The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, a private funder of spinal cord injury research, education, clinical training and programmatic support, has allocated close to $10 million in emergency grant funding to support the spinal cord injury (SCI) community and critical research amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Neilsen Foundation is dedicated to a future where people with SCI can live full and productive lives as active participants in our communities. That requires providing immediate, emergency funding to meet their needs during the pandemic, while maintaining our long-term investments in the future.”

— Kym Eisner, Executive Director, Craig H. Neilsen Foundation

This crisis has presented many challenges for the SCI community. People with SCI are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. They are at a high risk of catching the virus, are more likely to experience a critical version of the virus, and many cannot fully socially distance as they rely on outside caregivers to support them in their daily life. Additionally, important SCI research projects have been halted or delayed and will incur additional costs required for the measures needed to return to work, Craig H. Neilsen Foundation notes in a media release.

“People with SCI are facing increased risks in addition to a shortage of home- and community-based services, personal care attendants, and health care options. The safety and well-being of this community is our highest priority and with these grants we’re proud that we can help alleviate their challenges.”

— James Weisman, President and CEO of United Spinal

To meet these challenges, the Foundation created a new crisis funding structure that couples immediate needs with long-term support. The immediate funding provided is based on historically good stewardship of Foundation funds coupled with the willingness to trust their grantees, meaning organizations can access the funds without the usual reporting requirements so they can focus on delivering care quickly.

The Foundation is distributing the funding to current and past grantees by invitation only through:

  1. Emergency grants ($3.5 million) to grassroots, non-profit organizations across the US and Canada, including $1 million in funding to United Spinal to get essential services and supplies to people (eg, grocery delivery PPE telehealth).
  2. Research grants ($6.1 million) for projects that have been delayed, put on hold or otherwise impacted. This funding helps cover the cost of delays and the measures that will need to be taken as people return to work (eg, sanitation processes, testing and PPE).

For more information, visit Craig H. Neilsen Foundation.

[Source(s): Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, PR Newswire]

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