Conference: 7th National Spinal Cord Injury Conference, Nov 9-11, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.
Conference Highlight: The key themes at the 7th National Spinal Cord Injury Conference were enhancing recovery, optimizing function and integrating patient perspectives in spinal cord injury research.
Conference Summary: The conference was attended by multiple stakeholders including clinicians, scientists and individuals living with spinal cord injury. The first theme of the conference, military medicine in spinal cord injury rehabilitation, was beautifully tied into the Remembrance Day ceremony. The audience was provided with a summary of the history of spinal cord rehabilitation in Canada and the advancements in the field over the years. The presentation ended with our vision for the future direction of the field.
The second theme highlighted at the conference was integration of patient perspectives in prioritizing research goals, shaping clinical practice and improving programs. The value of patient perspectives in shaping research and practice was integrated in the work of many researchers. The conference had valuable presentations delivered by speakers who have been affected by spinal cord injury, which allowed the audience to reflect on how we can meaningfully integrate multiple perspectives in our own work.
Finally, enhancing recovery and optimizing function was an overarching goal emphasized in the work of many presenters at this conference. Using new and innovative ideas and methodology—from novel wearable technologies to neural stem cells— researchers strived to enhance recovery and optimize the function of those living with spinal cord injury.