Toyota launches new fund for children with traumatic brain injuries

Steven Loeb · February 28, 2023 · Short URL:

The Way Forward Fund will dole out $8.5 million for improved access, technology and support

There are more than 5.3 million people in the United States who are currently living with a permanent brain injury-related disability, or one in every 60 people. In addition, at least 2.8 million Americans sustain these injuries in the the United States every year. Of those, children accounted for 7% of TBI-related emergency department visits, and 4.3% of TBI-related deaths in 2020, with the majority of those injuries coming as a result of falls.

Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) wants to do something about that, which is why it announced a new initiative on Tuesday, called the Way Forward Fund, which it describes as "a multi-year initiative aimed at strengthening access to care and injury recovery support for individuals and their families."

The initial focus will be on children who have TBI: the fund will dole out $8.5 million it its first year to institutions that provide programmatic operations designed to support children and their families; research and development of innovations and technologies that advance treatment; and the provision of equipment to increase access to tools for treatment.

So far, three institutions have been selected: Michigan-based Beaumont Children’s/Corewell Health, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Foundation, and ImPACTS (Improving Pediatric Acute Care Through Simulation).

The Way Forward Fund also revealed its advisory board, which has three members at the moment: Flaura Koplin Winston, Distinguished Chair in the Department of Pediatrics and founder and co-Scientific Director of the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania; Herman Gray, Chair of Wayne State University Department of Pediatrics; former president and CEO of DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan; and Pamela Okada, attending pediatric emergency physician, board certified in Pediatrics and Pediatric Emergency Medicine.

“With the guidance of our expert advisors, we want to help strengthen and expand access to support systems for children with traumatic brain injuries as well as their families,” Tellis Bethel, chief social innovation officer, Toyota Motor North America, said in a statement. 

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