Over the years Lakeshore has worked on numerous studies with researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). So when Lakeshore began discussions on expansion in the research area, it made perfect sense to approach UAB about creating a more formal relationship.

In the fall of 2009, a first of its kind collaborative between a major academic research university and a non-profit organization serving individuals with physical disabilities was formed with one simple goal in mind, making people’s lives better. Today, the UAB/Lakeshore Research Collaborative, a joint effort between Lakeshore and UAB’s School of Health Professions, is well on its way to becoming a world-class research program in rehabilitative science. The collaborative links Lakeshore’s extraordinary programs for people with physically disabling conditions with UAB’s research expertise.

In December 2011, Dr. James Rimmer was named head of the UAB/Lakeshore Research Collaborative.

Dr. Rimmer was recruited from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. An internationally known researcher in rehabilitation sciences, Rimmer has been developing and directing physical activity and health promotion programs for people with disabilities for 30 years. He has published more than 85 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters on various topics related to physical activity, health promotion, secondary conditions and disability. Rimmer directs two federally funded centers, the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD), and the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Interactive Exercise Technologies and Exercise Physiology for People with Disabilities.

He strongly believes that people with disabilities or chronic conditions can and should have health and wellness and says, “Being physically active is good for every body.” This is the slogan on the website for NCHPAD which Rimmer heads with Associate Director Amy Rauworth.

Ms. Rauworth joined Lakeshore Foundation in 2012 as the Director of Policy and Public Affairs. She also works within the University of Alabama Birmingham/Lakeshore Foundation Research Collaborative, where she is the Associate Director of NCHPAD.