Get to Know the Florida Spinal Cord Injury Resource Center
In the state of Florida, there are amazing medical resources available for people with spinal cord injuries. One of the best in the southwest area of Florida by far is the Florida Spinal Cord Injury Resource Center. Located in Tampa, Florida, this organization is multifaceted and offer dozens of services for its spinal cord injured clients. From resources for the newly injured to peer mentors, the Florida Spinal Cord Injury Resource Center is a great place to find any information you need on the topic of paralysis.
To learn about the history of this organization, where they’ve been and where they’re going today, read about the FSCIRC below.
Who They Are
Founded in 1994, the Florida Spinal Cord Injury Resource Center has been a resource for the Florida community for nearly 25 years. Their physical location is in the Tampa General Rehabilitation Center. The Florida Spinal Cord Injury Resource Center is part of the Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Program, which was created by the Florida legislature.
The current director of FSCIRC is Justin Stark, a longtime quadriplegic originally from Queens, New York and moved to Florida years ago. He fell in love with the town (the weather) and he's been living in Florida since. Justin is an active member of this adapted community as well. He’s been playing for the Tampa Generals, quad rugby, team since 1996 and he’s the Co-Chair of the Hillsborough County Alliance for Citizens with Disabilities.
What They Offer to Florida
What’s impressive about FSCIRC are all the services they offer to the community. One of the most popular services they provide is a resource library, as well as a toll-free telephone line and their web site that provides information on training and education on all things related to spinal cord injury.
They also offer a wide range of services for newly injured clients. One of these is providing SCI information distributed by the Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Organization; in backpacks and delivered to newly injured patients. They also provide awareness education to high schools on the topic of spinal cord injury and how to prevent them. And for third-year medical students, they have a unique program where they provide education and training on the medical and psychosocial issues of living with a spinal cord injury. The FSCIRC goes above and beyond the services offered at an average spinal cord injury resource center.
If you are in need of any help from a peer mentor, the FSCIRC offers a peer mentor program where they recruit people with spinal cord injuries to join (as well as train and certify them) and they assign peer mentors to people with new injuries. For anyone with a new injury, having a peer mentor can be indispensable and help you through one of the roughest periods of an injury; the first couple of years.
And on their site, you'll find information about how a spinal cord injury affects the body, as well as an overview of the various levels of paralysis depending on the vertebrae injured. And to make sure people are safe and aware of Autonomic Dysreflexia, an important health condition many with paralysis are susceptible too, a printable Autonomic Dysreflexia card is available on their site (and in Spanish).
Also, just for Florida residents, the FSCIRC offer a large State Programs and Contacts directory to help people with spinal cord injuries get the information they need on topics such as hospitals, housing, and health insurance. And for anyone looking for information on research opportunities to take part in, they also offer the latest in research, especially opportunities that are close to Florida. They also have a list of surveys that are seeking participants with spinal cord injuries listed on the site
Visit FSCIRC today: http://bscipresourcecenter.org/
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Spinal Cord Team