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Rick Hansen Institute and CMA Partner To Help Patients with Spinal Cord Injury

Ottawa, March 12, 2013 – The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) has joined the Rick Hansen Institute (RHI) and researchers from Queen’s University to deliver an exciting and innovative accredited online learning opportunity that will help physicians provide better care for people with spinal cord injury (SCI).

Pour la version française, cliquez ici

Tens of thousands of Canadians live with these injuries and thousands more are injured each year, yet many of them face challenges accessing primary care tailored to their specific needs. The new Actionable Nuggets program will equip primary care physicians with the information they need to offer evidence-based best practices while providing continuing care for patients with SCI.

“Research from Queen’s University tells us that many primary care physicians feel ill-equipped to deal with certain issues they encounter in caring for patients with spinal cord injury,” said Dr. Anna Reid, CMA president. “The goal of Actionable Nuggets is to help doctors provide better care at the front lines.”

Available free to CMA members in both English and French, Actionable Nuggets offers physicians a series of 20 short, focused-care guidelines that can be used immediately to provide better primary health care to SCI patients. The “nuggets” cover a wide range of topics, from screening for cardiovascular disease and managing pain to addressing sexual issues within this population.

Packaged in a unique format, each Actionable Nugget includes:

  • a statement of the problem;
  • the best practice guideline;
  • a statement of the evidence;
  • a citation of published Canadian guidelines (where these exist); and
  • links to further information.

The program – which received funding from the Rick Hansen Institute – has been accredited by the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) for up to 10 Mainpro-M1 credits and will be available to CMA members for one year. Through a partnership with the CFPC, the CMA can also automatically transfer these credits to the CFPC on behalf of a member.

“I am extremely pleased that the RHI is working with the CMA and researchers from Queen’s University to provide Canadian physicians with accredited learning on evidence-based best practices in the care of Canadians with SCI,” said RHI CEO Bill Barrable. “We think this initiative can lead to a real difference in the care available to people with SCI.” The RHI is a leader in promoting and implementing best practices for the care of people with SCI.

“Caring for people with spinal cord injuries can be daunting for primary care physicians who often are the patient’s first point of contact in the health care system,” added Dr. Reid.  “We are grateful that RHI was able to partner with us and help fill a void in providing best practices for the care of patients with SCI.  Patients are clearly the winners in this.”


A video of Rick Hansen speaking about this initiative can be found at www.cma.ca/nuggetsvideo.


Please visit www.cma.ca/nuggets for more information.


About the Rick Hansen Institute

The Rick Hansen Institute is a Canadian-based not-for-profit organization with the goal of creating a world without paralysis after spinal cord injury. It works towards this goal by accelerating research and translating clinical findings into practical solutions to develop new treatments, improve care and reduce the cost burden on taxpayers. The Rick Hansen Institute would like to thank the following funders for supporting its work: Health Canada, Rick Hansen Foundation, Western Economic Diversification and the governments of BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Yukon Territory.

About the Canadian Medical Association

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is the national voice of Canadian physicians. Founded in 1867, the CMA is a voluntary professional organization representing more than 77,000 of Canada’s physicians and comprising 12 provincial and territorial medical associations and 51 national medical organizations. CMA’s mission is to serve and unite the physicians of Canada and be the national advocate, in partnership with the people of Canada, for the highest standards of health and health care.

For more information:

Lucie Boileau, Senior Advisor, Communications and Public Outreach

Tel.: 800-663-7336 / 613-731-8610 ext. 1266

Cell.: 613-447-0866