Kessler Foundation Celebrates 25 Years of Making Discoveries That Change Lives With Awards Dinner in New York

Thursday, May 12, 2011 General News
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WEST ORANGE, N.J., May 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- For 25 years, Kessler Foundation has worked to change the lives of people

with disabilities through rehabilitation research and grant funding for programs that expand employment opportunities. In celebration of its 25th anniversary, Kessler Foundation is hosting an awards dinner on May 12 in
New York
to honor those who have advanced rehabilitation and to showcase new innovations for the future of research.

Celebrity guests include New Jersey Nets center Brook Lopez and actor and disability advocate Daryl 'Chill' Mitchell. Extra correspondent A.J. Calloway will serve as the Master of Ceremonies. The honorary co-chairs are Governor Tom Ridge of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ).

Air Force veteran Ian Brown, who was paralyzed in the line of duty, will demonstrate an exoskeletal walking system. ReWalk, manufactured by Argo Medical Technologies, helps people with paraplegia regain function and mobility by enabling them to sit, stand, walk and climb stairs. This movement allows individuals greater independence without needing a wheelchair, and may improve chronic health problems associated with paraplegia such as osteoporosis, muscle atrophy, obesity, coronary heart disease and diabetes. ReWalk is one of the new technologies that Kessler Foundation is testing to advance its rehabilitation research.

Rocco Ortenzio, co-founder and chief executive officer of Select Medical Corporation, will receive Kessler Foundation's first Lifetime Achievement Award for his career of making quality long term care and medical rehabilitation accessible worldwide to people recovering from injuries and illnesses.

Mark Pollard, long time board member and past president of the Foundation, joins the select list of honorees who have received the Henry H. Kessler Human Dignity Award. Pollard is a Wealth Management Advisor for Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith.  

Walter Frontera, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Puerto Rico, will receive the first annual Kessler Foundation Joel A. DeLisa, M.D. Award for Excellence in Research and Education in the field of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.

Jerome and Dorie Kessler will be honored with the Special Recognition Award for their years of dedication to the Foundation's mission. They are the son and daughter-in-law of Henry H. Kessler, M.D., Ph.D., who founded Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in 1949.

About Kessler Foundation

Kessler Foundation's fundamental strategy is to link science and grantsmanship so that people with disabilities can lead more productive, independent and fulfilling lives.  Kessler Foundation Research Center conducts research that improves quality of life for persons with injuries of the spinal cord and brain, stroke, multiple sclerosis and other chronic neurological and orthopedic conditions.  Kessler Foundation Program Center has provided more than $20 million in funding to a variety of employment - related projects that are benefiting veterans, young adults, students and others with physical and cognitive disabilities.For more information, visit

SOURCE Kessler Foundation

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