In the 1940s, everyone feared the polio epidemic. This deadly and crippling virus attacked without discrimination, and there was no cure. Thousands died. Thousands who survived were left paralyzed. At the same time, many soldiers returned from battle in World War II bearing severe injuries.
Detroit was hit as hard as any major city, and desperately needed a way to treat this unusually large population of newly disabled patients. A single facility dedicated to getting these patients to return to their communities at the highest level of independence was needed. It had to treat them, not only physically, but psychologically, socially and vocationally as well.
In 1951, Rehabilitation Institute of Metropolitan Detroit was founded at Herman Kiefer Hospital in Detroit, also home to the Metropolitan Detroit Polio Foundation. The two merged in 1953 and realized that the slate of services offered required more space than the hospital offered. Five years later, a new building went up, and the Rehabilitation Institute moved to its current location on Mack Ave.
Today, RIM is considered a national leader in the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation. With its 94-bed inpatient hospital and numerous outpatient sites located throughout southeastern Michigan, RIM is also one of the nation's largest freestanding rehabilitation hospitals.
RIM's mission from the start is still the same: providing quality patient care, academic excellence and cutting-edge research in physical medicine and rehabilitation.