Dr. Joan Carney is the Director of the Fairmount Rehabilitation Programs within Kennedy Krieger’s Pediatric Rehabilitation continuum. These programs include the Specialized Transition Program, the Constraint-induced and Bimanual Movement Therapy Program, and the Community Rehabilitation Program. In addition Dr. Carney directs the Inpatient Educational Services Unit and a training grant working with parents and professionals in the community, the Specialized Health Needs Interagency Collaboration project.
After completing her undergraduate degree from The Catholic University in Special Education in 1978 and acquiring her Maryland State teaching credentials, Dr. Carney started her career teaching in Maryland public schools. She later completed her Master’s degree in Special Education and rehabilitation from the George Washington University in 1981. In 1986 Dr. Carney began working at the Kennedy Krieger Institute as an Educational Specialist in the pediatric rehabilitation continuum specializing in the assessment and educational management of children and adolescents with brain injury. In 1995 she launched Kennedy Krieger’s intensive day rehabilitation programs serving patients with brain injury, spinal cord dysfunction, cerebral palsy and other developmental disabilities and adolescents with chronic pain. Dr. Carney completed her doctorate from the Johns Hopkins University in 2012 with her dissertation studying the functional outcomes of children with hemiparesis who participated in constraint-induced movement therapy. Her interest in serving children and adolescents with brain injury continues as she currently serves on the board of directors for the Brain Injury Association of Maryland and the Governor’s Advisory Board for TBI.
Dr. Carney’s research focus is on the efficacy and best practice protocols for Constraint-induced Movement Therapy (CIMT) and other therapy practices being provided in the clinical programs under her direction. Her doctoral dissertation, “The Effects of Constraint-induced Movement Therapy on Activities Important to Independent School Participation of Children with Hemiparesis” represents her strong belief in the need to focus rehabilitation goals on school and community life skills. Dr. Carney’s program is currently part of a phase III Multi-site RCT, funded by NIH StrokeNet. Her specific interests in this endeavor are in both the physical outcomes and other collateral findings her team has started to document in language and other cognitive domains.