United Spinal Association announces it has been awarded a grant from the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation to provide relief to people living with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D) who are experiencing hardships due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“The safety and well-being of people with SCI/D is our highest priority. We are grateful for the support of Craig H. Neilsen to help us address the critical needs of our community,” says James Weisman, United Spinal’s president and CEO, in a media release.

“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been felt around the world, and people with SCI/D are particularly vulnerable. This pandemic puts them at high risk and makes it difficult for them to access services and supplies that are essential to their daily lives,” states Kym Eisner, Executive Director of the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation.

“United Spinal is closely engaged with the SCI/D community across the country and is uniquely attuned to their immediate and long-term needs. We’re proud to partner with United Spinal to fund relief as quickly as possible,” Eisner continues.

People with spinal cord injuries; immunocompromising disorders such as multiple sclerosis; and underlying acute health conditions, such as skin breakdown or urinary tract infection, are at increased risk of severe symptoms associated with COVID-19, per the release.

“The increased risks, along with a shortage of home- and community-based services, personal care attendants, and health care options has made a difficult situation much worse for wheelchair users and other people with disabilities who are trying to remain healthy and stay out of hospitals and nursing homes,” Weisman adds.

In addition to distributing relief grants, United Spinal is offering a wide range of resources to people with SCI/D and taking proactive measures to ensure members stay safe during the pandemic, including the following, per the release:

  • providing one-on-one assistance and critical support through its online Resource Center
  • keeping Washington, DC, state officials and legislators informed of urgent needs and COVID-19-created gaps in services to ensure access to healthcare and community supports
  • expanding life-enhancing outreach and peer support through its national chapter network and the integration of live group chats, virtual events, and podcasts and webinars

[Source(s): United Spinal Association, PR Newswire]