National Nonprofit SoldierStrong Announces Donation of 10 iBots to Veterans During VHA Innovation Experience Conference

STAMFORD, Conn., Oct. 28, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — SoldierStrong, a national nonprofit dedicated to helping military veterans take their next steps forward through the use of revolutionary medical technology, is teaming up with renowned inventor Dean Kamen and DEKA Research and Development Corp. to donate 10 iBOT wheelchairs to individual wounded veterans, co-founder and chairman Chris Meek said Tuesday.

“The goal of this donation is to create lasting, life-changing impacts on the physical and mental health of those who have served our country,” said Meek, who made the announcement remotely during the Veterans Health Administration’s Innovation Experience (iEX) conference in Washington, D.C.

The iBOT wheelchair, which is the brainchild of Kamen in partnership with his company, DEKA, and Johnson & Johnson’s Independent Technology division, is a one-of-a-kind powered wheelchair that climbs stairs, allows users to rise from sitting level to six feet tall, maintains superior balance compared to other products on the market and can withstand travel through sand and standing water. 

“Dean Kamen is one of the most recognized and sought-after innovators of our time. He’s made it his life’s work to invent technology, like the iBOT, that improves the lives of others,” Meek said. “With such an iconic status in the science and technology communities, it was a tremendous honor to introduce Dean today at the VHA Innovation Experience. It is also with sincerest gratitude that I thank him for his support of SoldierStrong and his commitment to share DEKA’s life-changing iBOT with veterans who desperately deserve access to this type of disruptive technology.” 

The VHA Innovation Experience (iEX) is an annual conference that brings innovators and inventors, medical health experts, veterans, and the public together to showcase and celebrate emerging innovations, partnerships and technologies that improve and save veterans’ lives. 

Donations of the iBOTs are the latest effort by SoldierStrong to provide revolutionary medical technologies to help injured veterans lead full lives. SoldierStrong has donated $3.8 million in state-of-the-art medical devices to individual veterans and Veterans Affairs medical centers across the country. These devices include hyper-advanced prosthetics, specialized rehabilitation, and the organization’s signature device, the SoldierSuit exoskeleton used in the rehabilitation of spinal injuries and strokes and to help paralyzed individuals become more mobile. To date, SoldierStrong has donated 22 SoldierSuits, or exoskeletons, that allow some paralyzed veterans to stand and walk again. 

A four-year mental health study by the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System that included use of a SoldierSuit found that paralyzed veterans able to maintain an eye-level view of the world experienced better mental and physical health and a decline in suicidal thoughts or attempts.

“This donation of iBOTs allows SoldierStrong to provide technologies that simultaneously address the needs of physical and mental health,” Meek said. “The iBOT’s unique capabilities will allow veterans who receive a donation to feel secure, independent and enjoy a sense of confidence unmatched by other devices.”

CONTACT: CHRISTINA STROBACK
(319)-936-9300

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Nonprofit Partnership to End Addiction launches with national campaign featuring music by The Lumineers and podcast hosted by Elizabeth Vargas

Nonprofit Partnership to End Addiction launches with national campaign featuring music by The Lumineers and podcast hosted by Elizabeth Vargas

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, Oct. 20, 2020

NEW YORK, Oct. 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Partnership to End Addiction announced its launch today with a campaign emphasizing the importance of personal connection in addressing our nation’s addiction crisis. A 3D-animated series of advertisements features music by Grammy-nominated band The Lumineers. The nonprofit also released a podcast hosted by Emmy Award-winning journalist and bestselling author Elizabeth Vargas.

“Following the merger of two leading addiction nonprofits, we are now a combined organization helping family members embrace the critical role they play in ending addiction,” said Creighton Drury, Chief Executive Officer at Partnership to End Addiction. “When we foster strong connections with loved ones, we see better outcomes in prevention and treatment – and in strengthening families and communities as agents of change in transforming the way our nation addresses addiction.”

‘Start with Connection’ Campaign

Building on a history of iconic public service announcements, the Partnership is seeking to reach parents and caregivers through television, print, radio and digital media. The “Start with Connection” campaign will encourage empathy and understanding, while offering hope and resources to begin conversations. The song “Salt and the Sea” by The Lumineers is from III, a narrative album that explores the destructive impact of addiction in a family. Advertisements will be available in 60-, 30- and 15-second broadcast units and a short-film version for select online distribution.

Watch the short-film version here.

“The loneliness and isolation of the pandemic are exacerbating the addiction crisis at an alarming rate,” said Emily Moyer, Chief Marketing Officer at Partnership to End Addiction. “While everyone is talking about physical distancing and wearing masks, we are encouraging family members to begin closing emotional distance in the home.”

‘Heart of the Matter with Elizabeth Vargas’ Podcast

The new podcast features personal conversations about substance use and recovery. Notable early guests include former NBA player Chris Herren, journalist and bestselling author David Sheff, and former U.S. Representative Patrick J. Kennedy. “Heart of the Matter with Elizabeth Vargas” is available on iTunes, Spotify and other major platforms.

“So many of us struggling with addiction are suffering quietly, certain we are alone. We talk about it with hushed tones, fearful of what others may think,” said Vargas. “There is tremendous value in connecting with others and sharing our own stories. I hope our podcast inspires others to open up and seek that support from their friends and family.”

About Partnership to End Addiction
Partnership to End Addiction is a national nonprofit uniquely positioned to reach, engage and help families impacted by addiction. With decades of experience in research, direct service, communications and partnership-building, we provide families with personalized support and resources — while mobilizing policymakers, researchers and health care professionals to better address addiction systemically on a national scale. For more information, visit drugfree.org.

About The Lumineers

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