October 21, 2005

Kennedy Center wins $2.5M disabilities grant

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The Vine Hill Community Clinic, operated by the School of Nursing, is in the midst of a growth phase aimed at boosting the number of patients the clinic is able to serve.
photo by Donna Jones Bailey

Kennedy Center wins $2.5M disabilities grant

The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development has won a $2.5 million, five-year grant and designation as a University Center for Excellence on Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service from the federal Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD).

The center will use the funds to expand training and outreach and to improve disability services to poor and underserved populations across Tennessee.

ADD Commissioner Pat Morrissey announced the award Sept. 29 at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center’s 40th Anniversary Community Luncheon at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. “As a national center for research on developmental disabilities, the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center has already had a wonderful influence nationally on disability public policy and practices,” Morrissey said. “As part of our ADD network, we look forward to the center making even greater contributions as it transfers research into innovative practice for Tennesseans and the nation.”

There are just 61 such centers nationwide. The Vanderbilt center of excellence will address four areas of emphasis: education and early intervention, individual and family centered supports, health and mental health, and recreation and the arts.

“The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center is proud to join the distinguished national center of excellence network,” said Pat Levitt, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center director. “We will now be able to expand existing training and outreach programs and develop new initiatives, with an emphasis on serving Tennessee's poor and underserved minority and rural populations.”

“The Kennedy Center has a storied history in research and care of children and adults with developmental disabilities,” said Harry Jacobson, M.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs.

“This grant comes at an opportune time as we develop new tools to understand brain development and imaging to observe and better understand brain function. These new areas of discovery will change treatments for people with developmental disabilities and will improve their lives.”