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Gaylord Specialty Healthcare Announces Launch of Milne Institute for Healthcare Innovation

WALLINGFORD, CONNECTICUT, October 21, 2020 — A research center aimed at shaping the way millions of Americans receive rehabilitative medicine was opened today by Gaylord Specialty Healthcare, a nonprofit rehabilitation-focused healthcare system. 

The Milne Institute for Healthcare Innovation is named for Carol and George Milne, Jr., Ph.D., whose historic $5 million gift has created a hub for accelerating world-class research, technology development and innovation on Gaylord’s Wallingford campus.   

With accreditations held by few around the world, Gaylord Specialty Healthcare is a national leader in the medical management and rehabilitation of patients recovering from devastating injuries or illnesses. The Milne Institute aims to leverage Gaylord’s expertise in brain and spinal cord injuries, complex strokes, amputations and pulmonary diseases to conduct research and develop evidence-based practices and applied technologies with the potential to change lives around the world.

“For more than 118 years, Gaylord has helped patients reclaim their lives,” stated Sonja LaBarbera, President and CEO of Gaylord Specialty Healthcare. “This is our purpose — to heal the human body and inspire longevity. We are driven by patients and motivated by practitioners who are pioneers in therapy and experts in confronting life’s most devastating moments.”

“The Milne Institute for Healthcare Innovation is our commitment to accelerate Gaylord’s long history of research, develop assistive and universally designed technologies to enhance recovery, advance the clinical practice of rehabilitation medicine and ultimately minimize limitations.” she said. “It is our goal that the Milne Institute for Healthcare Innovation will become a source of transformational discoveries that will redefine the standards of care.”

“We’ve set in motion a bold strategy to accelerate revolutionary approaches to some of the biggest challenges in modern rehabilitative healthcare. And it takes leaders like Carol and George Milne who are equally as bold to invest in this plan,” she said.
“We cannot thank the Milnes enough for their generosity. We are incredibly grateful for their foresight and hands-on involvement with the creation of this transformative vision.”

Dr. George Milne, retired Executive Vice President of Global Research and Development and President of Central Research at Pfizer, Inc., stated, “As a scientist and a biomedical researcher with a broad interest in patient-oriented outcomes, it is clear that Gaylord fills a unique niche that is not well-represented in our country. Gaylord is and will be an important sentinel for both patients and medical innovators who seek to enhance quality of care.”

“We strongly believe in Gaylord’s proven potential to make a compelling difference in the world of rehabilitative medicine. This is a bet on an institution that has repeatedly demonstrated leadership in providing superior

outcomes for patients,” he continued, “and a belief that there is a critical opportunity to create new advances that focus on the whole patient, particularly as the population ages and faces challenges such as COVID.”

Led by Executive Director Peter Grevelding, PT, MSPT, NCS, and Medical Director Dr. David Rosenblum, a Gaylord physiatrist and researcher with 30 years of experience including the Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Model System, the Milne Institute will provide a collaborative, multidisciplinary environment for dedicated researchers to work with Gaylord clinicians while partnering with corporations and foundations to conduct and disseminate data-driven research.

Grevelding explained that the Milne Institute houses two distinct yet cross-pollinating centers: The Center for Applied Technology and The Center for Research and Innovation.

The Milne Institute for Healthcare Innovation is currently partnering on applied technology projects with Aretech, maker of the ZeroG robotic body weight support system, and Connecticut-based Hyperfine, manufacturer of portable, low-dose radiation MRIs. Projects within the Center of Research currently range from original studies on COVID rehabilitation outcomes, pharmacologic safety and efficacy trials for stroke patients, to examining quality and equity of assistive technology in persons with spinal cord injury.

“This is an exciting time for Gaylord and our potential is limited only by our ability to question, create and inspire,” said LaBarbera. “It is Gaylord’s responsibility to our patients, to the medical community and to the world to ‘Think Possible’.”

For more information on the Milne Institute for Healthcare Innovation, please visit

About Gaylord Specialty Healthcare: Gaylord Specialty Healthcare is a rehabilitation-focused, nonprofit health system headquartered 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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