NORTHERN NEW JERSEY TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY SYSTEM (NNJTBIS)
The NNJTBIS, a current NIDILRR TBI Model System Center, presents an innovative proposal to continue that distinction. The NNJTBIS includes a premier rehabilitation research facility, Kessler Foundation (KF), top-ranked inpatient rehabilitation hospital (Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation) and 4 trauma centers, with the goal of improving the quality of life of individuals with TBI. NNJTBIS objectives and anticipated outcomes are multifaceted. (1) We will enroll at least 35 participants per year into the national database, following participants 1-, 2- and 5-years post-injury and beyond, meeting or exceeding established benchmarks. (2) We will conduct an innovative site-specific randomized clinical trial evaluating the effects of a combination of an optimized version of the KF modified Story Memory Technique (KF-mSMTTM) and aerobic cycling exercise training to maximize improvements in new learning and memory abilities, elucidating its neural underpinnings, and improving everyday life in persons with moderate-to-severe TBI. (3) The NNJTBIS will collaborate on at least 2 modular studies and proposes a collaborative modular project utilizing a mixed methods approach to move beyond identifying the existence of health disparities in TBI rehabilitation by examining the ways in which the social determinants of health are associated with the persistence of those disparities. Expected products will include broad dissemination of results via our website (www.kesslerfoundation.org), social media, consumer and professional publications, presentations and more. We will coordinate with the NIDILRR-funded Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center for collaborative, streamlined, and far-reaching dissemination. Our TBI Consumer participation will continue to be quintessential to the success of the NNJTBIS and our diversity, equity and inclusion committee will ensure maximal diversity within research and dissemination activities.