SRC—A Place Where Independence Is Encouraged
Walker says, “I have been so fortunate to have Spain
Leslie Walker was a 20 year-old college student in 1976, when
a south Alabama car wreck changed her life forever. Following
answer – that he believed in miracles but unfortunately didn’t see
the C6-7 injury, her acute-care spine doctor said she would be
many in his profession – pushed me to get on with life instead of
bedridden the rest of her life.
P U B L I C AT I O N S
O F N OTE
I asked Dr. Stover about the odds of my walking again. His
waiting for the cure.”
The push to independence is vital. In 1983 Walker received
“Fortunately, the next month I was admitted to Spain
Rehabilitation Center at UAB,” says Walker. “There was a much
different and encouraging attitude among the staff. It started with
and started work. For the last 23 years with the Alabama
my physiatrist (Samuel Stover, MD), who told me I could learn
Department of Rehabilitation Services, she has helped people
to be independent and complete my goal of graduating from
with disabilities prepare for college or work. Off-duty, she lives
Nakase-Richardson, R, Tran,
J, Cifu, D, Barnett SD, Horn
LJ, Greenwald BD, Brunner
RC, Whyte, J, Hammond FM,
Yablon SA, Giacino JT. “Do
rehospitalization rates differ
among injury severity levels
in the NIDRR traumatic brain
injury model systems program?”
Arch Phys Med Rehab. 2013
her Rehabilitation Services degree from Auburn University
independently with her two dogs in suburban Birmingham,
“Four months later, the night before my discharge from Spain,
where she enjoys her garden and swimming pool.
allows women direct wheelchair transfer.
us in the wheelchair community. The hospital always
Walker praises the SRC ROLL Model Program
has had a greatly skilled staff that I experienced again
started by the Psychology Department for helping
when admitted in 2006. Everybody from nurses to
many patients attain independent living and healthy
PTs, OTs, psychologists, the specialists in the Urology
attitudes. She was in the first group of SRC alumni
Clinic, and others gently push all patients toward
who would be paired with new patients to show that
greater independent functioning.”
life goes on after SCI.
In particular she gives credit to SRC and PM&R
Now more than 37 years after her injury, Walker
Chair Amie McLain, MD, for starting one of the
has been going for examinations annually to SRC
nation’s first Women’s Clinics. McLain underwent
Outpatient Clinic, where she continues to find familiar
additional training in gynecology so she could provide
faces and make new friends among the caregivers.
Walker (right) with McLain in the SRC Outpatient Clinic.
UAB Medicine News
A Residency Program, instituted in 1988 with 5 residents,
programs, starting with the Medical Rehabilitation Research and
Training Center (1966). The Spinal Cord Injury Model System
attained its current level of 12 resident slots in 2005. In 1997
of Care has had funding since 1972, the National SCI Statistical
PM&R was accredited for a SCI Medicine Fellowship.
A 1991 expansion allowed for the outpatient clinic to grow
Center since 1985, and the Traumatic Brain Injury Model System
of Care since 1998.
from 2 to 12 rooms and added more space for therapy, research,
At SRC, multidisciplinary patient care teams develop
Mark VW, Taub E, Bashir K, Cutter
GR, Bryson CC, Mckay S, Bowman
MH, Uswatte G. “ConstraintInduced Movement Therapy for
the lower extremities in multiple
sclerosis. Case series with 4-year
follow-up.” Arch Phys Med Rehab.
Rehab in my city. It’s like an anchor for so many of
these services, and the SRC Women’s Committee
continued from cover
Yarar-Fisher, C, Chen Y, Jackson
A, Hunter G. “Body mass index
underestimates adiposity in
women with spinal cord injury.”
Obesity. 2013 Jun;21(6):12231225.
funded the purchase of an examination table that
and offices. In 1998 PM&R and Surgery opened The Workplace,
comprehensive care plans to coordinate individualized treatment
an occupational rehabilitation facility.
The Samuel Stover MD Assistive Technology Laboratory
for every patient.
SRC has always provided service to the community, including
was established in 2008 with major funding from the Christopher
aquatic rehabilitation with the opening of the Mickey Pizitz
and Dana Reeve Foundation. The lab helps SCI patients use
Memorial Pool, the institution of a Vehicular Driving Program,
computer-based equipment to help them manage disabilities.
In 2010, SRC developed its first program in neuroregenerative
and a Day Treatment Program.
Among other highlights in the SRC history:
funded by the NIDRR to maintain and improve a costeffective, comprehensive service delivery system for
people who incur SCI. Amie McLain, MD, is director.
• Traumatic Brain Injury Model System. The UAB
TBI Model System, which began its fourth cycle of
NIDRR funding in 2013, is a leader in recruitment for
the 16 model centers’ national database. The TBIMS
follows participants long-term to examine their
outcome and engages in research on weight control
and loss following TBI. An educational program
produces materials for download (www.uab.edu/tbi).
Thomas Novack, PhD, is director.
• National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center.
Since 1983 UAB has hosted the NSCISC, which
supports and directs the collection, management, and
analysis of the world’s largest SCI database for use by
researchers. Director is Yu-Ying Chen, MD, PhD.
At SRC - The Pace of Discovery Accelerates
The Functional Neuro-Recovery Program in the
PM&R department at Spain Rehabilitation Center was
created to accelerate the flow from basic scientific
discoveries to clinical practice and provide training
for the next generation of students and trainees. The
program includes the following:
• Neuroscience Research. Scientists conduct
experimental basic laboratory studies with the goal of
discovering mechanisms, biomarkers, pathogenesis,
and treatments for central nervous system conditions.
Projects include major funded studies on concussion and
transverse myelitis. Candace Floyd, PhD, is director.
• SCI Model System. UAB has the only SCI Model
System that dates to the system’s creation in 1970.
Today, UAB-SCIMS is one of 14 such programs
• TJ Atchison Spinal Cord Injury Research Program.
An SCI patient advocate, Atchison won the Alabama
Legislature’s support for a line-item investment in SCI
research. Program director Candace Floyd, PhD, has
established a clinically relevant laboratory model of
traumatic central nervous system injury in swine to
evaluate new ways to protect cells and promote spinal
cord regeneration and repair.
Women’s Committee Vital to SRC
Since 1970 the SRC Women’s Committee has filled
essential roles in volunteerism, fundraising, and
community relations. The Women’s Committee
sponsors a yearly benefit to raise money for SRC.
Its Endowed Chair in Rehabilitation Research was
established in 2006.
Department of PM&R Research Milestones: 50th Anniversary of Spain Rehabilitation Center
Med Rehab R&T
John Miller, III,
named RRTC dir
Model SCI Center
Russ Fine named
RRTC funded for SCI;
National SCI Statistical
National SCI Data
Amie Jackson named
dir, RRTC & Model SCI
named research dir
Candace Floyd, named
Model TBI Center
F e atur e d c l i n ica l T R I A L
TJ Atchison SCI
A Six Month Randomized Open-Label Trial of Pressure Ulcer
Healing with Microcyn® Skin and Wound Care with Preservatives
Versus Sterile Saline in Adult Spinal Cord Injury Subjects. Oculus
Innovative Sciences, Inc (MIC-WC-001). NCT02001558. PI: Yu-Ying
Chen, MD, PhD. Contact: Yu-Ying Chen, 205.934.3320.
Department of PM&R Milestone: 50th Anniversary of Spain Rehabilitation Center (SRC)
acting med dir
3 floors, 58 beds
named SRC med dir,
Rehab Med chair
F o r R e f e rra l s : 8 0 0 . 8 2 2 . 6 4 7 8
Floors 4&5 added
(to 78 beds)
Jr named SRC
John Miller III named
Rehab Med chair
Urological Rehab Research
& Training Ctr established
SRC med dir
Mickey Pizitiz Memorial
named SRC med
dir, dept chair
to 12 rooms
named med dir,
partner in worker
named med dir
opens in Mobile
Worker comp and PM&R
musculoskeletal clinics move
Samuel Stover MD
M o r e I n f o rmati o n : u a b m e d i c i n e . o r g / p h y s i c i a n