Mount Sinai Awarded Prestigious Designation and $2.3 Million Grant for Spinal Cord Injury Program

Mount Sinai

Mount Sinai’s Department of Rehabilitation and Human Performance has become the only program in New York State to receive a prestigious award to support its exceptional, comprehensive care for spinal cord injury patients and dedication to improving treatment options for this population.

The Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems grant from the National Institute of Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research is valued at $2.3 million over the next five years. Mount Sinai is one of 14 sites across the country to have this designation.

“We are so proud and excited about our continued designation as a Spinal Cord Injury Model System. This is a reflection of our world-renowned expertise, patient care, and research for persons with spinal cord injury,” says Joseph Herrera, DO, Lucy G. Moses Professor and Chair of the Mount Sinai Health System’s Department of Rehabilitation and Human Performance.

The model system award recognizes Mount Sinai’s comprehensive and state-of-the-art care for spinal cord injury patients during all phases of treatment. Specifically, Specifically, Mount Sinai rehabilitation teams are among the few in the United States that care for patients from the time they arrive at the Emergency Department, through intensive care and surgery, followed by acute rehabilitation, transitioning from hospital to home, and outpatient rehabilitation, along with support groups, support services, and continued medical care extending throughout life.

Approximately 17,900 people in the United States sustain a new spinal cord injury each year. Car crashes are the leading cause of injury, followed by falls, acts of violence (primarily gunshot wounds), and sports activities. This grant will help the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai expand upon its current research to better understand how to best treat patients with spinal cord injuries in so they can achieve the best recovery possible and return to having active and productive lives.

Mount Sinai will also partner with other Model System centers to conduct collaborative research projects that will advance the understanding of how spinal cord injury affects people’s lives and to evaluate new interventions that can have a positive effect both on neurological and functional recovery as well as community integration.

Under the Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems grant, Mount Sinai will also conduct one local research project to evaluate a novel approach to clinical inpatient treatment. Experts plan to investigate the safety, feasibility, and efficacy of transcutaneous (non-invasive) spinal cord stimulation on stabilizing blood pressure after spinal cord injury.

“This grant will allow us to continue over the next five years to provide world-class spinal cord injury care to individuals in the New York region as well as to conduct cutting-edge spinal cord injury research,” said Thomas Bryce, MD, Professor of Rehabilitation and Human Performance at Icahn Mount Sinai.

This Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems grant was funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, Administration for Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services #90SIMS0003. It runs from 2021 through 2026. Mount Sinai was awarded a previous Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems grant in 2016 which lasted five years.

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