The Kessler Foundation (West Orange) and Dr. Nancy Chiaravalloti were recently awarded a $2.2 million federal grant from The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) of the U.S. Department of Education. The five-year grant funds the Northern New Jersey Traumatic Brain Injury System (NNJTBIS), a comprehensive system of care, research, education and dissemination aimed at improving the quality of life for people with traumatic brain injury. The NNJTBIS is a cooperative effort of Kessler Foundation, Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark, Hackensack Regional Medical Center, Morristown Memorial Hospital and St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center.
“We are pleased to be a part of the national TBIMS Centers Program, which plays a tremendously important role in addressing the myriad issues that adversely affect quality of life for people with TBI,” said Dr. Chiaravalloti, project director of the NNJTBIS and director of TBI Research at Kessler Foundation. “Through the NNJTBIS, we have developed cognitive rehabilitation strategies that help people manage memory loss after TBI. Our new research study addresses deficits in processing speed, which are the most common disabling sequelae of TBI. We are interested in more than recovery; we want to get people back to school and back to work as productive members of their communities.”
The NNJTBIS collects patient data from the time of injury through long-term followup, which is contributed to the national TBI National Data and Statistical Center along with data from 15 other regional model systems. These national summary data are used to identify areas where investigation is needed to improve care and long-term outcomes. Dr. John DeLuca, vice president of research and training at the Kessler Foundation, is the project co-director of NNJTBIS. Disability employment expert Dr. John O’Neill of the Kessler Foundation and Dr. Neil Jasey, director of brain injury services for Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, are the co-investigators.
“People with TBI encounter many physical and cognitive challenges during rehabilitation,” said co-investigator Dr. Bruce Gans, the medical director of the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation. “The TBI Model System broadens the scope of our care and research to include crucial long-term factors such as education, employment and community services.”
Drs. Chiaravalloti, DeLuca, Gans and Jasey have faculty appointments at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Medical School. Dr. O’Neill is affiliated with the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University.
Dr. Chiaravalloti is the director of neuropsychology and neuroscience research and traumatic brain injury research at Kessler Foundation. She is the principle investigator on numerous studies examining cognitive changes in persons with multiple sclerosis and traumatic brain injury, including studies applying functional neuroimaging to understand cognitive changes and evaluate treatment efficacy. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the N.J. Commission on Traumatic Brain Injury Research, the Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration System. She directs and contributes to numerous ongoing research studies in TBI and MS. If interested in participating in research studies at Kessler Foundation, contact at firstname.lastname@example.org or (973)-324-8440.
Dr. Chiaravalloti was born and raised in Bayonne, is the daughter of Micki and Victor Donofrio, and continues to reside in Bayonne with her husband, Nicholas Chiaravalloti, and her three sons.
Visitor restrictions at BMC due to active influenza season
This year’s flu season started earlier than usual, and the flu has resulted in the deaths of at least 18 children so far this winter. As a result, hospitals are being more cautious. This week, Bayonne Medical Center released these visitation restrictions:
Visitors over the age of 18 are not allowed if they have been around adults or children who are sick with the cold or flu, have symptoms of a cold or influenza, have a fever or have had a fever within the past week or have been nauseated, vomited or had diarrhea.
Children under the age of 18 from accompanying a parent or family member to hospital are not allowed.
Patients with serious comorbidities like cancer or other conditions like cancer, HIV should postpone visiting the hospital at this time. Visitors do not have to divulge their medical problems on arrival but will be forewarned by security that these measures are being taken.
Only immediate family or designated support persons are allowed.
No more than two visitors at a time are allowed per patient.
Restrictions are meant for safety of patients as well as the visitors. Exceptions to the above would only be for families visiting the hospital due to mortality, and even then the above may be strongly urged to the family members.
Barge worker suffers heart attack
On Jan. 10 at about 10:10 p.m., the Bayonne Fire Department responded to International Matex Tank & Terminal (IMTT) for a report of a worker suffering a heart attack aboard a moored barge. Upon arrival, Firefighters were directed to oil Barge RTC 27, which was tied off at an IMTT pier approximately 400 feet from the shoreline. The rescue crew boarded the barge via gangway, and found a crew member unconscious and reportedly in cardiac arrest. The rescuers provided immediate medical care, and utilized technical rescue equipment and a crane to hoist the victim from the barge to shore. The worker was transported to Bayonne Medical Center.
Nominations for employers for 2013 Freedom Award announced
The employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense agency, is encouraging guardsmen and reservists to nominate their civilian employers for the 2013. Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award before the Jan. 21 deadline. The Freedom Award is the nation’s highest recognition for employers supporting guard and reserve members. Employers of every size and industry are eligible to receive the honor. Guard and reserve members, or a family member acting on their behalf, may nominate their employers at www.freedomaward.mil.
“With today’s evolving missions of the reserve component, as we adapt to the current national security policy, America’s employers continue to provide steadfast support to the more than one million men and women serving in the National Guard and Reserve at home and abroad. The Freedom Award is your opportunity to honor your employer for their critical support,” said James Rebholz, ESGR National Chair. “As a member of the guard or reserve who has received outstanding support from your civilian employer, take the time to nominate them for the 2013 Freedom Award.”
Any civilian employer who has not previously received the award is eligible. Service members who have previously nominated their employers are encouraged to do so again. The Department of Defense will recognize nominees, semi-finalists and finalists. The 2013 recipients will be announced in early summer and honored in Washington, D.C., during a ceremony in the fall. Past recipients have met with the President of the United States, Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.