McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Rory Cooper, PhD, FISA/PVA Endowed Chair and a Distinguished Professor of the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, participated in the 2010 Pittsburgh Marathon supporting the Veterans Leadership Program (VLP) of Western Pennsylvania (VLPWPA). Dr. Cooper finished third in the wheelchair event, with a total time of 1:48:32.
This year VLP participated as a 'Charity Partner' of the 2010 Pittsburgh Marathon. Scheduled on the morning of May 2nd, the marathon course crossed each of the three rivers in Pittsburgh and traveled through the Southside, Oakland, Shadyside, and Bloomfield neighborhoods. As a Charity Partner, VLP paid the registration fees for sponsored runners, who in turn raised charitable funds and community awareness to benefit VLP's mission of providing essential housing, employment, and other vital supportive services to our local heroes. Dr. Cooper was 1 of 30 runners registered to run on behalf of VLP.
In support of the event and its runners, VLP hosted a pasta party the night before the marathon and conducted an array of festivities at the VLP office/parking lot on Carson Street on race day given that the marathon race course ran directly in front of its office. VLP additionally volunteered to man a water station in front of the VLP office, and it staffed a tent area at the marathon finish line for all to gather afterwards.
It is the mission of VLP to bring renewed strength and self-reliance to all veterans and their family members who have selflessly served our nation by providing essential employment, housing, and other vital supportive services self-sufficiency, sustainability, and quality of life. With over 300,000 veterans residing in southwestern Pennsylvania, this region has one of the highest per capita concentrations of veterans in the United States. The dedicated Staff and Board of Directors of VLP continue to assist not only the unemployed, underemployed, and homeless veterans of our region, but all veterans, members of the Reserve and National Guard, and their families.
VLP is honored to serve all southwestern Pennsylvania’s veterans, and welcomes those returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. VLP is proud of its collaborative work with over 100 local and statewide service providers. Through these combined efforts, VLP’s large and diverse client base receive a complete continuum of employment, housing, and supportive services.
New Web Resource for Veterans
The U.S. Departments of Defense, Labor and Veterans Affairs continue their commitment to Veterans, Service Members and their families with the launch of a new and improved National Resource Directory (NRD).
Located here, this online tool provides access to thousands of services, programs, and resources at the national, state, and community level. Recently unveiled with a new look and other key features, the Web site now boasts an improved search engine, Really Simple Syndication (RSS) news feeds, subscriptions to e-mail updates, and new subject areas such as “Homeless Assistance.”
The NRD is designed to serve a broad base of users including Service Members, Veterans, Wounded Warriors, and their families and caregivers. In addition, it has proved to be a useful tool for service providers who support Veterans, such as Federal Recovery Coordinators, health care providers, and case managers at Veterans Service Organizations.
The new features allow the Veteran and Military community to stay connected with the resources that are available to them as well as browse for information they may not have known about it the past. Additionally, a faster, more accurate search engine provides the tools to sort results by subject area, audience, and government or non-government resources to ensure users locate exactly what they want, without having to sort through thousands of links themselves.
Dr. Rory Cooper is also the Center Director at the Center of Excellence for Wheelchair and Related Technology, VA Rehabilitation Research & Development Center, and a Senior Research Career Scientist at the VA Rehabilitation Research and Development Service, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. In addition, Dr. Cooper holds a secondary appointment as Professor in both the Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and of Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh.