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Hospital Membership Program Portal

Living with a spinal cord injury or disorder (SCI/D) is life changing and presents a daunting range of challenges. Our hospital members are among United Spinal Association’s strongest partners in helping people with SCI/D and their families improve their quality of life and independence. We urge all of our Hospital Member personnel to become individual members of United Spinal Association.

Our existing hospital members have access to support and education resources below.
If you have any questions, please contact us: 877-483-8716

Become A Hospital Member




MSKTCMSKTC summarizes research, identifies health information needs, and develops information resources to support the Model Systems programs in meeting the needs of individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injury (SCI), and burn injury. The Model Systems are funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) to conduct innovative and high-quality research, provide patient care, and offer other services to improve the health and overall quality of life for individuals with TBI, SCI, and burn injury. http://www.msktc.org/

hill-romAfter years of studies Hill-Rom has been a leader in developing and standardizing tests that evaluate pressure relief. They have been extremely helpful to better understand pressure injury etiology. The five research papers below outline the research.

Spinal cord injury seminarsSpinal Cord Injury Seminars consists of a group of dedicated professionals with the common goal of enhancing the lives of spinal cord injured individuals. Our purpose is to provide a learning opportunity for physical and occupational therapists around the country and to augment the treatment of individuals with spinal cord injury. http://www.sciseminars.com/

ASIA logoAmerican Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) educational courses have been developed using best evidence, input by content experts and rigorous oversight by ASIA committees and the ASIA Board of Directors. Each online educational course is subject to periodic review based on end-users’ need, new evidence and knowledge, and other advances in the field.


ASIA offers free access (no certificates) to online inStep information:

  • Anatomy
  • Sensory
  • Motor
  • Anorectal
  • Scoring
  • Optional Testing
  • International Standards Worksheet
  • Key Sensory Points
  • Motor Exam Guide

Spinal Cord Injury Support

With new CARF standards hospitals are urged to have an organized peer support program with a defined curriculum. United Spinal’s Peer Mentoring Program provides the tools to cope with the medical, psycho-social, and physical changes often association with SCI/D. Through our program, mentors learn a variety of skills, such as good self-management, goal-setting and problem-solving skills, and effective communication.

Trained Mentors are dedicated to helping people adjust to new challenges and situations. Mentors are knowledgeable about coping strategies, daily living skills, and critical resources. The ultimate goal of peer mentoring is to ensure individuals across the country are connected to the very best resources to help people with SCI/D maintain independent and active lives.

The mentoring is not only provided to people with SCI/D, but also their caregivers and family members, and shares guidance on all facets of living with SCI/D, including: employment, affordable housing, transportation, health care and education. For more information about United Spinal’s Peer Mentoring Program, please contact Lindsey Elliott, lelliott@unitedspinal.org to learn more.

Visit Our Peer Mentoring Program Page

Spinal Cord Injury answers from United Spinal Association. Just Ask Us! Our Ask Us program connects you with information, resources, and access to our “Ask Us Spinal Cord Resource” help center.

If you’ve had difficulty finding answers to your SCI/D questions, just Ask Us and one of our knowledgeable staff will provide you with answers. Our Ask Us program is yet another good reason for becoming a United Spinal member- Members receive a priority when submitting questions.

Visit Our Ask Us Program
New Mobility Magazine is an active lifestyle magazine for individuals with spinal cord injury/disease. The articles are meant to highlight topics that are important to people with SCI/D. Active lifestyle means different things to different people, you will find articles on traveling with a disability, sports and recreation, advocacy, relationships, health and wellness and much more.

Click thumbnails for large image:

Our Hospital Members play a huge role in patient outcomes, we are continually looking for content of interest to people with a SCI. If your facility would like to provide content for an upcoming issue of New Mobility please read the New Mobility Content Guide.

Visit New Mobility

Content Placement

United Spinal’s VetsFirst program is a support service for Veterans, their family members, and health professionals working with Veterans. You can find Knowledge Books on a wide range of veterans benefits  and topics. You can also submit a request and have one of our trained benefits counselors answer your questions.

The treatment of Veterans with a spinal cord injury/disease can often be enhanced by bringing veterans benefits and entitlements they have earned into play when needed most. Our VetsFirst staff are experienced benefits counselors who can successfully guide your patient through the very complex and often frustrating process of acquiring benefits and services.

Visit Our VetsFirst Program


Resna logoRESNA offers two certifications to recognize assistive technology (AT) service providers who have met a national standard of job-based knowledge and experience. By promoting the professionalism of AT service providers, RESNA’s certifications ultimately serve to protect consumers of AT solutions.

American_Spinal_Injury_AssociationASIA is the premier North American organization in the field of Spinal Cord Injury care, education, and research. Its mission is to promote and establish standards of excellence for all aspects of health care of individuals with spinal cord injury from onset throughout life. http://asia-spinalinjury.org/

ASCIP LogoAcademy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals (ASCIP) membership provides medical professionals advanced learning opportunities and professional networking that enhances your professional interests, as well as those of your patients and their families. ASCIP is a not for profit incorporated association comprised of 4 professional sections: American Paraplegia Society (APS), Association of Spinal Cord Injury Nurses (ASCIN), Psychologists, Social Workers & Counselors (PSWC) and Therapy Leadership Council (TLC).

Mission Statement
To optimize the health and wellness of individuals with SCI/D through advanced interdisciplinary education, professional development and scientific research.

Medical Rehabilitation

These publications are for surveys conducted between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019.

For programs and services designed to serve individuals in need of:

  • medical rehabilitation
  • occupational rehabilitation
  • medical rehabilitation case management



United Spinal continually hears from our members and other wheelchair users regarding significant barriers to appropriate medical care. Architectural barriers, inaccessible medical equipment, and lack of staff training often impede access to proper medical care. Somewhat surprisingly, these complaints occasionally stem from facilities that are leaders in spinal cord injury treatment.

A recent study of health care utilization for people with SCI examined barriers to healthcare in the outpatient setting. In this study, patients experienced barriers 91.1 % of the time at their primary care physician office and 80.2 % of the time with their specialty care. The most prevalent barriers include inaccessible exam tables and lack of transfer aides.

The vast majority had not been weighed (89%) and had remained seated in their wheelchair during their physical examinations (85.2%). In a study of accessibility of prenatal care for 22 women with mobility impairments, no women reported being routinely weighed on an accessible scale, and 4 women reported never having been weighed during their entire pregnancy. Furthermore, due to a lack of an accessible scale in one clinic, the suggestion was made to one woman that she go to the post office to be weighed on a cargo scale.

In a study of physical access barriers in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, obtaining an accurate weight for chemotherapy dosing was a critical concern. One respondent with SCI reported that her oncologist lifted and held her in his arms while standing on a scale to obtain her weight. These experiences clearly identify barriers to equitable and dignified healthcare.

In some communities, activists have combined forces to bring about change. For example, disabled advocates in Boston, met with hospital administrators to address the barriers to healthcare they experienced. Several hospitals entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to address the complaints and experiences of the disabled community. Together they developed plans to identify the barriers and make systematic plans to address them. To learn more, please visit: Boston Globe -2 Flagship hospitals to Upgrade Accessibility

We know there is much work to be done to promote equal access to healthcare. We’d like to ask you, our Affiliate Service Providers, to consider a self-check of the systems in place at your own facilities. We encourage you to take some time to consider your facility’s progress in addressing accessibility, not only architectural constructs, but programmatic services as well.

ABOUT THIS DOCUMENT: This document is intended to help your facility assess for some of the more common barriers experienced by people with disabilities while accessing healthcare services. It is in no way intended as a complete measure of accessibility or to determine your legal responsibilities as an institution. Rather, the intent is to raise facility awareness to the issues, identify problematic areas, and create a dialogue within your facility to bring about change. This document is concerned not only with architectural accessibility standards but also programmatic considerations to ensure equitable and dignified healthcare.

Additional resources and information are included at the conclusion of the survey that will help educate the staff at your facility on some of the issues people with disabilities face.

Stillman MD, Bertocii G, Smalley C, Williams SR, Frost KL. Healthcare utilization and associated barriers experienced by wheelchair users: A pilot study

  • Disability and Health Journal
Published online: February 16, 2017. [1] Iezzoni LI, Wint AJ, Smeltzer SC, Ecker JL.
  • Physical Accessibility of Routine Prenatal Care for Women with Mobility Disability. J Womens Health. 2015 Dec;24(12):1006-12 [1] Iezzoni LI, Kilbridge K, Park ER.
  • Physical Access Barriers to Care for Diagnosis and Treatment of Breast Cancer Among Women with Mobility Impairments. Oncology nursing forum. 2010;37(6):711-717.

The following Accessibility Survey can you identify accessibility shortcomings within your facility.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act require that health care providers provide individuals with disabilities full and equal access to their health care services and facilities. Title II of the ADA applies to public hospitals, clinics and health care services operated by state and local governments and Title III of the ADA applies to privately-owned and operated hospitals, clinics and health care providers. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act applies to recipients of federal financial assistance such as Medicaid and federally conducted programs.

ADA Standards

Title II  (State and Local Governments) – HTML

Title III 2010  (Public Accommodations and Commercial Facilities) | PDF

Accessible Hospitals and Medical Care Facilities – A Refresher. Great Lakes ADA Center webinar, presented October 5, 2017.

ADA Parking and Entrance Checklist for Existing Health Care Facilities

Mid-Atlantic ADA Center 2013

ADA Checklist for Existing Facilities-2010: Based on the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design. Institute for Human Centered Design, 2014.

A Blueprint for Improving Access to Primary Care for Adults with Physical Disabilities.

2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design – Information and Technical Assistance</strong

Access to Medical Care For Individuals with Mobility Disabilities – 2010 U.S. Dept. of Justice and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals and the ADA. U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section. July 20, 2015.

Medical Diagnostic Equipment Accessibility Standards – U.S. Access Board 2016

National Fire Protection Association. Emergency Evacuation Planning Guide for People with Disabilities, 2016.

Consumer Perspectives

Gilmer T. Equal Health Care: If Not Now, When? New Mobility, July 2013.

Vogel B. Hospital Stay Survival guide. New Mobility, March 2013. http://www.newmobility.com/2013/03/paramedic-hospital-stay-survival-guide/

Disability Etiquette, United Spinal Association.

Related Research/Brief

Singer, RF, I Dickman, A Rosenfeld. Increasing the Physical Accessibility of Health Care Facilities. CMS OMH Issue Brief. Baltimore, MD: CMS Office of Minority Health. (2017).

Stillman MD, Bertocii G, Smalley C, William SR, Frost KL. Healthcare utilization and associated barriers experienced by wheelchair users: A pilot study. Disability Health J. 2017 Oct;10(4):502-508.

Mudrick NR, Schwartz MA. Health care under the ADA: a vision or a mirage? Disabil Health J. 2010 Oct;3(4):233-9.

Story MF, Schwier E, Kailes JI. Perspectives of patients with disabilities on the accessibility of medical equipment: Examination tables, imaging equipment, medical chairs, and weight scales.Disabil Health J. 2009;2(4):169-179.

Lagu T, Griffin C, Lindenauer PK. Ensuring Access to Health Care for Patients With Disabilities. JAMA internal medicine. 2015;175(2):157-158.

Lagu T, Hannon NS, Rothberg MB, Wells AS, Green KL, Windom MO, Dempsey KR, Pekow PS, Avrunin JS, Chen A, Lindenauer PK. Access to subspecialty care for patients with mobility impairment: a survey. Ann Intern Med. 2013; 158(6):441-6.