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2019 Year In Review

It’s been quite a year for Praxis Spinal Cord Institute. From small initiatives to big ones, we are working to make change happen that will have the most transformative impact on the lives of people living with SCI. As we say hello to 2020, here are some highlights that made 2019 such an incredible year.


1. New look. New name. Renewed purpose. In October, the Rick Hansen Institute became Praxis Spinal Cord Institute. We may look different, but our commitment to the SCI community is as unwavering as ever. Praxis exists to lead global collaboration in SCI research, innovation, and care. We will continue to advance groundbreaking ideas that can be put into practice, making lives better. Learn more about our name change.

2. Personifying the bridge between problem and solution, Praxis and UBC’s School of Biomedical Engineering announced a partnership to expand Engineers in Scrubs (EiS), the School’s flagship program in biomedical design. EiS trains some of Canada’s most talented biomedical engineering students to work directly with patients to solve problems that will improve outcomes for those with chronic and costly health conditions, such as spinal cord injuries. Learn more about this partnership.

3. This June, Praxis was pleased to introduce Dr. Ian Rigby as our new Chair to Praxis’s Board of Directors. Read our Q&A with Dr. Rigby.

4. Praxis partnered with MaRS Discovery District on a $200K Spinal Cord Rehab Innovation Challenge aimed at improving the lives of individuals living with SCI by seeking tools that measure interventions and their impact on health outcomes. This competition is open until June 11, 2020. Learn more about the Innovation Challenge.

Pictured left (starting from top left, clockwise): Cross-section of spinal cord which inspired Praxis new brand identity; Speakers at the UBC/Praxis partnership announcement; Praxis Board Chair, Dr. Ian Rigby; Spinal Cord Rehab Innovation Challenge.

5. Praxis hosted two events featuring promising health startups working on technologies with application to SCI. Events that showcase SCI-focused innovations emphasize the importance of supporting healthcare businesses who develop products to improve the quality of life of the 86,000 people living with SCI in Canada today. Read more about the commercialization events here and here.

6. Praxis’ national registry on SCI – the Rick Hansen Spinal Cord Injury Registry – released a report that captures the experiences of people who participate in the registry. Highlighting patient demographics, life satisfaction, secondary complications and other factors that impact quality of life, this report share insights on how people are managing their injuries five years later. Read the report here.

7. Praxis participated in the 8th National Spinal Cord Injury Conference hosted by the Canadian SCI Rehabilitation Association in Niagara Falls in October. Praxis received two awards: 2nd place for the podium presentation on how machine learning can be used to predict survival rates (“A novel tool for predicting one-year mortality after traumatic spinal cord injury”) and a people’s choice award for the poster on how to improve clinical trials by examining neurological recovery (“The interpretation of neurological recovery based on timing of neurologic assessment in SCI”).

Pictured left (starting from top left, clockwise): Winner of the commercialization showcase; RHSCIR Community Report; poster presentation and Praxis booth at the National SCI Conference.

8. Two publications co-authored by Praxis were selected as the most popular publications by Nature’s Spinal Cord. The first publication explores the timing of surgery after traumatic SCI and the other is on exercise guidelines for adults with SCI. Read the publications here and here.

9. Praxis launched our SCI Accelerate Program for health startups with solutions that address care- and cure-related treatments and overall quality of life of individuals with SCI. The program will provide companies with specialized coaching starting in spring 2020. Applications for this program are open until February 10, 2020. Learn more and apply.

10. Praxis once again made MoneySense’s list as a top-rated charity in Canada for 2020, ranking second in the health sector. Review the complete list here.

Pictured above left (starting from top left, clockwise): Praxis co-authors two of the most popular publications for Spinal Cord; Praxis announces SCI Accelerate program; Praxis ranked as top-rated charity in Canada.