Medical Organizations

Here's what's in this section:

Find physicians that specialize in physical medicine and rehabilitation – physiatrists, neurologists, neurosurgeons, as well as spinal cord injury specialists in family medicine, sports medicine, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, recreation therapy, psychology, social work, and vocational rehabilitation. 

A variety of medical and professional associations provide access to best-practice patient treatment and family education resources. Up-to-date information and guidance is contained in fact sheets from the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center for Spinal Cord Injury. These are routinely updated as advancements in medical care occur.

Thousands of medical professionals, scientists, and researchers across the globe are currently working to discover ways to improve the lives of individuals living with a spinal cord injury. Stay alert to advancements in research, treatment, education, and medical care by connecting with a research registry to be alerted about opportunities to participate in clinical trials and learn about recent discoveries. 

This section also provides information sources for durable medical equipment and personal care supplies such as wheelchairs (manual and electric), hospital beds, Hoyer lifts, crutches, bath benches, commodes, pressure mattresses, grab bars, trapeze bars, and urinary supplies and catheters. New improvements in product design are always on the horizon. Explore information on the nationwide Ability Expos to stay current with consumer products to support health and wellness.

Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals

Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals is a interdisciplinary organization dedicated to advancing the care of people with spinal cord injury/dysfunction (Spinal Cord Injury/D) by bringing together nurses and physicians.The Academy is made up of the American Association of Spinal Cord Injury Nurses, the American Paraplegia Society, the American Association of Spinal Cord Injury Psychologists and Social Workers, and the Therapy Leadership Council in Spinal Cord Injury.


American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

AAPRM&R is the primary medical society for the specialty of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (rehabilitation physicians). It provides information on medical issues and best practices and continuing education and training. Here you can find a basic definition of what a physiatrist does as well as where to find one in your area. Click on “About Physiatry” to Find a PM&R Physician  in your area and their contact information.

American Association of Neurological Surgeons

Founded in 1931 as the Harvey Cushing Society, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) is a scientific and educational association with over 8,000 members worldwide. The AANS is dedicated to advancing the specialty of neurological surgery in order to provide the highest quality of neurosurgical care to the public. The Patient Information tab on the main toolbar, provides a wide range of consumer information on Conditions and Treatments.    

American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine
The American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) is an organization of rehabilitation professionals dedicated to serving people with disabling conditions by supporting research that promotes health, independence, productivity, quality of life, and meets the needs of rehabilitation clinicians and people with disabilities. The Association’s Patient Education section provides consumer-friendly information on topics relevant to spinal cord injury and rehabilitation medicine. These are targeted to help people with disabilities, their caregivers, or clinicians.
American Medical Association Doctor Finder

The American Medical Association has compiled an online index of virtually every licensed physician in the U.S. Using this tool, you can search for specialty doctors in your area. The website lists first the doctors who are AMA members, though non-members can also be found. Each listing includes information on the location of the doctor’s office and, in some cases, accepted insurance providers, educational history and specialty certifications.

American Occupational Therapy Association’s Web Site

The American Occupational Therapy Association advances the quality, availability, use, and support of occupational therapy through standard-setting, advocacy, education, and research on behalf of its members and the public. AOTA’s major programs and activities are directed toward assuring the quality of occupational therapy services; improving consumer access to health care services, and promoting the professional development of members. The Association’s website section for Disability and Rehabilitation provides a variety of resource tips to better understand the role OT’s play in Spinal Cord Injury rehabilitation. 

American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA)

ASIA establishes and promotes standards of excellence for all aspects of health care of individuals with spinal cord injury from onset throughout life. One of ASIA’s primary missions is to educate members, other healthcare professionals, patients and their families as well as the public on all aspects of spinal cord injury and its consequences in order to prevent injury, improve care, increase availability of services and maximize the injured individual’s potential for full participation in all areas of community life. The Public Information link on the left toolbar provides a variety of consumer education information on durable medical equipment, clinical trials, and general guidelines for selecting SCI rehabilitation programs.



Australia/New Zealand Spinal Cord Network

The Australian/ New Zealand Spinal Cord Network’s mission is to make recovery from spinal cord injury as full as possible.  Established in 2008, the Spinal Cord Injury Network has identified a number of ways to speed the translation of innovative research discoveries into practical benefits for people with spinal cord injury, focusing on five approaches. They aim to advance treatments for spinal cord injury by promoting excellence in research and clinical practice through improved communication and collaboration to build capacity.

Brain Injury Association of America

The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) is the country’s oldest and largest nationwide brain injury advocacy organization. The BIAA’s mission is to be the voice of brain injury. Through advocacy, education and research, they bring help, hope and healing to millions of individuals living with brain injury, their families and the professionals who serve them. To find more information on Brain Injury Associations in your area, click on the Find BIA in Your State tab located on the home page.

Cleveland Functional Electrical Stimualtion Center

The Cleveland FES Center strives to create a fertile environment in which researchers, engineers and clinicians work in collaboration to develop technological solutions that improve the quality of life of individuals with neurological or muscular skeletal impairments the through the use of functional electrical stimulation and enables the transfer of this technology into clinical deployment. This website offers news on Spinal Cord Injury research and provides information on the development of functional electrical stimulation.  

Commission of Accredited Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)

The Commission of Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) promotes quality, value, and optimal outcomes of rehabilitation services through a consultative accreditation process that centers on enhancing the lives of the persons served. Facilities accredited by CARF have met high standards of care with demonstrated action to improve the quality of life of persons served. Enter your zip code to “Find an Accredited Provider” and locate a CARF accredited facility in your area.

Department of Veteran Affairs – Spinal Cord Injury & Disorders

The VA’s Spinal Cord Injury & Disorders System of Care provides a coordinated life-long continuum of services for eligible veterans with spinal cord injury. The system is designed around 24 hub’s across the nation. Each hub runs specialty centers comprised of highly trained providers including doctors, nurses, social workers, therapists, psychologists, and other professions. All professionals are uniquely equipped to support and treat people with spinal cord injury or disorder.

Learn About Clinical Studies

A variety of consumer education sheets were developed by the U.S. National Institutes of Health to help people better understand clinical studies. Descriptions are provided on clinical trials and observation studies, who and where clinical studies are conducted, how long studies last, reasons for conducting them and who and how one participates in a clinical study.

Medical University of South Carolina – Spinal Cord Injury Research Team

The Medical University of South Carolina’s Spinal Cord Injury Research Team research goal is to help better understand the life situation of our people with spinal cord injuries, and to identify factors that may be used to promote better life outcomes.   Their research ranges from studies on pressure sores to education and employment outcomes for people with spinal cord injuries.

Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center

The Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC) summarizes research, identifies health information needs and develops systems for sharing information for the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) model systems programs in traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and burn injury. The Spinal Cord Injury tab at the top takes you to a page with a listing of what the website has to offer, including factsheets, slideshows, and hot topic modules as well as quick reviews of research that is funded by the NIDRR, and a database of research publications from the Model Spinal Cord Injury Systems since 1991. 


MossRehab is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient physical medicine and rehabilitation in the Philadelphia region. Their comprehensive spinal cord injury program provides care at all stages of recovery. Family education is a key component of care and supports goal setting for stress-free transitions and continuity of care. The MossRehab Spinal Cord Injury Program is structured to move hand-in-hand with people and support their goals to achieve independence and lead productive and rewarding lives.

National Alliance for Caregiving

Established in 1996, the National Alliance for Caregiving is a non-profit coalition of national organizations focusing on advancing family caregiving through research, innovation, and advocacy. Family caregivers provide important societal and financial contributions toward maintaining the well-being of those they care for, the Alliance is dedicated to improving quality of life for families and their care recipients through research, innovation, and advocacy.

Neurotech Network

Founded in 2005, Neurotech Network of The Society to Increase Mobility, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization focusing to improve the education of and the advocacy to access neurotechnology devices, therapies and treatments for persons with impairments. Educational Sessions, webinars, and presentations can be viewed in the Education for Consumers & Caregivers section.

New Underserved Populations Resource Sheets

The National Paralysis Resource Center (NPRC) created a series of resource sheets for underserved communities living with disabilities, including African AmericansHispanicsAmerican Indians and Native Alaskans, and Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiians. Each topic sheet provides federal and local resources, as well as non-profit organizations and advocacy groups that support specific minority groups. Each is designed to help individuals who live with disabilities locate critical programs and support services in their community, with the overall goal of improving health and promoting independent living.

North American Spinal Cord Injury Consortium

The North American Spinal Cord Injury Consortium (NASCIC) has the mission to bring about unified achievements in research, care, cure and policy by supporting collaborative efforts across the spinal cord injury community. It brings together like-minded organizations, individuals, and groups to improve research, care, and policies impacting people living with spinal cord injury, their families, and community.

Ohio State Medical Center – NeuroRecovery Network Center

The NeuroRecovery Network (NRN) Center at The Ohio State University Medical Center is part of a distinguished network of leading rehabilitation centers that develops and delivers therapies to promote functional recovery and improve quality for life for people living with paralysis. Funded by the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the NRN translates the latest scientific advances into effective rehabilitation treatments.

OrthoInfo – American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

OrthoInfo is an online resource from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons that aims to share the most up-to-date news and information about orthopaedic surgery. The website contains over 600 articles about fractures, sports injuries, joint replacement, childrens’ orthopaedics, and other topics. The sections on Neck & Back provide a variety of consumer education sheets, on diseases and conditions, treatments and surgeries, and health and safety. All of OrthoInfo’s articles are written and peer reviewed by orthopaedic surgeons who are experts in their field.

Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA)

RESNA promotes research and advocacy for assistive technology through membership and programs focused on the exchange of ideas and information about technological advancements for individuals with disabilities. The Consumer and Public Information section of this professional websites provides a catalogue of state programs designed to assist you as well as conferences and assistive technology news. Some of the most useful tools on this website are the lists of state programs which can help you find financial help for assistive technology.

Research Center at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center

The Research Center at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center conducts research to better understand and improve outcomes after TBI and Spinal Cord Injury.  Outcomes studied include the functional, vocational and life satisfaction areas that are important to people with and without disabilities.  They strive to meet the needs of injuries persons and their families for information, education and support.

Shepherd Center

Shepherd Center is one of the top rehabilitation hospitals in the nation, specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury or brain injury. Their spinal cord injury resource website,, is a great starting point for individuals and families looking for information on topics ranging from Coping and Adjustment, to Bladder and Bowel Care, to Transfers and Wheelchair Positioning

Wings for Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation

By providing targeted financial support, Wings for Life enables the implementation of important research projects focusing on curing paraplegia. Wings for Life also supports revolutionary compensatory treatments, which promise to significantly improve the quality of life of paraplegic patients.

To choose its research projects, Wings for Life benefits from the expertise of an advisory committee of international scientists and physicians. Together with well respected reviewers, they support the foundation by selecting the most promising projects that focus on relevant research. Wings for Life has established a stringent, multistage selection process to ensure the best possible investment of every single donation.