Fattah Highlights Israeli-Invented ReWalk as Success Story for Paraplegic Veterans

Congressman Fattah received an update on the transformative technological device that launched its clinical trials in his Philadelphia district and is now in trials at six VA hospitals around the country

Jun 04, 2014, 12:34 ET from Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah

WASHINGTON, June 4, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In Washington last week, Congressman Fattah met with a United States Army veteran who was paralyzed from her waist down and is now successfully using ReWalk—a motorized exoskeleton suit—to stand and walk independently. The visit and demonstration by retired Sgt. Theresa Hannigan was part of a briefing with leadership from Argo Medical Technologies—a medical device company headquartered in Haifa, Israel—on the transformative technology and its potential impact on injured veterans.

Fattah, who is architect of the Fattah Neuroscience Initiative and sits on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, has been following ReWalk's progress since it was initially brought to the United States by Argo and a BIRD Foundation partnership more than five years ago. MossRehab, in Congressman Fattah's Philadelphia district, was the exclusive site for ReWalk clinical trials in the United States. Fattah visited Moss for an early demonstration of ReWalk in 2009.

"This device is changing lives, allowing individuals who never thought they would walk again due to neurological disease and paralyzation, to stand, walk, and climb stairs on their own," Congressman Fattah said. "It is a testament not only to the innovative work taking place at VA hospitals across this country, but also an early indicator of what's possible with cross-continent, and cross-sector collaboration."

Since its success in trials at MossRehab, the FDA has approved the device for clinical settings and it is currently in use at six veterans hospitals across the country—including the  VA Medical Center in the Bronx, NY where Hannigan received her treatment and was offered a ReWalk suit as part of an experimental program.

In 2013, TIME magazine named the ReWalk robotic exoskeleton one of the top inventions of the year. The BIRD Foundation—which helped form the partnership between MossRehab (part of the Einstein Healthcare Network) and Argo—works to bridge collaboration between American and Israeli entities in the energy and medical device sectors. 

Congressman Fattah has recently introduced legislation—H.R. 4472, The US-Israel Global Neuroscience Partnership Act —that would support cooperation between the two countries on neuroscience-related activities and fund research grants. The legislation is the most recent effort from Fattah to bridge relations between the two countries on neuroscience, and medical research and technology efforts.

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SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah