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Connecticut Community Foundation Grants Nearly $15,000 to Support Visual Field Rehabilitation Research at Gaylord Specialty Healthcare

Thursday, May 27, 2021

WALLINGFORD, CONNECTICUT, May 27, 2021 — Gaylord Specialty Healthcare, a nonprofit rehabilitation-focused healthcare system based in Wallingford received a nearly $15,000 grant from the Earl and Shirley Herbst Eye Research Fund at Connecticut Community Foundation.

The grant will support research conducted by Gaylord’s Milne Institute for Healthcare Innovation to determine if the incorporation of Gaylord’s BITS touch screen technology into inpatient therapy for patients with visual impairments is more effective than conventional vision interventions using pen and paper.

BITS – or Bioness Integrated Therapy System – is a multifunctional FDA-approved device that uses an interactive touchscreen and diverse program options to challenge patients’ visual and auditory processing, cognitive skills, range of motion and endurance.

Gaylord occupational therapist Heidi Fagan explained that up to 90 percent of individuals who have experienced neurological events such as a brain injury or stroke will also experience some degree of visual field deficit such as a blind spot or blind area within their normal field of vision.

“These deficits impede a person’s ability to see the ‘whole picture’ and can have a significant impact on their quality of life and their safety,” she said. 

Fagan said that although occupational therapists commonly address and treat visual field deficits, an examination of best treatment guidelines and strategies to address these deficits is greatly needed.

“This research will help Gaylord and occupational therapists throughout the world determine evidence-based practices for patients’ maximum recovery.”

About the Connecticut Community Foundation:
The Connecticut Community Foundation was created by and for the people of Greater Waterbury and Litchfield Hills. While serving this 21-town region, the Foundation works to address the community’s critical issues, funds programs benefiting local residents, supports efforts to improve systems to foster more equitable outcomes for residents, strengthens local organizations through learning and outreach, and works with individuals, families, and corporations to steward charitable and scholarship funds.

The Earl and Shirley Herbst Eye Research Fund grants promote eye research, enhance community awareness of eye disease and treatment and support ophthalmic educational opportunities for area medical providers.

About Gaylord Specialty Healthcare:
Gaylord Specialty Healthcare is a rehabilitation-focused, nonprofit health system located in Wallingford, Connecticut, that provides inpatient and outpatient care for people at every point in their journey from illness or injury to maximum recovery.

Gaylord Specialty Healthcare is anchored by Gaylord Hospital, a long-term acute care hospital, and includes Gaylord Outpatient Services and Gaylord Physical Therapy for patients who require diagnosis and treatment on an outpatient basis. Together, these entities deliver a complete continuum of rehab care driven by technology, research, clinical experience, and human compassion. For more information visit



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