About RWS

Put simply, Roosevelt Warm Springs is a residential campus where students learn life skills and work towards professional certifications with the final goal being employment. Students are referred through their VR counselor. To learn more about VR click here to find your local office.

RWS Values

The Spirit of Warm Springs

The courage and fortitude to overcome challenges, a mission sense of duty and honor for those we serve
The bond that encourages respect, loyalty, acceptance and commitment to each other and those we serve
The genuine desire to give of ourselves for the benefit of others

The History of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Warm Springs

Franklin Delano Roosevelt established the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation (now Roosevelt Warm Springs Vocational Rehabilitation Campus) in 1927 as a polio rehabilitation center. He knew firsthand the challenges of living with a physical disability, and he wanted every polio survivor to receive the therapy and the training they needed to live as independently as possible. His indomitable spirit set the tone at Warm Springs, one of laughter, fun, camaraderie and persistent effort toward each individual’s rehabilitation goals. Roosevelt’s patronage made Warm Springs the most famous polio rehabilitation center in the country attracting patients from every state and from many other countries. Roosevelt died at the Little White House on April 12, 1945, but the healing work of the Foundation continued.

In the mid-1960s, when the Salk and Sabin vaccines had largely eliminated polio from the United States, the Foundation opened its doors to all people with disabilities. At the same time, the State of Georgia opened the Georgia Rehabilitation Center in Warm Springs to provide vocational rehabilitation training and services to the people of the state. The two organizations operated independently until 1974 when the state acquired the private Georgia Warm Springs Foundation Hospital and combined the two facilities into one comprehensive medical and vocational rehabilitation center under the banner of Roosevelt Warm Springs.

Acknowledging its association with the 32nd president of the United States and its unique nature as a community made by and for people with disabilities, the National Park Service declared Roosevelt Warm Springs a National Historic Landmark in 1980. Five years later, the State of Georgia declared Roosevelt Warm Springs a living legacy to FDR for its continued advocacy for and assistance to people with disabilities.

A nonprofit organization, Augusta University Health, has operated the Roosevelt Warm Springs Rehabilitation Hospital and the Roosevelt Warm Springs Long-Term Acute Care Hospital since 2014. The Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency has operated the vocational rehabilitation campus at Warm Springs since 2012.

Many documents, photographs and films about the polio era at Warm Springs may be found in our historical collections in the Digital Library of Georgia and on Flickr. Follow the links below to learn more.