Two West Virginia University Health Sciences programs are recipients of grants from the Ross Foundation totaling $57,000.

A $33,000 grant to the WVU Eye Institute will expand the Children’s Vision Rehabilitation Program. The Ross Foundation is supporting two low vision specialty clinics and one weekend retreat in the Parkersburg area for children and teens. Young people with low or no vision from Wood, Ritchie, Doddridge, Jackson and Pleasant counties will gain skills, knowledge and confidence in a fun atmosphere, improving their chances for future independence and happiness.

The WVU Physical Therapy Department received a $24,000 grant to purchase GAITRite analysis system equipment. The GAITRite system will allow clinicians to quantitatively measure changes in walking gait. Gait data is critical in evaluating the success of treatments for brain lesions, Parkinson’s disease and other neurologic disorders. The GAITRite gift will greatly enhance the accuracy of assessments performed by WVU physical therapists.

Judie Charlton, M.D., the Jane McDermott Shott Chair of Ophthalmology at the WVU Eye Institute, and Mary Beth Mandich, Ph.D., chair of the physical therapy department, expressed appreciation for the Ross Foundation’s gifts. They said improved services made possible by the gift will make a great impact on the lives of West Virginia families struggling with vision, traumatic brain injuries, and neurological diseases.

Both gifts were made through the WVU Foundation, a private non-profit corporation that generates and provides support for West Virginia University. For more information about the Children’s Vision Rehabilitation Program, visit

For more information about the Department of Physical Therapy, see


CONTACT: Kim Fetty, HSC News Service

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