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South Florida Spinal Cord Injury Model System

Pictured Above: Front Row From Left, Dinorah Rodriguez, RN, BSN, CCRC; Luisa Betancourt, MD, MS, CCRP; David Gater, MD, PhD, MS; Elizabeth Felix, PhD; Kevin Dalal, MD; Sequoia Jackson, MPH
Back Row From Left: Eleuterio Baliwis, RN, BSN; Robert Irwin, MD; Eduard Tiozzo, PhD; Javier Santana, MD; Zachary Abdo

The University of Miami and Jackson Memorial Hospital together serve as home for the South Florida Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems (SFSCIMS). Jackson Memorial Hospital is the third largest medical center in the United States, and it serves a diverse community with a large Hispanic and Caribbean population. The SFSCIMS provides a comprehensive system of care to the patients from the time of injury through reintegration into the community. Faculty members of the SFSCIMS also serve as part of the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, a research institute at the University of Miami dedicated to find the cure of spinal cord injury.

The SFSCIMS is one of only 14 sites to receive the model systems designation by the National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research. One of the primary purposes of the model systems program is to collect acute, rehabilitation, and follow-up data on patients with SCI.

As of October, 2016, the South Florida Spinal Cord Injury Model System received funding from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research through 2021. During this five-year grant, researchers at the SFSCIMS will be looking at innovative approaches to prevent neuropathic pain from developing in SCI patients. In addition, the SFSCIMS will study cardiovascular and metabolic issues that occur after spinal cord injury.