In 2015, the United States Congress unanimously voted to approve September as National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness month. Over the past two years, with the help of generous donations from the public, The United Spinal Association has been able to further their mission by expanding available resources, like monthly webinars and peer support groups, to the over 275,000 Americans living with spinal cord injuries. It is estimated that there are approximately 17,500 new cases of spinal cord injury (SCI) in the United States every year, with almost 40% of these injuries coming from vehicle crashes. Since 1946 the United Spinal Association has been dedicated to providing individuals living with spinal cord injuries and their families with support, valuable information and resources.
If you or a loved one are interested in joining the United Spinal Association, it is free and easy to join from their website. All members receive access to their network of resources along with the New Mobility monthly magazine membership. They also offer a team of trained consultants to answer any questions or concerns. Another great resource that’s available on their website is the collection of monthly webinars. These webinars typically occur bi-monthly and cover topics ranging from healthcare and personal fitness to helping gain employment. Throughout the course of 2016, the United Spinal Association focused on improving three areas in particular: influence, impact and innovation.
In terms of influence, they helped work with the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) to secure the passage of a bipartisan bill that will help reform VA leadership and maintain a healthy workforce. For impact, the United Spinal Association expanded their peer mentoring program to now include 300 trained mentors. For anyone interested in starting a peer support group in your area, the United Spinal Association bi-annually awards $500 grants. An application for the grant is available on their website displayed below. Finally, for innovation, system enhancements have allowed their Spinal Cord Resource Center to increase cases handled by 25%.
For more information on National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month please visit www.unitedspinal.org