Mount Sinai Spinal Cord Injury Model System

The Mount Sinai Spinal Cord Injury Model System of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine provides a regional multidisciplinary system of care that includes a number of innovative clinical programs for people with spinal cord injury (SCI) in the New York City metropolitan area. The system contributes longitudinal data about persons with SCI to the SCI National Database. The National Database includes more than 30,000 individuals. Persons with acute injury who are enrolled in a Model System can remain in the database and contribute to our knowledge of SCI throughout their lifetime. Investigators perform approximately 300 follow-up interviews per year at Mount Sinai.

The objectives of the Mount Sinai Spinal Cord Injury Model System focus on improving the quality of life of persons with SCI through:

  • State-of-the-science clinical care
  • Innovative research
  • Multi-platform extensive dissemination of research results and other information on SCI to consumers and professionals

The comprehensive clinical program consists of:

  • NYC Emergency Medical Services, ensuring the early and safe extrication of individuals with SCI from the injury site, pre-hospital care, and rapid transport to a trauma center
  • Emergency department and acute medical/surgical care units within the Mount Sinai Health System, including the Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Trauma Center
  • Comprehensive CARF-accredited SCI acute inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services taking place within a 25-bed SCI inpatient rehabilitation unit (serving 60 patients with traumatic SCI each year) and a large outpatient area. Core rehabilitation services include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, social work, peer mentoring, outreach coordination, rehabilitation psychology, therapeutic recreation, and vocational rehabilitation.

The research program of the Mount Sinai Spinal Cord Injury Model System aims to improve the quality of life for SCI survivors by developing effective treatments of post-SCI secondary conditions.

Current projects include:

  • A local randomized clinical trial that will evaluate the impact of a standardized protocol compared to usual care to manage low blood pressure in inpatient rehabilitation, in order to improve participation in rehabilitation activities.
  • Participation in three collaborative module research projects with other model systems. Currently, these include:

Dissemination activities include a monthly e-newsletter, The Spinal Connection; accessible web-based information; journal publications; presentations at international, national, regional, and local meetings; and involvement of consumers through a Community Advisory Committee.

Thomas Bryce, MD is the principal investigator of this project.