Carolinas HealthCare System

Carolinas HealthCare System’s Carolinas Rehabilitation has one of the largest and most comprehensive stroke rehabilitation programs in the Southeast, offering state-of-the-art care at several locations throughout Charlotte and the surrounding area.

Our stroke program was awarded certification from the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and was one of the first facilities in the nation to apply for and receive this certification.

Carolinas Rehabilitation is the first institution in the world to implant an investigational implantable neurostimulation system currently being studied for the treatment of post-stroke shoulder pain. We are also one of just a few centers in the country studying botulinum toxin (BOTOX) and its utility in blocking neuromuscular transmission to alleviate the effects of spasticity.

Carolinas Rehabilitation is part of Carolinas Stroke Network, a comprehensive network that provides rapid, state-of-the-art treatment to patients with acute stroke.

Stroke Inpatient Rehabilitation Services

Our dedicated stroke team works with each patient to personalize care to address the patient's specific needs. Our goal is to get patients home and at the highest level of independence possible.

This team is led by one of our dedicated board certified, stroke specialized physicians. In addition to the physician, the patient's team may consist of:

  • Physical, occupational or speech therapists
  • Recreational therapists
  • Social workers
  • Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurses (CRRN)
  • Case managers
  • Neuropsychologists

To help speed our patients' recovery, we offer intensive therapy during the inpatient stay, up to three hours per day. Additionally, the rehabilitation team will educate family members to assist their loved ones.

Stroke Outpatient Rehabilitation Services

Following inpatient care, Carolinas Rehabilitation occupational, physical and speech-language therapists meet weekly to coordinate patient therapy goal. Specialized outpatient rehabilitation services include:

Meet the Carolinas Rehabilitation Stroke Team

David Agner, MD 

Dr. Agner is a graduate of East Carolina University and completed his internship at Mount Carmel Medical Center. His residency training was at Ohio State University. He is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 

He is with Carolinas HealthCare System Stanly, serving as medical director of its rehabilitation unit. Before joining Stanly, Dr. Agner spent nearly nine years at Rowan Regional Medical Center as medical director of the Elizabeth C. Stanback Rehabilitation Unit. 

He is a member of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, the American Medical Association and the Rowan County Medical Society. 

Dr. Agner is married and has three children. He enjoys family activities such as tennis, travel, watching movies and walking. 

Kathleen Boncimino, MD, MPH, CPE 

Kathleen Boncimino, MD, MPH, CPE, received her undergraduate degree from State University of New York and her medical degree from New York Medical College. She completed her internship and residency in internal medicine, as well as physical medicine and rehabilitation, from Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. Following residency, Dr. Boncimino was an attending physician at Morristown Medical Center. 

She joined a private practice in New Jersey and served as Vice Chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Morristown Memorial Hospital. She is certified by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Boncimino is also certified by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation with a subspecialty in sports medicine.  

Dr. Boncimino is a member of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, the American Medical Association, the American College of Physicians, the American College of Sports Medicine, the American College of Physician Executives and the North Carolina Medical Society.  

Dr. Boncimino is married with three children and enjoys outdoor activities including water sports, golf and tennis. 

Leon Chandler, MD 

Dr. Chandler received his undergraduate degree from State University of New York Downstate and completed his internship in Internal Medicine at Staten Island University Hospital. His residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation was completed at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia. 

He is an active member of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, the American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine, as well as the Physiatric Association of Spine, Sports and Occupational Rehabilitation. His special interests include orthopaedic and stroke rehabilitation as well as complementary/ alternative medicine. 

Dr. Chandler is married and has one daughter. He enjoys playing the trumpet, jogging and playing basketball. 

Timothy Miller, MD 

Dr. Miller received his undergraduate and medical degree from Louisiana State University. He completed his internship in internal medicine at Earl K. Long Medical Center and his residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at New York University’s Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine where he was also Chief Resident. Following residency, he became the medical director of an inpatient rehabilitation center in Louisiana. 

He is board certified by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and is a member of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. His clinical interests include stroke rehabilitation and electrodiagnostic medicine. 

Dr. Miller is married with one daughter and enjoys playing basketball, traveling and watching Lo 

Vu Q.C. Nguyen, MD  

As director of the stroke program, Vu Q.C. Nguyen, MD, graduated from Michigan State University and completed an internship in Combined Internal Medicine/Pediatrics. He served as a physician in the United States Air Force, functioning as an emergency medicine physician and Interim Medical Director, and later practicing family medicine. After leaving the Air Force, he returned to residency training and joined Carolinas Rehabilitation as Chief Resident. 

His research interests involve post-traumatic amnesia, dysphagia, spasticity and neuromodulation of shoulder subluxation. 

Dr. Nguyen has three children and enjoys hiking, scuba diving and beach volleyball. 

Rup_Nicole_LC.jpgNicole Rup, MD 

As part of Carolinas HealthCare System, Nicole Rup, MD is helping transform the delivery of healthcare.  Dr. Rup graduated from Georgetown University School of Medicine and completed her residency at Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.  

She is a member of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the Association of Academic Physiatrists. Her clinical interests include neuro-rehabilitation and stroke rehabilitation. 

When she’s not practicing medicine, Dr. Rup enjoys spending time with her family. She also enjoys baking and running. 

Matthew Shall, MD 

Dr. Shall received his undergraduate degree from Miami University in Ohio and his medical degree from the Medical College of Ohio. He completed his internship in internal medicine at the Eastern Virginia Medical School and his residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Carolinas Rehabilitation where he was also Chief Resident. Following residency, Dr. Shall joined a private practice in Seattle. He returned to Charlotte to become the Medical Director of Carolinas Rehabilitation – Mount Holly.  

He is board certified by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and is a member of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. In addition to participating in numerous volunteer activities and community service projects, Dr. Shall has received several honors and awards. 

J. George Thomas, MD 

As part of Carolinas HealthCare System, J. George Thomas, MD, is helping transform the delivery of healthcare. Dr. Thomas graduated from Trivandrum Medical College in Kerala, India. He completed his residency at the University of Missouri School of Medicine and a fellowship at the University of Miami School of Medicine and Jackson Memorial Hospital.  

He is a member of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the American Paraplegia Society. With clinical interests in neuropharmacology in cerebral injuries, spinal cord injuries, burns rehabilitation and wound care, Dr. Thomas believes in building lifelong partnerships with patients and is committed to providing excellent care at every opportunity.  

When he’s not practicing medicine, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters. He also enjoys photography, traveling and playing soccer. 

Douglas Thommen, MD 

Dr. Thommen is a graduate of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He completed his internship in internal medicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and his residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the JFK-Johnson Rehabilitation Institute, where he was Chief Resident.  

His clinical interests include musculoskeletal and electrodiagnostic medicine.  

Dr. Thommen is married with one son. He enjoys marathon running, triathlons, reading and playing the guitar.  

Paul Withers, MD 

Paul Withers, MD, joined Carolinas Rehabilitation-Pineville as a faculty physician in August 2015. 

Dr. Withers’ special interests include musculoskeletal and neurologic rehabilitation, and he has specialized training in musculoskeletal ultrasound, prosthetics and orthotics, Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative, and Functional Independence Measure. Dr. Withers completed his residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Wayne State University in Taylor, Mich., where he was chief resident. He earned his medical degree at Indiana University. 

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CALL 877-REHAB51 (877-734-2251) or Email

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