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Rehabilitation Institute, 3600 Troost Avenue

In 1947 the Rehabilitation Institute was formed after the Kansas City Council of Social Agencies reported that 350 disabled persons in the area who could not qualify for assistance from any agency but who could become self–supporting to varying degrees with the right help. The evaluation was suggested by Vivian Davis Shepherd. The Rehabilitation Institute was formed with the purpose of providing physical therapy, prevocational training, and placement for the severely disabled in the region. Those affected by disease, accident, or birth disabilities were eligible for the services. With the aid and support of Mrs. Elanor Jones Kemper, the institute opened with 30 worker–patients, $7,500 in the bank, a budget of $30,000, and Vivian Shepherd as executive director.

The institute opened in 1947 on the second floor of a remodeled building at 2700 McGee Street Trafficway. The patient load continued to increase. With the financial assistance of Clara Lewis Stover, facilities were moved in 1950 to a two–story building at 3600 Troost Avenue, the former location of Monkey Cleaners and Dyers. By 1968 the number of patients had doubled, and larger quarters were again needed. The following year the institute occupied its first permanent home at 3011 Baltimore Avenue. Built at a cost of $3 million, it became one of the nation´s most complete rehabilitation centers under one roof. Regarded as a model in the field, professionals came from all parts of the world to study.

Kansas City Women of Independent Minds , Jane Fifield Flynn