Get to know...Carol-Ann!

Carol-Ann is the founder and executive director of Destination Rehab. She started Destination Rehab to bridge the gap between outpatient clinic care and real life community living, with a special focus on outdoor activities and adventures. She also has owned a very unique type of pet!

Read on to learn more about Carol-Ann!

New Group!

Destination Rehab has a group of participants who have started a group for young adults who are dealing with a chronic medical condition. If you are in your 20s, 30s or 40s, come join us! We will meet monthly for a social gathering at different locations in the Bend area.

Contact us at to be added to our email list. Thanks!

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Adventure Camp - take one!


Destination Rehab hosted our first Adventure Rehab Camp in September 2017! We rented a home in Bend within walking distance of downtown, assembled all our gear, and planned a full week of outdoor challenges. Our participant Bill was amazing - he worked on goals that included improved balance, endurance, running speed and pacing, and challenged himself with some new activities like rock climbing and cooking!

Two amazing and talented Physical Therapists volunteered for the week, and we took Bill on all of the best Central Oregon adventures! We went kayaking, hiking, trail running, rock climbing, stand up paddle boarding and camping. It was a fun, tiring, challenging week as we worked on therapy related goals while enjoying the beautiful outdoors!

Destination Rehab is planning two camps in 2018 - June and September - and we are looking for volunteers and participants to join us. Click on the button below for more info:

Happiness is the truth

Happiness is the truth

Blog post by Carli Smythe. Carli is a new volunteer with Destination Rehab. She is insightful, welcoming, and when talking with her, you realize that she has that rare gift of being able to truly and deeply listen. She will be writing a series of blog posts, helping to launch a new "young-onset" group, developing our Ambassador program, and assisting with our 2018 Adventure Cohort. Photo: Carli is on the right, volunteering at our September event called Soar!

Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Grant Award!

Central Oregon nonprofit Destination Rehab receives $6,520 grant


Destination Rehab is honored to announce that it has received a $6,520 Quality of Life grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. The Quality of Life program awards grants to fellow nonprofits that mirror the Reeve Foundation’s mission and commitment to foster community engagement, enhance independence and promote healthy self-esteem.

Destination Rehab will use the grant for a 5 day Adventure Rehab Camp promoting confidence and quality of life for adults ages 18+ with paralysis. This camp will be facilitated by physical therapists, held in the summer of 2018 and located in Bend. It is open to individuals from throughout Central Oregon, and participants are invited to bring a family member or friend to experience the camp alongside them. Grant funding helps offset costs so Destination Rehab can offer this opportunity at a lower cost to those with financial challenges. Destination Rehab founder Dr. Carol-Ann Nelson said, “This is an incredible opportunity for people to have a supportive environment to try out all the amazing activities we have here in Central Oregon. My hope is that each person who comes to this adventure camp will be amazed at what they are able to accomplish, and will leave with a sense of renewed confidence and passion for life.”

When asked about the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, Carol-Ann said, “I am blown away by their commitment to fund innovation and promote quality of life. It is truly an honor to be part of their community.”

 “We are continually looking for new ways for individuals living with paralysis to reintegrate themselves into the community through our grant recipient programs,” said Maggie Goldberg, VP of Policy and Programs. “Whether it is a small grant for a ramp to access a public building, or a larger award to support an accessible playground or create a transportation service, each project brings us closer to our ultimate goal of full inclusion and independence.”

Destination Rehab was founded as a Bend nonprofit in the Spring of 2016 to address issues of isolation, sedentary lifestyle, and lack of community reintegration for people with chronic conditions. Their mission is to utilize Physical Therapy to promote community participation, confidence and independence for adults with physical disabilities and neurologic conditions. They offer adventure based group outings and one-on-one physical therapy sessions, and include the participants' family members and friends in the process of education and rediscovery. The population they serve includes individuals with stroke, spinal cord injury, brain injury, Parkinson's Disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and more. Participants with Destination Rehab learn critical skills, gain confidence, and discover new ways to participate in the community, leading to increased confidence and quality of life. [For more information visit]

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, a national nonprofit dedicated to improving quality of life for individuals living with paralysis, announced it has awarded $809,291 to 90 nonprofits nationwide during the 1st grant cycle of 2017. The Quality of Life program conceived by the late Dana Reeve has awarded over $22 million in grants to 2,956 programs since its inception in 1999. Funding for the grants is made available through the Paralysis Resource Center (PRC) operated by the Reeve Foundation under a cooperative agreement with the Administration for Community Living in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.