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  • Spinal Cord Injury

    PHOTO COURTESY: Spinal Cord Injury Lab, ACRM Institutional Member Shepherd Center
    SCI-ISIG Brochure

    Click Image to View Brochure

    At the ACRM Annual Conference in October 2009, the eight-year-old Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Networking Group was recognized by the ACRM Board of Governors as the SCI Interdisciplinary Special Interest Group (SCI-ISIG). Started by Sue Ann Sisto in 2001, the group is now comprised of interdisciplinary professionals who desire to improve the educational and networking opportunities for ACRM membership in SCI medicine, rehabilitation and research, and to advance clinical practice to improve the lives of people with SCI.


    The mission of the SCI-ISIG is to advance the field of SCI rehabilitation and research by providing opportunities for professional development, advocating for standards of practice and research, and supporting a forum for interdisciplinary and international exchange.



    The Program Committee invites proposals focused on research evidence and its translation into clinical practice for presentation at the ACRM 2017 Annual Conference in Atlanta.



    Click to Learn More About Submitting a Proposal     ACRM Annual Conference Call for Proposals




    Seeking Members for Media & Marketing Committee

    The SCI-ISIG is now seeking members for the newly formed Media and Marketing Committee. The purpose of this committee is to help identify and contribute SCI content to ACRM publications, website, and social media. If you want to make a difference for the SCI-ISIG and work with great ACRM colleagues, please volunteer!

    Submit questions and nominations to Dr. Sue Ann Sisto, SCI-ISIG Communications Officer. We are looking forward to working with you and are available for any questions you may have about involvement with the SCI-ISIG.


    Congratulations to Newly Elected SCI-ISIG Officers

    Special thanks and congratulations go to the following capable candidates who generously committed their service to the SCI-ISIG and were elected by the membership to fill the following leadership positions. They will officially take office at the SCI-ISIG Annual Business Meeting, Fri, 4 Nov from 7:00 AM – 8:00 AM at the 2016 ACRM Annual Conference in Chicago.

    • Denise Fyffe, Secretary
    • Ceren Yarar-Fisher, Treasurer
    • Swati Mehta, Early Career Officer
    • Sue Ann Sisto, Communications Officer


    Jeanne Zanca

    Jeanne M. Zanca

    Congratulations to Jeanne Zanca, Chair-Elect of the SCI-ISIG

    Jeanne M. Zanca, PhD, MPT is a senior research scientist in the Spinal Cord Injury Research Laboratory at Kessler Foundation.

    Her research focuses on self-management of secondary complications of spinal cord injury, with a particular interest in caregiving skills training and the management of chronic pain post-SCI.

    Dr. Zanca has been a member of the SCI-ISIG since the group's status was elevated from a networking group to an ISIG and has served in a leadership role as the Chair/Co-Chair for the Task Force on Secondary Complications and Aging since its creation in 2010. She also serves as the SCI-ISIG's liaison to the Communications Committee of ACRM.

    Dr. Zanca plans to work with the SCI-ISIG team to raise awareness of the SCI-ISIG and ACRM among colleagues in the rehabilitation field, encourage growth of this group through recruitment and retention efforts, assist SCI-ISIG members in the creation of products, and establish mutually beneficial collaborations with other SCI and rehabilitation related organizations in our field. Her term begins 31 OCT 2016.


    Updates to the SCI-ISIG Rules of Governance

    The SCI-ISIG has revised its bylaws to clarify existing procedures, make changes to reflect our current needs, and ensure compliance with ACRM policies. The full Rules of Governance for the SCI-ISIG are published in the ACRM Policies and Procedures Manual. To access the manual, log into the Member Portal and select "ACRM Policy and Procedures Manual (ACRM Members Only)."

    These updates have been approved by the ACRM Board of Governors. Substantive changes include:

    • Describing two poster awards that will be given annually at the annual conference of ACRM:
      • The SCI-ISIG Early Career Best Poster Award (awarded to the best SCI poster authored by someone within the first 5 years of his or her post-graduate training)
      • SCI-ISIG Best Poster Award (awarded to the best poster on any SCI topic)
    • Clarifying the terms of SCI-ISIG Only membership to match changes made by ACRM
    • Specifying that elections shall be held by ballot regardless of the number of candidates running for office
    • Adding two positions to the SCI-ISIG Executive Board: Early Career Officer and Communications Officer (see key responsibilities above)
    • Adding two committees:
      • Membership Committee (chaired by the Treasurer): Assists the Treasurer in all duties related to membership, such as ensuring an SCI-ISIG membership of 30 or more persons is maintained by the ACRM National Office and that an ongoing campaign is maintained to promote SCI-ISIG membership in order to enhance its ability to fulfill its stated objectives.
      • Media and Marketing Committee (chaired by the Communications Officer): Creates content for SCI-ISIG-specific and ACRM-wide publications, assists in website updates and social media postings, helps with responses to requests for information on SCI-ISIG activities

    Questions and comments regarding these changes are welcome, and may be directed to Jeanne Zanca.




    Yuying Chen


    CHAIR: Yuying Chen, MD, PhD
    Associate Professor & Director
    University of Alabama at Birmingham

    Jeanne Zanca


    CHAIR-ELECT: Jeanne M. Zanca, PhD, MPT
    Senior Research Scientist
    Kessler Foundation

    Susan Charlifue


    PAST CHAIR: Susan Charlifue, PhD, FISCoS, FACRM
    LinkedIn Profile
    Senior Principal Investigator
    Craig Hospital

    Ceren Yarar-Fisher


    TREASURER: Ceren Yarar-Fisher, PT, PhD
    LinkedIn Profile
    Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
    University of Alabama at Birmingham

    Denise Fyffe


    SECRETARY: Denise Fyffe, PhD
    LinkedIn Profile
    Research Scientist
    Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation

    Swati Mehta


    EARLY CAREER OFFICER: Swati Mehta, PhD Candidate, MA Counselling Psychology
    ResearchGate Profile
    Parkwood Institute, London, Ontario

    LinkedIn Profile
    Professor of PT and Research Director
    School of Health Technology and Management, Stony Brook University



    • Continuing education opportunities
    • Opportunity to plan educational courses for the ACRM Annual Conference
    • Task Force participation
    • Collaborative research opportunities



    One of the most valuable benefits of ACRM membership is the opportunity to participate in the many interdisciplinary special interest groups (ISIG) and networking groups. Not sure ACRM membership is right for you? Consider an ISIG Only membership.



    Print an ISIG ONLY Membership Application



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    Work of the SCI-ISIG is carried out by its various task forces, which promote cutting-edge research, establish standards of care in SCI rehabilitation, and offer an interdisciplinary forum for development of state-of-the-art SCI rehabilitation practice.


    Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) Task Force

    CHAIR: Therese Johnston, PT, PhD, MBA


    Secondary Complications and Aging Task Force

    CO-CHAIR: Jeanne Zanca, PhD, MPT
    CO-CHAIR: Ching-Hui "Jean" Hsieh, PhD


    Fitness and Wellness Task Force

    View current projects and learn how to get involved.


    Women’s Health Task Force

    CHAIR: Heather Taylor, PhD


    The mission of the Women's Health Task Force (WHTF) is to raise awareness, facilitate collaborative research, apply knowledge, and improve women's health and quality of life following SCI.

    The Women’s Health Task Force seeks to understand gender differences and the physical and psychological health of women following spinal cord injury. Our task force offers exciting opportunities for ACRM members looking for ways to become involved, get connected, and make a difference in the lives of women with SCI. We seek people who are willing to lend their time, expertise, and leadership to help the task force further its mission.


    JOIN US!

    If you are interested in participating in one of the following initiatives, or would like to become a member of this task force, please contact Heather Taylor, +1.713.797.5908.



    • Initiative 1: Support and assist with a scoping research review on women’s health after SCI
    • Initiative 2: Produce educational products from the Pelvic Health webinar series
    • Initiative 3: Support the accessible diagnostic medical equipment regulations mandated by the Affordable Care Act



    Pelvic Health Matters

    One of our initiatives included supporting the development and promotion of a series of webinars collectively titled "Pelvic Health Matters.” These webinars, presented between 6 April and 18 May 2016, highlighted important topics specifically for women with physical disabilities, including SCI.

    Presentations were conducted by experts in the field, several of whom were women with disabilities. Below are the sites for each webinar and a detailed webpage that includes links to captioned recordings and transcripts for each session with accompanying supplementary materials. See full details >>

    • SESSION 1: Pelvic HEALTH for WOMEN with Mobility Impairments
      • Margaret Nosek, PhD, Director of the Center For Research on Women with Disabilities at Baylor College of Medicine
      • Sophie Fletcher, MD, urologist and specialist in women's pelvic health, Sutter Pacific Health Foundation in Santa Rosa, CA
    • SESSION 3: Bladder and Bowel Issues That Affect Sexuality
      • Leanne Beers, MPH, PhD (c), specialist in human relations, health communications, body image and intimacy among individuals with disabilities
      • Meena Outlaw, author, SCI advocate
      • Liza Criswell, OTR, ATR at TIRR Memorial Hermann




    • Advance SCI research and promote research collaboration
    • Establish an interdisciplinary research agenda
    • Promote translation of evidence to enhance clinical expertise and practice


    • Conduct state-of-the-art reviews of practice in spinal cord care
    • Enhance competencies of an interdisciplinary team member in SCI rehabilitation


    • Participate in continuing education offerings specific to the interests of SCI researchers and clinicians
    • Plan an educational course for the ACRM annual meeting, Progress in Rehabilitation Research
    • Develop and receive informational and instructional media

    Become involved in an SCI-ISIG task force by contacting the task force chair.




    The Guide describes ACRM products, e.g., fact sheets, journal articles, manuals, and the procedure used by ACRM groups and committees to develop them. Includes a Product Development Worksheet and a Product Review Request Form.