This is Kessler

Our rich history, shared goals and vision for the future define who we are and what we can achieve at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation

75 years of Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation

A message from our president

Welcome to Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation. For more than 75 years, Kessler has created an unparalleled rehabilitation environment – a unique hospital where treatment, technology, hope and healing unite to support the recovery of each patient.

This website provides important information about the rehabilitation experience at Kessler Institute – from the care and services we provide to our industry-leading research, education and advocacy initiatives. We hope that as you come to know us, you will see the passion and dedication that underscores everything we do and why we are recognized as one of the world’s leading rehabilitation hospitals.

In the years to come, we will continue to be responsive to our patients, families, referrers and colleagues, and respectful of the trust they place in us. We will channel our energies, talents and resources to develop the most effective rehabilitation programs in our field. And we will continue to do all we can to help every patient reach his or her greatest potential, knowing those individual successes will ultimately determine our own.


Sue Kida, PT, MHA

Our history

Henry H. Kessler, an orthopedic surgeon during World War II, founded Kessler Institute. His early medical career and war experiences led him to a new vision for the field of rehabilitation which, at the time, focused solely on the physical recovery of individuals with catastrophic injuries and illnesses. Dr. Kessler believed an effective rehabilitation program must address “the whole individual" and "help him or her successfully regain physical, mental, social, vocational and economic usefulness to the fullest possible degree." In 1948, that became the cornerstone upon which the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation was founded.

Over the past 75 years, Kessler Institute has grown to become one of the largest rehabilitation providers in the U.S., with 398 beds across four campuses in West Orange, Saddle Brook, Chester and Marlton, New Jersey. The hospital has also achieved many “firsts:”

  • 1956: Establishes one of the nation’s first pre-vocational diagnostic programs to help patients return to work, school and community activities.
  • 1975: Forms New Jersey’s first residency training program in physical medicine and rehabilitation in affiliation with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.
  • 1986: Opens Kessler’s first free-standing outpatient center in Union, New Jersey, expanding the hospital’s continuum of care.
  • 1990: Receives hospital’s first Spinal Cord Injury Model System grant from the National Institute on Disability Rehabilitation and Research.
  • 2000: Awarded its first Traumatic Brain Injury Model System grant -- one of only ten centers to hold both designations.
  • 2011: Becomes the first U.S. rehabilitation center in collaboration with Kessler Foundation, to apply new, innovative robotic technology (the Lokomat training system) to advance patient care.
  • 2012: Develops residency program in neurologic physical therapy – a first in New Jersey and one of only 12 nationwide.
  • 2020: The Reynolds Center for Spinal Stimulation was established by Kessler Foundation on the hospital’s West Orange campus. This first-of-its-kind lab allows research scientists, physicians and clinical teams to explore and collaborate new treatments for patients with paralysis.

Kessler has remained a leader in the field delivering an exceptional rehabilitation experience to every patient despite an increasingly complex health care environment.

Acquired by Select Medical in 2003, Kessler is part of a nationwide rehabilitation hospital network collaborating to enhance best practices, improve outcomes, develop new treatments and continue to meet the needs and goals of every patient we serve.

Our mission, vision and values

Our Mission
The Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation is committed to providing an exceptional patient care experience that promotes healing and recovery in a compassionate environment.

Our Vision
To serve our communities as the premier provider of adult rehabilitation care, resulting in the highest level of independence for our patients.

Our Values

We deliver superior quality care in all that we do.
We treat others as they would like to be treated.
We are results-oriented and achieve our objectives.
We are team players.
We are resourceful in overcoming obstacles.

Kessler Foundation

Kessler Institute is proud to be affiliated with Kessler Foundation, one of the nation’s largest single charitable organizations dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities caused by spinal cord and brain injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis and other chronic conditions.

Many of our hospitals’ doctors, nurses, therapists and patients work closely with the Foundation’s research scientists identifying and translating new avenues of treatment into clinical practice and patient care.

Through research, community programming and other initiatives, the Kessler Foundation is changing the lives of people with disabilities.

To find out more about Kessler Foundation or to make a donation to support research and other activities, click here.

Looking ahead 

“In the years to come, we will continue to be responsive to our patients, families, referrers, and colleagues and respectful of the trust they place in us."


-Sue Kida

President, Kessler Institute

We’re here for you!

If you have any questions or comments, please contact us.