We are pleased to announce the formation of the Spaulding New England Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center (SNERSCIC) Model System, representing a merger of the Spaulding-Harvard Spinal Cord Injury Model System and the New England Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center Model System.

SNERSCIC has been funded as one of 14 SCI Model Systems across the United States, working together to optimize clinical care, research, education, and service related to the impact of spinal cord injury on individuals and their communities.  SCI Model Systems are funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research.

SNERSCIC has a long and distinguished history in working with the spinal cord injury community across the New England region.  As a Model System, the Center serves as an advocate and resource for individuals with SCI, their families and caregivers, and healthcare professionals.  SNERSCIC works to enhance the lives of people with SCI across their lifespan through innovative science and technology, with particular attention to underserved populations.

The SNERSCIC network of treatment, research, and educational facilities includes the Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, Harvard Medical School, and Boston University School of Public Health, as well as Gaylord Hospital and Yale-New Haven Hospital in Connecticut.

What are the SNERSCIC 2016-2021 Research Priorities?

In the 2016-2021 cycle, SNERSCIC will be leading a number of research projects that strive to improve the health and quality of life for individuals with SCI, including:

Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems (SCIMS) National Database
Along with other SCI Model Systems, SNERSCIC contributes data to the SCIMS National Database, which includes more than 31,000 individuals with SCI.  This data provides information about the course of recovery, trends in cause and severity of SCI, health service delivery, treatment, and rehabilitation outcomes. The database is a rich source of information for research and analysis of effects of SCI to help shape the care and support of people with SCI.

Our site-specific research projects focus on further developing the Spinal Cord Injury- Functional Index (SCI-FI) measurement tool, which we developed as a more sensitive, efficient, and patient-reported way to measure the functional abilities of individuals with SCI.

  • Project #1: Linking the Functional Independence Measure (FIM) to the SCI-FI/Assistive Technology (SCI-FI/AT)

This project will link FIM scores with the scores of the SCI-FI/AT, which improves the ability to measure the impact of assistive technology on an individual’s function.   Additionally, linking these measures will give researchers and clinicians a bridge to track functional abilities of adults with SCI over time.

  • Project #2: SCI-FI/AT Inpatient Short Forms 

The SCI-FI/AT Computer Adaptive Test uses a computer for testing, which can be a barrier for inpatient participation. This project focuses on developing a shorter, paper version of the SCI-FI/AT for inpatient use. Clinicians can efficiently complete the short form on paper with the individual during their inpatient stay, and still compare it to any computer testing done post-discharge.

What are the SNERSCIC 2016-2021 Knowledge Dissemination and Education Priorities?

SNERSCIC will host a number of programs and develop useful tools to share knowledge and education with individuals with SCI, their families and caregivers, and healthcare professionals, including:

  • Knowledge in Motion (KiM) Lecture and Webcast Education Program

The KiM series will remain an important opportunity for the SCI community to come together around key topics of interest. Our successful inaugural event of the new grant cycle was held on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital on “Living Healthy with Spinal Cord Injury.”  To view online videos of prior lectures or to learn more about KiM, go to: For more information, please contact Judi Zazula, MS, OTR/L at or call 617-638- 7314.

  • New England SCI Toolkit (NESCIT)

This online toolkit is a resource for use after acute rehabilitation to help improve functional outcomes while decreasing the frequency of complications associated with SCI. Log onto: For more information, please contact Diana Pernigotti, MSG, at or call 1-866-429-5673 ext. 3563.

How will this merger affect SCI consumers? 

While you will continue to receive care from your current providers and treatment facilities, you will have additional opportunities to participate in research and education.  You will continue to receive updates and information from your familiar contacts through mailings, email, and personal outreach, based on your individual interests and needs.  You may also be contacted by members of our team who will introduce themselves as part of the newly merged SNERSCIC Model System.  We look forward to getting to know each of you and to working with you to help SNERSCIC’s programs and activities best reflect your needs and interests!

Please note: Until the new SNERSCIC website is launched, information on our research and education opportunities can be found on our current websites at:              

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