RHI Home Slides

Make a difference in the lives of Canadians with spinal cord injury
Register today

Join us for this popular, consumer-driven SCI research conference

Our inspiration

The leadership, tenacity and spirit of Rick Hansen is in everything we do

We believe in the power of knowledge

Read our latest scientific papers

previous arrow
next arrow

Never miss an update! Subscribe to our mailing list.


Complaints Policy

Complaints Policy


At the Rick Hansen Institute, we value your feedback and take your complaints seriously. The objective of this document is to set out our policy and procedures when receiving complaints from external stakeholders to ensure complaints are addressed in a timely, fair and consistent manner. We aim to resolve complaints, whenever possible, to your satisfaction and use complaints to improve our programs, operations and performance.


This policy applies to complaints from external stakeholders.

Complaints reported under this policy that fall under other policies will be dealt with under those specific policies. For example:

  • Complaints about suspected or known illegal and inappropriate conduct that affects others (e.g., the SCI community, the general public) will be handled under RHI’s Whistleblower Policy.
  • Privacy concerns or complaints will be handled under RHI’s Privacy Policy.

What is a Complaint?

A complaint is any expression of dissatisfaction with RHI, our work, our employees or representatives.
A complaint does not include feedback on matters unrelated to RHI, or a frivolous or vexatious complaint.

Procedures for Making a Complaint

When to Report?

Please report your complaint as soon as possible. This allows your complaint to be investigated and addressed promptly.

Who to Report to?

Level 1: We recognize that many problems will be raised and resolved easily and quickly by speaking to your primary contact at RHI. If you are unable to resolve the issue informally, please write to your primary contact and/or their supervisor so that they have an opportunity to resolve the matter.

Level 2: If you are not satisfied with the response to the complaint or you have no primary contact at RHI, please report your complaint via email to feedback[at]rickhanseninstitute.org, or mail (or other means of delivery) to Feedback, Rick Hansen Institute, 6400-818 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9, Canada.

What to Report?

In your communication, please outline the details of your complaint, the consequences as a result and the resolution you are seeking. Where applicable, please state details about previously raising this concern with an RHI employee/representative.

Investigation and Follow-Up Procedures

We aim to resolve all complaints quickly and appropriately (for example, with a corrective action, an explanation, an apology, or information on action taken), and, where possible, confidentially.

We will acknowledge receipt of the complaint within 7 business days and will attempt to resolve the matter within 20 business days. However, inevitably some issues may take longer to resolve or cannot be handled directly and consequently, the response time may be longer.

We may seek further information from you or the RHI employee/representative involved in the complaint in order to appropriately resolve the complaint.

Anonymous complaints will be investigated to the best of our abilities; however, a proper investigation may not be possible if we cannot get further information from you.


All level 2 complaints will be reported to a Senior Management Team member and brought to the attention of the CEO. These complaints will also be logged in a database to identify potential trends. A summary of these complaints (brief description and resolution) will be reported at least annually to the Audit and Finance Committee.

Our Vision and Mission

Our Vision and Mission

Our Vision

A world without paralysis after spinal cord injury.

Our Mission

To lead collaboration across the global spinal cord injury community by providing resources, infrastructure and knowledge; and to identify, develop, validate and accelerate the translation of evidence and best practices to reduce the incidence and severity of paralysis after SCI, improve health care outcomes, reduce long-term costs, and improve the quality of life for those living with SCI.

The work that supports our vision and mission

To advance our vision and mission, our activities are based on four distinct but inter-related program areas: CureCareCommercialization and Consumer. These programs are intersected by six supporting strategies: translational research, best practices implementation, informatics, network development, consumer engagement and Best & Brightest. All of RHI's projects and initiatives fall under one or more of these programs and strategies.

Learn more about Our Strategic Direction

Learn more about Our Work

Subscribe to our mailing list

Subscribe to our Mailing List

Never miss an update!

Sign up to RHI's mailing list to get RHI news delivered directly to your inbox. On occasion, you will receive news on projects, upcoming events, announcements and other notifications from the Rick Hansen Institute. 

  First Name:

Last Name:

Your consent can be withdrawn at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy or contact us for more details.  

Mid-Term Review


October 8, 2014

To our valued stakeholders and partners,

In 2013, the Government of Canada (through Western Economic Diversification Canada) renewed its funding to the Rick Hansen Institute (RHI) with a $35 million, five year grant to magnify the impact of the Institute. Consistent with our funding proposal, the Institute is undertaking two independent evaluations, one at the mid-point and the second at the end of the 2013-2018 funding period. The first of these two evaluations has just begun and will be ongoing until June 2015. As the Institute continues to work towards its vision of a world without paralysis after spinal cord injury, this evaluation provides us with a unique opportunity to assess our progress to date against this exciting work.

With support from the Rick Hansen Foundation, RHI’s role is to provide the evaluation team with access to program information and documents, help identify key informants for interviews and focus groups, and maintain an open line of communication with Western Economic Diversification to ensure their requirements are being met. The evaluation team is responsible for designing and conducting the evaluation, analysing the data and writing the final report.

As members of our network, you may be contacted and asked to participate, whether by joining the governance committee being established to oversee this process, or by participating in an interview or a focus group. If you are contacted, we encourage you to participate.

The Foundation’s aim is to break down barriers to create a more accessible and inclusive society for people with spinal cord injuries and other disabilities. The Institute was developed from a dream of true collaboration across SCI communities and to accelerate the translation of discoveries and best practices that will lead to improved treatments for individuals with SCI. It is only by working together that we can make that dream a reality. We hope to continue the great work being conducted by the Institute and we hope you will join us in that journey.

We welcome your comments and enquiries about this evaluation. Please contact  for more information.

All the best,

Rick Hansen, CEO 
Rick Hansen Foundation
Bill Barrable, CEO
Rick Hansen Institute



Perinatal Care for Women with SCI


Perinatal Care for Women with Spinal Cord Injury Workshop 2013

Workshop Description

A one-day workshop was held in November 2013 involving consumers, clinicians and researchers with an interest in sexuality, spinal cord injury (SCI), fertility and reproductive health. Funded by a grant from the Rick Hansen Institute, the goal of the workshop was to initiate a collaborative process for addressing the significant gaps in knowledge and services for women with SCI. The workshop was organized and facilitated by Dr. Stacy Elliott, Kate McBride, Shea Hocaloski, Melanie Basso, Karen Hodge and Lynsey Hamilton.

Pre-workshop Survey

Prior to the workshop the project team conducted an online survey amongst identified content experts and stakeholders from across Canada. 19 respondents (63%) completed the survey. The survey collected information about priorities and needs in each perinatal phase: preconception, pregnancy, labour and delivery and postpartum.

Through a series of facilitated discussions, workshop participants validated three themes that emerged from a synthesis of survey responses: a lack of Knowledge both for consumers and care providers, gaps in Access to services and information, and a need for Collaboration both between the consumer and health care providers and amongst health care providers throughout the perinatal journey. In addition, the survey identified many unanswered research questions and the need for social/policy change.

Workshop Outcomes

Workshop participants envisioned a “roadmap” that would guide and empower consumers, their families, and health care providers at all stages of the perinatal journey. Creating the roadmap would “connect the dots” in the journey, link resources that are already available, and establish a collaborative framework for addressing the remaining gaps. This roadmap would allow consumers to: identify where they are in their perinatal journey; determine what information they need to know and/or ask at each stage; thereby promoting access to the resources necessary and increasing the likelihood for a positive outcome, regardless of their geography.

It is rare to help a group of individuals join together who represent a varied number of organizations, backgrounds, personal and professional experiences, but who have a vested interest in improving the perinatal care of women with SCI. One participant on the day referred to the “great energy, great knowledge” in the room.

Overall it is the connections that were made during the workshop that will be invaluable to future perinatal care for women with SCI. The general consensus of the workshop participants was that the day was one of inspiration and hope for the future..

Workshop Feedback

A survey amongst attendees of the workshop demonstrated the hopes and expectations participants brought to the day “to create inspiration and motivation” “coming together to make a difference”.

In testament to the enthusiasm of the group 16 of 22 respondents rated the workshop as excellent in meeting their expectations.

Many participants commented that the presentations by our two consumer representatives had been compelling and helped to remind the group of the reason they had come together: “the presentations by Karen and Teri were very powerful.

90% of respondents agreed that the workshop had increased their understanding of perinatal care for women with SCI while 100% agreed that it increased their desire to collaborate on this important topic, one participant reflected on “the positive and collaborative spirit of all participants”.

Next Steps

Working group members identified the following ideas for action to maintain and build upon momentum from the workshop:

  • Maintain the workshop collaboration as an “Interest Group” or working group to continue progress
  • Draft a conceptual Roadmap (“pathway”, “checklist”); include what we know and identify gaps.
  • Determine potential publications and identify key journal(s)
  • Develop dissemination strategies for consumers
  • Explore possibilities of developing resources for consumers
  • Identify other potential stakeholder groups for future collaborations

Workshop Team

Dr Stacy Elliott, MD
Sexual Medicine Consultant, GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre
Medical Director, BC Centre for Sexual Medicine
Director, Vancouver Sperm Retrieval Clinic, Vancouver General Hospital

Kate McBride, RN, BSN, CRRN
Sexual Health Clinician
Coordinator, Sexual Health Rehabilitation Service, Blusson Spinal Cord Centre

Melanie Basso, RN MSN PNC(C)
Senior Practice Leader - Perinatal
BC Women's Hospital and Health Centre

Shea Hocaloski, RN, BtechN
Sexual Health Clinican
Sexual Health Rehabilitation Service & Vancouver Sperm Retrieval Clinic, VGH

Lynsey Hamilton
Knowledge Translation Specialist
Rick Hansen Institute

Karen Hodge
Postpartum Dula


Thank you for subscribing


Email Consent

Thank you for subscribing to Rick Hansen Institute e-news. We look forward to keeping in touch and sending you the latest news on SCI research and care, upcoming events and other announcements related to the Institute.


The Rick Hansen Institute is a Canadian-based not-for-profit organization that drives innovation in spinal cord injury research and care. We strive to improve the lives of people living with SCI in Canada and around the world.



rehab research smallCanada India SCI Innovation Award – Applications Now Open

Submit a proposal to fund your innovation in the treatment and care of people living with SCI and secondary complications in Canada and India. Deadline for letters of Intent is October 15. More >


 MG 3650 cleanSpinal Cord Injury Fund announced

A new spinal cord injury endowment fund has been set up at the Vancouver Foundation to support the Rick Hansen Institute's mission to advance research and implement best practices that will improve the quality of life for individuals who live with spinal cord injury. More >


UFREE teamUpdate on the RHI-Hebrew University BioDesign Partnership

We are pleased to share an update on the RHI-Hebrew University of Jerusalem BioDesign Partnership that was announced last August. More >