AAP Awarded $46k Grant to Support Training Programs

Developing rehabilitation researchers and providing medical student opportunities in the specialty of physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R)

The Association of Academic Physiatrists (AAP) has received a $46 thousand grant from the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation to support AAP's Rehabilitation Medicine Scientist Training Program (RMSTP), and medical student externship programs, Rehabilitation Research Experience for Medical Students (RREMS), and Medical Student Summer Clinical Externship (MSSCE).

The Neilsen Foundation provides funds that support spinal cord injury (SCI) medicine fellowships and other relevant training opportunities. "We are interested in funding training opportunities to recruit and attract a strong caliber of individuals, at different stages of their careers, to SCI research and clinical practice," comments Joy B. Guihama, MPH, Program Officer, Craig H. Neilsen Foundation. "We believe that the expansion of AAP's existing programs can help accomplish our mission of improving the quality of life for those living with spinal cord injury."

The grant will allow AAP to offer increased training opportunities for residents and young physicians interested in developing careers in rehabilitation research and for medical students interested in learning more about PM&R clinical care and research.

"We are delighted with this funding, which will allow us to further advance and accelerate the development of high quality physicians and researchers in the specialty of physical medicine and rehabilitation," says Kathryn A. Stolp, MD, AAP President. "I believe that it is crucial to attract medical students and researchers early in their careers into a medical field dedicated to both improving the lives of people with disabilities and finding cures for their ailments. We are grateful to the Neilsen Foundation for its support of AAP's important training initiatives."

$6k was awarded to support related travel costs for 2 applicants interested in attending the RMSTP pre-application workshop at the 2014 AAP Annual Meeting. RMSTP provides research training, mentorship, and career development support for physiatrists committed to developing productive careers in academic medicine and research. The funded applicants will be candidates who have identified a strong interest in pursuing SCI research if accepted into RMSTP.

$40k was awarded to support additional 2014 placements in RREMS and MSSCE, programs that offer eight-week summer externships to medical students between the first and second year of medical school with an attached stipend. RREMS provides medical students with exciting and structured research experience in PM&R, and MSSCE offers medical students clinical experience in PM&R. Neilsen funded placements in RREMS and MSSCE will be focused on SCI research and/or SCI clinical practice.

About the Association of Academic Physiatrists
The Association of Academic Physiatrists (AAP) is an organization of PM&R physicians who are dedicated to improving patient care by advancing the specialty of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation through research, education and advocacy. The AAP was founded in 1967 to serve as the national organization of physiatrists who are affiliated with medical schools. The AAP is a member organization of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). The Association currently serves 1,200 members including PM&R department chairs, program directors, residents and fellows, researchers, medical student educators, administrative directors, program coordinators and others involved or interested in academic physiatry.

The AAP has an official journal, The American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, holds an Annual Meeting, and is involved in a number of projects, programs and activities to support and enhance academic PM&R.

About the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation
Established in 2002, the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation is the largest private foundation dedicated to improving the quality of life for those living with spinal cord injury (SCI) by supporting innovative program services, specialty training, and research on effective therapies and treatments leading to a cure. Mr. Neilsen, a successful business entrepreneur and philanthropist, lived with a high-level spinal cord injury for 21 years until his passing in November 2006. Today, the Foundation funds SCI scientific research (preclinical, translational, clinical, and psychosocial research), quality of life programs, postdoctoral and SCI medicine fellowships, and other projects to support the SCI community throughout the United States and Canada. For more information, please visit www.chnfoundation.org.

Bernadette Rensing
Communications and Marketing Manager
Association of Academic Physiatrists
(410) 712-7120