Spinal Cord Injury

Expert Support for Spinal Cord Injury

The Spinal Cord Injury program at ChildServe offers a unique, kid and family-focused place for children and young adults to heal from spinal cord injuries. We provide care in Jojo’s Pediatric Rehabilitation Unit – a beautiful space custom-designed to help maximize comfort and recovery. Our pediatric specialists help children improve health and function lost during an injury.

ChildServe’s pediatric specialists provide medical care, intensive therapy, adaptive equipment, and recreational activities. As children and young adults reach their health and independence goals, we support them by coordinating with schools and outpatient or community services for a smooth transition home.


Watch our virtual tour to see this space for yourself, or read about our unit here.

Why Choose ChildServe?


ChildServe has one of the only two board-certified pediatric rehab doctors in Iowa, Fred Klingbeil“Dr. Fred,” as many ChildServe kids call him, provides expert rehabilitation and medical management of children with special healthcare needs. As the only board-certified pediatric rehabilitation doctor in Iowa, Dr. Fred’s years of experience and knowledge in pediatric care are a valuable resource., MD, who treats children in the inpatient and outpatient programs.

Pediatric Experts
ChildServe’s team of experts, like our Pediatricians, Rehab Nurses, and Therapists, have specialized training and additional knowledge to treat children with spinal cord injuries.
We hold CARFBeing CARF accredited means that the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities recognizes ChildServe as an organization that meets rigorous guidelines for service and quality and conforms to nationally and internationally recognized standards.
accreditations in pediatrics, brain injury, and inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation.
Specialized Technology
ChildServe offers cutting-edge facilities and specialized technology including our therapeutic pool, and the Functional Electrical Stimulation bikeFES stands for Functional Electrical Stimulation. The FES bike, which was made possible by funds from the ChildServe Foundation, stimulates muscles with electric currents to help build them up after a long period of little use. (FES).
Staff helping teen stretch

Who We Serve

ChildServe provides high-quality healthcare for children and young adults (birth through 21 years old) who have experienced a spinal cord injury including:

A traumatic event


Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Transverse Myelitis

Infectious diseases such as Meningitis or Encephalitis

Multiple Sclerosis

Complications of spinal surgery

Spinal cord strokes or aortic aneurysm

Our Approach

Children Icon showing a boy and a girl

We Know Kids

Our entire organization is built around kids! ChildServe’s pediatric specialists provide healthcare designed for the developmental needs of children and young adults. The pediatric rehab experts in our Spinal Cord Injury program have specialized knowledge and skills to help kids and young adults with spinal cord injuries heal. Our facilities and equipment are designed to make kids feel comfortable, safe, and inspired.

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Pediatric Rehab

Our Pediatric Rehab Nurses and Therapists create customized rehab plans for each child. Plans may include physical, occupational, and speech therapy, along with therapeutic recreational activities, pet therapy, and music therapy. Our therapists have specialized training in the development and rehabilitation of children and young adults.
Expert medical Care icon with first aid kit.

Expert Medical Care

ChildServe’s pediatric specialists help children and young adults manage complex medical needs including ventilator and tracheostomy care. They equip each child as needed with adaptive equipment like wheelchairs and walkers. We help kids increase mobility, balance, and strength; develop independence; manage pain; minimize contracture, and emphasize nutrition to promote healing. Outside of our own medical team, we can also coordinate services with local professionals who specialize in areas including but not limited to urology, pulmonology, neurology, orthopedics, psychology, neuropsychology, and ophthalmology/optometry as needed.
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We Care about Families

As part of ChildServe’s continuum of care, our rehab specialists train parents regarding their child’s condition and how to provide care at home. They offer a home and vehicle assessment to ensure safety upon discharge. Children and young adults may transition to outpatient therapy programs to continue receiving support from ChildServe’s expert therapists. Our medical social workers offer care coordination for the transition to ChildServe’s programs and other community resources as needed.

Our Team of Pediatric Specialists

ChildServe employs a variety of healthcare professionals, including but not limited to the following positions:
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Certified Wound Nurse
Certified Rehabilitation Nurse
Certified Brain Injury Specialist

Registered Nurse

Licensed Practical Nurse

Respiratory Therapist
Occupational Therapist
Physical Therapist
Speech Language Pathologist
Music Therapist
Aquatic Therapist

Certified Pediatric Nurse

Medical Social Worker
Therapeutic Recreational Specialist
Assistive Technology Professional
Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine Physician

Internal Medicine Specialist

Shane’s Story

When 18-year-old Shane was in a motorcycle accident, he experienced severe injuries to his brain and spinal cord. With support from his ChildServe team, and a variety of specialty equipment and technology, he fought hard to regain the strength to walk and talk.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to receive this service?

Our Spinal Cord Injury program serves children who are leaving an acute-care hospital, but continue to require medical and therapy services. ChildServe provides high-quality healthcare for children and young adults (birth through 21 years old) who have experienced a complete or incomplete spinal cord injury at any cervical, thoracic, lumbar level.

Causes of injury often include:

  • A traumatic event
  • Tumors
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome
  • Transverse Myelitis
  • Infectious diseases such as Meningitis or Encephalitis
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Complications of spinal surgery
  • Spinal cord strokes or aortic aneurysm
  • Other myelopathies
  • Congenital malformation of the spine such as spina bifida

In addition to all of our inpatient rehabilitation services (link to inpatient rehab), ChildServe’s specialty rehabilitation team can also treat and support conditions that are commonly seen with spinal cord injuries:

  • Ventilator and tracheostomy, including parent and patient training
  • Weaning from a ventilator (excluding phrenic nerve pacing)
  • Spasticity management
  • Pressure ulcer prevention and management
  • Splinting and positioning to manage and prevent contractures & pressure ulcers
  • Assisted mobility and wheelchair training
  • Neurogenic bowel and bladder management and training
  • Pain management
  • Specialty nutritional needs
  • Swallowing and feeding (dysphagia)
  • Management and training following augmentations/surgeries
How are referrals made?

To make a referral or request information, call our Access Specialist at 515-331-8106, or email communications@childserve.org.

How are services authorized and funded?

Program costs are authorized and funded through commercial insurance and Iowa Medicaid. Specific fees will be discussed during the intake/admission process.

Where are services provided?

Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation services are offered as part of the Inpatient Rehabilitation Program at ChildServe within our Johnston location.

When are services provided?

Spinal Cord Injury services are available inpatient 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

View our Annual Outcomes

ChildServe regularly gathers child and family satisfaction feedback, quality reports, and census data to monitor our services, and continuously improve the care and services we provide.

Contact Us!

ChildServe – Johnston
5406 Merle Hay Road, Johnston, IA 50131

ChildServe Center - Johnston


ChildServe improves the health and well-being of nearly 5,800 children each year through specialized clinical, home, and community-based programs and services. We serve children with developmental delays, disabilities, injuries, and other special healthcare needs.

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