South Florida Spinal Cord Injury Model System

For those who live in Florida, the South Florida Spinal Cord Injury Model System (SCIMS) is the preeminent organization for people with spinal cord injuries. The University of Miami and the Jackson Memorial Hospital together represent the South Florida Spinal Cord Injury Model System which they have done since 2016 when the organization first received federal funding from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. 

With the robust research efforts underway at the University of Miami along with the medical services provided by Jackson Memorial, the South Florida Spinal Cord Injury Model System is one of the best in the country. With only 14 spinal cord injury model systems around the country, the South Florida Spinal Cord Injury Model System stands out.

From the exciting research to the services they provide for people with paralysis, the South Florida Spinal Cord Injury Model System is the heart and the brains of the spinal cord injury community in Florida. Learn more about what they do and the services they provide below.

Services Provided


Like any spinal cord injury model system the South Florida Spinal Cord Injury Model System offers every service one would expect from both inpatient and outpatient services. The Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit at Jackson Memorial Hospital offers an interdisciplinary team to each patient that includes physical therapy, occupational therapy, psychology, therapeutic recreation, vocational services, and case management.

The Outpatient Services provided by the South Florida Spinal Cord Injury Model System is also top tier. They offer management of medical complications that can occur after a spinal cord injury. These include pain management, treatment of pressure sores, and the management of bowel and bladder functions.

They also offer Botox for the bladder, Baclofen pumps, and other procedures to enable more independence for people living with paralysis. And in regards to mental health services, the South Florida SCIMS offers a wide range of mental health support including psychotherapy, neuropsychological assessments, peer support groups, and counseling. They will also help the family of the injured individual and help address any emotional issues they may have.


Ongoing Research


To become a Spinal Cord Injury Model System Center, conducting ongoing research to improve the care offered to the spinal cord injury community is required. At the South Florida Spinal Cord Injury Model System, one of their largest research programs is there, "Equity and Quality in Assistive Technology (EQuATe) Module.”

This study collects data on the assistive technology used by people with spinal cord injuries, including their wheelchair model and the various failures and repairs that have been needed over the years. Another study they are conducting is called, "Residential Instability in Chronic SCI: An Investigation of Patterns and Consequences." This research involves interviewing people about their housing stability including where they live, for how long, and how accessible it is.

And lastly, they’re conducting a research program called, "Zest: A Psychological Health Promotion Program for Women with SCI," which seeks to improve the health of women with paralysis. You can learn more about these research studies here

And if you're seeking general SCI knowledge, they offer this info in their Consumer Information section. Hurricane preparedness is also offered. There is a downloadable packet on how to prepare if you live with an SCI. Check it out here 

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Topics: Spinal Cord Injury, Assistive Technology, Model System, Jackson Memorial, Botox, psychotherapy, Chronic, SCIMS, South Florida, Outpatient, Residential Instability in Chronic SCI, Psychological

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