For over 13 years I have served as the Program Director of the Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) program at the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation (ONF). During this period, I have worked alongside some of our nation’s best and most dedicated field experts, investigators, and clinicians, as well individuals living with SCI.
The SCI community has worked as a close-knit family to understand the needs of individuals with SCI and find solutions through our collective research and implementation initiatives.
ONF has been the catalyst to advance SCI research, access to primary care, and improve clinical care for secondary health conditions in Ontario. Over the years ONF has supported countless research projects, summits, symposiums and working groups/panels to develop clinical practice guidelines, implementation best practices and registries for researchers analyzing SCI outcomes. With our national partner, Praxis Spinal Institute, we have been able to support numerous projects aimed to better understand spinal cord injury care over the lifespan.
Sharing the news of ONF’s wind-down with our SCI community was one of the hardest parts of my job. This surely was not the outcome I, nor the SCI community wished for, but I am hopeful that through continued support from the Ontario Ministry of Health, much of the work we accomplished will continue under new leadership. ONF’s contributions may be winding down, but the work we have initiated must continue to inform and improve health care for spinal cord injury in Ontario and beyond.