John Stone, PhD, returned to his hometown of Buffalo to join UB’s Department of Rehabilitation Science as a clinical associate professor in 1991. Prior to that, he had worked in Brazil for 17 years as a faculty member at several universities.
His connections in Brazil helped launch UB’s short-term study abroad exchange program with the Universidade Presidente Antonio Carlos (UNIPAC), a private multi-campus institution located in several cities in the state of Minas Gerais.
His interest in and appreciation of diverse cultures—which began with his service in India as a Peace Corps volunteer in the late 1960s—inspire his research interests and roles with the School of Public Health and Health Professions. Through his research studies, Stone explores international rehabilitation and the relationship between culture and disability. He is also interested in the process of dissemination and utilization of information, as well as the translation of information from research to practice.
Stone is the principal investigator on a grant from the National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) for the Center for International Rehabilitation Research Information and Exchange (CIRRIE).
Located in the School of Public Health and Health Professions
since 1999, CIRRIE facilitates the sharing of information and
expertise between the U.S. and world-wide partners. Unlike
U.S.-based centers that work to improve the conditions of people
with disabilities in other countries, CIRRIE’s role is to
identify and disseminate in the U.S. information found useful in
According to Stone, CIRRIE will continue to expand its online Database of International Rehabilitation Research, disseminate international information resources and develop educational resources for training future rehabilitation professionals.
A key aspect of this training is strengthening the cultural competence of rehabilitation professionals in the United States, especially those who work with recent immigrants. The center has developed books and monographs on this topic, has conducted international conferences and has developed curriculum guides for infusing cultural competency education in the curricula of rehabilitation-related university programs.
Additionally, CIRRIE is currently developing simulated patient
case scenarios, in cooperation with UB’s Behling Simulation
Center, involving simulations using both standardized patients and
"The use of simulated patient encounters to teach cultural competence is novel to the area of rehabilitation education," he said. "Physical therapy students are participating in the effectiveness testing of the simulations."
Stone also serves as co-director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre on Health and Housing. The WHO maintains a network of what it designates collaborating centers, research institutions and programs—which can be as small as a research laboratory or as large as a ministry of health—that perform international research and development work relevant to WHO’s objectives.
The Collaborating Centre on Health and Housing, which began in
1988, is a joint effort of the university’s School of Public
Health and Health Professions and the School of Architecture and
Planning. Recently re-designated through 2016 by the WHO, the
centre is a member of the Inter-American Network on Healthy
The objectives of the Centre include research, development and dissemination to ensure healthy housing and neighborhoods for all. Centre activities planned for the period covered by the re-designation include: