The University of Miami’s South Florida Spinal Cord Injury Model System (SFSCIMS) is a collaborative project among the Departments of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis at The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and the Jackson Health System. The SFSCIMS provides state-of-the-art inpatient and follow-up rehabilitation care for spinal cord injuries (SCIs) and conducts rehabilitation research that further contributes to the evidence basis of care for individuals with SCI.
The SFSCIMS program activities target the “health and function” domain specified within NIDILRR’s Long-Range Plan with the overarching goal of attaining excellence in clinical care and research endeavors for those with SCIs. The objectives are to:
1) Provide an exemplary, comprehensive, multidisciplinary system of rehabilitation care for persons with SCI, from initial injury through to long-term rehabilitation services and community participation;
2) Contribute data from the racially and ethnically diverse SFSCIMS population to the National SCIMS Database in order to assess long-term outcomes of people with SCI, and maintain both on-site and SCIMS National SCI Statistical Center quality-assurance and quality-control procedures for this database;
3) Perform a hypothesis-driven and innovative site-specific research project to characterize associations among body composition, chronic pain, and evoked pain sensitivity, and to evaluate the role of obesity-related systemic inflammation in driving and maintaining these relationships in individuals with SCI;
4) )Participate in collaborative research with other SCIMS centers and lead a multi-site module project to develop and test a consumer-centered, educational intervention (in English and Spanish) for the proactive management of composite and component cardiometabolic disease (CMD) hazards in the first year after SCI;
5) Disseminate outcomes from research and clinical activities, including via coordinated efforts with the Model System Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC), to individuals with SCI and their families, health professionals, and the SCI community at large; and
6) Continue to ensure that individuals with SCI, especially including those from racial and ethnic minority backgrounds that are representative of the South Florida regional population, are adequately represented in all research, dissemination, and evaluation activities.
Our anticipated outcomes include: 1) high quality, integrated continuum of care for the large percentage of individuals with SCI in the South Florida from traditionally underserved populations; 2) new knowledge regarding the impact of, and mechanisms related to, obesity and chronic pain in SCI; and 3) evidence regarding the effectiveness of a targeted, educational intervention for reducing risk factors of cardiometabolic syndrome in individuals early after SCI.
The expected products of this project are: 1) new and/or updated evidence-based materials on health and function for use by professionals and consumers; 2) co-development, with the MSKTC, of high-quality, cutting-edge, consumer-friendly products in both English and Spanish languages; and 3) publications in research and clinical journals reporting findings from research studies.