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

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, physical, 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.  

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About Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation

Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, in collaboration with Kessler Foundation, is one of only seven federally designated model systems for the research and treatment of both traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries.  That same level of pioneering care distinguishes Kessler Institute’s comprehensive programs for stroke, neurologic diseases, amputation, orthopedic trauma, cancer and cardiac recovery.  Ranked as one of the nation’s best rehabilitation hospitals by U.S. News & World Report for 25 consecutive years, Kessler Institute has four inpatient hospital campuses in West Orange, Saddle Brook, Chester and Marlton, N.J., and more than 95 outpatient centers throughout the state. For more information, visit

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