Home / Areas of Care / Rehabilitation / Community Bridges

Community Bridges




The Rehabilitation Institute of Montana’s Community Bridges program is a post-acute comprehensive day treatment and residential rehabilitation program for adults who have an acquired or traumatic brain injury. Community Bridges’ specialized treatment is focused on meeting the needs of the individuals served, achieving functional outcomes and maximizing independence at home and in the community.  Community Bridges is accredited by The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).

Why choose Community Bridges?

  • Over 200 years of combined brain injury rehabilitation experience on staff
  • The only post-acute residential program in a five state region
  • A specialized team representing all major rehabilitation disciplines
  • Five staff members with advanced specialty certification in brain injury rehabilitation
  • A functional, realistic learning environment for independent living and community skills training
  • Focused on meeting the comprehensive and unique needs of each person served 
  • Regional familiarity with brain injury resources to link individuals with resources available in their community

Who is appropriate for Community Bridges?

  • Persons served by Community Bridges are adults with acquired or traumatic brain injury that have been referred by a physician and meet the admission criteria.  Adolescents (13-17 years old) are considered for admission on an individual basis and must have a parent or guardian stay with them in the residence.  Individuals must be able to benefit from rehabilitation services, meet admission criteria and participate voluntarily. 

 What specialized brain injury rehabilitation services are provided at Community Bridges?

The range of services provided by Community Bridges includes:

  • Post-acute residential rehabilitation
  • Comprehensive day treatment
  • Outpatient therapy (Speech/language pathology, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy)
  • Outpatient counseling
  • Neuropsychological assessment
  • Comprehensive Interdisciplinary Team Evaluations
  • Comprehensive Day Treatment provides a full range of therapeutic services from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday for local individuals who could benefit from intensive interdisciplinary rehabilitation. Day Treatmentis designed for individuals who are able to live in their own homes, but who need access to intensive rehabilitation therapy that is comprehensive, goal-directed and outcome-oriented. The ability of the Bridges team to address the individual’s full spectrum of needs distinguishes it from traditional outpatient therapy services. Services provided include physical, occupational and speech therapies, nursing, neuropsychological assessment, behavioral counseling, life skills training, and chemical dependency counseling. Injury prevention, healthy lifestyle management and brain injury education are also incorporated into the rehabilitation process. Day treatment is provided at the Community Bridges office 2685 Palmer St. Suite D, in Missoula, MT.
  • Outpatient Therapies- Outpatient speech/language, occupational and physical therapy are provided Monday-Friday from 9:00am - 4:00pm. Outpatient counseling and neuropsychological assessment are provided on a limited basis. Physician orders are required for all outpatient services.
  • Comprehensive Evaluations- Interdisciplinary assessments lasting one day to two weeks are designed to determine the functional status of the person served, the barriers to further independence, and to identify recommendations for further care. The interdisciplinary team is comprised of a nurse, speech/language pathologist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, counselor, certified therapeutic recreation specialist, and neuropsychologist. A physician’s order is required.  The individual is assessed through formal testing, functional evaluation, and clinical observation. A conference is held to discuss findings, a comprehensive report is generated and recommendations and resources are provided. Duration of comprehensive evaluations are determined in collaboration with the person served, the Admissions Coordinator, support providers and stakeholders.

 Who provides specialized rehabilitation services at Community Bridges?

  • The Bridges team is led by a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physician, Denise Allen, MD. The clinical staff consists of licensed and certified professionals in the following areas: nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, neuropsychology, counselling and recreation therapy. Trained clinical assistants support the therapists as needed in various activities.
  • *Five staff members are certified brain injury specialists through the American Association of Certified Brain Injury Specialists.

How are family members and support providers included in the rehabilitation process?

  • An integral part of the treatment team is the family, who assists with the development and implementation of the entire rehabilitation plan. Families, stakeholders, and the person served are a vital component of the conferences held to discuss the individual’s status and anticipated outcomes. Family members and support providers are invited to attend educational treatment sessions and to visit the residence to learn more about implementing strategies and coping techniques in a functional setting. Education and information is also available for peers of the adolescent, for caregivers and for other representatives that may interact with the person served after discharge. Communication between the clinical team, the person served and their support system is facilitated by a designated staff member, the point person. The point person provides a central point of contact to ensure accurate, timely and comprehensive communication of clinical information.

Who pays for services provided at Community Bridges?

  • Medicaid Waiver*, Worker’s compensation, private pay and some insurance plans cover services at Bridges. Individual plans and coverage vary, so please contact your plan administrator for further information or call the Admissions Coordinator at Bridges for assistance:  (406) 327-4592.  (Individual outpatient therapies are generally covered with Montana Medicaid and Medicare with a physician’s prescription.)
  • Medicaid Waiver is available for Montana residents who have been deemed disabled by the Social Security Administration, meet MT Medicaid eligibility and have met eligibility requirements for the Waiver of deeming for individuals with brain injury. For more information on the application process for Medicaid Waiver, please call your local Office of Public Assistance or the Mountain Pacific Quality Health Foundation at 1-800-219-7035.

About the People We Serve:

  • Community Bridges serves adults and adolescents with neurological impairments, such as acquired and traumatic brain injury, in our post-acute brain injury program. Ages of individuals served range from 15 to 63 years, with the largest representation of individuals between the ages of 18-25 years. Eighty-five percent of admissions have experienced a traumatic brain injury, while 15% have experienced an acquired brain injury, such as a stroke.
  • Bridges serves individuals from all over the region. The majority of persons come from western Montana, but Bridges served individuals from fifteen different Montana counties last year and has served individuals from eight different states. Bridges is committed to providing the highest quality of brain injury rehabilitation possible and our outcomes demonstrate this commitment. Over 93% of individuals served by Bridges demonstrated functional gains in areas like independent living skills, mobility or use of cognitive compensatory strategies. (See graph below)

Residential Functional Status Change FY 10-11 From Admit to Discharge