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Archive for February, 2013

Happy Wednesday!

Push to Walk has been very fortunate to work with a team of staff and students from the Rutgers School of Social Work, Center for Nonprofit Management and Governance in developing a Strategic Plan. What a different and better process than me sitting at my kitchen table writing my business plan more than six years ago! With the Rutgers team, our Board Members, staff and founders, we were able to discuss all the components of a Strategic Plan and identify who we are and where we want to go. Sort of like answering the question, “what do you want to be when you grow up,” but for an organization not an individual.

We are very grateful for all the assistance the team provided, and part of the results were an updated tagline and mission statement. Here’s our new messages that more accurately reflect who we are and what we do:

Revised Mission Statement:

“Push to Walk provides individualized workouts and resources to people with spinal cord injuries and other forms of paralysis to optimize current quality of life and to prepare for future medical advancements.”

Tagline “Redefining possibilities for the spinal cord injury and paralysis community”

Stay tuned for more details as the Plan is adopted and tasks accomplished. This is an exciting step forward for the whole organization!

Cynthia

 

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Push to Walk Program Director, Tommy Sutor, received approval from William Paterson University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) for Human Subject Research to conduct a pilot study, “An Investigation of the Intra- and Inter-Rater Reliability of the Neurological Impairment Movement Strength Test on Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury” in mid-January. This is a long and fancy title for saying that we want to develop a more objective way to conduct our initial evaluations with new clients.

While what we’ve been doing to this point is helpful, there is a certain amount of subjectivity to the methods, and we want to change that. By conducting this pilot study, we hope to develop a standardized method of testing movement strength so that measurements found in initial evaluations would prove more beneficial in subsequent tests and progress reports. Actual measurements can then be tracked and analyzed, showing us exactly how our program is helping any given person.

Push to Walk is very grateful for the assistance provided by Michael Figueroa, EdD, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology at William Paterson University, especially in obtaining approval of the IRB. This is very exciting for Push to Walk as an organization and will help us validate and document methods and progress for our clients.  Stay tuned for more details as this comes together!

Cynthia

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This past Wednesday, doctors, researchers and scientists came together in Albany, New York to discuss “Progress in Spinal Cord Injury Research – The NYS Program: Past and Future.” I was not able to attend, so if anyone reading this did, I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback. Also, if you know of a link to any information on the event, please let me know.

Many Push to Walk clients travel to our Riverdale, NJ center from all parts of New York: New York City, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the lower Hudson Valley area. For a time, we even had a client traveling all the way from Albany once every two weeks! So we are very interested in what goes on in New York, and try to stay abreast of any developments.

From what I understand, the purpose of the conference was to present current information on research and treatments, while trying to convince the NY legislators to reinstate the funding stream for research through the traffic ticket and moving violations surcharges. While 70 million dollars had been used for this purpose from 1998-2009, that ended when those funds were diverted to unrelated purposes.

We support the reinstatement of these funds and hope that the symposium and press conference were an effective way to make this happen. Congratulations to everyone involved in the effort, and please let us know if Push to Walk can help in any way.

Cynthia

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With Valentine’s Day upon us, it was fitting that the New York Spinal Cord Injury Association chose to show some love and honor two very special people: Boyd Melson and Dr. Adam Stein. At Slate in New York City, a Mardi Gras fund raiser was held last night, and according to one attendee I spoke with, it was a lot of fun!

Their guest of honor was Adam B. Stein, M.D., Chairman Dept. of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Hofstra North Shore-Long Island Jewish School of Medicine-The North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System.  Dr. Stein  received the 2013 Humanitarian of the Year award in recognition of his many achievements in the field of rehabilitation medicine and unfailing support of the SCI community.

Special Guest and MVP (Most Valuable Philanthropist) Boyd “Rainmaker” Melson – professional boxer and founder of Team Fight to Walk was honored for his generous support of SCI research and the quest for a cure.

I am honored to know both of these people, and recognize how valuable their contributions to the SCI community are. Thank you for all you do!

NYCSCIA is run entirely by volunteers, ensuring that all donations go toward funding programs and services that directly benefit people with spinal cord injuries.

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For the past few years, as our schedules have wound down and our weekends are not spent on our children’s athletic events and other activities, I have found myself watching more football games than ever before. Sundays have become more relaxing, and I enjoy watching either the Jets or Giants (no boo’s please!). Even though I sometimes question how the game is played and the number of injuries sustained, I do like to watch.

Since this week is leading up to the Super Bowl, I was curious about the sports reports I hear detailing various activities for the week. So I went online to check them out: Media Day, Legends for Charity Dinner, Super Bowl Breakfast, Luncheons and a Super Saturday of Service. Wow, it almost seems like THE GAME is lost in all of the other events!

But this got me thinking about such a BIG event. When the Super Bowl comes to New Jersey – YES, NEW JERSEY, not New York one year from now in 2014, wouldn’t it be great if the focus of all these “extras” could highlight the need for care, treatment, cure and quality of life for people with spinal cord injuries and paralysis from neurological conditions like MS, brain injuries and strokes?? Wouldn’t that be SUPER cool??? Come on, people, how do we make this happen??

New Jersey is home to the Jets AND the Giants and their passionate fans; Dr. Wise Young, a prominent international researcher for SCI cure is based at Rutgers University; Kessler Institute, a Model SCI Center, in West Orange;  Kessler Foundation who focuses on employment opportunities for people with disabilities (and so much more!); The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation which provides comprehensive resources & funding for everything related to SCI and paralysis, and of course, yours truly – Push to Walk!

Together, I think we should all get on board and petition the NFL to consider SCI and paralysis a major focal point for the 2014 Super Bowl. Anyone in???

Game on! Enjoy the excitement! Cynthia

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