CONTACT: DOH Communications
Jessica Hammonds, Press Secretary
FLORIDA RECOGNIZES SPINAL CORD INJURY AWARENESS WEEK
-The Florida Department of Health and Partners Team Up to Prevent Spinal Cord Injuries-
TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Health (DOH) joins organizations across the state in recognizing Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Week. Through a resolution passed by the 2012 Florida Legislature, November 12-18 is designated to create awareness of spinal cord injuries, and to educate Floridians on how to prevent spinal cord injuries.
“During this week and throughout the year, our Department shares information with Floridians on how to prevent spinal cord injuries, especially during potentially high risk activities such as driving, playing sports, or working from great heights,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John H Armstrong. “The majority of these injuries can be prevented.”
DOH’s Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Program (BSCIP) Central Registry data for 2011 indicates there were 550 new cases of spinal cord injuries. Among these, 40 percent of injuries occurred among persons between 21 and 45 years of age; and 74 percent of spinal cord injuries occurred in men. The four leading causes included auto accidents, falls, acts of violence, and recreational sporting activities.
DOH’s BSCIP is nationally recognized as a leader for its coordinated system of services and support. The program coordinates all available federal, state and community resources to assist newly injured individuals with reintegration back into their communities. Services offered include case management, acute care, inpatient/outpatient rehabilitation, transitional living services, assistive devices, and home and vehicle modifications. Long-term community based services are provided through the Medicaid Home and Community Based Waiver.
The Darrell Gwynn Foundation, a DOH partner, has made numerous wheelchair donations through its Wheelchair Donation Program during past Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Weeks. The Foundation advocates for the annual legislative resolution and is dedicated to educating the community. They arrange speakers with spinal cord injuries to visit high schools across the state to tell their stories of how a single decision changed their lives forever. The program teaches students the dangers of texting and driving, drinking and driving, not wearing seatbelts, diving in unknown waters, playing with guns and engaging in reckless activities that can lead to spinal cord injuries.
DOH protects, promotes and improves the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts. For specific information on spinal cord injuries, contact the Florida Spinal Cord Injury Resource Center toll-free at 1-866-313-2940, or visit the website at www.fscirc.com.
For more information on the DOH Brain & Spinal Cord Injury Program, contact the Tallahassee office toll-free at 1-866-875-5660, or visit the DOH web site at www.doh.state.fl.us/DEMO/BrainSC/. For more information on the Darryl Gwynn Foundation, visit their website at www.darrellgwynnfoundation.org.
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