As noted by McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine
affiliated faculty member Rory Cooper, PhD, FISA/PVA Endowed Chair and a Distinguished Professor of the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, in the magazine PN/Paraplegia News, for more than 10 years the researchers and clinicians of the Human Engineering Research Laboratories (HERL) of the Department of Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation Research and Development Service and the University of Pittsburgh have conducted research at the annual National Veterans Wheelchair Games (NVWG). The 2010 NVWG will be held in Denver, CO, July 4-9, 2010. In Denver, not only will the vets compete in the games, they will also help support wheelchair technology research.
The example set by the veterans participating in NVWG serves as a model of what people with disabilities can achieve. Veterans and their coaches participating in the Games have always been an excellent source for new ideas for devices, research studies, and contacts. It is because of this that representatives from HERL look forward to this annual event.
In 2010, there are several research opportunities available to NVWG participants when they have time between competitions. This year’s studies include data collection for:
• The development of a field-event throwing chair suitable for use by clubs and organizations
• Transfers from a wheelchair to various surfaces or seating systems, including amusement park rides
• Wheelchair movement during various activities with a focus on wheelchair type, user fit, training, upper-limb function, and pain management
Past NVWG participants have provided much needed data in the following studies:
• Examining wrist and shoulder pain
• Studying wheelchair-propulsion biomechanics
• Surveying interest in video gaming as exercise
• Recording wheelchair driving activity during various sports
• Determining NVWG’s impact on participants
• Collecting data to support the Americans with Disabilities Act Access Guidelines
• Investigating new technologies
Dr. Rory Cooper is also the Center Director at the Center of Excellence for Wheelchair and Related Technology, VA Rehabilitation Research & Development Center, and a Senior Research Career Scientist at the VA Rehabilitation Research and Development Service, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. In addition, Dr. Cooper holds a secondary appointment as Professor in both the Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and of Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh.
Photograph: PN magazine May 2010 cover features McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Michael Boninger, MD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, University of Pittsburgh; Associate Dean of Medical Student Research in the School of Medicine; Director of the University of Pittsburgh Model Center on Spinal Cord Injury. Dr. Boninger also holds a secondary appointment as Professor in the School of Bioengineering, and works as the Medical Director for the Center of Excellence in Wheelchairs and Related Technology, VA Pittsburgh Health Care System, and HERL, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, University of Pittsburgh.
PN/Paraplegia News: More Than Just Games (05/2010)
Human Engineering Research Laboratories
Bio: Rory Cooper, PhD
Bio: Michael Boninger, MD