Rehabilitation Research & Development Service (RR&D)

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FES Researcher wins Magnuson Award

    Dr. P. Hunter Peckham receives the Paul B. Magnuson Award, the highest honor for VA Rehabilitation Investigators. The award was presented April 13, 2001 by Mindy Aisen, M.D., Director of Rehabilitation Research and Development (R&D) Service, at the VA National Meeting. The citation of honor reads; In Recognition of Outstanding Rehabilitation Research Dedicated to Seeking New Knowledge to Benefit the Nation's Veterans.

    Dr. Peckham is the Director of the Cleveland VA Rehabilitation R&D Center of Excellence on Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES). Through his leadership, use of FES to activate paralyzed muscles has moved from science fiction to reality. Dr. Peckham?s own research focuses on the upper extremity and through it numerous people with high level quadriplegia have found new levels of independence. The overall program that he leads promises to change the lives of people with spinal injuries, stroke, MS or other neurological disorders. His contributions are best summarized by Dr. Heetderks, Scientific Director for Repair and Plasticity at NINDS of the National Institutes of Health, in his letter of recommendation; "Dr. Peckham is a caring, PhD clinician whose work is greatly appreciated by the disabled individuals he is helping, highly respected by the academic community and broadly recognized by the general society as having significant benefit."

Photo of P. Hunter Peckham
P. Hunter Peckham, Ph.D.

    The Cleveland FES Center of Excellence is pioneering work in FES to activate the paralyzed muscles of individuals who have sustained a spinal cord injury or stroke. Our goal is to design FES systems that provide improved arm and leg mobility for individuals with stroke, paraplegia or quadriplegia, and help restore bladder and bowel control to individuals with spinal cord injury, stated P. Hunter Peckham, Ph.D., Director of the VA Center of Excellence. "We will direct these resources toward clinical utilization developing FES techniques and training clinicians at multiple sites to use them." Over the past five years nearly 300 individuals, civilian and veterans alike, have participated in a range of research of clinical evaluation projects at the Cleveland FES Center.

    The Cleveland FES Center is a consortium that includes the Cleveland VA Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University, and MetroHealth Medical Center. Primary support for the research and development projects is provided by the VA Rehabilitation Research and Development Service, and the National Institutes of Health.