"Global Collaboration: The Vision for a Cure for Spinal Cord Injury.”
The development of the $45 million, six-storey, world-class SCI research and treatment facility, Blusson Spinal Cord Centre (BSCC) is modelled on the framework that the future of SCI research depends on a community of experts coming together in one place to collaborate, find solutions, and move closer to a cure. At the Blusson Centre there are three organizations working together in the centre; International collaboration on Repair Discoveries, Rick Hansen Institute and the Vancouver Coastal Spine Clinic. This model of collaboration extends to global partnerships with SCI researchers and clinicians. Using the Rick Hansen Spinal Cord Injury Registry (RHSCIR) as a platform for success, this unprecedented living database is currently extended to over 30 major hospitals and research institutions in Canada and is being taken to international sites. Participation in a global registry is seen by many as one efficient way to obtain a large enough dataset to accelerate both the number of clinical trials that can be conducted, as well as the identification and adoption of best practices. Twenty-five years ago, on the Man In Motion World Tour (MIMWT) as I wheeled through 34 countries in 26 months to raise awareness for people with disabilities I learned the importance of collaboration. Currently, the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay is retracing the Canadian segment of Rick’s original MIMWT. There are 7,000 participants from across Canada, difference makers in their community passing a medal from Newfoundland across the country to Vancouver, British Columbia where it will end with a homecoming celebration and conference in May of 2012. The Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF) and (RHI) will co-host Interdependence 2012 to engage leaders and influencers from around the world and provide an impetus to accelerate progress towards accessible communities for all and a cure for paralysis after spinal cord injury (SCI).
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