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Daniels Fund Equipment Grant Provides Path to Independence for Craig Patients

September 06, 2017

The Daniels Fund, a Denver-based grant-making organization, recently awarded the Craig Foundation $345,000 for hospital and patient equipment.

Two hundred forty-five thousand dollars will be used to upgrade Craig’s rehabilitative equipment.

With the funds, Craig will purchase an upgraded Ekso robotic exoskeleton that enables intensive over ground gait training to support patients as they relearn correct step patterns and weight shifts. The upgraded Ekso offers a variable assist feature that will make exoskeleton training more applicable to the brain injury and stroke population. This feature has the capability to adjust the specific amount of force/activation that a patient can produce, only giving as much support as needed to walk. The upgraded system will better engage patients by challenging their abilities, balancing the physical effort they exert with the amount of help they need to achieve a more normalized gait.

Craig will also purchase eight Xcite FES (functional electrical stimulation) systems. Recently approved by the FDA, the Xcite is the latest in FES powered therapy systems. FES is a physical and occupational therapy rehabilitation modality used to evoke functional movements and exercise not otherwise possible for individuals with a neurological impairment. The system delivers up to 12 channels of electrical stimulation to nerves, which activate core, leg and arm muscles in sequence to promote functional movement and neuromuscular re-education. Therapists are able to access a wide range of flexible stimulation parameters to fine-tune muscle responses, and the system allows for personalized muscle selection. The Xcite systems will be placed in the Outpatient Clinic, NRN Physical and Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and PEAK Center.

The remaining $100,000 of the grant will be used to purchase durable medical equipment for patients with economic need through the Craig Foundation’s Project EQL.

Project EQL exists to ensure that every patient at Craig returns home with the basic adaptive equipment that will maximize overall function, health and life quality, regardless of the patient’s financial or insurance status.

From the time of admission, Craig patient care teams are thinking ahead about the adaptive equipment and support inpatients and their families will need at discharge. In recent years, the cost of Durable Medical Equipment has increased at the same time insurance coverage for these items has often contracted. For those with catastrophic injuries, the consequences are profound.

When Craig’s Clinical Care Managers discover that insurance, family resources, and other funding options are inadequate to cover the cost of needed equipment for a patient, Project EQL bridges the gap.

Through the Daniels Fund grant to Project EQL, the Craig Foundation will be able to assist at least 180 patients with financial need.

“We are grateful to the Daniels Fund for ensuring access to the most cutting-edge rehabilitation equipment and essential adaptive equipment,” says Mary Feller, executive director of the Foundation. “Their support is making it possible for every Craig graduate to resume his or her life with greater ease, independence, safety, and dignity.”

The Daniels Fund, established by cable television pioneer Bill Daniels, is a private charitable foundation dedicated to making life better for the people of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming through its grants program, scholarship program, and ethics initiative.