Kennedy Secures $1.2M in Funding for Institute for Mobility Innovation & Technology

By | April 25, 2024

Rendering of IMITNew York State Senator Tim Kennedy (D-Buffalo) secured $1.2 million in grant funding for Daemen University’s Institute for Mobility Innovation & Technology (IMIT) at Villa Maria College. The state-of-the-art facility will launch in collaboration with Villa Maria and Buffalo Rehab Group – offering access to leading robotic devices and assistive technology to restore motion and function following a range of injuries and illnesses.  

Senator Kennedy’s Community Resiliency, Economic Sustainability, and Technology Program (CREST) funding will be used to construct and renovate the facility at Villa. Daemen has raised an additional $1.75 million for specialty equipment and staff positions for the IMIT. The location on the East Side of Buffalo aims to address the pressing needs of underserved populations in the community. 

Rendering of IMIT facility“When Daemen, Villa, and Buffalo Rehab Group came to my office and laid out their plans for the Institute for Mobility Innovation & Technology, and what it would become not only for the students they serve but for the greater Western New York population in need of post-acute rehabilitation services, I knew we had to make it happen,” said Senator Tim Kennedy, who is also an occupational therapist. “We know that post-acute care is critical to boosting cognitive function, reducing pain, and reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety. Through the IMIT, we’re not just investing in physical health outcomes, we’re investing in the mental health, autonomy, and independence of people.”

The comprehensive facility will utilize advanced technology in a physical therapy-based clinic to provide treatment of spinal cord injuries, strokes, MS, and Parkinson’s disease, as well as sports injuries, orthopedics, and other conditions.

At its core, IMIT is built on four interconnected components: clinical care, advocacy, research, and education. Through this CARE Model, the IMIT will be woven into the undergraduate and graduate educational experience at Daemen. Similarly, Villa Maria will integrate the IMIT into its academic programs and curriculum. For Buffalo Rehab Group, the agreement with the two institutions will allow the practice to provide new patient services. 

“The Institute for Mobility Innovation & Technology is dedicated to empowering movement, restoring strength, and maximizing wellness,” said Daemen President Gary A. Olson. “The IMIT represents not just the culmination of years of hard work and dedication but also the realization of a shared vision with Villa Maria College and Buffalo Rehab Group to provide exceptional care and support to adults and children needing advanced and specialized rehabilitation.” 

Throughout the planning of the IMIT, Daemen has conducted extensive community outreach including the establishment of an advisory board including patients with lived experience, advocates, and representatives from ECMC, Kaleida Health, Catholic Health, and Jericho Road Community Health Center. 

You can watch the full announcement here: