News Release

Kessler Foundation awarded Traumatic Brain Injury Model System Grant for 2017-2022

The 5-year federal grant funds the Northern New Jersey Traumatic Brain Injury System, a system of care and research aimed to improve treatment and outcomes of traumatic brain injury

Meeting Announcement

Kessler Foundation

Nancy Chiaravalloti, Kessler Foundation

image: Dr. Chiaravalloti is project director of the federally funded Northern NJ TBI Model System, and director of Traumatic Brain Injury Research at Kessler Foundation. view more 

Credit: Kessler Foundation

East Hanover, NJ - November 21, 2017 - The National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) has awarded Kessler Foundation a $2.23 million, five-year grant to fund the Northern New Jersey Traumatic Brain Injury System (NNJTBIS) The NNJTBIS is a comprehensive system of clinical care, research, information and resource dissemination aimed at improving quality of life for people with traumatic brain injury (TBI). The NNJTBIS is a collaborative effort of Kessler Foundation, Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, and five area trauma centers.

This marks the fourth five-year TBI Model System grant that Kessler has received from NIDILRR.

"We are honored to be among the 16 model system grantees of this grant cycle," said Nancy Chiaravalloti, PhD, project director of the NNJTBIS and director of TBI Research at Kessler Foundation. "This grant allows us to continue to improve rehabilitation treatment and outcomes for individuals with TBI, their families and caregivers, as well as to educate health care professionals and the general public about the medical, psychological, social and emotional effects of TBI.

Each model system enrolls individuals at the time of their injury, and collects long-term data on their recovery. "These data guide our research aimed at developing effective evidence-based rehabilitation interventions for people with common cognitive sequelae of TBI," Dr. Chiaravalloti commented. "Deficits in memory, learning, and emotional processing can adversely affect their participation in the community by causing difficulties with interpersonal relationships at home, in school, and in the workplace."

All 16 model systems contribute their data to the Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems National Data and Statistical Center (TBINDSC). These summary data are used to identify areas in need of investigation.

"Recovery after TBI is often a lengthy process that requires expert rehabilitation care," said Neil N. Jasey, Jr., MD, medical director of the NNJTBIMS, and director of brain injury rehabilitation at Kessler Institute. "Being part of the TBI Model System enables us to deliver a comprehensive program of specialized care and treatment to best address the complex medical, cognitive and psychosocial challenges patients face and optimize their individual outcomes."

John DeLuca, PhD, vice president of Research & Training at Kessler Foundation is co-project director of the 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, are co-investigators.

Funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, award #90DPTB0003

About Kessler Foundation

Kessler Foundation, a major nonprofit organization in the field of disability, is a global leader in rehabilitation research that seeks to improve cognition, mobility and long-term outcomes, including employment, for people with neurological disabilities caused by diseases and injuries of the brain and spinal cord. Kessler Foundation leads the nation in funding innovative programs that expand opportunities for employment for people with disabilities. Learn more by visiting

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About Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation

Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, a division of Select Medical, provides comprehensive care and specialized treatment to address the complex needs of individuals with spinal cord injury, brain injury, stroke, amputation, neurological diseases, cardiac recovery and orthopedic/musculoskeletal conditions. Kessler is one of only eight federally designated Model Systems in the nation for the treatment and research of both traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries. Ranked as one of the top two rehabilitation hospitals in the nation and the best in the East by U.S. News & World Report, Kessler has three hospital campuses in West Orange, Saddle Brook and Chester, N.J., and more than 80 outpatient centers throughout the state.


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