Project Type
Project Lead Center
Project Start Date
Project End Date

The Virginia Spinal Cord Injury Model System (VSCIMS) brings together the Virginia Commonwealth University Center for Rehabilitation Science and Engineering (VCU-CERSE), Sheltering Arms Institute, and Central Virginia Veterans Health System with participating Virginia level I trauma centers, community health providers, state government agencies, and SCI consumer groups. Our goal is to enhance upper extremity function in persons with tetraplegia and to improve the equitable delivery, quality, and coordination of interdisciplinary SCI rehabilitation across the healthcare continuum. Objectives include (1) evaluate the efficacy of home-based, blood flow restriction-enhanced, neuromuscular, electrical stimulation with or without trans-spinal stimulation on upper extremity function in people with tetraplegia; (2) enroll and follow a diverse group of people with traumatic SCI in the National SCIMS database; (3) lead module research to accelerate equitable care and outcomes for people from racial and ethnic minority groups with traumatic SCI; and (4) translate site specific and collaborative research findings into usable, accessible, and inclusive products for clinicians, consumers and the general public. Our primary expected outcome is to advance evidence-based knowledge that has real world applicability, improves interdisciplinary SCI rehabilitation care across our VSCIMS network, and benefits the lives of all people with SCI. Expected products include: (a) peer-reviewed publications and presentations; (b) evidence-based, semi-structured manual for application of blood flow restriction-enhanced, neuromuscular, electrical stimulation therapy with trans-spinal stimulation; (c) evidence-informed toolkit on delivering culturally competent SCI rehabilitation care tailored for depression, health, and participation; and, (d) accessible, inclusive informational products for clinicians, consumers, families and the public.