MossRehab and MRRI Receive Prestigious TBI Model System Renewal

MossRehab’s Drucker Brain Injury Program and Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute (MRRI) are excited to celebrate the sixth renewal of their world-class Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Model System. The continued recognition and support from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) are a tremendous achievement for the researchers and clinicians at Moss who are dedicated to pushing the limits to improve our scientific understanding and clinical treatment of TBI.

Classification as a Model System by NIDILRR requires excellence in treatment and research related to a particular disability. The MossRehab TBI Model System has been continuously funded since 1997, and with this most recent renewal, funding has been secured through 2027. Members of the MossRehab TBI Model System have continued to demonstrate exceptional clinical care, as well as research productivity, innovation, and knowledge dissemination in the field of TBI rehabilitation.

“Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute and MossRehab are delighted by the recent news of renewal of the Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems of Care. This is a great achievement due to its highly competitive nature. More than three decades of uninterrupted participation in this program have allowed us to help continue to transform TBI care delivery for years to come,” remarked Alberto Esquenazi, MD, Chief Medical Officer of MossRehab. “Now as part of Jefferson, our collaborative team of researchers, clinicians, administrators, and other important stakeholders, including persons living with TBI, will continue to work together to improve the lives of those with brain injury,” he said.

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.

The MossRehab TBI Model System is led by Amanda Rabinowitz, PhD, and Tom Watanabe, MD. “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,” Dr. Rabinowitz noted, adding that “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, the team examined a hybrid therapist-delivered and mobile health intervention to promote mental health in people living with chronic TBI. In the current cycle, they will evaluate a program using a similar hybrid approach to help people with chronic TBI reduce sedentary behavior and become more physically active. In recent collaborative efforts, the MossRehab TBI Model System has partnered with other TBI Model System facilities to study chronic pain after TBI, the impact on driving outcomes, and the effects of neighborhood characteristics on TBI outcomes.

In addition, 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. The MossRehab Model System will also hold 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. Further, the team looks forward to partnering with the Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania in this new funding cycle to develop clinical guidelines for providing telehealth to persons with moderate to severe TBI, and expanding their outreach to historically underserved populations.

“The competitive renewal of the TBI Model System of Care is a testament to the leadership of Dr. Rabinowitz at MRRI and Dr. Watanabe at MossRehab,” noted Dylan Edwards, PhD, Director of MRRI. “The success is shared by former TBI Model System directors Dr. Tessa Hart and Dr. John Whyte, as well as an extensive team who have been working together to continue advancing the field to improve the lives of those with brain injury,” he continued.

Through the MossRehab TBI Model System, MRRI scientists and MossRehab clinicians will continue to work together to advance the standard of care for treating TBI and improve the outcomes for patients.

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