Atlanta, GA,
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Shepherd Center Named a Traumatic Brain Injury Model System

Neurorehabilitation hospital is part of an elite group of hospitals recognized as both a Traumatic Brain Injury Model System and Spinal Cord Injury Model System.

The Administration for Community Living’s (ACL) National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) recently awarded a five-year grant to Shepherd Center and recognized the rehabilitation hospital as a Traumatic Brain Injury Model System (TBIMS). It will officially be known as Georgia Model Brain Injury System at Shepherd Center.

NIDILRR awards TBIMS grants to institutions that are national leaders in medical research and patient care and that provide the highest level of comprehensive specialty services from the point of injury through eventual re-entry into full community life. Shepherd Center is one of 16 TBIMS organizations in the United States and part of an elite group of hospitals recognized as both a TBIMS and Spinal Cord Injury Model System (SCIMS).

“Throughout our research and clinical programming, we are driven to help our patients and their families meet their goals as they navigate rehabilitation all the way through life beyond injury and illness to transitioning home, reintegrating into their community, and returning to work or school,” said Brick Johnstone, Ph.D., the O. Wayne Rollins Director of Brain Injury Research at Shepherd Center. “It is an honor to be designated as a Traumatic Brain Injury Model System among our peer institutions across the country, and it is a true testament to the dedication and expertise of our many colleagues who provide extraordinary care and investment in innovation every day.”

The TBIMS program supports innovative projects and research in delivering, demonstrating, and evaluating medical, rehabilitation, vocational, and other services designed to meet the needs of individuals with traumatic brain injuries. 

 “Since our founding, innovation has been central to our culture and approach to improving the lives of the people we serve at Shepherd Center and throughout the world,” said Deborah Backus, PT, Ph.D., FACRM, vice president of research and innovation at Shepherd Center. “We’re proud to have been a Spinal Cord Model Injury Model System for more than 40 years, and now being a Traumatic Brain Injury Model System will offer additional opportunities for us to collaborate with partner organizations, drive developments, and shape the future for those living with brain injuries.”

Each TBIMS contributes to the Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems National Data and Statistical Center (TBINDSC), participates in independent and collaborative research, and provides information and resources to individuals with TBI, their families, caregivers, and friends, health care professionals, and the general public.

For more information on TBIMS, visit People interested in participating in Shepherd Center research may complete an intake form to start the process.

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.