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Home » Media Releases » WRHA gets top marks for…

Media Release

WRHA gets top marks for spinal cord injury program at HSC Winnipeg

Standards developed by Rick Hansen Institute and Accreditation Canada

Winnipeg Regional Health Authority
Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA)'s Spinal Cord Injury Program at Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg (HSC) - the only program of its kind in Manitoba - is one of the first in Canada to be successfully accredited according to standards developed by the Rick Hansen Institute (RHI) and Accreditation Canada (AC) in 2012 and rolled out for AC site reviews across the country.

The recent WRHA-wide accreditation in spring 2016 is the first time the Manitoba program has been reviewed under these new, comprehensive and evidence-based standards for spinal cord injury (SCI) care. HSC Winnipeg's Rehab SCI Program scored an exemplary 100%, and the Acute SCI program scored 99%. Today, RHI CEO Bill Barrable presented the SCI team with two certificates in acknowledgement of this significant achievement.

"These accreditation standards provide a level of specificity that better reflect the complexity of providing care to the SCI population," said Bill Barrable. "We are pleased to congratulate the WRHA and HSC Winnipeg on demonstrating leadership by being early adopters of SCI-specific standards, and providing excellent and reliable SCI care in Canada."

As the provincial trauma and major healthcare referral centre for Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario, HSC Winnipeg's interdisciplinary team provides specialized trauma, orthopedic and neurologic surgical acute care, and subacute rehabilitative care, including physiatry, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, social work and recreation therapy for approximately 50-60 people with spinal cord injuries each year.

Given the nature of spinal cord injuries - whether a result of trauma, aging, or illness - patients can spend months in a hospital pursuing intensive therapies to build function and independence, followed by many more months of lifelong SCI outpatient care.

"A unique aspect of our program is that we develop deep and long-term relationships as we work with people during their hospital experience, to the transition home, and via ongoing support throughout their lifetime," said Dr. Karen Ethans, Physiatrist and Service Chief for the SCI program. "We are also fortunate to have great partners like the Canadian Paraplegic Association of Manitoba, and the University of Manitoba Spinal Cord Research Centre."

Manitoba's SCI program is nationally recognized for clinical research excellence in diverse areas of symptomatic management and secondary prevention of comorbidities, including virtual SWAT (skin wound assessment team) clinics for management of pressure ulcers, and medication interventions for spasticity, neurogenic bladder, and bowel management.

"Manitoba is proud to offer care and research expertise that supports people who experience a spinal cord injury," said Milton Sussman, President and Chief Operating Officer, WRHA. "Access to specialized staff, tools and resources make an enormous difference in quality of life. On behalf of all Manitobans, I congratulate the team on their dedication."