Public Release:  Kessler Foundation stroke expert receives $145,000 grant from Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey

Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey awards 145,000 grant to A.M. Barrett, MD, director of stroke rehabilitation research at Kessler Foundation for the study of hidden disabilities after stroke

Kessler Foundation

West Orange, NJ. November 9, 2012. A.M. Barrett, MD, director of stroke rehabilitation research at Kessler Foundation, was awarded a $145,000 grant (#2733) by The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey. The grant will enable the Stroke Research team and Dr. Barrett, an expert in hidden disabilities after stroke, to extend their work in hidden disabilities to stroke survivors and their health care providers in Newark, New Jersey. Dr. Barrett and her team are well known for their research on the hidden disability of functional vision known as spatial neglect. Their investigations focus on the use of optical prism therapy for this disabling complication of stroke.

Hidden disabilities that impair functional vision affect as many as one out of three stroke survivors. They are the underlying cause of accidents, falls, injuries that prolong recovery and increase costs for rehabilitation. To address these common disabling complications of stroke, greater awareness is needed, as well as education for healthcare providers, according to Dr. Barrett. This will lead to better care for people recovering from the cognitive effects of stroke.

"Preliminary testing of Kessler Foundation's optical prism treatment is promising," noted Dr. Barrett. "Now is the time to offer this therapy to more people. This generous grant from the Healthcare Foundation of NJ will enable us to provide prism treatment to stroke survivors, aged 20 to 85, living in underserved areas of Newark. Moreover, we will provide specific guidelines to providers and healthcare organizations in Newark. Our objective is to work with these organizations to train providers in the community to identify and treat hidden disabilities of functional vision."

"This grant enables Kessler Foundation to extend the benefits of its clinical research to the local community," said John DeLuca, PhD, vice president of Research & Training at Kessler Foundation. Training health care providers will reinforce the hospital-to-community care pathway, resulting in better health care and greater independence for hundreds of Newark-based stroke survivors.

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Drs. Barrett and DeLuca are professors in the department of physical medicine & rehabilitation at UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School in Newark, NJ.

About A.M. Barrett, MD

A.M. Barrett, MD, a cognitive neurologist and clinical researcher, is director of Stroke Rehabilitation Research at Kessler Foundation, as well as chief of Neurorehabilitation Program Innovation at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation. Her focus is brain-behavior relationships from the perspectives of cognitive neurology, cognitive neuroscience, and cognitive neurorehabilitation. Dr. Barrett is an expert in hidden cognitive disabilities after stroke, which contribute to safety problems & rehospitalization, increased caregiver burden, & poor hospital-to-home transition. She and Peii Chen, PhD, founded the Network for Spatial Neglect, which promotes multidisciplinary research for this underdiagnosed hidden disability. Dr. Barrett is also professor of physical medicine & rehabilitation at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Medical School and adjunct professor of neurology at Columbia University School of Medicine. She is immediate past president of the American Society for Neurorehabilitation.

Dr. Barrett is author of the reference article Spatial Neglect on emedicine.com. Recent publication: Barrett AM, Goedert KM, Basso JC. Prism adaptation for spatial neglect after stroke: translational practice gaps. Nat Rev Neurol. 2012 Aug 28;8(10):567-77. doi: 10.1038/nrneurol.2012.170.

About Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey

The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey is an independent, endowed grant-making organization dedicated to reducing disparities in the delivery of healthcare and improving access to quality healthcare for vulnerable populations in the greater Newark, NJ area and the Jewish community of MetroWest NJ. The Foundation seeks to seed new initiatives, identify and expand existing healthcare programs, support appropriate clinical and medical research, promote medical education to positively impact its targeted communities, and engage in partnerships to foster its goals.

About Kessler Foundation

Kessler Foundation is one of the largest public charities in the field of disability. Kessler Foundation Research Center advances care through rehabilitation research in six specialized laboratories under the leadership of noted research directors. Research focuses on improving function and quality of life for persons with injuries of the spinal cord and brain, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and other chronic neurological conditions. Kessler Foundation Program Center fosters new approaches to the persistently high rates of unemployment among people disabled by injury or disease. Targeted grant-making funds promising programs across the nation. Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, people recovering from catastrophic injuries and stroke, and young adults striving for independence are among the thousands of people finding jobs and training for careers as a result of the commitment of Kessler Foundation.

Find us at www.KesslerFoundation.org

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Carolann Murphy, PA 973-324-8382; Cmurphy@KesslerFoundation.org

Lauren Scrivo; 973-324-8384; LScrivo@KesslerFoundation.org

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