For Immediate Release
Contact: Derek Berry
Media Relations Manager
Washington, DC – November 24, 2009 – National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) is collaborating with U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), to assist with its USOC Paralympic Military Program, an ongoing program which integrates sports and fitness as a part of the continued rehabilitation process for injured service members and U.S. veterans. The partnership will expand available community sports programming and services throughout the Washington, D.C. area.
The program will provide an array of recreational and competitive Paralympic sport opportunities such as wheelchair basketball, handcycling, sitting volleyball, and shooting for injured service members/veterans at National Naval Medical Center (Bethesda Naval), Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and Washington, D.C. Veterans Medical Center.
In addition to improving participants’ overall quality of life, the USOC Paralympic Military Program strives to identify community-based sports programs and local competition opportunities for wounded veterans. The program also provides resources such as Paralympic Military Sport Camps to help transition program participants to an elite level of competition.
Funding from a USOC grant will aid in purchasing equipment and fund the position of an NRH recreation therapist who will be responsible for the coordination of the Paralympic sport programs and services.
“The main goal is to get the vets back into the community,” said Heather Campbell, USOC Paralympic Military Program and NRH Recreation Therapist. “Some are on track to return to active duty. Some will go home. But our main focus is to try to get them involved into a community sport program for those with physical disabilities.”
National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) is a private, not-for-profit facility located in Northwest Washington, D.C. NRH’s services are designed specifically for the rehabilitation of individuals with disabling injuries and illnesses such as stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury and disease, arthritis, amputations, post-polio syndrome, chronic pain, back and neck pain, occupational injuries, cancer and cardiac disease that require medical rehabilitation, and other neurological and orthopedic conditions. NRH admits approximately 2,200 inpatients annually, has appeared on the “Best Hospitals” list in U.S. News & World Report for 15 consecutive years and is currently ranked among the top hospitals in medical rehabilitation in America. NRH has the only CARF accredited specialty program for both Spinal Cord Injury and Stroke in the region. In addition, NRH’s Spinal Cord Injury Program has been designated one of only 14 Model SCI Systems of care in the country by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), a part of the Department of Education. NRH is a proud member of MedStar Health