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Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation Presents ‘Virtual Reality’ Event with Skip Rizzo

Albert “Skip” Rizzo, PhD
Albert “Skip” Rizzo, PhD (Contributed)

Virtual reality is moving rapidly from the game world to the medical field. Computer-simulated scenarios that imitate the sights, sounds and fears of the real world are making a leap from military use to medical treatment of trauma and other health conditions.

“Virtual reality allows for people to engage with their environments and work through challenges in a unique way, offering new hope and a better quality of life for those who occupy a real world of paranoia, trauma or pain,” explained psychologist Albert “Skip” Rizzo, PhD, associate director for medical virtual reality at University of Southern California (USC) Institute for Creative Technologies.

At USC, Dr. Rizzo and his team work on virtual reality systems for post-stroke and traumatic brain injury, prosthetic-use training, autistic-spectrum disorder, and teaching emotional coping skills for military combat.

Dr. Rizzo designs virtual reality systems for clinical assessment and rehabilitation. He led the development of sophisticated software to treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD} in war veterans, which earned him the American Psychological Association’s 2010 Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Treatment of Trauma.

He is senior editor of the MIT Press journal Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, and is on the editorial boards for the Cognitive Technology, Journal of Computer Animation and Virtual Worlds and Media Psychology.

He will speak in Santa Barbara on Oct. 4, 2015, at the 7th annual Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation’s Empowerment through Medical Rehabilitation Educational Series.

The public event will focus on innovative methods to assess and provide treatment for people with a variety of health conditions using virtual reality.

The event will be held at the Fess Parker: A Doubletree Resort by Hilton, 633 E. Cabrillo Blvd in Santa Barbara, with the following schedule:

» 2-5:00 p.m.: Free Assistive Technology Fair

» 5-6:30 p.m.: Dr. Rizzo presentation and Q&A

» 7-9:00 p.m.: Dinner followed by panel discussion with virtual reality experts

Tickets are now available for presentation only for $25 per person or $15 per student.

Tickets for presentation, dinner, and expert panel discussion are $250 per person.

Purchase online at www.cottagehealth.org/virtualreality, or by calling Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation (CRHF) at .805.569-8999 ext. 82143.

The purpose of the CRHF Empowerment through Medical Rehabilitation Educational Series is to share important information with the community about current topics and research, and to advance understanding of medical rehabilitation

About Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital

Cottage Rehabilitant Hospital (CRH) is dedicated to providing excellent care for survivors of stroke, brain and spinal cord injury, orthopedic injury and other conditions.

For more than 50 years, the not-for-profit CRH (formerly known as Rehabilitation Institute of Santa Barbara) has provided comprehensive medical rehabilitation services for both outpatient and inpatient care.

CRH is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) in Comprehensive Integrated Inpatient Rehabilitation Programs, Stroke Specialty Programs and Brain Injury Specialty Programs.

CRH's Transdisciplinary Team works together with the patient and caregiver to achieve maximum successful outcomes. CRH is a program of Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and Cottage Health which includes Cottage Children’s Hospital, Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital and Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital.

Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation (CRHF) is a separate philanthropic foundation, directed by an independent board of directors, and devotes its energies solely toward charitable giving that supports CRH.


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