Cleveland, OH,
06:39 AM

MetroHealth's NORSCIS Designated as One of Few Spinal Cord Injury Centers in Nation, Receives $2.3 Million Grant

The Northeast Ohio Spinal Cord Injury System program was renewed as one of only 14 federally designated Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Model Systems Centers in the nation.

This designation comes with a $2.3 million grant over five years from the National Institutes on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). MetroHealth’s spinal cord injury program is the only one in Ohio to receive the designation.

NIDILRR awards SCI Model Systems Center grants to institutions that are national leaders in medical research and patient care. It continues to put MetroHealth on the map as a nationally recognized leader in SCI care and research.

“For more than a half century, MetroHealth has been Northeast Ohio’s leader in care for individuals with spinal cord injury,” said John Chae, MD, MetroHealth Vice President of Research and Sponsored Programs and Chair of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation “We provide the highest level of comprehensive specialty services to patients with spinal cord injury, from the point of injury through rehabilitation and into the community as they regain quality of life.”

MetroHealth’s Rehabilitation Institute was recently recognized by U.S News & World Report as #24 in the nation and #1 in Ohio for the care of patients recovering from complex conditions such as SCI, stroke, traumatic brain injury and critical burns. Last year, Newsweek designated the MetroHealth Rehabilitation Institute as one of our nation’s best rehabilitation hospitals.

The Northeast Ohio Regional Spinal Cord Injury System (NORSCIS) Program at MetroHealth is focused on generating new knowledge to improve the lives of individuals with traumatic SCI. We accomplish this through research and treatment, drawing on more than 20 years of experience as a Level 1 Adult Trauma Center.

The NORSCIS is operated with Case Western Reserve University. The program is led by Kim Anderson, PhD and James Wilson, DO, faculty in the department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) and the MetroHealth Center for Rehabilitation Research.

NORSCIS provides a comprehensive continuum of care for individuals with SCI that includes emergency medical services, acute care services, acute medical rehabilitation services, and post-acute services; conducts high-quality research that is targeted at reducing the health burden of SCI by generating evidence-based interventions; and contributes significant numbers of underrepresented minorities to the National SCI Database.

The site-specific research project will test the feasibility of early administration of gabapentin to enhance neurologic recovery. This multi-disciplinary grant includes co-investigators Drs. Christina Oleson (PM&R), Michael Kelly (Neurological Surgery), Nimitt Patel (Trauma), and Douglas Gunzler (Population Health).

Dr. Anderson is a Professor of PM&R and Dr. Wilson is an Assistant Professor of PM&R at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

About The MetroHealth System

The MetroHealth System is redefining health care by going beyond medical treatment to improve the foundations of community health and well-being: affordable housing, a cleaner environment, economic opportunity and access to fresh food, convenient transportation, legal help and other services. The system strives to become as good at preventing disease as it is at treating it.

The system’s more than 600 doctors, 1,700 nurses and 7,800 employees go to work each day with a mission of service, to their patients and to the community. As Cuyahoga County’s safety-net health system, MetroHealth plays an essential role in the region, caring for anyone and everyone, regardless of an ability to pay.

Founded in 1837, MetroHealth operates four hospitals, four emergency departments and more than 20 health centers and 40 additional sites throughout Cuyahoga County. The system serves more than 300,000 patients, two-thirds of whom are uninsured or covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

MetroHealth is home to Cuyahoga County’s most experienced Level I Adult Trauma Center, verified since 1992, and Ohio’s only adult and pediatric trauma and burn center.

As an academic medical center, MetroHealth is committed to research and to teaching and training tomorrow’s caregivers. Each active staff physician holds a faculty appointment at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Its main campus hospital houses the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s Lincoln-West School of Science & Health, the only high school in America located inside a hospital.

Knowing that good health is about much more than good medical care, MetroHealth has launched the Institute for H.O.P.E.™ (Health, Opportunity, Partnership, Empowerment), which uses a coordinated, collaborative and strategic approach to help patients with non-medical needs such as healthy food, stable housing and job training.

The MetroHealth Glick Center, a new 11-floor hospital, is under construction on the system’s main campus in Cleveland and is scheduled to welcome its first patients in October 2022. The billion-dollar project is the cornerstone of a wider neighborhood revitalization effort led by the system and its partners in the community.

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