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Gaylord launches research hub in Wallingford using $5M donation from former Pfizer exec

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WALLINGFORD — Gaylord Specialty Healthcare opened a new research center Wednesday aimed at shaping the way millions of Americans receive rehabilitative medicine, including studies on COVID-19 recovery outcomes.

The Milne Institute for Healthcare Innovation aims to leverage Gaylord’s expertise in brain and spinal cord injuries, complex strokes, amputations and pulmonary diseases to conduct research and develop evidence-based practices and applied technologies with the potential to change lives around the world.

The research hub is named for financial donors Dr. George Milne Jr., a Gaylord board member and retired executive vice president of global research and development at Pfizer Inc. and his wife, Carol Milne, who donated $5 million toward establishing the center.

“We strongly believe in Gaylord’s proven potential to make a compelling difference in the world of rehabilitative medicine,” George Milne said in a statement. “There is a critical opportunity to create new advances that focus on the whole patient, particularly as the population ages and faces challenges such as COVID.”

Sonja LaBarbera, Gaylord president and CEO, said in a statement that the goal of the Milne Institute is that it will become “a source of transformational discoveries that will redefine the standards of care.”

“We’ve set in motion a bold strategy to accelerate revolutionary approaches to some of the biggest challenges in modern rehabilitative health care,” she said, “and it takes leaders like Carol and George Milne who are equally as bold to invest in this plan.”

Led by Executive Director Peter Grevelding and Medical Director Dr. David Rosenblum, the Milne Institute will provide a collaborative, multidisciplinary environment for dedicated researchers to work with Gaylord clinicians while partnering with corporations and foundations to conduct and disseminate data-driven research.

Grevelding said that the Milne Institute houses two distinct yet cross-pollinating centers: the Center for Applied Technology and the Center for Research and Innovation.

The institute is currently partnering on applied technology projects with Aretech, maker of the ZeroG robotic body weight support system, and Connecticut-based Hyperfine, manufacturer of portable, low-dose radiation MRIs.

Projects within the Center of Research currently range from original studies on COVID rehabilitation outcomes, pharmacologic safety and efficacy trials for stroke patients, to examining quality and equity of assistive technology in persons with spinal cord injuries.

For more information on the Milne Institute for Healthcare Innovation, go to www.gaylord.org/research.

LTakores@record-journal.com203-317-2212Twitter: @LCTakores


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