September is National Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Awareness Month. The National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), one of ACL’s newest divisions, funds the NIDILRR’s Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems (SCIMS) Program. The SCIMS program was established in 1970s, and conducts research on recovery and service delivery outcomes individuals with SCI.
NIDILRR is pleased to announce 14 new federally-designated SCIMS centers. The following centers are funded for 5-years cycle (2016-2021) : University of Alabama—Birmingham, AL; Rancho Research Institute—Downey, CA; Craig Hospital—Englewood, CO; University of Miami—Miami, FL; Shepherd Center—Atlanta, GA; Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago—Chicago, IL; Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital/New England Regional SCI—Boston, MA; Kessler Foundation—West Orange, NJ; Mount Sinai Hospital—NY, NY; Case Western Reserve—Cleveland, OH; Ohio State University—Columbus, OH; Thomas Jefferson University—Philadelphia, PA; University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA; and lastly, Memorial Hermann—Houston, TX.
This month, NIDILRR also funded the world’s oldest and largest SCI Database, the National Spinal Cord Injury Database (NSCID), housed at the University of Alabama-Birmingham since 1984. The NSCID captures data from an estimated 13% of new SCI cases in the U.S. As of March 2016, the NSCID registry contains data on 31,645 participants. This is a longitudinal database, with up to 40 years of data on some individuals.
The SCIMS Program and database collection have evolved into a multi-site platform that can serve as a resource for testing promising interventions to maximize quality of life and independent living for people with SCI.
In addition to conducting research and collecting long term data on SCI, the SCIMS centers also develop and disseminate informational materials on various SCI topics, in collaboration with the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC). The purpose of these materials, based on both research and clinical expertise, is to provide as reader-friendly information resources for individuals with SCI, their family members, clinicians, and other interested users. These materials are available in several formats including factsheets, narrated slide shows, and videos, and can be accessed from the MSKTC website.