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Northeast Ohio Regional SCI System


Kimberly Anderson, PhD
Kevin Kilgore, PhD
Christina Oleson, MD
Mary Joan Roach, PhD
James Wilson, DO


NORSCIS provides a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to the care of individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI).  NORSCIS targets newly injured persons with traumatic SCI who come to MHS for acute rehabilitation for inclusion in the National SCI Database (NSCID) and provides lifetime comprehensive integrated care from time of injury.  This SCIMS project will follow the new traumatic injuries along with the 495 persons already entered into the NSCID.  NORSCIS utilizes intramural and collaborative research projects to test innovative approaches to treating SCI and to assess rehabilitation outcomes.  NORSCIS is funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR); grant# 90SI5025.

NORSCIS generates new knowledge that can be used to improve outcomes of individuals with traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI). In September 2016 we received a grant to conduct SCI research from the NIDILRR.  The grant provides approximately $2.26 million over a five-year period and we are one of only 14 centers nationwide to receive funding.

NORSCIS Research Projects

The National Spinal Cord Injury Database: We will collect clinical, social and psychological outcomes, and quality of life data on all new traumatic spinal cord injuries (SCI) at the time of admission to rehabilitation through the persons lifetime.

Early Characterization of UE Paralysis in Cervical SCI as a Means to Determine Patterns of Injury and Recovery, Informing Prognosis and Guiding Time-critical Interventions: This project will collect preliminary data demonstrating the power of unique upper extremity (UE) muscle assessments that will provide the groundwork for developing a patient-centered guide to UE treatment for the restoration of function for people with cervical SCI.

Methods for Reduction of “Unavoidable” Pressure Ulcers in Persons with Acute SCI: This project will design, fabricate and test a new spine board that will reduce excessive body-board pressures currently found on standard spine boards.

The grant will also allow us to participate in three collaborative projects with the 13 other grant recipients. Data will help us to:

  • Demonstrate the value of providing comprehensive SCI care
  • Convince providers, insurers and policy makers the importance of comprehensive SCI care
  • Inform the development of interventions that can possibly reduce the negative trajectory of functional and quality of life outcomes

NORCIS Newsletters and Resources

NORCIS Outreach

SCI Forum

On September 25, 2020, the MetroHealth System, home of the Northeast Ohio Regional SCI Model System, held their 24th Annual SCI Forum, virtually for the first time.  Two SCI Model System Research Coordinators, Megan Hammond and Ariel Jordan, led the planning committee of this Forum. 

Over 100 people registered for the event from across the country.  As an all-day event, speakers covered various topics starting with a 30th Anniversary Celebration of the ADA, and then moved to Keynote Speaker, Hanane Hmada, who has lived with a SCI since 2012.  Fitness and Nutrition, ‘Ask the Medical Panel,’ and Dating/Sexuality/Relationships were the other sessions of the day packed full of information relevant for living successfully with SCI. 

The replay of these sessions can be found at  

Community Partners

NORSCIS and the MetroHealth Rehabilitation Institute are a hospital partner of the national United Spinal Association.  View certificate.

NORSCIS is proud to support and partner with the Northeast Ohio Chapter of the United Spinal Association.

NORSCIS encourages people with SCI to engage in fitness and wellness activities at welcoming, accessible, and trained facilities such as Center for Stroke and Hand Recovery.


For more information about the Northeast Ohio Regional SCI System, please contact:

Megan Hammond, Study Coordinator, [email protected], 216-957-3562

Ariel Jordan, Study Coordinator, [email protected], 216-957-3540