HOUSTON (January 19, 2011)

Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is expected to begin the next phase of her recovery on Friday, January 21, at Memorial Hermann's level one trauma center in Houston where she will be evaluated prior to being transferred to nearby TIRR Memorial Hermann. The exact date may change depending on her health.

Memorial Hermann's level one trauma center is affiliated with The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). TIRR Memorial Hermann has been ranked one of the top-five rehabilitation hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report for 21 years.

"One of the nation's busiest trauma centers, Memorial Hermann frequently treats victims of penetrating and blunt trauma to the brain," said President and CEO Dan Wolterman. "Our rehabilitation hospital, TIRR Memorial Hermann, has a well-deserved reputation for excellence in the treatment of traumatic brain injury as well as diseases and disorders of the brain and spinal cord.

"Like so many others across the country, we have watched Congresswoman Giffords' progress with great interest," Wolterman said. "We are honored that her family and medical team have entrusted her ongoing care to Memorial Hermann."

Colonel (Retired, U.S. Army) John Holcomb, MD, trauma surgeon at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, said: "The congresswoman has received exceptional care while in Tucson and we are encouraged by her progress. Upon her arrival, our experienced, multidisciplinary team in the Neuro-trauma intensive care unit (ICU) will evaluate her condition to ensure she is ready for the next step in her recovery.

"We anticipate that her time in the ICU will be brief and that she will move quickly toward a tailored and comprehensive rehab plan at TIRR Memorial Hermann," said Holcomb, who also is Vice Chair of Surgery and Chief of the Acute Care Surgery Division at the UTHealth Medical School.

Holcomb is one of the nation's preeminent trauma surgeons, specializing in traumatic brain injuries. In 2008, Dr. Holcomb received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Trauma Resuscitation Science from the American Heart Association, the United States Special Operations Command Medal, and the Service award from the American College of Surgery, Committee on Trauma for outstanding scientific contributions to the surgery of trauma and dedication to the care of wounded warriors.

Founded in 1959, TIRR Memorial Hermann is one of very few hospitals in the country designated as a model system for traumatic brain injury by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. It has been named to the "Best Hospitals" list by U.S. News and World Report Magazine for 21 years, every year the list has been published.

TIRR Memorial Hermann is also home to one of the top residency programs in neurological physical therapy, more than 35,000 outpatient visits occur annually at TIRR Memorial Hermann, reflecting the knowledge, compassion and dedication of physicians, nurses, researchers and staff involved in direct patient care.