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November 17, 2016 (Jerusalem, Israel) – The medical interventions and outcomes of Israelis with spinal cord injury (SCI) can now be captured in the Rick Hansen SCI Registry (RHSCIR), a prospective observational study of individuals sustaining a traumatic SCI, thanks to the teams at the Rick Hansen Institute (RHI) and Hadassah Medical Center.

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Left to Right: Dr. Moira Stillwell MLA, Dr. Guy Rosenthal, Bill Barrable,
Hon. Minister Michael de Jong, Prof. Eyal Itsahayek, and Prof. Yoram Weiss.

Spinal cord injuries have a devastating impact on the health and well-being of the individuals affected. SCI healthcare services are highly specialized and complex and place a significant burden on healthcare systems. By connecting clinicians, researchers and healthcare administrators, the goal of the Registry is to advance research, improve clinical practice, and reduce healthcare costs. The Registry has sites at 31 major acute care and rehabilitation hospitals across Canada. In the last year, Registry sites have been established in China, New Zealand and now Israel, marking its turn as a truly global study that connects the international SCI research and clinical care communities. There are currently more than 6,000 individuals with SCI enrolled in the Registry.

At Hadassah Medical Center, the Registry pilot study is led by Dr. Eyal Itshayek and a team of researchers who will collect details about study participants’ SCI including the extent of their injury, level of paralysis, recovery, success of various treatments, and impact on quality of life and physical function.

RHI and Hadassah Medical Center celebrated their established partnership with an official launch of the RHSCIR pilot study on November 16. RHI’s CEO, Bill Barrable, and Manager of Commercialization & Industry Relations, Jonathan Miodowski, visited the hospital as part of B.C.’s trade mission to Israel, led by B.C.’s Minister of Finance, Hon. Michael de Jong. The delegation and invited guests attended a presentation from Hadasit Technology and a tour of the trauma unit of the medical center, followed by the RHSCIR pilot launch event. Elad Strohmayer from the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ralph Jansen, Deputy Head of Mission from the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, had the opportunity to say a few congratulatory words, along with Hon. Michael de Jong, hospital representatives, and Bill Barrable. Minister de Jong spoke highly of the partnership between Hadassah Medical Center and RHI, and how the launch of RHSCIR “forges another link in the chain of research that will make life better for so many people.”

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The delegation members and invited guests toured the trauma unit at Hadassah Medical Center.

Hadassah Medical Center is a cutting-edge medical facility which provides the only neurosurgery service in Jerusalem and receives referrals from all over Israel and abroad for specialized areas of expertise, including neurotrauma and spinal surgery. Establishing a Registry site at Hadassah Hospital is part of RHI’s ongoing activities to partner with the world’s leading facilities in SCI research and care in order to identify and validate the most promising discoveries, and accelerate the translation of those discoveries into clinical practice. Linking Israeli researchers to the Registry will contribute to the growing body of data that supports evidence-based practices around the world, enhancing the quality of treatment and care for people who sustain a traumatic SCI in Canada, Israel and beyond.


"It is a great honour to be part of the growing SCI network which contributes to the RHSCIR database. With increased knowledge sharing and evolving research solutions, we can offer patients optimal care based on their health care needs. Our treatment focuses on patients, and their ability to cope with the physical and emotional challenges of living with a spinal cord injury."
— Professor Eyal Itsahayek, Director, Spinal Neurosurgery, Department of Neurosurgery, Hadassah Medical Center


Hon. Michael de Jong speaks to "winning partnership" between RHI and Hadassah Medical Center.

"As the sole representative in Canada, for Hadassah Medical Organization, Canadian Hadassah-WIZO (CHW) is very proud of the establishment of the Rick Hansen Spinal Cord Injury Registry. This registry will connect clinicians, researchers, and health care administrators from around the world to improve clinical practice and reduce healthcare costs for those living with a spinal cord injury. It is partnerships, such as this, that help enhance CHW’s mission of supporting Children, Healthcare, and Women in Israel and Canada, thus making the world a better place."
— Debbie Eisenberg, National President, Canadian Hadassah-WIZO

"We are thrilled to be working with our colleagues at Hadassah Medical Center. By bringing the world’s leading experts in spinal cord injury research together, we are one step further in accelerating our vision of a world without paralysis after spinal cord injury."
— Bill Barrable, CEO, Rick Hansen Institute

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About Hadassah Medical Center: For nearly 100 years, Hadassah Medical Center has been a leader in medicine and nursing in Israel, laying the foundation and setting the standards for the country's modern health care system. Hadassah has developed Israel's community health services, established the first modern hospital and medical and nursing schools, and set the climate for medical research in Israel.

About Canadian Hadassah-WIZO (CHW): Canadian Hadassah-WIZO (CHW) is a non-political, non-partisan national network of dedicated volunteers and professionals who strongly believe that the advancement of childcare, education, healthcare and women’s issues transcends politics, religion and national boundaries.

About the Rick Hansen Institute: The Rick Hansen Institute (RHI) is a Canadian-based not-for-profit organization committed to accelerating the translation of discoveries and best practices into improved treatments for people with spinal cord injuries. It does this by leading the collaboration of researchers, health care professionals and service providers across Canada and internationally. Established in 2007 by the Rick Hansen Foundation, RHI has matched leadership and research collaboration with government funding to facilitate one of the largest interdisciplinary spinal cord injury research programs in the world.

For more information:

Rick Hansen Institute
Ravina Johal, rjohal [at] rickhanseninstitute [dot] org, 604.827.2426

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