Honda in the USA pledges $1 Million to Nationwide Children’s Hospital to improve Mobility for all Children

The Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and Honda has just announced a $1 million gift from the automaker to establish the Honda Centre for Gait Analysis and Mobility Enhancement designed to enhance pediatric mobility.

Brynn Fraser, 8, left, and Sofi Payer, 12, share the stage with ASIMO during a demonstration at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Brynn Fraser, 8, left, and Sofi Payer, 12, share the stage with ASIMO during a demonstration at Nationwide Children’s Hospital

The centre will become the first of its kind to provide not only comprehensive gait analysis, but also spine motion analysis, sports performance programs and injury prevention. In addition, it will become a leader in prosthetic and wheelchair development, completing its mission of improving the mobility of all children. This novel approach will seek and promote innovative ways to manage patients with cerebral palsy, spina bifida, spinal cord injury and neuromuscular disease, congenital anomalies and amputations, and any condition which may limit mobility.

Cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability in children, accounting for nearly 10,000 new cases annually. Another 1,500 babies are born with spina bifida each year and 1,500 children are admitted to hospitals with spinal cord injuries. Sports injuries account for about three million pediatric emergency department visits each year in the United States.

“I want to thank Honda for this generous gift that will help Nationwide Children’s Hospital launch the Honda Centre for Gait Analysis and Mobility Enhancement,” said Jim Digan, President, Nationwide Children’s Hospital Foundation. “Honda’s support makes possible unique services and opportunities that will set the standard for medicine across the country.”

“At Honda, we consider ourselves a mobility company – and we want our products and our philanthropy to focus on the joy and freedom people have when they have mobility,” said Tom Shoupe, senior vice president of Honda of America, Mfg. “Whether motorcycles, automobiles, marine engines, aircraft, or assistive robotics, we have a long tradition of providing mobility products and so it was a natural fit to work with Nationwide Children’s on a centre that would work to expand physical mobility for patients.”

In the quest to pursue innovative ways to treat conditions that impede motion, the Honda Centre for Gait Analysis and Mobility Enhancement will harness pioneering technology. The centre will use state-of-the art instrumentation, including advanced video recording techniques and 3D motion analysis cameras, force platforms and electromyography – the recording of the electrical activity of muscle tissue – to evaluate physically-challenged patients’ movement, abilities and limitations.

The centre will also provide additional opportunities for research within pediatric sports medicine, injury prevention and surgical rehabilitation. As additional collaborative opportunities are identified, it furthers Nationwide Children’s approach to multidisciplinary research and care.

“This centre will provide the opportunity to deliver life-changing clinical care to those patients limited in the their ability to walk or run, as well as maximizing the performance and mobility for athletes of all ages,” said Kevin E. Klingele, MD, chief of Orthopaedic Surgery and surgical director of Sports Medicine at Nationwide Children’s. “The researchers and clinicians who will be involved with the centre will continue to strengthen an already collaborative spirit at Nationwide Children’s, bringing together numerous clinical departments to provide the best outcomes for our patients and families, and for this we sincerely thank Honda.”

The announcement took place at Nationwide Children’s Hospital during a recognition event with Nationwide Children’s and Honda representatives. Additionally, a special appearance by Honda’s robot, ASIMO, at the announcement was an event highlight. ASIMO (Advanced Step Innovative Mobility), which is the world’s most advanced humanoid robot and reflects the study of human motion and anatomy, stayed throughout the day providing special demonstrations for patients.

Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Honda have had a longstanding partnership dating back more than 30 years. Most recently, Honda pledged $750,000 for the construction of “Determination Way,” Nationwide Children’s custom-designed simulated community that provides a real-world environment where rehabilitation patients learn how to manage daily living activities.