Rehabilitation research


Allina Health is devoted to meeting the changing needs of people in the community who are living with acute or chronic disability through rehabilitation research that optimizes rehabilitation outcomes and full societal participation.

The Courage Kenny Foundation®—whose mission includes supporting crucial services, programs, and opportunities for those in our community who need them the most—funds the Courage Kenny Research Center.

The Courage Kenny Research Center provides groundbreaking research and advocacy for children and adults who have experienced injury or have disabilities. The high-quality studies conducted by experienced Courage Kenny researchers create genuine progress for rehabilitation for spinal cord injury, cancer, brain injury and more.

The needs of participants and patients shape Courage Kenny research. Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute® clinicians are actively involved in research studies through partnerships with Courage Kenny researchers. As a result of this collaboration, patients benefit from the information learned from our research studies.

This commitment to education is also reflected in efforts to inform the public about the value of research that benefits our communities. Courage Kenny researchers are regularly involved in sharing their research with local and national audiences who are stakeholders in the areas researched.

Minnesota Regional Spinal Cord Injury Model System of Care

MNSCIMS logoCourage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute has recently been designated as part of the Minnesota Regional Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems. This is one of 14 U.S. spinal cord model systems of care that received 5-year research funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research. 

This collaborative effort was led by Drs. Leslie Morse and Kim Monden of the University of MN. The collaboration represents an extraordinary achievement for MN rehabilitation researchers and an important opportunity to expand innovation and new knowledge development in the service of people with SCI who live in MN, North/South Dakota, and Wisconsin. The overarching goal is to provide improved care and outcomes for people living with SCI. It is based on research that demonstrates an advantage of providing comprehensive versus fragmented SCI care. For more information about the Spinal Cord Injury Model System, visit this website.

Continue to watch this site for updates. 

Study participants

The Courage Kenny Research Center’s dedicated staff carefully screens anyone who is interested in participating in one of their studies.

Involvement in a rehabilitation research study is completely voluntary and volunteers must give their consent to participate and may revoke their consent at any time during the duration of a study. Before participation, all volunteers must meet specific criteria. Factors like age, gender and health status may be evaluated for participation. These criteria are to make certain that the study will be safe for participants and researchers will be able to answer the questions they plan to study.

Participation in research studies provides access to new and innovative therapies that will ultimately help people improve their functioning and quality of life after disability or illness. It also provides volunteers an opportunity to take an active role in their healthcare—along with the medical community as a whole.

Current studies

Our research team

Mary Vining Radomski, PhD, OTR/L
Senior scientific advisor

Kristina Kath, BS
Research specialist

Maxwell Klaiman, BA
Project manager

Robert Kreiger, PhD
Senior scientific adviser

Katy O'Brien, PhD CCC-SLP
Senior scientific advisor

Margaret M. (Maggie) Weightman, PT, PhD
Senior scientific adviser, Physical therapist


Click below for a list of publications by our researchers

2020 2021 Publications


2018 and 2017

Annual Report and Newsletters

CK Research Newsletter_Fall_2021

CK Research Newsletter_Summer_2021

2019 Courage Kenny Research Annual Report

Rehabilitation resources

Researchers and clinicians from the Courage Kenny Research Center have made Participant Materials and Administration Guides from two recently completed feasibility studies available for download below. In doing so, we hope to advance further inquiry. We ask that Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute be credited when using these materials.

Focus Forward - Coming Out of the Fog: A feasibility study to evaluate an occupational therapy intervention (four weekly one-to-one sessions) for cancer-related cognitive dysfunction after breast cancer.

Focus Forward Participant handbook
Focus Forward Administrative guide

Grace Notes - A study to evaluate the feasibility of using 12 spirituality tools with a group of people who have had an acquired brain injury.

Grace Notes Administrative guide