SOURCE: Kessler Foundation

Kessler Foundation

August 12, 2014 15:40 ET

Ortenzio Foundation & Select Medical Gift $1.25M to Kessler Foundation Neuroimaging & Rehab Research

WEST ORANGE, NJ--(Marketwired - Aug 12, 2014) - The Rocco and Nancy Ortenzio Foundation and Select Medical have pledged a combined $1.25 million to support medical rehabilitation research at Kessler Foundation. In recognition of this generosity, Kessler Foundation will rename its Neuroimaging Center as the Rocco Ortenzio Neuroimaging Center at Kessler Foundation. Rocco A. Ortenzio is the co-founder and vice chairman of Select Medical.

"We are honored to receive such enormous generosity from the Rocco and Nancy Ortenzio Foundation to support our research," said Mr. Rodger DeRose, president and chief executive officer of Kessler Foundation. "Our work improves the lives of people with disabilities around the world, and our neuroimaging center is the pinnacle of that research. It's where we increase the rate of research discovery by gathering objective evidence that a treatment works. It is also where we make our research more accessible to the people who can benefit the most. Rocco Ortenzio has dedicated his life's work to improving the lives of others and, along with his family, has contributed immeasurably to the field of rehabilitation medicine. As their dedication to the rehabilitation community affects the lives of so many, I really cannot think of a more appropriate name for our state-of-the-art facility."

The newly named Rocco Ortenzio Neuroimaging Center is the only research-dedicated imaging center in the United States to be located within a free-standing rehabilitation facility, the renowned Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation. Equipped with a 3 Tesla Siemens Skyra Scanner, the most powerful of its kind, Kessler Foundation researchers are studying the brain and spinal cord before, during and after treatments to assess their effects and collect objective data. Studies investigate ways to improve mobility, cognition -- thinking, learning and memory -- as well as the independence of individuals with traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, stroke and other disabling conditions. Through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), functional MRI and other imaging techniques, scientists are able to observe changes in brain connectivity, activation, muscle mass and nerve regeneration.

"I have always been proud to support the work of Kessler Foundation, and I am both pleased and humbled by this honor. The Ortenzio Neuroimaging Center will bring together expert research scientists, physicians and clinical leaders with the latest technologies to advance discovery and improve the quality of life for people with disabilities," said Mr. Rocco Ortenzio. "Over the years, I have witnessed how the Foundation's research has led to more effective treatments and greater independence for these individuals. Given our shared commitment to advancing rehabilitation research and treatment, I look forward to new developments in the field coming from the Rocco Ortenzio Neuroimaging Center at Kessler Foundation."

The Rocco and Nancy Ortenzio Foundation pledged $1 million. Select Medical pledged a cash gift of $250,000 and also donated the space within the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation for the Rocco Ortenzio Neuroimaging Center for 15 years. Kessler Foundation will unveil the new name on October 28, 2014.

Select Medical is the parent company of Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, which is one of Kessler Foundation's research collaborators. Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation ( has been ranked as one of the top two rehabilitation hospitals in the country for 2014-2015, and as the leading facility of its kind in New Jersey and the greater New York metropolitan region by U.S. News & World Report. This marks the 22nd consecutive year that Kessler has been listed among the nation's best hospitals in this annual independent survey.

About Kessler Foundation

Kessler Foundation, a major nonprofit organization in the field of disability, is a global leader in rehabilitation research that seeks to improve cognition, mobility and long-term outcomes, including employment, for people with neurological disabilities caused by diseases and injuries of the brain and spinal cord. Kessler Foundation leads the nation in funding innovative programs that expand opportunities for employment for people with disabilities. For more information, visit;; Tweet us @KesslerFdn

About Select Medical

Co-founded by the father-and-son team of Rocco and Robert Ortenzio in 1996, Select Medical has become one of the nation's largest providers of specialized acute and post-acute care. Select Medical's network of more than 31,000 employees operates or supports more than 100 hospitals specializing in long-term acute care, 16 medical rehabilitation hospitals, and more than 1,000 outpatient clinics offering physical and occupational therapy. In addition, the company offers contract therapy services at nearly 500 locations. Select Medical (NYSE: SEM) is based in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. For more information, visit or

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