Letter from Dr. Sadowsky:

Headshot of Dr. Cristina Sadowsky

As 2020 draws to a close, I am reminded once again of the resilience of our patients and their families, as well as of our staff members. There is no question that 2020 has been challenging, and yet every day, I see the grace and strength of those around me. While we were not able to be together at our favorite events or participate in our usual activities, we didn’t miss a beat. We continued to move forward with our ambitious goals, and not only did we achieve those goals, but in some cases, we exceeded our expectations.

Our biggest accomplishment for 2020 was the opening of our new location in Howard County, Maryland. This second location of the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury was the result of years of planning, and allows us to increase access to therapy and eliminate travel time for our patients. Our new location couldn’t have been possible without the generosity of Phyllis and Sidney Bresler, Sarah and Jonathan Bresler, The Robert I. Schattner Foundation, and numerous other supporters.

When we planned our second location, we wanted to ensure that patients who went there would receive the same high-quality therapy, and have access to the same advanced equipment, as at our Baltimore location. Proceeds from the annual Derby-themed Hats & Horses event, sponsored by Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Women’s Initiative Network (WIN), enabled us to purchase a G-EO System™ robotic therapy device for this second location. Thank you, WIN!

I am especially proud of the fact that, after a short time during which we had to implement new safety protocols and revise staffing and patient schedules, we continued to see patients in person for hands-on therapy to improve motor and sensory recovery. Our staff members did a fantastic job to get our center back to capacity.

I hope each of you has a wonderful holiday season, and that—most importantly—you each stay safe.

Cristina Sadowsky, MD
Clinical Director, International Center for Spinal Cord Injury

Scheduling Appointments:

The International Center for Spinal Cord Injury is scheduling both telehealth and in-person appointments in 2021. In-person appointments are held at both the Baltimore location and the Maple Lawn location. Additionally, personal training sessions are offered at both locations. Make your New Year’s resolution to get healthier with personal training! For more information or to schedule an appointment, call our program at 443-923-9230.

COVID-19 Update:

The health, safety and privacy of our patients are paramount. We are continuously monitoring and responding to the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation. We are following guidelines and recommendations from the CDC, Johns Hopkins Medicine, the Maryland Hospital Association, and national, state and local health departments, along with our state’s restrictions, to minimize risk for our patients, staff members and the public. Please call us if you have questions or concerns about your appointment.

Check Out Our New Videos!

We’ve recently uploaded new videos to our webpage that you might enjoy watching. Check out our patient stories page here to watch our new videos about Peyton, Howard and Chris. There are a number of other patient stories on that page that will inspire you. We also have a tour of the new Maple Lawn location. Be sure to “tour” that new space by clicking here.

New Equipment Update:

We’ve made some significant updates to the equipment at our two locations. First, we are excited to announce that we now have a G-EO System™ at the Maple Lawn location. Thanks to the Hats & Horses event and the generous donors who donated, we were able to purchase this state-of-the-art therapy device for our new location. We already have the G-EO at our Baltimore location, and now we can provide this therapy at Maple Lawn as well.

Additionally, the funds raised during the Team Kennedy Krieger Virtual Racing Festival 2020 have allowed us to add a Galileo® Delta A TiltTable to our Baltimore location. This device allows individuals unable to stand on their own to benefit from being in a more vertical position, which can lead to improvement of the muscular status of the legs and trunk, the alleviation of contractures, and the stimulation of blood circulation.

Save the Date - Annual Symposium:

Save the date for the 11th annual Trends in Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Symposium on Monday, March 8, 2021, at 3 p.m. This symposium brings together professionals in spinal cord injury and dysfunction rehabilitation, and highlights recent research and emerging trends across the continuum of care for individuals with acute and chronic paralysis.

The 2021 event will be virtual and FREE to attend. The event’s speakers will be:

  • Dimitry Sayenko, MD, PhD
    • Scientist, Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery
    • Neuromodulation & Recovery Lab, Center for Neuroregeneration
    • Houston Methodist Research Institute
    • Title of Presentation: “Electrical neuromodulation of spinal networks to regain motor function after spinal cord injury”
  • Monica Perez, PhD, PT
    • Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
    • Scientific Chair, Arms + Hands Lab, Shirley Ryan AbilityLab
    • Northwestern University
    • Title of Presentation: “Neurophysiology guiding neurorehabilitation following spinal cord injury”

Information about registration will be available in early 2021.

Adaptive Sports:

The Baltimore Running Festival looked very different this year for everyone. Due to the pandemic, and because the safety of our patients, families and supporters is always a top priority, we made the decision to hold our own Team Kennedy Krieger Virtual Running Festival, instead of participating in the annual Baltimore festival. While we missed the camaraderie and competition of race day, the virtual race allowed participants to choose their own distance, day and time of day, location, and comfort zone.

While this may not have been the same experience we have all grown to love, Team Kennedy Krieger’s extraordinary community really pulled together, with close to 150 registered participants and raising more than $46,000. Proceeds from this fundraiser will support the purchase of a Galileo® Delta A TiltTable for the gym at our Baltimore location. We are looking forward to being together in 2021!

Team Kennedy Krieger sponsored a female patient of the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury to participate in a Rollettes Experience with the Rollettes Dance Team. The Rollettes Dance Team is a group of women empowering women to live boundlessly and shift perspectives through dance. Each summer, the team hosts a weekend event, bringing together people from all over the globe. This year’s event included dance classes, workshops, seminars and time to connect with others. Due to COVID-19, this event was hosted virtually through a Zoom webinar.

The Adaptive Sports Demonstration & Resource Fair that was postponed in March will be rescheduled for late spring 2021. Be on the lookout for a new date.

All other in-person events and activities are currently on hold.

Recent Publications from ICSCI Staff:

Feasibility and utility of transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation combined with walking-based therapy for people with motor incomplete spinal cord injury. (2020) McHugh LV, Miller AA, Leech KA, Salorio C, Martin RH. Spinal Cord Series and Cases. 6(1):104. PMID: 33239606

The Pandemic Safe Pool. (2020) Mertins R, Sachs C, Recio AC. Rehab Management Magazine. 2020-2021 Product Directory: 22-24              

A Primary Care Provider’s Guide to Spasticity Management in Spinal Cord Injury. (2020) Cabahug P, Pickard C, Edmiston T, Lieberman J. Topics in Spinal Cord Rehabilitation. 26(3):157-165. PMID: 33192042

Spinal cord injury-related bone loss and osteoporosis. (2020) Sadowsky CL, Mingioni N, Zinski J. Topics in Spinal Cord Rehabilitation. 26(2):128-133. PMID: 32760192           

Shifting rehab from compensatory to restorative. (2020) Nash H, Wilt D. Rehab Management Magazine. 33(3): 10-11    

Satisfied with the Ride. (2020) Linden M. Rehab Management Magazine. 33(2):10-12      

Exercise in the Aquatic Environment for Patients with Chronic Spinal Cord Injury and Invasive Appliances. (2020) Recio AC, Kubrova E, Stiens SA. American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. 99(2):109-115. PMID: 31361621

Pressure Injury Risk Reduction. (2020) Catania QN. Rehab Management Magazine. 33(1):14-17   

Your Support:

Thank you to all who have participated in our fundraising efforts this year! We are incredibly grateful for your support. As we close out 2020, please keep the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury in mind as you consider your year-end contributions. Your gifts help us maintain the best equipment and technology possible, conduct groundbreaking research, and support our patients and families with items not covered by insurance. Visit KennedyKrieger.org/ICSCIFund to make a tax-deductible gift or learn more. Thank you!

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