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Rick Hansen Institute Invited to Join Prestigious Consortium for Spinal Cord Medicine

RHI becomes first centre outside of the US to join Consortium and help to promote advances in care for people with spinal cord injury around the world

VANCOUVER, B.C. (August 31, 2011) — The Rick Hansen Institute (RHI) has become the first centre outside of the United States to be invited to join the prestigious Consortium for Spinal Cord Medicine, which facilitates the development and distribution of clinical best practice guidelines across the international spinal cord medicine practice community. The invitation is recognition and validation of Canada’s position among world leaders in the area of spinal cord injury (SCI) research, and of the significant progress RHI has achieved in translational research, best practices implementation and network building.

Governing Steering Committee Chair Dr. Lawrence C. Vogel requested RHI’s participation as a member of the 20+ member Consortium because of its expertise in developing scientific, evidence-based clinical practice guidelines - essential resources for aligning the international medical community and an important area of interest for the Consortium.

"RHI’s goal of improving the lives of individuals with spinal cord injuries through the implementation of best practices is an excellent fit with the mission of the Consortium for Spinal Cord Medicine," said Dr. Vogel.

Vancouver–based Dr. Peter Wing, Interim Chair of RHI’s Translational Research Advisory Committee, has been nominated to sit and represent RHI on the Consortium’s Steering Committee. Membership in the Consortium and the Steering Committee will provide RHI with a platform to share Canadian knowledge and expertise with other leaders in the field of spinal cord injury, and bring exciting opportunities for collaborating on and advancing world-class research.

One of RHI’s strengths is investing in areas and projects that move basic discoveries into new treatments and approaches – while identifying best practices in SCI treatment and promoting their wide-scale adoption by medical and allied professionals, creating opportunities to achieve better medical outcomes while reducing the stress and costs of care on the health care system.

“It is gratifying to be recognized by the Consortium for our work, and we are delighted to share Canadian perspectives, research, and information on our unique SCI Registry with our fellow members, “ said Bill Barrable, CEO of RHI. “The Consortium’s work has an immensely positive impact on persons living with spinal cord injury and as a result, we can also accelerate improvements for the care and treatment of many other related health issues we face here in Canada.”



About the Rick Hansen Institute
The Rick Hansen Institute (RHI) is a Canadian-based not-for-profit organization committed to accelerating the translation of discoveries and best practices into improved treatments for people with spinal cord injuries. It does this by leading the collaboration of researchers, health care professionals and service providers across Canada and internationally. RHI has matched leadership and research collaboration with government funding to facilitate one of the largest interdisciplinary spinal cord injury research programs in the world. For more information, visit:


About the Consortium for Spinal Cord Medicine
Funded by the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), the Consortium for Spinal Cord Medicine was established in June, 1995. The Consortium’s mission is to direct the development and dissemination of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines (cpgs) and companion consumer guides; this mission is solely directed to improving the health care and quality of life for persons with spinal cord injury and disease (SCI/D). To date, the Consortium has published 11 professional clinical practice guidelines and 20 consumer oriented guides covering topics ranging from bladder management to pressure ulcer prevention. For more information, visit:


For more information please contact:

Dan Maceluch                                                             
Director, Marketing and Communications

Rick Hansen Institute                 
Tel: 604.707.2114