Lakeshore Foundation and the University of Alabama at Birmingham joined forces in 2009 to develop a world-class research program in rehabilitative science. Recognizing that together the two institutions can accomplish more than either can accomplish alone, the Collaborative will conduct and promote comprehensive rehabilitative science research to establish the effectiveness of current programs and services, and will seek better and more effective ways of improving the quality of life of a broadening array of individuals of all ages with physically disabling conditions.
Funded by an investment of $2 million from Lakeshore Foundation, the partnership establishes the Lakeshore Foundation Endowed Chair in the UAB School of Health Professions. James Rimmer, Ph.D., a leading expert in rehabilitative science for 30 years, became the Lakeshore Foundation Endowed Chair in Health Promotion and Rehabilitation Sciences January 3, 2012. He will also serve as executive director of the research collaborative.
The UAB/Lakeshore Research Collaborative will focus on research in applied rehabilitative science, including the development and evaluation of new programmatic and service efforts, the development and validation of new supportive technologies, and will seek to identify and develop meaningful alternatives that improve life for people who have or will face chronic disabling conditions.
Lakeshore’s strengths lie in unique approaches to improving the lives of people with physical disabilities and chronic conditions, regardless of age or condition. Lakeshore Foundation offers a wide range of fitness, recreation, athletic and education programs to children and adults who experience diagnostic conditions including spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, stroke, amputation, and visual impairment. Lakeshore Foundation also serves persons who have been diagnosed with arthritis, diabetes, chronic pain, cardiac conditions, and many other related disorders. In addition to provide services to clients, Lakeshore Foundation is also active in applied research.
UAB has an established history of research that integrates experts from many different disciplines, and has a long track record of attracting NIH and other federal grant support. The School of Health Professions houses several disciplines key to the Research Collaborative, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, nutrition sciences, and health services administration. In addition, the UAB School of Engineering partners with SHP to develop prosthetic solutions and environmental designs that better the lives of individuals with chronic conditions and allow individuals to live as independently as possible.
The partnership builds upon the strength of the two organizations, Lakeshore Foundation and UAB, which together can impact the world with regard to better outcomes for people with physical disabilities, so that people in our community and beyond will say, “Because of this research, my life is better.”