Press Releases

Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher Announces $1 Million in Federal Funding for Memorial Hermann

Houston, October 6, 2020 | Rocio Cruz

Today, Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07) announced $1 million in federal funding for The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research at Memorial Hermann (TIRR-MH) to support the Independent Living Research Utilization program (ILRU).  The ILRU is a nationally leading technical assistance and training center, supporting over 400 centers for independent living and 56 statewide and territorial independent living programs.

This funding will allow ILRU to continue its training, consulting, and publication of resources that support community-based organizations in their operation to provide community social services for people with disabilities and older adults who rely on these centers to live independent lives in their communities.  The funding will also allow TIRR-MH to avoid layoffs for at least five critical staff members.  Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher advocated for this funding and wrote a letter of support for TIRR-MH’s grant applications. 

“The Independent Living Research Utilization Program (ILRU) at TIRR Memorial Hermann plays an essential role in supporting people with disabilities and older Americans who rely on independent living centers to live healthy and independent lives in their communities,” said Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher.  “With COVID-19 affecting how we connect with one another, I was proud to advocate for this funding that will allow ILRU to continue its important peer-to-peer work and mentorship virtually with centers across Texas and the nation, and ensure it can keep vital workers on staff.  I will continue to advocate to ensure our community continues to receive the resources it needs.”

“The Independent Living Research Utilization (ILRU) Program at TIRR Memorial Hermann is grateful to receive this grant for training and technical assistance to support centers for independent living and statewide independent living councils,” said Rhonda Abbott, Interim Senior Vice President and CEO of TIRR Memorial Hermann. “This funding allows ILRU to continue the important work that they have done since 1977 in creating opportunities for independence and community living for older adults and people with disabilities. This commitment continues the legacy of advocacy work that forms the foundation of TIRR Memorial Hermann.”

“Greater numbers of our nation’s citizens require community supports to remain in their communities,” said Lex Frieden, ILRU Director, “and fewer and fewer of the baby boom generation are willing to suffer the isolation and heightened risk of living in nursing homes and other nursing facilities. We at ILRU conducted the proof of concept of this community based organization to support community living and we are pleased to continue our work in supporting centers and state councils in their work.”

“We are proud to continue this work which prepares centers for independent living and statewide independent living councils that play a vital role in supporting people with disabilities of any age to live in the community,” said Richard Petty, director of ILRU’s training and technical assistance program and ILRU Co-Director. “Centers and councils are fully engaged in addressing Social Determinates of Health which assist large numbers of the over 50 Million people with disabilities who live in our nation.” 

The funding is provided through two grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration on Disability Independent Living Training and Technical Assistance Grant program.  

Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher’s letter of support can be found here.