Rehabilitation Research at the National Institutes of Health Moving the Field Forward (Executive Summary)
Approximately 53 million Americans live with a disability. For decades, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has been conducting and supporting research to discover new ways to minimize disability and enhance the quality of life of people with disabilities. After the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act, NIH established the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research, with the goal of developing and implementing a rehabilitation research agenda. Currently, 17 institutes and centers at NIH invest more than $500 million per year in rehabilitation research. Recently, the director of NIH, Francis Collins, appointed a Blue Ribbon Panel to evaluate the status of rehabilitation research across institutes and centers. As a follow-up to the work of that panel, NIH recently organized a conference, “Rehabilitation Research at NIH: Moving the Field Forward.” This report is a summary of the discussions and proposals that will help guide rehabilitation research at NIH in the near future.