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NRH Logo Spinal Cord Injury Network (SCI Network) is pleased to announce the establishment of the National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Secondary Conditions in Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI), a five-year project federally funded/supported by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), a division of the United States Department of Education.

SCI Network is part of the collaborative effort, which will team NRH clinicians and researchers with other experts in the field from the University of Miami School of Medicine/Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, the Independent Living Resource Utilization at the Institute for Rehabilitation and Research, and our parent organization, the National Spinal Cord Injury Association.


The designation of the NRH RRTC by NIDRR provides a $4 million grant over a 5-year period and allows NRH to further extend its research and training efforts. The RRTC on Secondary Conditions in Individuals with SCI will be launched in December, 2003, and will consist of a unique collaborative effort of national leaders in SCI-related research, clinical expertise, support and education organizations, independent living centers, and consumers with SCI.

The focus of this RRTC is on further development of knowledge about and/or prevention of selected secondary conditions. The primary conditions studied will be cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, although a wide range of other secondary conditions, such as respiratory dysfunction, urinary tract infection, depression, and pain, as well as quality of life, will be examined. We will also more intensely and specifically examine the effect of exercise as a means to prevent certain secondary conditions after SCI. While five of the projects planned through the RRTC will focus on knowledge about and/or prevention of selected secondary conditions that occur throughout the lifetime of an individual after incurring an SCI, four additional projects will focus on training. A unique element of the training component is that consumers with SCI will be involved extensively throughout the spectrum of research, including but not necessarily limited to peer mentoring of individuals with both acute and more chronic SCI, as well as in the education of health care professionals, legislators, and others in SCI-related fields.

National Rehabilitation Hospital’s Director of Spinal Cord Injury Research, Dr. Suzanne Groah, will be contributing her expertise as the Center Director, as well as leading the effort for several of the research projects. Thilo Kroll, PhD, a senior research associate at the NRH Center for Health and Disability Research, will bring his experience in the area of Participatory Action Training and Participatory Action Research through his leadership of the training projects and will also serve as Co-Principal Investigator for the Center. We are very excited about the potential impact of knowledge gained from activities in this RRTC directly on individuals with SCI, as well as for a broad range of others who are involved in the care and/or lives of individuals with SCI. Watch here for RRTC employment and research participant opportunities.

The National Rehabilitation Hospital is currently hiring two half-time Research Assistant (RA) to work on two federally-funded projects: the 'Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on the Prevention of Secondary Conditions in People with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)', and 'Primary Prevention among Adults with Disabilities'. The RAs will assist the Principal Investigators and project staff in the implementation of both research projects. The ideal candidate will have a Bachelor's degree in the social sciences, knowledge of research design, methodology, and data management and analysis, and experience with SPSS and Microsoft Office programs.

This position is open until filled. For more information on this position and the full job description, email Thilo Kroll or Mel Neri.

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