Innovative brain injury rehabilitation center breaks ground in Southeast Houston

The Moody Neurorehabilitation Institute is expected to be finished in 2023. Image courtesy of Moody Neurorehabilitation Institute

The Moody Neurorehabilitation Institute broke ground July 14 on a 64,000-square-foot research and rehabilitation center at Nassau Bay's Space Park, near NASA's Johnson Space Center.

The Nassau Bay City Council granted a permit last year for the project, which will provide room for up to 40 residential patients and space for outpatient services. About 150 people will work at the facility, which is scheduled to open in early 2023.

Aside from private inpatient rooms, the new center will feature a therapy gym, an outdoor therapy courtyard, and family apartments. The facility's "urban house" design will highlight natural colors and textures in an effort to stimulate patients' senses during the recovery process.

The new facility will 40 resident patients, as well as provide outpatient care. Image courtesy of Moody Neurorehabilitation Institute

Among the 40 or so people who attended the groundbreaking ceremony were representatives of Moody Neuro, Houston-based architecture firm Kirksey Architecture, Galveston-based general contractor JW Kelso Construction, and Dallas-based project manager Pritchard Associates.

The Moody Neurorehabilitation Institute treats people who've suffered brain injuries. The nonprofit operates a rehabilitation center in Galveston and another Lubbock, as well as a long-term care facility in each of the two cities. In fiscal 2019, the organization reported nearly $27.8 million in revenue and more than $15.1 million in expenses.

The facility broke ground this week. Photo courtesy of Moody Neurorehabilitation Institute

Philanthropist Robert Moody Sr., chairman emeritus of Galveston-based Moody National Bank, founded what now is Moody Neuro in 1982 after his son Russell sustained serious injuries in a car crash that caused a traumatic brain injury.

"By helping our patients minimize their disability while facilitating their recovery, we provide each individual with the ability to re-enter the community feeling healthier, more confident, and with tools to enjoy an improved quality of life," says Dr. Ana Durand, medical director of Moody Neuro Galveston.

The Brain Injury Association of America says more than 144,000 Texans sustain a traumatic brain injury each year, with more than 5,700 of them become permanently disabled. Roughly 381,000 Texans are living with a disability connected to traumatic brain injury.

The 64,000-square-foot campus is unlike any other. Photo courtesy of Moody Neurorehabilitation Institute

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The World Petroleum Conference, hosted later this year in Houston, has announced an innovation focus for the first time. Photo via Getty Images

The World Petroleum Congress, which plans to return to in-person status in December, is adding a new wrinkle — a pitch competition — to this year's event.

On August 4, the World Petroleum Congress announced the launch this year of the Innovation Zone, which will enable energy pioneers to showcase their offerings. The 2021 World Petroleum Congress — hosted in Houston this time around — is set for December 5-9 at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

Houston-based energy giant ConocoPhillips is sponsoring the Innovation Zone.

"For more than a century, innovation has enabled our industry to keep pace with the growing demand for safe and reliable energy," Bill Bullock, executive vice president and chief financial officer of ConocoPhillips, says in a news release. He adds that the Innovation Zone will highlight "innovations that can propel our industry's purposeful journey through the energy transition and into the future."

In all, 32 startups and individuals will pitch their products or practices on the World Petroleum Congress stage. One winner will be honored with the inaugural Energy Innovator Award.

The Innovation Zone is open to energy companies, private entities, and individuals working as independent contractors. Proposals will be evaluated on seven criteria:

  • Innovation
  • Creativity
  • Potential or actual technical or business success
  • Environmental impact
  • Stakeholder impact
  • Scalability
  • Broad-based uses

Applications for the Innovation Zone are due Aug. 20. To obtain an application, visit the World Petroleum Congress website. Representatives of ConocoPhillips and the World Petroleum Congress will sift through the applications and pick 32 finalists, who will be notified in early September.

"Startups, with their innovative business models, will play a decisive role in shaping a sustainable energy future, and for participating companies, this is a good opportunity to present and forge new links with key stakeholders and investors," says Serafina Lalany, interim executive director of entrepreneurship and innovation nonprofit Houston Exponential.

Aside from ConocoPhillips, sponsors of this year's World Petroleum Congress include Chevron, Halliburton, Accenture, Hess, ExxonMobil, BP, Qatar Petroleum, Baker Hughes, and Saudi Aramco.

The 23rd World Petroleum Congress was supposed to happen last year in Houston but was shifted to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 10,000 people are expected to attend this year's event. It's been estimated that the World Petroleum Congress will pump $60 million to $80 million into the Houston economy.

Staged by the World Petroleum Council, the event hasn't been held in North America since 1987, when Houston hosted it. It's known as the "Olympics" of the oil and gas sector.

The 24th World Petroleum Congress will be held in 2023 in Calgary, Canada. The event traditionally takes place every three years.

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