Bridget Kraus
SCI Ambassador
Occupational Therapist
Fun Facts

Bridget lives in Missouri with her husband, two dogs, and cat. When she isn’t working with patients or on research you will most likely find her in the pottery studio throwing clay on the wheel, swinging in her hammock with a good book, or on a long walk with her dogs. She also serves on the Editorial Board of OTJR: The Occupational Therapy Journal of Research and manages their social media to help share and bridge OT research with clinicians, clients, and the community.

Bridget's Journey with SCI

Working with SCI is a passion of Bridget’s that began as an occupational therapy (OT) student during a clinical rotation. After graduation, she began work as an SCI OT at an intensive inpatient rehabilitation. Her love for the population and work she does stem greatly from the relationships she’s made and resilience she’s witnessed with her clients, like Sam.

Sam was the first quadriplegic patient Bridget ever served. She spent countless hours working with him to regain function, learn how to fully live his life again, and getting to know him and his family. On their last day, despite his hand paralysis, Sam gave her a handwritten card that he’d been working on secretly for days and promised to see her again. However, that would not happen. Three months later, Sam passed away due to a pressure ulcer. Bridget was devastated to know a patient and friend, who had left excited to return to his life, succumbed to something that could have been prevented.

Unfortunately, Sam’s story is not uncommon and was something Bridget continued to see as a clinician which prompted her to return to school in 2020 to get her Ph.D. pursuing SCI research with the goal of improving health and quality of life for persons with SCI to thrive.

Why does Bridget want to be a MSKTC ambassador?

For people with SCI in suburban or rural areas, finding SCI experts and care can be difficult where providers may be scarce. Having tools and resources like MSKTC can help connect those with less access to care to quality information and support that we, as SCI clinicians, can trust and be proud to share knowing it is backed by evidence. This can make all the difference for clients when they leave inpatient care to become knowledgeable self-advocates and active participants in their health and management of SCI for long term success. Plus, it is exciting and encouraging to be involved with a group of individuals who share a similar passion about empowering the SCI community!

What has Bridget done as a MSKTC ambassador?

As a rehab clinician and a researcher in academia there are so many ways Bridget has used MSKTC resources! Not only does she share them with her clients to help set them up for success, but with her students. Bridget has used MSKTC resources to help patients and students better understand skin care, sexual health and functioning, bowel and bladder management, community reintegration, neurophysiology and mechanisms of recovery, autonomic dysreflexia, transfer training, seating and positioning, spasticity, pain, and much more.

The MSKTC tools help educate and empower clients, professionals, and emerging clinicians to face the challenges that SCI may present more successfully to enhance and support the things that people with SCI want to do and accomplish after injury.