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MossRehab Renewed as Model System for Brain Injury

Sep 19 2022

MossRehab's Drucker Brain Injury Program and the Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute (MRRI)-both now part of Jefferson Health in Philadelphia-recently received their renewal grant for the 6th time from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) to continue as a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Model System* through the year 2027. The highly competitive grant and classification as a Model System is earned for excellence in both the treatment and the research related to a particular disability. Specifically, a TBI Model System must demonstrate a strong track record of excellent clinical care, utilizing a program of research on outcome prediction and treatment, and having a superior record of publications, presentations and other knowledge dissemination and teaching on TBI rehabilitation.

Receiving the grant renewal for the sixth straight cycle means the MossRehab TBI Model System has been continuously funded since 1997, making the renowned facility one of only two to hold the designation continuously for such a long length of time.

Although the designation is a tip of the cap to the work being done at MossRehab’s TBI Model System, it’s the funding, first and foremost, that is most important, as it allows the work to continue.

"The Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute and MossRehab are delighted by the recent news of the renewal of the Traumatic Brain Injury Model System of Care," said Alberto Esquenazi, MD, Chief Medical Officer, MossRehab. "This is a great achievement due to its highly competitive nature, and the now thirty-plus years of uninterrupted funding secured by this renewal will allow us to continue the work of transforming TBI care delivery for years to come, even more so due to the collaborative opportunities created for researchers, clinicians, administrators and other important stakeholders, including persons living with TBI, created by becoming part of Jefferson Health. Together, we will continue to work to improve the lives of those with brain injury." 

"A sincere congratulations to the TBI Model System of Care leaders, Amanda Rabinowitz, PhD, at MRRI and Thomas Watanabe, MD, at MossRehab," said Dylan J. Edwards, PhD, Director of Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute. "This most recent renewal is a testament to their ability to lead our extensive team with passion and purpose, just like their predecessors, former directors Tessa Hart, PhD, and John Whyte, MD, PhD, who share in this success. Our system will continue to serve as a national exemplar where research excellence meets the best clinical practice, continuing the advancement of our field to improve the lives of those with brain injury."

"Our continued involvement in the TBI Model System allows MossRehab and MRRI to remain at the forefront of research and knowledge translation that will shape the future of TBI care," said Dr. Amanda Rabinowitz. "The funding and collaborative infrastructure will continue to support important local and multi-site research that would not otherwise be possible." 

Research supported by the TBI Model System funding recently includes longitudinal research in collaboration with other premier centers across the nation, and local research designed to improve TBI treatments and outcomes. For example, in the last cycle we examined a hybrid therapist-delivered and mobile health intervention to promote mental health in people living with chronic TBI. In the current cycle we will evaluate a program using a similar hybrid approach to help people with chronic TBI reduce sedentary behavior and become more physically active. In our recent collaborative efforts, we have partnered with other facilities to study chronic pain after TBI, impact on driving outcomes, and the effects of neighborhood characteristics on TBI outcomes.

Consumer-facing activities include an Advisory Council made up of treatment staff, former patients and members of their families, and community members who are helping to improve clinical services, research efforts, and educational/outreach activities; and running conferences in collaboration with other rehabilitation facilities and the Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania for people with brain injury, their families, and professionals in the field. In this cycle, we also look forward to partnering with the Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania to develop clinical guidelines for providing telehealth to persons with moderate to severe TBI, and another project aimed towards helping them to expand their outreach to historically underserved populations.

*The MossRehab TBI Model System includes patients with moderate to severe TBI, who receive inpatient rehabilitation care at MossRehab and acute care at one of four local Trauma Centers. These patients undergo long-term follow-up and they have various opportunities to participate in research studies led by MRRI researchers and teams within other TBI Model Systems across the nation. Regardless of whether patients elect to participate in research, outstanding clinical care is provided to patients at the Drucker Brain Injury Unit.


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