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"Trauma affects everyone, regardless of age, race, or economic status. Stepping Strong aims to reduce the number and severity of traumatic injuries in Boston and beyond."
—Ali Salim, MD, Stepping Strong Center Medical Co-Director

"A moment that defines my commitment to leading the center was when Gillian and I participated in B.A.A. 5K race. Our goal is to fuel innovation programs that lead to happy endings like Gillian’s."
—Mitchel B. Harris, MD, Stepping Strong Medical Co-Director

“For patients with a high level of chronic pain, amputation can be the best form of salvage. Ewing Procedure patients enjoy more precise control of their limb and increased sensory freedom.”
— Matthew J. Carty, MD, Stepping Strong Center Director of Strategy and Innovation

“Our goal is to provide the brilliant professionals at the Brigham with the funding to help patients with devastating traumatic injuries achieve the best possible outcomes."
—Steven, Audrey, Danielle, and Gillian Reny

The mission of The Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation is to catalyze multidisciplinary collaborations that inspire groundbreaking innovation, effective prevention, and compassionate intervention to transform care for civilians and military heroes who endure traumatic injuries and events.

The Stepping Strong Innovator Awards program inspires multi-institutional faculty to pursue groundbreaking innovation with a goal of transforming outcomes for civilians and military heroes worldwide.

The Stepping Strong Injury Prevention and Intervention program aims to reduce the number and severity of traumatic injuries resulting from elderly falls, gun violence, distracted driving, and substance use.

The Stepping Strong Plastic Surgery Trauma Fellowship is a unique program designed to train the next generation of medical leaders in advanced and innovative techniques for treating acute and complex injury.

True to the Boston Strong spirit of kindness and collaboration, the members of the Stepping Strong community are inspired to come together to help those with traumatic injuries step strong again.

The Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation is immensely grateful to the tens of thousands of people across the globe who are helping to turn the Boston Marathon tragedy into hope for trauma patients. Together we are fueling innovation, creating much needed awareness, and proving that the goodness of the human spirit prevails.

Through our Messages of Hope we would like to share the impact Stepping Strong has had on patients, surgeons, researchers and the community.

#steppingstrong #boston #bwh #brighamandwomenshospital

Hooray! Fundraising numbers are in for the #SteppingStrong virtual Boston Marathon. We are so excited to report that, despite these extraordinary times, our amazing runners raised more than $1.4 million to advance trauma research and care. We could not be more grateful to our team and our amazing colleagues in the Brigham and Women's Hospital Development Office for their determination, creativity, and support! 💙💛 ...

In the lead up to the 2020 Stepping Strong Trauma Research Symposium, where we will be announcing the 2020 Innovator Award recipients, each Wednesday we will be presenting the research of one of the 2019 award recipients.

First up is Dr. Shailesh Agarwal, MD, who, with funds from the Stepping Strong Innovator Award, has been developing in vivo adipose tissue bioreactors which synthesize and release BMPR1A-Fc into the injury site. These bioreactors are composed of a patient’s own adipose (fat) tissue harvested using traditional liposuction techniques. This adipose tissue is then programmed using novel gene-editing techniques to convert the patient’s adipose tissue into a bioreactor, which expresses our agent of interest, BMPR1A-Fc. This programmed bioreactor can then be injected into the patient as an autologous in vivo bioreactor. In the future, however, the team envisions a platform technology which harnesses a patient’s own cellular machinery to produce and deliver biologic drugs to improve healing after musculoskeletal injury.

On the news today! Thank you everyone for taking 555 million steps, thank you @cignatogether for the $100,000 donation, and thank you @wcvb5 for helping to share our mission!! 💙💛💖 ...

With his initial Stepping Strong Innovator Award grant, Bohdan Pomahac, MD, and his team built a second-generation prototype of an ultraportable perfusion device for rescuing limbs separated from their blood supply due to trauma, infection, or oncologic diseases.

In a series of experiments with animal models and human limbs, this device was successful in expanding the allowed time for replantation from four to six hours to over 24 hours.

Pomahac and his team are still in the process of commercialization of this device to bring this development to market for first responders, military installations, and major hospitals.

Additionally, together with his collaborator Dr. Brian Polizzotti, PhD, Pomahac and his team are developing a perfusion solution consisting of slow-release oxygen-bearing particles. In an animal model, this solution already proved to be extremely effective in simultaneously delivering oxygen to the tissue, scavenge toxic metabolites and regulate tissue fluid dynamics under near-normoxic conditions during limb perfusion.

The additional Stepping Strong funding provides much-needed capital for further improving these groundbreaking innovations and bringing them to clinical practice.

For National Domestic Violence Awareness Month we would like to introduce the work #SteppingStrong Innovator Award winner Dr. Khurana Bharti is doing to recognize #intimatepartnerviolence and create #domesticviolenceawareness

Intimate partner violence (IPV), defined as physical, sexual or emotional violence between partners or former partners, is a widely prevalent critical public health issue. In the U.S., one in four women and one in seven men have reported experiencing severe physical violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime, and half of female homicides between 2003 and 2014 have been linked to IPV. Despite these devastating statistics and the urgency of this problem, IPV continues to be profoundly underdiagnosed and under-reported.

Radiologists like Dr. Bharti are in a unique position to provide an objective opinion in an unbiased manner based on the specific radiological findings and patterns.

With funding from the Stepping Strong Innovator Awards, Khurana used machine learning to develop a multi-dimensional alert system that harnesses a patient’s signs, symptoms, imaging findings, and history; classifies injuries for their likelihood of being a result of IPV; and automatically alerts clinicians. In addition, Khurana’s multidisciplinary team will generate conversational guides for social workers and clinicians with a goal of enhancing communication amongst caregivers and potential IPV victims.

We did it! Thank you all for taking 539,864,702 steps and helping us secure $100,000 for the #steppingstrong center to advance trauma research and care. We are so GRATEFUL and we hope you we hope you will Step Strong with us again next year 💖💛💙 A big THANK YOU to Cigna and Brigham and Women’s Hospital! ...

In 2014, #SteppingStrong patient Jim Ewing fell 50 feet while rock climbing, shattering his left leg. Two years later, he underwent the first-of-its kind experimental surgery - a collaboration with Stepping Strong Director of Strategy and Innovation, Dr. Matt Carty, and the MIT Media Lab.

Jim returned to the same site of his accident in the Cayman Islands, this time using a bionic prothesis.

Thanks to STAT for this remarkable video, which reminds us of the stunning power of turning tragedy into hope for #trauma patients.

Dr. Jeff Karp was awarded the special Stepping Strong COVID-19 Research award.

Prevention of viral transmission is one of the critical aspects of clinical management of COVID-19. The predominant mode of transmission of this virus is through inhalation of contaminated aerosols. The inhaled virus attaches to the nasal lining, where it multiplies and gets into airways.

Given that the nasal mucosa is a major entry point, we propose to develop an easy-to-use nasal spray that can:
(1) form a hydrogel barrier on nasal mucosa, thereby capturing the inhaled viruses;
(2) release virucidal agents that can also deactivate the virus immediately.

Jeffrey Karp, PhD and his team envision that this approach can provide an additional layer of personal protection over conventionally used protective equipment including surgical masks or N95 respirators, while integrating seamlessly into our daily lives. The hydrogel can also hydrate nasal lining, which can promote nose breathing—a factor that previously has been shown to assist in the deactivation of inhaled pathogens.

You can read more about this, and other projects, on our website (link in bio).

Su Ryon Shin is one of the 2020 Breakthrough Award winners. For her Stepping Strong Breakthrough Award, Su Ryon Shin, along with collaborators Olivier Pourquie and Indranil Sinha, have introduced a novel stem cell engineering approach: a new differentiation protocol that uses stem cell fate-controlling biomaterials.

By creating suitable microenvironments, the team has been able to develop connective tissue-layered skeletal muscles that are customized to the needs of individual patients.

Not only does this advanced technology have the ability to create significant economic savings by treating muscle trauma without requiring muscle organ donors; the approach, when used along with novel biomaterials, also has the potential to produce unlimited amounts of genetically-defined human muscle grafts, paving the way for enhanced muscle regeneration.

The Stepping Strong Center community is full of heroes—from our medical caregivers and researchers to runners, volunteers, and ordinary people who go above and beyond the call of duty to transform trauma care.

It is this last category that spurred the Reny family to establish the Stepping Strong Hero Award: an annual award that recognizes extraordinary and selfless acts of courage by everyday citizens.

Here we share the story of the 2019 recipient Edward Jolicoeur.

Edward and Adam DiFlaminies were working a construction job when a traumatic event occurred. Adam was in the basement on a lift, working with a grinder. Edward was on another floor and happened to head down to the basement to retrieve more lights. When he arrived, he saw a horrific site: Adam was on the lift, cut at the neck by the grinder, bleeding profusely. Edward sprang into action, bringing Adam down off the lift and stuffing his wound to stop the bleeding. He saved his life in the process.

The Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation is immensely grateful to the tens of thousands of people across the globe who are helping to turn the Boston Marathon tragedy into hope for trauma patients. Together we are fueling innovation, creating much needed awareness, and proving that the goodness of the human spirit prevails.

Through our Messages of Hope we would like to share the impact Stepping Strong has had on patients, surgeons, researchers and the community.

Kudos to our very own Ali Luthman -- a Worcester native who manages #SteppingStrong running teams at Brigham and Women's Hospital -- for completing the 2020 virtual Boston Marathon along with her mom, Linda.

According to Ali, “It’s more special when we do these together. My mom has been my real inspiration.”

Thank you, Ali and Linda! 💙💖💛

So grateful to the Boston Athletic Association for their kind gesture of gifting 1,000 volunteer Boston Marathon jackets to the #SteppingStrong Center community at Brigham and Women's Hospital.
In the photo: Rebecca Breslow, MD, recipient of the Stepping Strong Endurance Medicine award and Brigham's marathon team physician; Molly Jarman, PhD, program director of the Stepping Strong Injury Prevention program; Michael O'Leary, MD, BAA president and Professor of Surgery at the Brigham; and Cheri Blauet, MD, BAA board member, director of the Kelley Adaptive Sports Research Institute at Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, and sports medicine physician at the Brigham.

Natalie Artzi, PhD, is one of the 2020 Stepping Strong Breakthrough Innovators and with her team she aims to develop a hydrogel-based patch that combines three advanced technologies to fight bone infections:

1. Bactericidal silver-coated gold nanorods to kill extracellular and intracellular bacteria without the need for antibiotics
2. Macrophage-polarizing cytokines to enhance the body’s own immune system
3. Localized gene delivery to provide regenerative cues to the surrounding bone cells

They anticipate that using bactericidal silver-coated gold nanorods will provide superior treatment outcomes for posttraumatic osteomyelitis as compared to standard fixation and intravenous antibiotics.

READ MORE about this and other project by Dr. Artzi on our website (link in bio).

We are pleased to announce that @LenworthJacobs will be the keynote speaker at this year’s #SteppingStrong Trauma Research and Innovation Symposium.

Dr. Jacobs is a retired trauma surgeon who founded @StopTheBleed and helped to evaluate the medical response after the horrific shootings in Newtown.

Check the link in our bio to sign up for the symposium and to find out more information about the program!

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