Shepherd Center to Continue as Spinal Cord Injury Model System

Shepherd Center, based in Atlanta, has been awarded a five-year grant to continue serving as a Spinal Cord Injury Model System (SCIMS).

The grant is from the Administration for Community Living’s National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR).

This latest grant, announced Sept. 7, continues Shepherd Center’s nearly 40-year tenure as a SCIMS. Shepherd Center, then known as the Southeastern Regional Spinal Cord Injury Model System Center, was first designated a SCIMS in 1982.

In the announcement, Shepherd Center noted that the SCIMS program is the largest network of research centers devoted to spinal cord injuries in the world.

“NIDILRR awards the grants to institutions that are national leaders in medical research and patient care and provide the highest level of comprehensive specialty services through rehabilitation and re-entry into full community life,” the news announcement added. “This network creates opportunities for critical collaboration between spinal cord injury (SCI) clinicians and researchers from across the United States and allows investigators to generate sample sizes that are adequate for developing and testing a wide variety of interventions.”

Edelle Field-Fote, PT, Ph.D., FAPTA, the Director of SCI Research/Director of the Shepherd Center SCIMS Program, said in the announcement, “It is an honor to be designated as a Spinal Cord Injury Model System, and I am so grateful for my many colleagues at Shepherd Center who contributed to our successful application. From our innovative clinical programs and donor-funded programs like recreation therapy and family housing to opportunities to participate in world-class research, Shepherd Center continues to provide outstanding care and services to people with SCI and their families that go well beyond basic care.”

About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at

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