This is a groundbreaking new initiative focused on new abilities & awareness after a significant neurologic trauma or medical event. We are seeking collaborators to join a transdisciplinary task force to help create a third way in rehabilitation that shifts the focus from loss to what can be gained. The task force will help birth a successful, scalable model that is equitable, accessible and easily mainstreamed.

By way of introduction I have been in the field of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation for over 30 years and I am currently the Medical Director at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Rhode Island with primary clinical faculty appointment at Brown University and adjunct at Tufts University. Over the past 5 years I have been involved with an international patient stories project supported by the nonprofit that I founded, Our Heart Speaks, Inc (OHS) www.ourheartspeaks.org

The primary mission is to give voice to individuals who are living with a new/acquired disability who have been successful in finding meaning and purpose to share their heartfelt inspirational stories. Beyond the first-person narrative, we welcome the full range of artistic medium. OHS serves a broad audience which includes the patient/disability community, caregivers, health care providers and thought leaders to help reimagine what is possible and not allow us to be defined by a medical diagnosis or disability.

The new abilities & awareness initiative will take this work to a new level and has the potential to make a significant impact on the way we think and pursue rehabilitation. In rehab we understandably focus on regaining function and when not possible or slow in coming, compensatory strategies. However, as you know for many, if nurtured and guided, there is also the possibility of a new awareness or even ability that may not have been present prior to the trauma or medical event. It is this later possibility in addition to the critical more traditional focus on function and compensation that deserve further attention. Here is the link to our new abilities & awareness section. https://ourheartspeaks.org/category/new-abilities-initiative/

Help us expand public awareness and that of the medical community outside the typical silos and not view the result of neurological trauma as one exclusively of loss.

If interested in joining the volunteer task force please contact me via email below with any questions or feel free to forward a copy of your CV and contact information.

Keith W. L. Rafal, MD, MPH

Founder, Our Heart Speaks, Inc (OHS)


[email protected]