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The Henry H. Kessler Foundation Appoints New Vice President for Research and Strengthens Relationship With Current Research Luminary

WEST ORANGE, N.J., July 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The Henry H. Kessler Foundation, one of the largest public charities supporting people with disabilities, announced today two key personnel changes that aim to further its work and research. Joel A. DeLisa, M.D., current President of Kessler Medical Rehabilitation Research and Education Center (KMRREC), will become Founding Director while John DeLuca, Ph.D. will become the Vice President for Research reporting directly to the CEO. Both changes were effective July 1, 2008.

"The Henry H. Kessler Foundation is committed to furthering rehabilitation research to improve the lives of people suffering from physical disabilities, musculoskeletal, neurological and other conditions," commented Rodger DeRose, President and CEO. "The new roles that Drs. DeLisa and DeLuca are undertaking will be key factors in reaching new levels of success with our research department and services offered."

New Roles, Continued Passion & Commitment

In his new role with the Henry H. Kessler Foundation, Dr. DeLisa will continue to serve as the Foundation's liaison with UMDNJ and will continue to consult with the CEO on the research agenda, organizational and new office space. Dr. DeLisa is an experienced senior investigator, medical educator and administrator. He is a Professor/Chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R), UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School (UMDNJ-NJMS). From 1999 through 2005, Dr. DeLisa served as the editor of the Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine; spinal cord injury, health delivery systems outcomes and undergraduate/graduate medical education are his primary research interests. Most recently, Dr. DeLisa was the recipient of the Edward III Award for his outstanding leadership in medical education.

A Professor in the Departments of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R) and Neurology and Neuroscience at UMDNJ - NJMS, Dr. DeLuca is also a licensed psychologist in New York and New Jersey. Dr. DeLuca joined KMRREC in 1989 and has devoted his research and training to the areas of memory and information processing disorders in sufferers of multiple sclerosis, aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage, chronic fatigue syndrome and traumatic brain injury, publishing over 300 articles, abstracts and chapters in these areas. In 2005, Dr. DeLuca received the Distinguished Researcher Award from the New Jersey Psychological Association. In his new role, Dr. DeLuca will have six Directors of Research reporting into him and will be responsible for reporting directly to the CEO on any research development and news.

Additional Organizational Change

Filling the vacancy left by Dr. DeLuca as the Director of Neuroscience Research will be Nancy Chiaravalloti, Ph.D. Dr. Chiaravalloti is a neuropsychologist with experience in new learning and memory research across a variety of conditions, most notably multiple sclerosis. She previously held the position of Associate Director of the Neuropsychology and Neuroscience Laboratory at KMRREC and is Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

About The Henry H. Kessler Foundation

The Henry H. Kessler Foundation was established in 1985 by Dr. Henry Kessler and is currently one of the largest public charities supporting people with physical disabilities. The Foundation's mission is to improve the lives of people with physical disabilities by engaging in activities to assist people with physical disabilities, supporting the efforts of others who serve individuals with disabilities and raising, managing and distributing resources to support KMRREC, its cutting edge research facility. KMRREC currently has research programs focusing on neuropsychology, neuroscience, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, and other areas. The Kessler Foundation has a full time staff of 80 individuals, divided between two locations in West Orange, NJ.

SOURCE The Henry H. Kessler Foundation
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