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

Founded in 1837, MetroHealth is leading the way to a healthier you and a healthier community through service, teaching, discovery, and teamwork. Cuyahoga County’s public, safety-net hospital system, MetroHealth meets people where they are, providing care through four hospitals, four emergency departments, and more than 20 health centers and 40 additional sites. Each day, our 8,000 employees focus on providing our community with equitable health care–through patient-focused research, access to care, and support services–that seeks to eradicate health disparities rooted in systematic barriers. For more information, visit