UNC Spinal Cord Injury Conference Grows in Regional Recognition

UNC Spinal Cord Injury Conference Grows in Regional Recognition click to enlarge Vendors and participants share information at the SCI Conference.

UNC Health Care/Rehabilitation Care's 5th Annual SCI Conference took place November 15 and 16, 2013 at the Sheraton Hotel in Chapel Hill.

Over 50 attendees from different hospitals in North Carolina - from Asheville to Greenville, and as close as Duke and Durham Regional - joined colleagues from Georgia, Virginia, and Florida.

"Our goal is to educate medical practitioners across the state and regionally about SCI, including nurses, therapists, social workers, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and medical residents," says Heather Walker, MD. "We hope to serve more colleagues next year, especially by offering CMEs for physicians."

Dr. Walker noted that in addition to physiatrists (rehabilitation doctors), spinal cord injury is an important topic for other physicians, including neurologists, primary care physicians, trauma physicians and emergency medicine doctors, who need to know the particular risks for these patients.

"SCI patients are more at risk for certain medical complications, so we hope to educate other doctors about these complications, for proper diagnosis and treatment."

During the conference, industry and non-profit sponsors also offered information about products and services for SCI.

"We had a nice mix of industries represented that can help people with supplies and support for SCI," observed Jacquie Kiser, RN, Intake Coordinator for UNC Health Care's Impatient Rehabilitation Center.

Given the large amount of information to share for the benefit of SCI patients, organizers rotate the topics each year. Resident physicians, who tend to pop in for subsequent years, continue to gain new wisdom from the fresh lectures.

"The conference was great; it gave me insight into the benefits of the team approach to patient care," noted Marshall Ney, MD, a fourth-year resident physician at UNC PM&R. 

If you missed this year's conference, or need to re-connect, check out the brochure!

Information about next fall's conference will be available on the website in early summer.