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New rehab facility opens in Cheektowaga for those with spinal cord injuries

Natalie Barnhard Center now open, offering sessions to get people back to daily life
Posted at 10:05 AM, Sep 29, 2021

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WKBW) — When people get suffer from spinal cord injuries, after the hospital the next step is rehab. One local organization is looking to take things a step further with a new state of the art facility for WNY.

It's called the Natalie Barnhard Center for Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation on Genesee St. It's the first of its kind in WNY. It's named for its founder, who had an accident more than 10 years ago.

The average hospital stay after a spinal cord injury is 11 days, after that, 31 days in rehab, according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Database.

Barnhard wanted more than 41 days, so she went to Atlanta for post-rehabilitative care. People tell her they don't get post-rehabilitative care, because it's not covered by insurance.

So she made her own non-profit, Motion Project NY, to fill the gap in our community.

It began with getting grants for patients, now, she's opened a center of her own with cutting edge technology and robotic equipment with the goal of getting spinal injury patients the ability to get back to their normal lives.

“Back to school, back to work, what kinds barriers they’re gonna face so we can be that hand, that family that guides someone through their entire journey, this is a community here,” said Barnhard.

Barnhard says it's the only facility within hundreds of miles of WNY that can offer post-rehab care to spinal cord patients.

They do one-on-one and two on one training. One session is $100/hr, to apply, click here and email completed form to: admin@motionprojectny.org.

Barnhard will cut the ribbon tonight at 5:30 at 4820 Genesee St. in Cheektowaga.