What is a Community Fitness and Wellness (CFW) Facility?

Janne Kouri NextStep

The mission of the Reeve Foundation's NeuroRecovery Network (NRN) Community Fitness and Wellness Program is to expand the development of specialized facilities for individuals living with spinal cord injury (SCI) and other physical disabilities.

These facilities deliver standardized activity-based exercises based on current scientific and clinical evidence. CFWs create a complete fitness and wellness program that incorporates Locomotor Training, electrical stimulation with cycling, cardiovascular conditioning and strength training.

Research indicates that individuals living with paralysis can benefit from exercise programs that integrate strength and aerobic fitness training, flexibility exercises, and walking practice.

Providing this type of program requires facilities that are fully accessible, have specialized equipment, and maintain higher levels of staffing with people trained to provide these interventions. As a result, most fitness centers do not make long-term investments to meet the needs of individuals living with paralysis.

CFWs are part of the Reeve Foundation's NeuroRecovery Network (NRN), which also supports five clinical centers that work to improve function, health and quality of life for people living with spinal cord injury through the development of activity-based therapies.

Each CFW site is staffed by athletic trainers, personal trainers and exercise physiologists, which are referred to as activity-based technicians. These technicians are trained annually through the NRN. The programs offered through CFWs are based on the Neuromuscular Recovery Scale, which was developed by the NRN to ensure all exercises are individualized yet standardized to facilitate recovery and support personal fitness goals.

Data from both NRN clinical centers and CFW facilities are also uploaded to a network-wide database that includes comprehensive medical and fitness information, as well as outcome measures on the progress of each individual. By collecting and analyzing this information, the NRN is able to measure the impact of these cutting-edge therapies on health and quality of life.

If you are looking for more information on the NeuroRecovery Network (NRN) or have a specific question, our Information Specialists are available business weekdays, Monday through Friday, toll-free at 800-539-7309 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm ET.

What is an NRN affiliate?

NRN Affiliates are community fitness and wellness facilities offering some, but not all, of the NRN’s standardized, activity-based interventions. Affiliates are held to the same rigorous levels of training and protocol deployment as full members. Additionally, their teams participate in the annual NRN Summit and ongoing education as well as have access to all new findings that emerge from NRN research. Please note that the affiliates are marked with asterisk (*) to indicate their status.

Learn about the facility near you

The five NRN Community Fitness & Wellness facilities offer an activity-based approach to fitness designed for people living with spinal cord injury and other physical disabilities.

The Reeve Foundation is committed to the continued expansion of NRN Community Fitness and Wellness program in order to offer people living with paralysis access to exercises that will help them be “fit for life.” As more NRN CFW facilities come on board, we will list them here.

Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute (Minneapolis, MN)

Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute is a Minnesota-based nonprofit rehabilitation and resource center that empowers people with disabilities to realize their full potential in every aspect of life.

To enhance its services to clients with spinal cord injury, paralysis and other neurological conditions, Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute joined the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation NeuroRecovery Network in 2010 as a Community Fitness and Wellness Facility.

The Activity-Based Locomotor Exercise (ABLE) program offered at Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute is based on the best scientific and clinical evidence available. Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute takes a holistic mind-body approach to rehabilitation and lifelong wellness.

The ABLE team designs personalized programs for clients using Locomotor Training, functional electrical stimulation and other fitness activities that challenge muscles below the level of injury. ABLE promotes improvements in health, fitness, strength and quality of life.

For more information, visit the Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute website.
Email: Jeanne Olson, [email protected]

Frazier Rehab Institute Community Fitness and Wellness Facility (Louisville, KY)

The Community Fitness and Wellness Facility at Frazier Rehab Institute in collaboration with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation’s NeuroRecovery Network provides individuals with disabilities the opportunity to be “fit for life.”

This activity-based exercise program is designed specifically for individuals with physical disabilities to improve cardiovascular and aerobic fitness, muscular strengthening and flexibility.

Frazier Rehab’s Community Fitness Facility is fully accessible with state of the art equipment and professional staff trained to provide specialized activity-based exercise interventions.

For more information, visit the Frazier Rehab Institute Fitness and Wellness Facility website.
Email: Kim Atkinson, [email protected]

Journey Forward (Canton, MA)

Journey Forward is an exercise-based program designed to assist those with spinal cord injuries so that they too can achieve basic lifelong functions and benefits. Journey Forward clients will work on many different activities, including gait training, load bearing, and full body neural stimulation.

The group is focused on making its program as accessible as possible and is working on expanding to additional locations across the country.

For more information, visit the Journey Forward website.
Email: John Walters, [email protected]

Neurokinex * (United Kingdom)

Neurokinex is based in the United Kingdom and is proud to have been chosen as the first international Community Fitness and Wellness (CFW) Affiliate of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.

Now that Neurokinex is approved to deliver the NRN’s ground-breaking protocols, people in the UK and Europe have access to this cutting-edge technology and equipment much closer to home.

Neurokinex is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing activity based rehabilitation for people living with partial weakness or complete paralysis. Neurokinex recognizes the importance of involving the whole body in exercise to optimize the strength and endurance of the muscles that are functioning, as well as stimulate the muscles that have been most affected by a person's injury or condition. They combine excellence in neuro-rehabilitation with exercise physiology to provide a diverse and exclusive experience.

For more information, visit the Neurokinex website.
Email: Jenny Suggitt, [email protected]

NextSteps Chicago (Willow Springs, IL)

NextSteps Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Rehabilitation Center is the first nonprofit physical therapy and exercise facility devoted to the rehabilitation and overall wellness of people living with SCI in the Chicago area.

Its mission is to provide the Chicago SCI community with affordable, dynamic, and progressive spinal cord injury rehabilitation while utilizing technologically advanced equipment and personalized physical therapy and exercise therapy.

NextSteps provides treatment for chronic and acute SCI clients by leveraging the latest advances and knowledge in treating spinal cord injuries through activity-based exercises that lead to greater function and sensation even after years of paralysis.

For more information, visit the NextSteps Chicago website.
Email: Meg Burke, [email protected]

NextStep (Lawndale, CA)

NextStep provides the opportunity for lifelong health and recovery through affordable and progressive community fitness, health, and wellness facilities that serve people living with paralysis and other mobility impairments.

NextStep has paved the way with the first community facility in the U.S. to offer Locomotor Training and other activity-based exercises at its state of the art facility in Los Angeles with a vision to expand to additional locations across the United States.

Customized programs are designed based on the individual’s condition, personalized goals, and fitness, health, and wellness needs.

For more information, visit the NextStep website.
Email: Janne Kouri, [email protected]

NextStep Kansas City *

NextStep Kansas City provides lifelong health and recovery for people living with paralysis to continue their recovery efforts and live as independently as possible. Based in Overland Park, KS, NextStep Kansas City is a state-of-the-art paralysis recovery center with cutting-edge training techniques. It is also the only non-profit paralysis recovery center in the Midwest to become an approved NeuroRecovery Network Affiliate.

For more information, visit the NextStep website.
Email: Chris Smith, [email protected]

NextStep Orlando *

NextStep Orlando is proud to be the only Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Community Fitness and Wellness (CFW) Affiliate Partner in the state of Florida.

Through this Affiliation, NextStep Orlando is able to provide scientifically based exercise therapy that promotes functional recovery and improves the quality of life for people living with paralysis. Our Activity-Based Trainers continue their Neuro-Recovery education at various cutting-edge Rehabilitation Hospitals throughout the Unites States to ensure that the activity based therapies provided are focused on regaining motor and sensory function below the level of the lesion in individuals with spinal cord injury.

NextStep Orlando's specialized, aggressive and comprehensive exercise-based program is a proven methodology for SCI recovery and extends the program’s reach and affordability to the southeastern United States, Florida residents and beyond.

For more information, visit the NextStep website.
Email: Liza Riedel, [email protected]

NextStep Las Vegas

Located at DRIVEN NeuroRecovery Center in downtown Las Vegas, NextStep Las Vegas offers standardized activity-based therapy programs and interventions, based on research; we provide the best chance for recovery, independence, and health.

For more information, visit the NextStep website.
Email: [email protected]

NextStep Atlanta

Opened to the public in 2011, NextStep Atlanta is an affordable, state-of-the-art, community-based paralysis recovery center. By offering standardized activity-based therapy programs and interventions, based on research; our center provides the best program for optimum recovery to become healthy, strong and independent.

For more information, visit the NextStep website.
Email: [email protected]


NeuroHope strives to make long-term access to cutting-edge rehabilitation in Indiana a reality. We are devoted to better the lives of those already living with paralysis by offering specialized, activity based wellness programs.

For more information, visit the NeuroHope website.

NeuroRecovery Network Community Fitness and Wellness Facilities FAQ

What is the difference between a clinical center and a Community Fitness and Wellness facility?
At the present time, NRN clinical centers only enroll individuals who are living with a spinal cord injury. NRN CFWs can accept individuals with a spinal cord injury or any other physical disability. In a community facility, the NRN Locomotor Training component is part of a larger exercise facility.

By providing a continuum of care, CFWs offer people living with physical disabilities the opportunity to improve their health and fitness through regular exercise and activity-based therapies.

What is an NRN affiliate?
NRN Affiliates are community fitness and wellness facilities offering some, but not all, of the NRN's standardized, activity-based interventions. All affiliate partners are held to the same rigorous levels of training and protocol deployment.

What are the criteria for joining a community-based NRN Locomotor Training program?
A client must have a completed medical release form, signed by his or her physician, stating that he or she is medically and physically stable to participate in the Locomotor Training program.

What is the cost of joining a facility?
Each community facility is independently operated; therefore, cost of membership will vary by facility. Unlike the NRN clinical centers, the CFW client is responsible for all costs associated with membership.