Why was Dr. Jim Post chosen for the March cover of United Spinal Association’s New Mobility magazine?
He was chosen because of his history, as far as we know, of being the first quadriplegic to successfully gain admittance to and graduate from a medical school; also, for his having risen to his current position, Chief of Internal Medicine, at James J. Peters VA Medical Center, a major, respected teaching/research hospital.
It was only after we had chosen him that we realized the connection to the Bronx VA Med Center and United Spinal Association.
Peters founded United Spinal after sustaining a spinal cord injury in 1967 in preparation for a tour in Vietnam. He was a paraplegic patient at the Bronx VA, which was later exposed for its “deplorable conditions” by Peters and Ron Kovic (author of the book, Born on the Fourth of July and movie of the same name.)
Peters served as President of Eastern Paralyzed Veteran’s Association (which later changed its name to United Spinal Association) and became known for his lifetime commitment and pioneering advocacy for people with SCI. An October 2009 article in the Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine (J Spinal Cord Med. 2009 Oct; 32(5): 501–502) pays tribute to Peters and includes the following excerpt:
“In addition to the James Peters VA Medical Center, he is memorialized by the James Peters Veterans Leadership Awards, the James J. Peters Conference Room at Yale University, the VA’s James J. Peters Memorial SCI Scholar Award and the James J. Peters Distinguished Service Award. … [For Jim Peters] … No path was unexplored, no obstacle avoided in his quest to advance the care of people with spinal cord injury and the field of spinal cord medicine. His personal brand of advocacy furthered health care, research, education, transportation, housing, and legislation for all people with disabilities.
Peters’ strategy was straightforward—he simply refused to accept no for an answer. More than any memorial, this is his legacy.”
Dr. Jim Post fits perfectly into the spirit of Jim Peters’ legacy, having distinguished himself in the field of medicine by also refusing to take no for an answer.
New Mobility Magazine