Three community-based health and wellness facilities to provide better access to exercise for those living with paralysis

Short Hills, NJ – (August 19, 2010) The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation has named three new locations to its Community Fitness and Wellness facilities, which afford people with physical disabilities the chance to improve their health through exercise. Courage Center in Minneapolis, MN, Neuroworx in South Jordan, UT, and NextSteps Chicago, in Chicago, Illinois join Frazier Rehab Institute – Community Fitness and Wellness Facility in Louisville, KY and NextStep Fitness in Lawndale, CA.

The mission of the Reeve Foundation NRN Community Fitness and Wellness (CFW) program is to provide support for the development of specialized facilities for individuals living with a spinal cord injury (SCI) and other physical disabilities. The facilities deliver standardized activity-based interventions for fitness and wellness based on current scientific and clinical evidence. Presently the CFW facilities are focused on incorporating locomotor training, functional electrical stimulation with cycling, cardiovascular exercise, and strength training into a complete fitness and wellness program.

The Reeve Foundation's 2009 survey One Degree of Separation: Paralysis and Spinal Cord Injury in the United States reported that over 5.6 million Americans live with some form of paralysis, defined by the study as a central nervous system disorder resulting in difficulty or inability to move the upper or lower extremities. Of those, more than 1.275 million are spinal cord injured.

Research indicates that individuals living with paralysis can benefit from exercise programs that integrate strength and aerobic fitness training, flexibility exercises, and walking practice where feasible. Providing this type of program for them requires facilities that are fully accessible, have specialized equipment, and maintain higher levels of staffing with people knowledgeable in providing these interventions to individuals living with paralysis in their communities.

CFW facilities are part of the Reeve Foundation's NeuroRecovery Network® umbrella, a cooperative network of seven cutting-edge rehabilitation centers that are developing and delivering therapies to promote improved health, quality of life and function of people living with paralysis. Each NRN clinical center is staffed with professionals who have received specialized training to deliver activity- based therapies; staff includes center directors, physicians, administrative and clinical supervisors, data managers, physical therapists and rehab technicians.

CFW facilities are positioned to give people living in their local communities access to affordable and effective activity-based exercise. They are staffed by athletic trainers, personal trainers, exercise physiologists together referred to as activity-based technicians. These technicians are trained annually by the NRN's clinical centers and the existing fitness facility staff.

"The Reeve Foundation is committed to the continued expansion of its NRN Community Fitness and Wellness program in order to give people living with paralysis an affordable means to be "fit for life," according to Susan Howley, the Foundation's Executive Vice President of Research.

ABOUT THE REEVE FOUNDATION
The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research, and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information and advocacy. Its NeuroRecovery Network® (NRN) is a cooperative network of cutting-edge rehabilitation centers to provide and develop therapies to promote functional recovery and improve the health and quality of life of people living with paralysis. Funded by the Reeve Foundation through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the NRN translates the latest scientific advances into effective, activity-based rehabilitation treatments. For more information visit ChristopherReeve.org/NRN or call (800) 225-0292. Follow the Reeve Foundation on Twitter at twitter.com/reevefoundation, on Facebook at facebook.com/reevefoundation and YouTube at youtube.com/reevefoundation.

ABOUT COURAGE CENTER
Courage Center is a nonprofit rehabilitation and resource center that advances the lives of children and adults experiencing barriers to health and independence. At Courage Center, we specialize in treating brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke, chronic pain, autism, and disabilities experienced since birth. Founded in 1928, Minneapolis-based Courage Center offers advanced technologies and innovation provided in part through the efforts of thousands of volunteers and donors. For more information visit couragecenter.org.

ABOUT NEXTSTEPS CHICAGO
NextSteps Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Rehabilitation Center is the first non-profit exercise facility devoted to the rehabilitation and overall wellness of spinal cord injured Chicagolanders. NextSteps' mission is to provide the Chicagoland SCI community with affordable, dynamic, and progressive spinal cord injury rehabilitation while utilizing technologically advanced equipment and personalized functional exercise therapy and training methods. NextSteps practices the latest protocols in activity based motion therapies that help SCI clients regain function and sensation even after years of paralysis. For more information visit nextstepschicago.com or call 708-467-0657.

ABOUT NEUROWORX
NEUROWORX'S mission is to create the finest outpatient neurological rehabilitation facility in the region focusing on individuals with spinal cord injuries, develop a model for restorative and functional rehabilitation and make it available to as many patients as possible. For more information, please call 801-619-3670, email info@neuroworx.org or visit neuroworx.org