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U of U Health Announces Richard A. & Carmen J. Rogers Endowed Chair

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University of Utah Health today announced a gift of $1.5 million to create the Richard A. and Carmen J. Rogers Endowment Fund within the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R), University of Utah Health Sciences Center, as well as a Presidential Endowed Chair named the ‘Richard A. and Carmen J. Rogers Endowed Chair established by Richard A. and Carmen J. Rogers.’ Steven R. Edgley, M.D., has been named as the first recipient.

Edgley is the Director of Stroke Rehabilitation at the Craig H. Neilsen Rehabilitation Hospital at the University of Utah, and is involved in both clinical and research aspects of stroke rehabilitation. Edgley’s research focuses on new methods to facilitate greater function after stroke. His interest in neurological care was a result of his own family’s experience.

Not only did Edgley’s aunt contract polio at a young age in the 1950’s, requiring complex neurological care, but his own experience with stroke and stroke recovery goes far beyond the clinical setting as he himself is a stroke survivor. “When I had a seemingly catastrophic neurological event myself in 2001, my aunt's determination nearly fifty years earlier provided me with the seeds of inspiration and will to do all I could to foster recovery for myself, and then for all within my reach,” Edgley said.

Edgley is the author of two books about stroke recovery and rehabilitation that include reference to his personal experiences as a stroke survivor. His aim is to promote greater functional independence in stroke patients throughout the clinical continuum of care and through the spectrum of disabilities of impairment related to stroke.

Since joining the U of U Health faculty, Edgley has had great success in his research, clinical, and education efforts. He was appointed Director of Stoke Rehabilitation in 2006 and Outpatient Medical Director in 2008. Additionally, since 2006, Edgley has been an advocate with the Utah Department of Health on increased awareness of stroke and stroke rehabilitation.

“This gift from the Carmen and Richard Rogers family will benefit the millions of lives touched by the effects of stroke in this region, our nation, and in the world,” Edgley said. “Furthermore, this gift will enable more cutting-edge research, which will lead to the enhancement of stroke recovery outcomes in the future. It is our shared clarion call to provide state-of-the-art care, education, and resources so people may live with the highest quality of life and the most dignity possible, that they may, in fact, thrive.”

“The university is most appreciative of the donors’ desire to support the Department of PM&R at University of Utah Health in this way, and the tremendous good that their gift will provide for generations to come,” said David Steinberg, M.D., Chair of the Department of PM&R, University of Utah Health. “The donors have established the highest degree of personal ethics and compassion which shine forth as an example of excellence in the community, the university, and the State of Utah.”

The Presidential Endowed Chair will be awarded to Edgley for a term of five years with possible extensions if appropriate, effective February 1, 2023. Presidential Endowed Chairs will further those programs whose primary mission is to ‘provide rehabilitation, physical and emotional therapy, including speech therapy, to patients who have suffered disabling strokes.’