The number of new sites with the ICARE by SportsArt, a rehabilitation technology developed at Madonna’s Institute for Rehabilitation Science and Engineering, is growing with the latest installation in the Buffalo, New York region. The ICARE helps patients, such as those who have experienced a stroke or spinal cord injury, address their walking, fitness, balance and arm rehabilitation goals simultaneously.
Judith M. Burnfield, Ph.D., P.T., Institute Director, who leads research to advance guidelines for use of the ICARE, made a special visit to Western New York to oversee the introduction of the new equipment purchased by the Motion Project Foundation. Natalie Barnhard is the founder of Motion Project. She sustained a spinal cord injury at work in 2004 and is making a difference for others through The Natalie Barnhard Center for Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation and Recovery located in Cheektowaga.
“Natalie is just fantastic. She and her family are real visionaries for making rehabilitation available in the community for people,” said Dr. Burnfield. “She recognizes that rehabilitation and fitness are not just something you do in the hospital but a lifestyle you pursue once your return to your homes and communities.”
The Madonna ICARE by SportsArt integrates an external body weight support system, as well as an elliptical, with a specialized motor that can sense the need for assistance for the user. The ICARE system allows persons with serious injuries and illnesses to exercise safely for longer periods of time while lessening the physical demands placed on clinicians’ and fitness trainers’ bodies while assisting.
“We had a wonderful time working with Natalie and her trainers and helping them learn how to use the ICARE,” said Dr. Burnfield.