Although a difficult circumstance brought Robert, Susan and Allison deRose to the Sharp Memorial Rehabilitation Center, their experience has inspired a legacy of new beginnings for countless patients.
After suffering several traumatic brain injuries as a result of a car accident, Robert and Susan’s daughter, Allison, received care at Sharp Memorial Rehabilitation Center. Sharp physicians, therapists and nurses helped Allison redevelop the skills to successfully return to her community and live on her own.
Grateful for the high-quality care Allison received, Robert partnered with Ray Willenberg in 1988 to help lead the Survivors Rehabilitation Foundation (SRF), an organization created by Ray two years earlier after Ray’s sister Renee also suffered a traumatic brain injury following a car accident and received care at Sharp Rehabilitation Center. Ray sought to give other traumatic brain injury survivors access to the same comprehensive care Renee received through SRF. Robert joined the effort after learning that some patients transitioning from acute care did not have adequate insurance or resources to continue rehabilitation.
For more than two decades, through annual golf tournaments and an endowment established with the Sharp HealthCare Foundation, SRF has supported scholarships to the Community Re-entry Program at Sharp Memorial Rehabilitation Center for traumatic brain injury survivors unable to afford the complete care they need.
Today, Ray and Robert continue the work of SRF in partnership with the Sharp HealthCare Foundation, helping more patients reach their fullest potential in recovery.
Both Robert and Ray also give back to Sharp as members of the Sharp HealthCare Foundation Board of Directors.
In late 2013, Robert and Susan deRose extended their family’s generous philanthropy in support of Sharp Rehabilitation Services to new heights with a $1 million gift to name the Allison deRose Rehabilitation Center at Sharp Memorial Hospital. The new inpatient center features a soothing environment and state-of-the-art equipment for patients recovering from brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, strokes and other debilitating diseases. Inspired by Allison’s remarkable recovery, the family’s gift is now helping to make possible the same extraordinary second chances for traumatic brain injury survivors.
In 2019, Newsweek listed the Sharp Allison deRose Rehabilitation Center at No. 22 in California for America’s Best Physical Rehabilitation Hospital — and the first and only one in San Diego.