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Shepherd Center Announces New Research Director for PCORI Grant Program

ATLANTA – The Virginia C. Crawford Research Institute at Shepherd Center has hired Julie Gassaway, MS, RN, as a health and wellness clinical research scientist to head Shepherd’s new grant project funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). 

The project Ms. Gassaway is leading focuses on innovative, patient-centered strategies to promote successful community re-entry following spinal cord injury rehabilitation. She will also develop an independent clinical research focus related to the long-term health and wellness of the former patients.

An expert in medical research and rehabilitation, Julie spent more than two decades at the Institute for Clinical Outcomes Research, a division of the International Severity Information Systems (ISIS) in Salt Lake City, Utah. Most recently, she worked as the project manager for the Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems’ SCIRehab project funded by the National Institute of Disability Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). Julie also served as the co-manager of the Pressure Ulcer Prevention in Spinal Cord Injury (SCI-SKIN) project funded by SCI Model Systems Center funds and project manager for the NIDRR funded Post-Stroke Rehabilitation Outcomes Project completed in 2005.

“We had the privilege of working with Julie on several research projects in the past, so I was thrilled when she agreed to join our staff,” said Mike Jones, Ph.D., director of the Virginia C. Crawford Research Institute and vice president of research and technology at Shepherd Center. “Julie’s unique skill set as a clinician and researcher, her patient-centered perspective and highly supportive collegial style will benefit both our research program and Shepherd Center as a whole.”

“It is an honor to have the opportunity to come to Shepherd Center and work with the fabulous researchers and clinicians who inspired me in previous research projects and who care so deeply about the community that they serve,” Ms. Gassaway said. “I believe this is truly a special place!”

About Shepherd Center

Shepherd Center provides world-class clinical care, research, and family support for people experiencing the most complex conditions, including spinal cord and brain injuries, multi-trauma, traumatic amputations, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and pain. An elite center recognized as both Spinal Cord Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News as one of the nation’s top hospitals for rehabilitation. Shepherd Center treats thousands of patients annually with unmatched expertise and unwavering compassion to help them begin again.