.

Donna, a Tucson native, has more than 20 years of professional human resource management experience. Donna obtained her bachelor'a degree in human resource management from Park University and holds a certificate in human resources management from the University of Phoenix. She has held the Senior Professional Human Resource (SPHR) certification since 2009 and Society of Human Resources Management Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) since 2015. She is passionate about employee engagement and sharing her human resources knowledge.

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Jeff Christensen
Dr. Salvatore Tirrito

Cardiology, Program Medical Director

Salvatore Tirrito is a Tucson cardiologist who has dedicated his career to promoting healthy lifestyles in the community.

Salvatore Tirrito is a Tucson cardiologist who has dedicated his career to promoting healthy lifestyles in the community. He was worked at Pima Heart Associates for 15 years and specializes in primary and secondary prevention of heart disease, advanced cardiovascular imaging and vascular medicine. Dr. Tirrito is board certified in cardiology, echocardiography and nuclear cardiology, and has completed a fellowship in integrative medicine. He also has a MBA at the Eller School of Management at the University of Arizona.

He graduated from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia in 1998 and is a Fulbright Scholar. He has spoken at dozens of conferences throughout the world and his research and work has been published on numerous occasions. He has also contributed to Triathlete Magazine and published a book: “So You Are Fat. Now What?,” a guide to losing weight and unlocking athletic potential.

Dr. Tirrito strongly feels that in order for us to really have a positive impact on our health, we need to take a more integrative approach to medicine. He is passionate about empowering people to break the cycle of chronic disease through appropriate lifestyle changes.

Dr. Tirrito is an independent private practice physician.

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Shane Black
SHANE VEGLIA, MS, CCC-SLP CBIS

Director of Therapy Operations

Shane graduated from the University of Arizona in 2013 with a master’s degree in speech-language pathology.

Shane graduated from the University of Arizona in 2013 with a master’s degree in speech-language pathology. After graduating, he started his career as a speech-language pathologist at the Rehabilitation Institute of Tucson (RIT). He later progressed through the roles of senior speech-language pathologist, speech therapy team leader and therapy manager. He served as the chairperson for the hospital's stroke rehabilitation specialty certification team and is a Certified Brain Injury Specialist. Shane also developed the Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) program at RIT. He became the director of therapy operations in June 2021.

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What to expect

Take a look at what happens during a stay at our hospital

Watch the videos

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Our hospital

We deliver connected care and superior outcomes through our state-of-the-art inpatient rehabilitation hospital.

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