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Celebrating leadership in spinal cord injury care

This February, RHI CEO Bill Barrable visited two Ontario sites to celebrate their respective achievements with meeting accreditation standards.

SCI is a highly complex, chronic condition that requires individualized acute and rehab health care approaches.  Health care interventions delivered in the hours, days and weeks following spinal cord injury have life-long impacts.  Consequently, it is imperative that patients receive the most appropriate medical interventions at the right time in their care pathway.

In 2012, RHI partnered with Accreditation Canada (AC) to develop the first-ever evidence-based comprehensive standards for SCI acute and rehabilitation care, as part of AC’s existing Qmentum Accreditation Program.  Implementation of these standards through policy and practice changes will help standardize and optimize care for people with spinal cord injuries in Canada, resulting in the best possible health outcomes.

Group shot with accreditation certificate cropped resized

Toronto Rehab celebration on February 26, 2016
(L to R): Bill Barrable, CEO, Rick Hansen Institute, Leslee Thompson, CEO, Accreditation Canada, Susan Jewell, Senior Vice President and Executive Lead, Toronto Rehab-UHN,; Joanne Zee, Senior Clinical Director, Heather Flett, Advanced Practice Leader and Dr. Cathy Craven, Medical Lead, Brain and Spinal Cord Rehab Program, Toronto Rehab. (Photo: Visual Services UHN)​

This February, RHI CEO Bill Barrable visited two Ontario sites to celebrate their respective achievements with meeting these accreditation standards.

February 25th marked the first event, celebrating Hamilton Health Sciences Centre (HHSC) achievement of dual accreditation, as they met standards for both acute and rehabilitation care. Bill presented a framed accreditation certificate to Kathryn LeBlanc, director of the Regional Rehabilitation Program at HHS during the presentation attended by HHS program leaders and staff, as well as colleagues from SCI Ontario.

“One of the things that distinguishes this program at Hamilton Health Sciences is the multidisciplinary care it provides and how that care translates into the community. In particular, everyone here really works as a team to reduce the secondary complications of spinal cord injury, both in hospital and in the community,” said Bill.

Dr. Shanker Nesathurai, chief of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at HHS, is proud of this achievement. “Hamilton Health Sciences has one of the largest rehabilitation programs in Canada. It has served this community for nearly 50 years. This accreditation is recognition of the excellent contributions the program has made, and continues to make.”

The following day Bill joined the celebration recognizing Toronto Rehab’s Lyndhurst Centre as the first Canadian rehabilitation hospital to successfully complete the SCI rehab accreditation standards. Susan Jewell, Senior Vice President and Executive Lead at Toronto Rehab-UHN, emceed the event which included special guests Lynn Guerriero, Assistant Deputy Minister, Ontario Ministry of Health and Leslee Thompson, President and CEO, Accreditation Canada.

Bill expressed RHI’s delight in joining Toronto Rehab in acknowledging this significant milestone. "This achievement speaks to the quality and leadership demonstrated by Lyndhurst, and sets an example of excellence in standards leading to better outcomes for patients."

Leslee Thompson’s tweeted following the event, “Great to experience the value partnership b/t @AccredCanada & @rhinstitute brings to patients & orgs like @UHN_News”.

RHI was thrilled to have the opportunity to recognize these exemplary sites in person, to honour their team’s hard-work and dedication in a meaningful way. RHI is working toward its goal of accreditation of 50% of Canadian acute and rehab hospitals that specialize in SCI by 2018 and 75% by 2023, so we look forward to many similar events in the near future! 

To learn more about the Toronto Rehab celebration, click here.