STAMFORD, Conn., June 26, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As the United States prepares to celebrate Independence Day and the intrinsic American values of innovation, freedom and limitless possibility, McGuire VA Medical Center is preparing to receive a bionic exoskeleton that represents many of these same values. The wearable robot is pioneering an industry and will help soldiers who have been paralyzed while defending America, stand up and take their first steps back on American soil. The VA medical center is the fourth recipient of an Ekso Bionics™ suit (OTCQB:EKSO). The Ekso GT™ will be donated by SoldierSocks, a non-profit organization which helps veterans. McGuire VA Medical Center serves more than 5000 paralyzed veterans in the region and will accept the suit in a donation ceremony on July 2, 2014 at 1:00 pm with a special appearance from veteran Dan Rose who will walk in an Ekso device.
The Spinal Cord Injury & Disorders Center (SCI&D COE) at McGuire Veterans Health Administration began operations in 1947 and is one of the largest of the 24 spinal cord injury centers in the Veterans Affairs Medical Center System. The SCI&D COE is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and affiliated with the Virginia Commonwealth University Health System Model Spinal Cord System. Richmond is a regional referral center that serves 13 Veterans Affairs Medical Centers across four Veteran Integrated Service Networks and five states and the District of Columbia. They also work with active duty personnel and receive patients from Department of Defense Medical Centers and private hospitals.
"We are thrilled to receive a bionic suit, we consider it the crown jewel in our technologically advanced research department," said Dr. Gorgey, Chief of Spinal Cord Injury Research at McGuire VA Medical Center. "Our current research interest is to understand how the interaction between exercise/dietary interventions influences health and wellness after SCI. Engaging a person with SCI in active lifestyle and exercise is an important goal; however, restoring standing and walking is critical. Many of our veterans including wounded warriors are looking for opportunities to engage in walking trials. I think the addition of the Ekso Bionic Suit to our department will have significant impact on the SCI service, quality of rehabilitation provided as well as shifting in the paradigm of the rehabilitation after SCI. This will allow Hunter Holmes VA Hospital to be one of the leading VA sites in the Richmond/DC area to provide this rehabilitation opportunity to our veterans."
The SoldierSocks Foundation, run by long time military supporter Chris Meek, has evolved from sending socks and baby wipes to soldiers on the frontline to helping veterans take their next steps back at home. SoldierSocks announced in December that, through grants and fundraising, it would donate 10 Ekso suits to VA hospitals. Public response has been overwhelming and nationwide donations supporting this initiative are part of what makes SoldierSocks' fourth (second VA) donation possible. "Every day, members of the military put their lives on the line to help protect our country," says SoldierSocks co-founder Chris Meek. "When they return home, they are faced with the challenges of re-acclimating to civilian life. Additionally, some have been critically wounded or paralyzed in the line of duty. We are honored to help our veterans take their next steps on American soil using Ekso Bionics technology."
SoldierSocks was founded in 2009 to provide basic necessities such as baby wipes, socks and sunscreen to American soldiers fighting for our country in the trenches of Afghanistan and Iraq. As more of our soldiers return home to the U.S., SoldierSocks continues to assist our nation's heroes in re-acclimating to civilian life by offering scholarships for colleges and trade schools and offering paralyzed soldiers an opportunity to gain mobility outside of a wheelchair.
CONTACT: Soldier Socks Media Contact: Chris Meek Phone: (203) 832-2005 E-mail: info@SoldierSocks.com Web: http://www.SoldierSocks.com Facebook: facebook.com/pages/Soldier-Socks Twitter: twitter.com/soldiersocks Ekso Bionics Media Contact: Heidi Darling, Marketing Manager Phone: 415.302.4777 firstname.lastname@example.org Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center Media Contact: Darlene Edwards 804-382-2614 Darlene.Edwards@va.govSource: Soldier Socks