July 18, 2022

PM&R has been awarded a Spinal Cord Injury Model System Grant in partnership with Mary Free Bed

The Department of PM&R is thrilled to announce that we, in partnership with Mary Free Bed, has been awarded a Spinal Cord Injury Model System (SCIMS) Grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR).  Tremendous congratulations to Dr. Michelle Meade, Principal Investigator, as well as Co-PI’s Dr. Gianna Rodriguez and Dr. Michael Jakubowski (MFB), and large number of co-investigators.  Kudos to the research administration team who worked over time to help make this happen.

Michigan has a long history of having the SCIMS grant under the leadership of Dr. Denise Tate, and we are pleased to have it back after a short hiatus.  The SCIMS addresses the broad range of care for SCI from emergency care to community integration.  Michigan is one of 18 SCIMS around the country.  A major focus of the work is gathering data on individuals with SCI from the acute setting and then over time, and collaborating with the other centers to do powerful studies that change care and outcomes.  Michigan’s SCIMS will focus on a few different areas, including:

  • A Site Specific Project led by Dr. Mark Peterson to develop and test the reliability, predictive validity, and clinical utility of an SCI Hospitalization Risk Index.  This Risk index will use information from the Electronic Health Record to develop algorithms to predict hospitalization for adults with chronic SCI using machine learning:
  • The development of an Interdepartmental Spinal Cord Injury Clinical Quality Board which will review, discuss and integrate best practices for clinical care for people with SCI, thereby reducing the healthcare disparities they often face due to the lack of information about their care needs.  There are several collaborators from across the medical center on this board, including Drs. William Chey, Kevin Chung, Michael Coffey, Susan Ernst, Anne Pelletier-Cameron, Benjamin Singer, Lynda Yang and Shiwei Zhou, and Rebecca Squires from SW;
  • Developing a specific collaborative model with one or more other SCIMS:
  • Conducting dissemination activities:

Michigan PM&R is excited to form this strong collaboration with Mary Free Bed.  We look forward to great benefit from sharing our knowledge and skills to improve the lives of people with SCI.  We also want to express our appreciation to the Medical School office of Research (Dean Steve Kunkel and Dean Teri Grieb) for their partnership in this project.  Michigan has remained a leader in SCI research even during our SCIMS hiatus, and we know that with these partnerships we will grow even stronger.  SCIMS starts on September 1, 2022.  Watch for updates and newsletters to see the many developments that will come from it.  Congratulations again to Dr. Meade, and to Drs. Rodriguez, Jakubowski and Peterson, and thank you for your leadership for people with SCI!

Dr. Gianna Rodriguez

Gianna Rodriguez, MD

Spinal Cord Injury Fellowship Program Director
Associate Spinal Cord Injury Program Director
Medical Director, Wheelchair Seating Services
PMR Lead, DF Comprehensive Wound Care Program
PMR Lead, Michigan Bowel Control Program
PMR Lead, Adult Assisted Ventilation Program
Associate Professor, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Michael Jakubowski, M.D.

Michael Jakubowski, M.D.

Chief Medical Officer, Mary Free Bed