The Congresswoman met with participants from the NeuroRecovery Network and joined a roundtable discussion on how to better serve the disability community

Columbus, OH August 12, 2014 -- Congresswoman Joyce Beatty met with Ohio State University leaders and executives of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation as she toured the NeuroRecovery Network (NRN) while visiting the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center today. As an advocate for patients and advancements in healthcare, the Congresswoman saw firsthand the value and impact of the Reeve Foundation NRN on the Ohio community.

"The groundbreaking research and treatment at the NeuroRecovery Network at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is helping thousands of individuals living with paralysis. My meetings today with patients, advocates, and physicians highlighted the extraordinary work at NRN and the need for additional resources," said Beatty. "I will continue working and advocating to help the NRN and other programs like this that are in great demand and help those in need."

Congresswoman Beatty explored the NRN at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, which opened in 2007, and had the opportunity to speak with participants and therapists that manage the pioneering program. The NRN was created by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation as a cooperative group of rehabilitation centers to develop therapies that promote the health and functional recovery of individuals living with paralysis. As part of the NRN tour, the Congresswoman was treated to both the researcher and participant perspectives on the benefits of locomotor training, which aims to retrain the spinal cord to 'remember' the pattern of walking. In locomotor training, a participant is suspended in a harness over a treadmill, while specially trained therapists move the participant's legs to simulate walking.

In addition to touring the facilities, the Congresswoman also learned about the Reeve Foundation Peer & Family Support Program and spoke with certified Peer Mentors native to the Ohio area. This program is a national peer-to-peer mentoring resource that provides emotional support, information and guidance to individuals living with paralysis, as well as their caregivers, family members and friends.

As part of the visit, Ohio State University organized a roundtable for the Congresswoman to further understand the impact of cutting-edge programs and therapies provided through Ohio State University and the Reeve Foundation. NRN participants and advocates of the disability community shared their stories and highlighted the importance of supporting rehabilitation and quality of life initiatives that serve the millions living with disabilities nationwide.

"Congresswoman Beatty has dedicated her efforts to advance access to healthcare and improving insurance reform, which directly fuels the Reeve Foundation's dual mission of enhancing the care and discovering cures for paralysis. By inviting the Congresswoman to tour the NRN at Ohio State University, she was able to see firsthand how her support translates into life-changing programs across the state of Ohio. On behalf of the six million Americans living with paralysis, we applaud and celebrate her advocacy," said Peter Wilderotter, President and CEO of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. "Ohio State University was the perfect backdrop to showcase the stellar work and advancements being made by the NRN nationwide. With additional congressional support and champions, such as Congresswoman Beatty, the possibilities are endless."

Recognized as a world renowned facility for acute care and rehabilitation, Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is one of eight NRN clinical centers designed to support the development of specialized facilities for individuals with spinal cord injury and other physical disabilities. With centers such as Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center yielding critical data and findings on the benefits of emerging therapies, the NRN is able to translate research into effective, activity-based rehabilitation treatments.

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. We meet all 20 of the Better Business Bureau's standards for charity accountability and hold the BBB's Charity Seal. For more information, please visit our website at or call 800-225-0292.