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Gaylord Specialty Healthcare Receives Nearly $24K from Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation to Launch Free Exercise Program for People with Paralysis

WALLINGFORD, CONNECTICUT, September 16, 2020 – Gaylord Specialty Healthcare, a rehabilitation-focused nonprofit healthcare organization, is proud to announce that it has been awarded a $23,900 grant as part of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation National Paralysis Resource Center (PRC) 2020 Direct Effect grants program. The generous funding will enable Gaylord to launch a year-long exercise program, Exercise for Life (EX4L), for individuals with paralysis and other physical disabilities.

Participants in the free EX4L program will have the opportunity to attend any or all of the four, eight-week-long exercise sessions held at Gaylord’s Physical Therapy clinic in Cheshire throughout the year.

Gaylord has engaged exercise physiologists who will address each individual’s strength, endurance, power, and flexibility through high-intensity circuit training. The program will also offer “specialty” classes, such as seated yoga, dance, functional mobility, and Pilates.

Philip Silverio, PT, DPT, OCS, CMPT, Clinical Supervisor of Gaylord Physical Therapy, said that the overarching goal of the program is to address the existing gap in post-rehabilitation services and higher intensity exercise programs for people with paralysis and other physical disabilities. The funds received will be used to purchase adaptive training equipment and provide staffing to establish and run the program.

Silverio said, “The grant will help us create a safe, structured environment for participants to feel comfortable with high-level exercises to help improve overall health. The ultimate goal of the program is to have a positive impact on quality of life and promote independent living.”

Program coordinator Kimberly Levesque PT, DPT added, “This population is often not pushed at a high enough intensity to drive adaptive changes in strength to reach maximal potential. We are very grateful to the Reeve Foundation for helping us make this concept a reality.”

Individuals interested in learning more about participating in the free program should contact Levesque at

"The Expanded Impact grants program embraces both Christopher and Dana Reeve's vision and legacy to advance the quality of life of those living with paralysis," said Mark Bogosian, Director, Quality of Life Grants Program. "By building upon and expanding proven, successful projects, the Reeve Foundation is setting the course for increased impact by bringing these projects to scale for greater community, regional, and national effect, and to serve more people living with paralysis and other cross-disabilities."

The Quality of Life Grants Program supports nonprofit organizations that empower individuals living with paralysis. Since the Quality of Life Grants Program's inception, more than 3,200 grants totaling over $30 million have been awarded. Funding for these new cycles of grants was made possible through a cooperative agreement with the Administration for Community Living (ACL grant #90PRRC0002-02-00).


The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by advancing innovative research and improving quality of life for individuals and families impacted by paralysis.

We meet all 20 of the Better Business Bureau's standards for charity accountability and hold the BBB's Charity Seal. The Paralysis Resource Center (PRC) is a program of the Reeve Foundation and is funded through a cooperative agreement with the Administration for Community Living (cooperative agreement number 90PRRC0002). For more information, please visit our website at or call 800-539-7309.

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 iillness or injury to maximum recovery.

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