Shepherd Center has announced a $50 million capital grant from The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation.
The gift will allow the neurorehabilitation hospital to double its family housing capacity, enabling more families and caregivers to be close by as their loved ones participate in rehabilitation for spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, multiple sclerosis and other neurological conditions.
The grant will support the construction of a new family housing building to be named in Arthur M. Blank’s honor, located at 1860 Peachtree Road in Atlanta. The expansion will add approximately 160 housing units. Construction will begin this fall.
“Arthur has always believed in the importance of our family-centered approach to rehabilitative care,” said Alana Shepherd, cofounder and chairman of the center’s board. “With the Foundation’s generous support of our programs like recreation therapy and the SHARE Military Initiative, he has allowed countless patients to pursue what is possible. With this investment in our family housing program, Shepherd can help restore the lives of even more who seek our care from around the world.”
Currently, the center provides up to 30 days of housing to families of newly injured rehabilitation patients if both the family and patient live more than 60 miles from the hospital.
With the average length of stay for patients at Shepherd Center at approximately 60 days, and more than 50 percent of patients and families coming to Shepherd from outside the state of Georgia, this crucial grant from the Blank Family Foundation will expand the number of family housing units, enabling families and caregivers to stay the entire time they are needed.
Blank, a long-time donor to the center, brings a deep understanding of the tremendous value and life-changing effects of care beyond traditional clinical and rehabilitation services.
He has provided significant support over the years to Shepherd Center’s SHARE Military Initiative, a program that delivers world-class treatment at no cost to veterans, service members and first responders with traumatic brain injuries. SHARE clients and families also rely on the family housing units during their treatment at Shepherd Center.
“My family and I are honored to support Shepherd Center and their promise to care for the whole family in times of such difficulty,” said Blank. “I’m filled with deep respect and pride that Alana and her team have remained an organization that is focused on family. Having seen the benefits firsthand of loved ones working alongside patients during recovery, I know it is a clinical imperative. It is my hope this new facility will ease their burdens in some small way so they can focus on helping their loved ones heal.”
The grant is a direct extension of Blank’s belief that patients can live more fulfilling lives when their hearts and minds are cared for alongside their illnesses and injuries, and continues the Foundation’s charitable support of Atlanta institutions, including Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Spelman College, Atlanta Humane Society, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights and the Atlanta BeltLine, among many others.
For more than two decades, the Blank Family Foundation has supported the center’s donor-funded programs like recreation therapy, which are vital to Shepherd’s industry-leading patient outcomes.
From navigating airports to scuba diving and water sports to gardening, music, art and learning self-advocacy, Shepherd has the most extensive recreation therapy program in the nation, empowering patients to embrace life fully and re-engage in their communities after they graduate.
“Throughout Shepherd’s more than 46 years of experience, we’ve consistently witnessed how integral families are in the rehabilitation process,” said Shepherd Center CEO Sarah Morrison.
“With the expansion of our housing program, we will reduce the financial and emotional burden on our patients’ families so they can focus on learning how to support their loved ones and each other through rehabilitation and as they return to their communities.”
- Business Brief
- Shepherd Center
- Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation
- spinal cord injuries
- brain injuries
- multiple sclerosis
- Alana Shepherd
- SHARE Military Initiative
- Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
- Spelman College
- Atlanta Humane Society
- the National Center for Civil and Human Rights
- Atlanta BeltLine
- Sarah Morrison