The National Institute for Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) awarded the LiveWell RERC to a team from Duke University, Shepherd Center, and Northeastern University.


Shepherd Center, located in Atlanta, GA, is the largest free-standing medical rehabilitation and community re-entry specialty hospital in the U.S. For the 15th consecutive year, Shepherd has been recognized as one of the country’s top rehabilitation hospitals by U.S. News & World Re- port. Founded in 1975, its mission is to help people who have experienced a catastrophic injury or disease to rebuild their lives with dignity, hope and independence, advocating for their full inclusion in all aspects of community life. In 2014, Shepherd Center had 965 inpatient admis- sions and 6,600 outpatient visits. It serves multiple areas of specialization including spinal cord injury, acquired brain injury, multiple sclerosis, ALS, spina bifida, post-polio syndrome, other neuromuscular problems, and pain. A full range of rehabilitation care and long-term community re-entry support is provided to all patients who receive acute rehabilitation through its 10 bed ICU, medical/surgical specialty care, 152-bed inpatients beds and inpatient rehabilitation units, Day Program for intensive therapy immediately following discharge, outpatient rehabilitation and specialty clinics, and the ProMotion Health Club for people chronic injury and disease.  


Duke University, located in Durham NC, is among the nation’s leaders in research and academics. Duke University Medical Center is one of the largest biomedical research enterprises in the US. In recent U.S. News & World Report rankings, Duke’s School of Medicine was ranked 8th overall and 10th in NIH grant funding; its Medical Center was ranked 12th best in the US. The Division of Speech Pathology and Audiology is one of two non-medical Divisions within the Department of Surgery. The Division conducts over 50,000 clinical procedures each year to over 14,000 patients, including many requiring AT/AAC clinical services complemented by research and training activities. These procedures are conducted in partnership with Duke’s Biomedical Engineering Department as Duke is the only service provider in the region. A multidisciplinary team of clinicians, engineers and researchers collaborate with Pratt School of Engineering, School of Medicine, Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Center for the Study of Aging & Hu- man Development, Durham Veterans Administration Medical Center, Navy Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, and the Southeastern Federal Laboratory Consortium.  The R&D program merges engineering and clinical aspects of ICT/AT technology design with outcomes research supported by federal, state, industry and philanthropic/development grants.


Northeastern University, located in Boston, MA, is a selective private university comprised of 9 colleges and renowned for its innovations in both experiential education and research. Over the past decade, NEU has become a research powerhouse, particularly in health-related fields, and is home to nearly 50 research institutes and centers of excellence. The Consortium on Technology for Proactive Care, based at NEU, is a collaborative effort by faculty researchers and health clinicians across the country to develop economically feasible, technology-based solutions to the health and healthcare challenges of the United States. This transdisciplinary collaborative is comprised of faculty in health science, computer sciences, and engineering from NEU as well as the University of Missouri, University of Washington, Washington State University, Lincoln University, University of California – Berkeley, and Oregon Health & Science University. Led by Drs. Holly Jimison and Misha Pavel, the Consortium aims to develop and use technology-based interventions to transform the health of individuals and the overall healthcare system.