Recreation Therapy - Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas
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Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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Recreation Therapy

About the Program

Recreation Therapy is a direct-care interdisciplinary service, whose aim 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.

Photo right: Air Force Veteran Kim Henderson racked up the medals in discus, 5K, and 20K cycling at the National Veteran Golden Age Games in Anchorage, Alaska in June 2019.

This is accomplished through the professional skills of therapists (Art, Dance, Music, Recreation), Specialists and Assistants through a four step process of assessment, planning, intervention /activity implementation, and evaluation of services delivered. This is accomplished through state of the art clinical care, education, technology, and research within the scope of recreation/creative arts therapy. The service is intended to serve Veterans, their family members, recreation/creative arts clinicians, VA staff, affiliated recreation/creative arts associations and the community, providing information about recreation/creative arts therapies.

Recreation Therapy Service provides an activity based patient centered service that integrates function, quality and meaning to one’s life through art, dance, music, and recreational activities. Our commitment to the advancement of recreation therapy is accomplished through on-going education, clinical training and research.

Benefits of Recreation Therapy 

  • Adapted leisure lifestyle
  • Improve community re-entry
  • Physical fitness/conditioning
  • Relaxation/stress management
  • Time management
  • Creative expression
  • Increase self-esteem
  • Acquire new leisure skills
  • Increase social skills
  • Increase adjustment to illness or disability
  • Fun!!!
Photo right: Veteran George Kellogg, Amputee Skier, at the Winter Sports Clinic in Snowmass, Colorado, April 2019.

Services Offered

Recreation Therapy is the use of clinical interventions to improve and enrich bio-psycho-social functioning through active therapy or meaningful therapeutic activities.

Art Therapy is the clinical use of art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork to address therapeutic or palliative care treatment goals.

Music Therapy is the use of interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship. 

National Programs and Events

The VA sponsors or participates in multiple national events that support, promote, and improve Veterans’ physical, social, emotional, and creative talents.  Veterans, employees, and volunteers who support these programs all share a strong sense of purpose, commitment, integrity, and comradery.  Event schedule is here.

These events include:

     National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic
     National Veterans Wheelchair Games
     National Veterans Golden Age Games
          Local Information
     National Veterans Tee Tournament
     National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic
          Local Information
     National Veterans Creative Arts Festival
     Valor Games – Southwest

Recreation Therapy Staff

Front row: Rosalind Myles, CTRS, Recreation Therapist; Shannon Hicks, MS, CTRS, Recreation Therapist; Tammie Walker, CTRS, CARSS l, Recreation Therapist; Solomon Green, CTRS, Recreation Therapist; and JeMarques Handy, CTRS, MHA, CARSS l, Recreation Therapist.

Back row: Jason Pitts, CTRS, Recreation Therapist; Patricia Clarkson, TRS/TXC, MBA, Recreation Therapist; Grant Lenued, Recreation Therapy Assistant; and Robert Gordon, CTRS,Recreation Therapist.

Contact Info


  • MEDVAMC, Building 100

Contact Number(s)

  • 713-794-7872

Hours of Operation

  • Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.