State-of-the-Art Care and Technology at Daemen College

by Annette Pinder

As a leader in health-science education, research and treatment, Daemen College is excited to open the Todd & Leslie Shatkin Institute for Mobility Innovation & Technology (IMIT). The state-of-the-art institute will offer leading robotic devices and assistive technology to restore motion and function to individuals who sustain a range of injuries and illnesses.

With a recent gift of $740,000 from the Dr. Todd & Leslie Shatkin Philanthropic Fund, more than $1.5 million has been raised for the Amherst-based facility, which is projected to open in spring 2023.

The institute will offer services currently unavailable in the region, such as exoskeleton-based gait training and robotics for neurodegenerative, orthopedic, and other conditions. Dr. Michael Brogan, Daemen’s Dean and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs, calls IMIT a game-changer in its ability to help people of all ages and abilities achieve optimal outcomes, while becoming a regional destination.

The Shatkin Institute will help people recovering from a stroke, brain injury, concussion, spinal cord injury, and those dealing with multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy. Brogan says IMIT will be collaborative, not competitive, and a place where clinicians, patients, and the community have access to some of the most sophisticated equipment in the country. It will feature a robotic exoskeleton system that can move a person’s body through walking and motion cycles, anti-gravity treadmills, mechano-stimulation devices, an ultrasound diagnostic neuromusculoskeletal machine, and advanced pediatric equipment. It will also be a key educational resource for Daemen students and faculty, medical professionals, patients, and caregivers.

Dr. Gary Olson, president of Daemen, said, “With faculty expertise in a range of health science specialties, we look forward to helping patients make significant and sustained progress.”
“With a longstanding foundation of medical expertise at Daemen, the addition of IMIT will further advance the vision for promoting a medical corridor in Amherst that offers cutting-edge services,” said Amherst Town Supervisor Brian Kulpa, noting the number of health care sites that are continuing to expand Amherst’s biomedical economy.

Meanwhile, A.J. Baynes, CEO and President of the Amherst Chamber of Commerce, said, “I applaud Todd and Leslie Shatkin for their generosity and their continued philanthropic support in our community.”

IMIT has received support from several foundations, government sources, and donors, including $300,000 from the Odd Fellow & Rebekah Benefit Fund, $250,000 from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation, and $115,000 from Empire State Development. Gifts have also been provided by the James H. Cummings Foundation, The Children’s Guild Foundation and Garman Family Foundation, administered by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo.

“IMIT is possible through partnerships and collaboration,” said Dr. Laura Edsberg, professor and Director of the Natural and Health Sciences Research Center at Daemen, who will co-lead IMIT. “This institute embodies our educational and service missions to elevate human dignity and serve our community.”

Learn more about the institute at