With its high volume of patients, Jackson Health System is one of the nation’s leading sites for rehabilitation research, education and training. These new techniques and procedures are designed to improve patient care, facilitate the recovery process and advance medical knowledge. The varied research projects underway at Jackson’s Comprehensive Rehabilitation Hospital focus on several key areas.
Spinal Cord Injuries
- The Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) service at Jackson’s Rehabilitation Hospital is part of the South Florida SCI Model System, one of 14 nationally recognized SCI model systems that collect data on outcomes of acute SCI and conduct research.
- A unique aspect of Jackson’s spinal cord injury program is its close connection with The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, a research division of the University of Miami School of Medicine. The Miami Project is the largest, most comprehensive research effort in the world dedicated to finding a cure for paralysis.
- Research studies at The Miami Project have included functional electric stimulation (FES), cycle ergometry and its effects on muscle mass, bone density and cardiac function and studies using the Lokomat.
- Research studies funded by the South Florida SCI Model System include studies on shoulder fair and pathology quantitative ultrasounds and exercise and collaborative studies with other SCI Model systems on quality of of life and on the use of diaphragmatic pacing for ventilator- dependent patients.
- Other research studies include a multicenter study in collaboration with three other SCI Model systems on wheelchair training and maintenance and participation in a worldwide study on neuropathic pain.
Traumatic Brain Injury
- The William Lehman Injury Research Center at the Ryder Trauma Center is dedicated to advancing the understanding, treatment and rehabilitation of patients with traumatic brain injuries.
- The John T. Macdonald Foundation conducts genetic research, including a planned study on whether certain genes may affect outcomes for children with traumatic brain injuries.
- Improving a child’s mental functioning. Pediatric researchers are studying whether certain medications used in adult patients may help children regain a higher level of mental functioning after a traumatic brain injury.
- Managing behavior. Medications used in the acute phase of a patient’s care may also have long-term benefits to a brain-injured children, adolescents and adults.
Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems
The rehabilitation medicine team at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in conjunction with Jackson Rehabilitation Hospital has been awarded a federal Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems (TBIMS) grant of more than $2 million. Funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), the five-year grant will enhance rehabilitation services and research aimed at meeting the special needs of individuals with brain injuries as they progress through the clinical continuum, from emergency care to rehabilitation and community re-entry.
The highly competitive selection process for the prestigious U.S. Department of Education funding resulted in UM/Jackson being the only Florida awardee, making it one of just 16 sites nationally that were awarded the grant. Last year, UM/Jackson was also awarded a Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems program grant, which is directed by Diana Cardenas, M.D., M.H.A., chair of rehabilitation medicine at the Miller School of Medicine and chief of rehabilitation at Jackson Memorial Hospital.