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What is a Spinal Cord Injury Model System (SCIMS)?

Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems are specialized programs of care that were created so that researchers can study and find ways to improve people’s recovery (how much better they get) and outcomes (how well they do in all aspects of their lives) after a spinal cord injury.

Model Systems improve medical, vocational and other rehabilitation services for people with spinal cord injuries so they can live full and productive lives in the community.

They are called Model Systems because they have been specially selected by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) to serve as models of the best treatments for people with SCI. As a group, they have become “world-renowned model systems of care for persons with spinal cord injuries.”

There are currently just 14 institutions in the country that are designated as Model Systems. All Model Systems are funded by grants from NIDRR for five years at a time, then each Model System must re-compete for grant funding.

What do Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems do? 

For information on all Model Systems, including those on Spinal Cord Injury, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Burns.

Model Systems gather information and conduct spinal cord injury research with the goal of improving:

Model Systems demonstrate and evaluate ways to reach out to people with SCI in the community and provide education to help them with the problems they experience in areas such as:

The NIDRR asks all Model Systems to: