The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) of the U.S. Department of Education awarded a $2.2 million federal grant to Kessler Foundation. The five-year grant (H133A120030) funds the Northern New Jersey Traumatic Brain Injury System (NNJTBIS), a comprehensive system of care, research, education and dissemination aimed at improving quality of life for people with traumatic brain injury. The NNJTBIS is a cooperative effort of Kessler Foundation, Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark
"We are pleased to be a part of the national TBIMS Centers Program, which plays a tremendously important role in addressing the myriad issues that adversely affect quality of life for people with TBI," said Nancy Chiaravalloti, PhD, project director of the NNJTBIS and director of TBI Research at Kessler Foundation. "Through the NNJTBIS, we have developed cognitive rehabilitation strategies that help people manage memory loss after TBI. Our new research study addresses deficits in processing speed, which are the most common disabling sequelae of TBI. We are interested in more than recovery; we want to get people back to school and back to work as productive members of their communities."
"Individuals with TBI experience a wide range of medical, physical, functional and cognitive challenges that are best addressed through a comprehensive program of specialized care and treatment," said Neil N. Jasey, Jr., co-investigator and medical director to the NNJTBIMS, and director of brain injury rehabilitation at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation. "Being part of the TBI Model System enables us to deliver this advanced care and evidence-based treatment, improve the quality of life for these individuals, and expand the expand the boundaries of brain injury rehabilitation and research."
NNJTBIS collects patient data from the time of injury through long-term follow-up, which are contributed to the national TBI National Data and Statistical Center along with data from 15 other regional model systems. These national summary data are used to identify areas where investigation is needed to improve care and long-term outcomes. John DeLuca, PhD, vice president of Research & Training at Kessler Foundation is co-project director of NNJTBIS. John O'Neill, PhD, director of Disability & Employment Research at Kessler Foundation, and Bruce M. Gans, MD, executive vice president and chief medical officer at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, are co-investigators.
According to U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-8), who co-chairs the Congressional Traumatic Brain Injury Task Force, "The importance of coordinated medical care and rehabilitation is critical to an individual's recovery. With this grant, Kessler, which is one of only eight centers in the nation to have Centers of Excellence for both Traumatic Brain Injury and Spinal Cord Injury, continues its leadership in the field of rehabilitation research and treatment."