Tuesday, April 24, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Fort IRC, Room 410
Our nation is experiencing growing populations of the elderly, injured veterans as well as a general population that is in need of physical therapy and other rehabilitative services. We in academia have the opportunity to contribute to the larger community by applying our expertise in the areas associated with physical rehabilitation.
Funding agencies have also recognized the need, as evidenced by the recent investment by the National Institutes of Health of $30 million over five years to fund centers dedicated to developing rehabilitation technologies and resources.
With our state being home to eight military bases, including Fort Bragg and Camp Lejeune, new developments in rehabilitation could have a tremendous impact on North Carolina as they are readily applied to injured war veterans. There are also four Veterans Affairs hospitals in North Carolina along with the Cone Health system that would benefit from a rehabilitation research program.
Other institutions in the Triad have recognized this need. UNCG, Winston-Salem State, and Wake Forest all have various physical therapy programs, working to fill this need. Even with the involvement of these great institutions, a significant gap exists, as none of these institutions extensively focuses on rehabilitation engineering and technology.
N.C. A&T’s opportunity
North Carolina A&T is especially well suited to fill this gap because of our resources, reputation, and expertise. Therefore, our objective is to establish a research cluster focused on rehabilitation engineering that aims to create innovative solutions to the most pressing problems in physical and cognitive impairments.
We look forward to creating an interdisciplinary team of students, faculty, and staff from STEM disciplines as well as the social-behavioral sciences. Some areas of challenge consist of:
- Prosthetics and orthotics,
- Rehabilitation devices such as nano implants for epilepsy control, and
- Rehabilitation robotics and other devices.
N.C. A&T faculty members interested in joining this initiative should contact the DORED office (334-7995 or send an email) and plan to attend our informal meeting Tuesday April 24.