Special Tree is ramping up our SCI programming beginning with a new educational course for patients and their family/care-providers. The course, which kicked-off on November 5th, consists of six one-hour classes presented by Special Tree clinicians on how to manage life after a spinal cord injury. The classes are offered twice a week at the NeuroCare Campus (NCC) during the first three weeks of every month and deal with important topics such as spinal cord anatomy, skin care, bowel and bladder care, mental health, secondary health complications, and sexuality and relationships. (Special Tree’s SCI Community Liaison Todd Hammons will continue to provide peer-to-peer support programming at NCC on the third Wednesday of every month.)
“We’re so excited to offer this course to our patients with SCI and their care-providers,” said PT Jackie Cunningham, Special Tree’s PT Site Coordinator of Clinical Education. “Patient education has always been a critical part of SCI recovery at Special Tree and we’ve wanted to develop a more formal educational program like this for quite some time.”
The new course was developed by the SCI Council, which was established this year to make enhancements to our SCI programming. Key members of the multidisciplinary Council include Jackie (Chair), Psychologist Dr. Jessica Hurlston (Co-Chair), SCI Consulting Physician Dr. Maryam Berri, Chief Nursing Officer Lela Hickonbottom, and SCI Community Liason Todd Hammons as well as in-house experts from nursing, PA, Dietary, PT, OT, Speech, TR, Psych & Social Work, Case Management, Massage, and IT who have met regularly since the summer to put the new learning program and other initiatives in motion. Jackie worked closely with the Council, especially co-chair Jessica Hurlston, to flesh out the learning series with the goal of empowering patients with the skills and knowledge to effectively manage their ongoing medical needs and mental health to prevent or minimize secondary complications.
“We have such a great team in place – from the Council members who collaborated on the information that was most essential and beneficial to our clients with SCI to our in-house experts who developed PowerPoint presentations for each class in the series,” she said.
The first course wrapped up on November 21st with Jackie receiving positive feedback from participants. All new patients are required to complete the course and Jackie is encouraging longer term clients to participate.
Stay tuned for more exciting news from the SCI Council! Plans are in the works to develop a “smart room” with voice activated features as well as a digital SCI educational library on wheels for self-guided learning.