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history photo In 1936, Frances Eleanor Smith, affectionately known as "Mother Smith," founded Casa Colina in response to the tragic polio outbreak. In a hacienda-style house in Chino, she created a place to care for young children with polio, and teach them how to regain their mobility and self-esteem.

In the process, her team developed breakthrough physical therapy modalities for these polio patients. In fact, President Franklin D. Roosevelt recognized this groundbreaking rehabilitation therapy work. As more medical professionals throughout the country learned about the success of these polio disease treatments, other patients began to benefit from these modalities.

After the development of a vaccine by Jonas Salk which led to the eradication of polio in the early 1950s, Casa Colina broadened its services to care for patients of all ages with all kinds of physical injuries and disabilities. True to Mother Smith's legacy, Casa Colina has been recognized throughout the nation as the first to introduce many of the modalities that are implemented in rehabilitative care today.

It was among the first inpatient rehabilitation facilities to assemble interdisciplinary treatment teams to collaborate with physicians, it was a pioneer in the management of chronic pain, and it has been a leader in offering a complete continuum of care for those with brain injuries and other neurological trauma. Today, we continue to share our findings and research with other institutions - with the hope of helping patients everywhere.

The name "Casa Colina" means, "House on the Little Hill." But to thousands, it has meant so much more.

For a complete timeline of Casa Colina's growth and development, see our timeline.

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