Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Receives $25,000 Quality of Life Grant from The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation for Adaptive Fitness Center

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Photo Caption: Guss Sabini (left) and Ed Misiak (right) work out on the adaptive gym equipment at Optimal Fitness at Good Shepherd.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (May 7, 2024) – Good Shepherd Rehabilitation is proud to announce that it has been awarded $25,000 as part of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation National Paralysis Resource Center (NPRC) 2023 Direct Effect 2nd Cycle Quality of Life grants. Fifty-nine grants totaling $1,271,125 were awarded. The Quality of Life Grants Program supports nonprofit organizations that empower individuals living with paralysis. Since the Quality of Life Grants Program’s inception, more than 3,770 grants totaling $43 million have been awarded. Funding for this program was made possible through a cooperative agreement with the Administration for Community Living (ACL grant #90PRRC0006-03-01).

The Reeve Foundation’s National Paralysis Resource Center has several grants under the Quality of Life program awarding grants in different category areas, varying in different amounts. The Direct Effect grants program funds organizations to support a wide range of projects and activities that will impact individuals living with paralysis and their families.

“These awards are about restoring independence to our constituents,” said Dan McNeal, Director of the Quality of Life Grants Program, Reeve Foundation. “Our work and number one goal are to enhance the quality of life of people living with paralysis. It is our honor to continue to collaborate with so many dedicated organizations, which have selflessly given their time and efforts to ensure that accessibility and inclusivity remain embedded in the fabric of their programs.”

Good Shepherd will use the grant to continue providing specially trained exercise physiologist services, helping Optimal Fitness at Good Shepherd members with paralysis reach their fitness goals.

“As the only adaptive fitness center within a 95-mile radius of the Lehigh Valley, Optimal Fitness provides an adaptive environment and structure for patients with complex neurologic conditions, such as spinal cord injury, to continue progressing and promoting recovery supplemental to their therapy and also following discharge from formal therapy,” said James Kelley, PT, DPT, OCS, Outpatient Regional Manager at Good Shepherd. 

Good Shepherd currently has dozens of members who utilize the gym, located on the first floor of Good Shepherd’s Hyland Center for Health & Technology, 850 S. 5th St., Allentown.

Guss Sabini of Whitehall, Pa., is one of them; he’s been an Optimal Fitness at Good Shepherd member since his spinal cord injury in 2023. When Sabini started at the gym, he had trouble walking on his own; today, he’s a dedicated gym member who is able to walk without an assistive device.

“I’m starting to get addicted here,” Sabini said of the adaptive gym. “I come twice a week and spend an additional hour to use the electric bike. I love coming here to work hard and get stronger.”

To learn more about Optimal Fitness, call 610-776-3167 or visit

About the Reeve Foundation:

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research and improving the quality of life for individuals and families impacted by paralysis. By uniting the brightest minds in the field, we are working tirelessly to accelerate scientific discoveries across the field of spinal cord research by investing in labs across the globe. Additionally, through a cooperative agreement with the Administration for Community Living, the Reeve Foundation’s National Paralysis Resource Center (NPRC) promotes the health, well-being, and independence of people living with paralysis, providing comprehensive information, resources, and referral services assisting over 100,000 individuals and families since its launch in 2002. The Reeve Foundation is committed to elevating our community’s voices and needs to achieve greater representation and independence. We meet all 20 of the Better Business Bureau’s standards for charity accountability and hold the BBB’s Charity Seal.  For more information, please visit our website at or call 800-225-0292.


About Good Shepherd Rehabilitation:

Good Shepherd Rehabilitation, an independent, not-for-profit rehabilitation network with more than 60 locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, is committed to transforming the lives of people of all ages and abilities through curiosity, creativity, expertise and innovation. Headquartered in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Good Shepherd Rehabilitation specializes in treatment of spinal cord injury, brain injury, stroke, major multi-trauma, pulmonary disease, respiratory failure, musculoskeletal/orthopedics and complex pediatric conditions. Good Shepherd Rehabilitation also partners with Penn Medicine to provide rehabilitation and specialty services in the greater Philadelphia area and New Jersey through Good Shepherd Penn Partners. Info:


Mike Walbert
Director, Marketing
Good Shepherd Rehabilitation + Good Shepherd Penn Partners