One day, wounded combat soldiers will look ahead with more optimism, thanks to a nationwide project led by the University of Delaware and aided by Christiana Care’s Center for Outcomes Research (CCOR).
The Department of Defense has selected the Bridging Advanced Developments for Exceptional Rehabilitation (BADER) Consortium for a five-year, $19.5 million grant to build a research infrastructure and advance evidence-based orthopaedic rehabilitation care.
Steven Stanhope, Ph.D., a professor in the University of Delaware’s Department of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology, is the principal investigator and will serve as the consortium director. Its mandate is to improve treatment outcomes, overall function and the lives of soldiers who have lost limbs or experienced other traumatic musculoskeletal injuries.
“Christiana Care is ideally suited for the type of epidemiological, outcomes-oriented research we will be doing within the consortium,” Dr. Stanhope says. “The structure is such that we will be building a research-intensive culture within the Defense Department patient-care setting and merging that with outstanding scientists from all across North America, and in the process developing the infrastructure and all the clinical research focuses for DoD for years and years to come.”
The Consortium enlisted CCOR’s expertise in biostatistics — led by Paul Kolm, Ph.D — to analyze study data and use its epidemiological skills to help design study protocols. Initially, projects will focus on bone health, balance and stability, optimal walking and training to run.
“This is huge for us at Christiana Care and for the University of Delaware, a partner in the Delaware Health Sciences Alliance,” says CCOR Director William Weintraub, M.D., John H. Ammon Chair of Cardiology. “The infrastructure we are building across our state positions this partnership to compete against the country’s major institutions and win.”
A goal is to create transformational patient-care approaches using techniques that willbe translated to benefit civilian patients as well.
“The range of projects will be what is necessary to have our wounded warriors reach their maximum and optimum capacities to function,” Stanhope said.
Partners in the BADER Consortium include: Spaulding/Harvard Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston; the University of Texas at Austin; the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.; the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Va.; the Naval Medical Center in San Diego; San Antonio Military Medical Center; Walter Reed Amy Medical Center in Washington, D.C.; C-Motion, Inc. in Germantown, Md.; and the University of Michigan.
While “BADER” is an acronym used to describe the consortium, it is also the surname of the late Royal Air Force aviator Sir Douglas Bader, who shot down 22 German warplanes in World War II, made several escape attempts as a POW and lost both legs in combat.