MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital and United Spinal DC Announce COVID-19 Emergency Support Program | MedStar Health

MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital and United Spinal DC Announce COVID-19 Emergency Support Program

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Medstar National Rehabilitation Hospital and United Spinal DC are pleased to announce that they have created a COVID-19 Emergency Support Program for people who are living with spinal cord injuries or disease during the current global pandemic. Thanks to the generosity of the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation’s Neilsen Emergency Support Grant, Medstar NRH and United Spinal DC are partnering with DC Center for Independent Living, Independence Now, and the Endependence Center of Northern Virginia to offer emergency relief for members of the SCI/D community residing in the Metro DC region.

Dr Suzanne Groah, Chief of the Paralysis Rehabilitation and Recovery program at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital shares, “The Craig H Neilsen Foundation has been supportive of MedStar NRH SCI research for years and we are incredibly thankful of their grassroots support of our patients with SCI/D in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area during these challenging times. The Foundation’s quick action and support will allow MedStar NRH and our partners to best meet the emerging needs of our local consumers during and due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“With the on-going pandemic, it is vital for people with SCI/D to know they are continually supported, even more through the hardships of COVID-19,” Harsh Thakkar, President of the United Spinal Metro DC Chapter commented. “Having such a backing from the Craig H Neilsen Foundation, MedStar NRH and local independent living centers as partners allows us to expand our reach in providing our members resources is crucial during these tragic times.”

The sudden impact of the COVID-19 crisis has resulted in particular hardship for many living with SCI/D whose otherwise reliable services and medical supply resources are no longer available. Inability to get these urgent needs met may have a significant long-term impact on their health and livelihood.

Team members and volunteers from Medstar NRH, United Spinal DC, and our partnering organizations will procure food, household supplies, personal protective supplies for personal hygiene, medical supplies, and other necessities and when possible provide contact-free home delivery. These items and services will be available at no cost to eligible participants.  Requests will be fulfilled based on highest need.

Any business that has access to the items in need and is interested in supporting this emergency support program can contact

Individuals with SCI/D can apply here (link) or e-mail their application to