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Model Spinal Cord Injury Program

The Model Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) System program, sponsored by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, and  US Dept of Education, provides assistance to establish innovative projects for the delivery, demonstration, and evaluation of comprehensive medical, vocational, and other rehabilitation services to meet the needs of individuals with spinal cord injury.

Model System Centers across the United States work together to:

  • demonstrate improved care
  • maintain a national database
  • participate in independent and collaborative research
  • provide continuing education relating to spinal cord injury

35 Years of Participation

TIRR Memorial Hermann has been a part of the SCI Model Systems for over 35 years, from 1973 to 2011.

Patients from various facilities in the Houston area were enrolled in the Texas Model Spinal Cord Injury System (TMSCIS) and called 1 year post injury and every 5 years post injury to complete a follow up interview.

2011-2016 Grant Cycle

For the 2011-2016 grant cycle TIRR Memorial Hermann is 1 of 4 Form II centers where only follow-up data is collected by interviews with participants previously enrolled in the TMSCIS.

Per the agreement with NIDRR, the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) sub-contracts with TIRR Memorial Hermann to allow for continued Form II follow-up data collection. TIRR Memorial Hermann is currently not enrolling any new participants for the SCI Model Systems Project.

National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center Database

The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), located at the University of Alabama - Birmingham, supports and directs the collection and management of data entered into the spinal cord injury research database by the SCI Model Systems. 

Within the scope of the Spinal Cord Injury Model System program, the purposes of the Database are to:

  • study the longitudinal course of traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) and factors that affect that course
  • identify and evaluate trends over time in etiology, demographic, and injury severity characteristics of persons who incur a SCI
  • identify and evaluate trends over time in health services delivery and treatment outcomes for persons with SCI
  • establish expected rehabilitation treatment outcomes for persons with SCI
  • facilitate other research such as the identification of potential persons for enrollment in appropriate SCI clinical trials and research projects or as a springboard to population-based studies

The database, however, is not intended to study the effectiveness of model systems care as compared to other systems of health care delivery. It is also not by itself intended to gather and maintain population-based data on spinal cord injuries.

Principal Investigator

In August 2011, Heather Taylor, PhD, was appointed to be the Director of Spinal Cord Injury Research at TIRR Memorial Hermann and the Principal Investigator for the SCI Model Systems Form II follow-up data collection center at TIRR Memorial Hermann.

More Information

For more information on the SCI Model Systems or to see the most recent Facts and Figures sheet (which summarizes the data collected over the years) visit the NSCISC website.

For more information about what is done with the data collected by the Model Systems,visit the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC) website.

For more information about the SCI Model System at TIRR Memorial Hermann or to update your contact information as a participant in the SCI Model System please contact one of the SCI research staff: