Spinal Cord Injury Newsletter

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2016-sci-invitation-v5_page_1SCI Holiday Party

The date is set for this year’s SCI Holiday Party and Community Fair! Join us on Wednesday, Dec. 7, from 5-7 p.m., at MedStar NRH for our UGLY SWEATER HOLIDAY PARTY. We invite anyone with a spinal cord injury or disease along with their families and caregivers to come learn more about community resources. Food, fun, and activities await all who attend this special SCI Program Reunion!

RSVP [email protected] or 202-877-1427

Note: You do not have to wear an ugly sweater to participate.


yankeecandle-fundrasier-2016Yankee Candle Fundraiser 

The MedStar NRH Adaptive Sports Program is hosting a YANKEE CANDLE fundraiser! To order your items, visit www.yankeecandle fundraising.com and put in our group number: 990046058. Get your orders in for the holiday season! All proceeds will benefit the MedStar NRH Adaptive Sports Program.

Online Ordering: yankeecandlefundraising.com

Group Number: 990046058

Contact: [email protected] Order by: Dec. 25



quad-rugby-flyer-aug2016-smQuad Rugby

The Punishers Quad Rugby Team is gearing up for their upcoming season!

Tentative Schedule:

  • Dec. 2-4 - Metal and Muscle Expo in Houston
  • Feb. 3-5 - Lakeshore Demolition in Birmingham

Post Season

  • Feb 15-17 Regionals in New Hampshire
  • March 3-5 Sectionals in Fort Washington, MD hosted by the Punishers!
  • Nationals TBD

The MedStar NRH Punishers Quad Rugby team will host the Atlantic Sectionals Tournament. The past two years, the Punishers finished with a 2nd and 3rd place trophy after traveling to Sectional Tournaments in Orlando, and Jacksonville, FL. This year, they will be playing in front of their home crowd with hopes of a Sectional Championship! The Sectional tournament will be hosted by MedStar NRH Adaptive Sports and Prince George’s County Parks and Recreation.

Date: March 3-5, 2017

Location: South Regional Technology and Recreation Complex 7007 Bock Rd. Fort Washington, MD 20744

Event Director: Trish Nelson, [email protected]


adapted-yoga-2Adapted Yoga

Adapted Yoga is our newest addition to the MedStar Adaptive Sports and Fitness Program. For more information, or to attend the Wednesday program, contact:

Allison Huck at [email protected]





wheelchair-basketball-flyer-finalWheelchair Basketball 

The Punishers Wheelchair Basketball team is proud to announce the team will be moving to Division 1, by adding some new teammates to their roster. We would like to Welcome: Bryce Doody; Mike Looney; Derry Hill; Nadir Ghorbanzadeh; and Coach Keith Cooper.

The Punishers Wheelchair Basketball team has also secured a new gym for an additional day of open practices on Wednesdays from 6- 8 p.m., at Rosedale Recreation Center located at 1701 Gales St., NE, Washington D.C.

We will continue to have a closed practice on Mondays from 6-9 p.m., at East County Community Center, 3310 Gateshead Manor Way, Silver Spring, MD.

Upcoming tournaments include:

  • December 3-4 Charlottesville Invitational
  • January 20-22 Miami Invitational
  • February 25-26 Capital Classic Hosted by NRH Punishers
  • March 3-5 Carousel House
  • *Looking to add more tournaments.*
  • March 29 - April 3 NATIONALS



Urinary Symptoms

MedStar NRH has received two new grants to improve our understanding of urinary symptoms. If you currently have problems with urinary tract symptoms and are interested in participating in this new research, contact:

Inger Ljungberg, MPH, at 202-877-1694 or [email protected] medstar.net or

Mandy Rounds at 202-877-1591 or [email protected] medstar.net.

Fitness and Independence post SCI

To gain a better understanding of how fit one must be to go about their daily lives immediately after SCI, as well as through one’s lifetime, we will ask you a series of questions regarding your daily life as well as ask you to perform a physical fitness test Inclusion criteria:

  • Must be age 18 or older
  • Have had a spinal cord injury or disease for at least six (6) months
  • Can bend both elbows against gravity
  • Are not able to use leg muscles, except for spasms, to help with transfers

We invite people of all fitness levels to participate. If this study is of interest to you, contact:

Inger Ljungberg, MPH, at 202-877-1694 or [email protected] medstar.net or

Mandy Rounds at 202-877- 1591 or amanda.k. [email protected]


Emergency Preparedness

Emergencies and SCI: The importance of being prepared

Everyone needs to know what to do and be prepared in case of an emergency or a disaster. Individuals who have a spinal cord injury have very specific needs that require special planning and preparation. Below you will find a list of things that you need to keep in mind as you develop your emergency plan.

Prepare: Know Your Risks and Assess Your Needs

  • Learn about and familiarize yourself with the kinds of emergencies that may affect you (floods, earthquakes, fires, snowstorms, tornados, etc).
  • How would you be affected in case of a power outage?
  • What are your medical requirements?
  • How much personal assistance do you need?
  • What devices do you need to help you function and to move?
  • What are your transportation needs?

Your emergency plan should be communicated to those who will be assisting you in an emergency and should include family members, friends, co-workers and emergency respondents. Having a personal support network will ensure that people will check on you in an emergency and help you if needed. Those individuals need to understand your needs and be able to assist you. Make sure that you have more than one person in your network in case one or more of them cannot get to you.

Build a Survival Kit

Be prepared to take care of your own needs for at least three (3) days or longer. Build an emergency supply kit that includes items you’ll need to survive. Your kit should include basic items such as: food, water, medications, clothing, bedding, mobile phone and charger, flashlights, and a first aid kit. Include important documents such as: emergency contacts and medical information. You may need to include other items in your kit, such as:

  • Respiratory supplies (portable oxygen/ventilator, nasal cannulas, suction catheters)
  • Wound care supplies (dressings, tape, saline, gloves, medications)
  • Bowel and bladder management supplies (disposable pads, catheters, urine collection bags, disposable gloves, medications)
  • Autonomic Dysreflexia (AD) supplies (medication, blood pressure cuff, urinary catheters, AD information card)
  • Wheelchair supplies (such as a battery charger), an extra cushion to protect your skin, a portable air mattress to protect your skin while you sleep
  • A transfer device, ways to get up/down stairs, and ways to open a door in case of a power outage
  • Miscellaneous supplies (antiseptic wipes, microbial skin cleanser, bunny boots/sheepskin, quad straws, assistive feeding utensils)
  • Assistive devices (glasses, hearing aids, reachers, canes, and walkers, etc.)
  • A portable generator

Responding to an emergency

  • Check with your SCI team about the kind of disaster relief and emergency services available in your area. Your SCI Center will be able to assist you with a plan to identify transportation and a shelter in case of an emergency. Also, ask your SCI team about backup medical supplies, mobility aids, and equipment.
  • Know the location of the nearest emergency shelters. Find out in advance which ones are wheelchair accessible and whether they meet your functional needs.
  • Contact your local emergency services department and add yourself to their list of individuals with disabilities.
  • Contact your electric provider/power-utility company and alert them of your needs; this might help in getting your power restored more quickly in an emergency.
  • Know the safest places to be in your home or workplace during specific types of emergencies.
  • Identify at least two escape routes from your home and workplace in case you’re forced to evacuate. If you live or work in a building with more than one floor, make sure others know how to transfer or move you safely. Practice evacuating at least once per year.
  • Keep a list of emergency contact numbers in your wallet or near your phone. Know how to contact members of your support network and/or meet up with them if you’re separated in an emergency.

Adapted from http://www.veteranshealthlibrary.org/Encyclopedia/142,41201_VA

Resources to Help You

To learn more about how to prepare for an emergency, visit these websites:

Federal Emergency Management Agency


Ready Campaign


CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response



Please make sure to check our Website at


We want to hear from you:

Please mail or email your questions or ideas to:

Lorraine Vinci, Psy.D.
102 Irving Street NW
Washington, DC 20010
[email protected]

The MedStar National Rehabilitation Network’s Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) system of care is dedicated to providing its patients, families and the community with current news and in - formation as well as opportunities to learn about advancements in research, technology and social opportunities. To sign up, please go to: MedStarNRH.org/SCI