Overview & History
For more than 90 years, the Sargent Rehabilitation Center has strived to restore dignity to its clients by helping them become independent.
The Center traces its roots back to 1917, when 25 pioneering women opened the Providence School of Lipreading. It incorporated into the Providence League for the Hard of Hearing in 1927 and later became the first rehabilitation technology program offering assistive listening devices. It remained committed to improving the lives of those with hearing disabilities well into the 1950s.
By the 1960s, the center was offering speech pathology services and developed the first outpatient clinic for adult stroke victims. In 1969, spearheaded by Marilyn Serra, the Center’s current CEO, and her colleagues in medicine and rehabilitation, Sargent opened a language and speech preschool center. By 1975 the organization had expanded its capacity to serve older children within a comprehensive Day School Program.
Throughout its history, the Center has been a pioneer in rehabilitative care. The Center developed the first aural rehabilitation program for the elderly and the first occupational health and safety industrial audiology program. It began its traumatic brain injury program in 1986 and added the adolescent brain injury unit in 1988.
In 1997, Sargent moved to its current facility in Warwick and now occupies 36,000 square feet in two buildings on its 3-acre campus on Quaker Lane.
Today, on an annual basis Sargent Rehabilitation Center serves more than 1,700 individuals and organizations from throughout all areas of Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts and Connecticut.