University Rehabilitation Institute, Republic of Slovenia (henceforth: Institute) was established in 1954. It is the central national health institute for comprehensive and interdisciplinary rehabilitation of patients with functional and workplace impairments.

The Institute performs the most demanding tasks and handles the most demanding cases on the secondary and (mainly) tertiary level in the field of physical medicine, rehabilitation and application of medical aids, as well as in the field of psycho-social and vocational rehabilitation. The Institute’s other tasks are research, outpatient and inpatient diagnostics and triage, teaching at the graduate and postgraduate level, and professional education and training.

The Institute treats about 10,000 patients a year, of whom about 1,800 are inpatients. Operating within the Institute are several specialised and sub-specialised clinics for patients with severe impairments and disorders of the neural and locomotor system and resulting disabilities. The expert staff of the Institute maintains the 60-year tradition of excellence in the medical, bioengineering and psychosocial fields.

The Institute has acquired several quality certificates, including ISO 9001:2008 for physical and rehabilitation medicine, vocational rehabilitation and orthotics and prosthetics, European accreditation for physical medicine and rehabilitation, and EQUASS Excellence – European excellence for the vocational rehabilitation field.

The Institute has become an internationally acclaimed institution through its expertise, experience, research and frequent participation of its members at major international conferences and workshops. The Institute can be ranked among the most successful health care organisations in Slovenia.

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Helena Burger PhotoProf Helena Burger, MD, PhD – specialist in physical and rehabilitation medicine with 25 years of work experience, Medical Director of the Institute, full professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Ljubljana; she has (co-)authored over 50 scientific articles in international journals and several chapters in international monographs; she has given invited lectures and professional courses all over the world, and is a member of several professional societies in the field of PRM, including board membership; she is editorial board member of several international scientific journals; she has tutored numerous specialists in PRM, physio- and occupational therapists and P&O engineers; her medical sub-specialty is upper limb prosthetics and orthotics, including return-to-work after amputation.

Gaj Vidmar PhotoAssoc Prof Gaj Vidmar, PhD – BA and MSc in psychology (specialising in psychometrics), PhD in biostatistics and medical informatics, Head of Biostatistics and Scientific informatics at the Institute, associate professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Ljubljana and at the University of Primorska (Koper); he has got more than 20 years of experience as researcher and statistical consultant in the fields of psychology, medicine, physiotherapy, human resources, marketing, nuclear physics and elsewhere; he has (co-)authored 150 scientific articles in international journals and is the editor of two international scientific journals; highly proficient (extensive professional experience as translator, interpreter and technical writer) in English (and Italian); has also got coaching degrees and extensive experience in professional sport.

Metka Teržan PhotoMetka Teržan, MD – specialist in occupational medicine; director of Centre for Vocational Rehabilitation and team leader for return-to-work programme; her main area of interest is education and employment of youths with disabilities; she has got many years of experience as expert in social insurance boards; member of Cancer and Work Network (COST Action); previous work experience in public health (epidemiology of worker’s health and workplace health promotion).

Andreja Švajger PhotoAndreja Švajger, MSc, OT – she has worked for 33 years as occupational therapist at the Centre for Vocational Rehabilitation as team member and leader; she is the head of the Ljubljana unit; participates in research, development and project work in the area of vocational rehabilitation; she has focused on introducing and implementing client-focused and empowering case-management and intervention approaches.

Aleksandra Tabaj PhotoAleksandra Tabaj, PhD – head of Development Centre for Vocational Rehabilitation; BA in Sociology, MSc in HRM, and PhD in Sociology; has got more than 20 years of working experience in the field of employment, vocational rehabilitation, equal opportunities and people with disabilities’ rights; (co-)author of 100 scientific and professional papers; her lectures and articles are discussing modern trends in human rights for persons with disabilities, vocational rehabilitation, supported employment, social inclusion, and employment possibilities of persons with disabilities.

Valentina Brecelj PhotoValentina Brecelj, MSc – senior R&D associate at the Development Centre for Vocational Rehabilitation; BA in Pedagogy (specialised in adult education) and master degree in Human Resource Management; with 12 years of working experience in the field of adult education, employment, psychosocial and vocational rehabilitation, equal opportunities, people with disabilities’ rights, quality systems and HRM.

Črtomir Bitenc PhotoAssist Črtomir Bitenc, BA – R&D associate at the Development Centre for Vocational Rehabilitation; BA in Psychology, with more than 3 years of working experience in the field of vocational rehabilitation, sport psychology and statistical analysis; (co-)author of 20 scientific and technical papers, former Vice President of Finances of the Slovenian Psychologists’ Association.