Nov. 9, 2007 — The special place for children with special needs is turning 50.
The Kluge Children’s Rehabilitation Center and Research Institute, which operates as part of the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital, will celebrate a half-century of healing, teaching and reaching out to the community. Activities to commemorate the milestone begin this month and will extend into the spring.
“We are proud of our legacy of supporting children with disabilities and being resources to their families,” said Jan Allaire, director of KCRC. “With the support of our committed faculty and staff and our wonderful volunteers, we will continue making a difference in the lives of children and families for many more years to come.”
KCRC provides rehabilitative services for children from Virginia, other states, and even other countries. Clinical expertise and services include developmental pediatrics, rehabilitation for children with brain and orthopedic injuries, respiratory care, outpatient aquatics and more. Each year, KCRC trains medical, psychology, nursing and therapy students from U.Va. and other institutions and is assisted by over 480 volunteers.
The KCRC not only serves children and their families, but also the community by serving as a Meals on Wheels food preparation location, and by holding the biennial Well Bear Clinic, which prepares children for routine checkups by inviting them to bring their teddy bears in for an exam.
There are many reasons why KCRC’s 50th anniversary is notable. According to Dr. James Blackman, medical director of KCRC, the center began as the Rucker Home for Children in the 1940s and treated children with tuberculosis and spine injuries who often stayed at the facility for years. It closed for renovations and then re-opened as the U.Va. Rehabilitation Center for Handicapped Children. It would eventually expand its services and grow to include outpatient care as well as inpatient care. After a generous donation from John and Patricia Kluge in 1988, the center developed a new emphasis on research.
“The center was able to enhance research and training capabilities and ultimately grow into new clinical directions,” said Blackman. “Today our ability to provide compassionate, comprehensive and, above all, family-centered care is a direct outgrowth from this.”
Activities celebrating KCRC’s 50th anniversary include:
• Our Children Celebrate
Nov. 16, 2007
Birthday Party for the children
• Celebrating Our Children
Nov. 20, 2007
Listen to updates from former patients
• Celebrating Friends & Colleagues
Dec. 13, 2007
• Celebrating Staff & Present & Past
April 11, 2008
• Celebrating Our Community
April 15, 2008
• Celebrating and Extending our Expertise