More than 10,000 Americans acquire a spinal cord injury each year. Many are caused by automobile accidents, diving mishaps, gunshots and other forms of major trauma. There are currently more than 200,000 Americans living with partial or full paralysis of the arms, legs or both.
Each year more than 100 patients come to Burke Rehabilitation Hospital for acute rehabilitation following a spinal cord injury. To meet the ongoing emotional and educational needs of this group, Burke Rehabilitation Hospital has announced the formation of a new community support group for those who have experienced a spinal cord injury and who are still adjusting to the many challenges that occur afterwards.
The goal of the support group is to provide individuals living with spinal cord injury and associated challenges, tangible tools to assist with coping with the injury as well as a forum to speak about their experiences with others who have similar diagnoses. The support group will be facilitated by two of Burke’s spinal cord injury rehabilitation team: Mark Herceg, Ph.D., director, Rehabilitation Psychology and Neuropsychology at Burke, and Stella Marino, LMSW, social work case manager for the Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation program.
According to Dr. Herceg, “A spinal cord injury is a life-altering event that causes many post-event complications. This new support group will give members a forum to discuss these changes and offer educational opportunities as well as a social outlet to meet others with similar medical conditions.”
“It is our hope that the group will learn from each other and offer an enhanced level of support and camaraderie that is so vital to those with this type of injury,” adds Marino.
The Spinal Cord Injury Support Group’s first meeting will be held from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Sept. 18 in room G41 of the Wood Building at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, 785 Mamaroneck Ave. in White Plains. Support group participants should enter through the main lobby.
The Spinal Cord Injury Support Group is free and open to anyone in the community affected by a spinal cord injury—patients, families and caregivers are welcome. For more information about the group, please contact Mark Herceg, Ph.D., at (914) 597-2889 or Stella Marino LMSW at (914) 597-2321.