On Our Minds


April 10, 2017 – Bowel and Bladder management problems are often described as the most difficult and persistent challenges after SCI. In March, the Neilsen Foundation brought together experts in research, clinical care, industry, funding, and regulatory issues to identify promising approaches which may solve some of these challenges.

Participants shared compelling descriptions of issues faced by physicians and consumers, currently available tools, knowledge and treatments. Using this information as a basis, emerging opportunities were identified for areas where significant inroads could be accomplished within 10 years. In summary, five thematic areas were identified:

  1. Leverage current and emerging technologies in the areas of Neuromodulation and Drug Repurposing.
  2. Update and disseminate Clinical Practice Guidelines for consumers and clinicians.
  3. Build knowledge in Bowel Physiology to improve diagnoses and target treatments.
  4. Restore Sensation/Feedback to provide patient awareness, diagnosis, and closed-loop technology.
  5. Identify and quantify the effect of Rehabilitation/Activity/Exercise on bowel, bladder and sexual function, including early interventions.

The next big question is where do we go from here?

A group of key stakeholders are preparing to summarize the workshop by developing a publication to reach the larger SCI community. This white paper can serve to promote a clear framework to achieve improved bowel and bladder management for people with SCI by 2027.


The Creative Access Residency Program expands opportunities for artists and writers with spinal cord injury

July 6, 2017
Vermont Studio Center

JOHNSON, VT (Vermont Studio Center) — The Creative Access Residencies Program, funded by the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation‘s Creating Opportunity & Independence Project Grant, is expanding opportunities for artists and writers with spinal cord injury (SCI). This exciting residency fellowship program helps to further the creative careers of artists with SCI while championing accessibility and inclusiveness within the larger sector of artist communities/residencies.

Dr. Denise Fyffe of Kessler Foundation Awarded Major Grant by Craig H. Neilsen Foundation

June 15, 2017

EAST HANOVER, NJ (EurekAlert!) — Denise Fyffe, PhD, senior research scientist in Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)/Outcomes and Assessment Research at Kessler Foundation, has been awarded a $392,000 Craig H. Neilsen Foundation grant to explore personal and environmental factors that influence functional independence and community participation of racial/ethnically diverse people with SCI. 

Funder With a Niche Focus on Spinal Cord Injuries Packs a Surprisingly Big Punch

May 8, 2017
Inside Philanthropy

BOSTON, MA (Inside Philanthropy) — Charitable organizations are often founded in a beloved individual’s name and dedicated to a particular health condition. What’s less common is one with the level of endowment and annual giving of the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, a private foundation devoted to helping people with spinal cord injuries. 

nTIDE March 2017 Jobs Report: Americans With Disabilities Reach Milestone With Full Year of Job Gains

April 7, 2017

EAST HANOVER, NJ (Marketwired) — Americans with disabilities continue to outpace their counterparts with disabilities, achieving a full year of job gains, according to today’s National Trends in Disability Employment – Monthly Update (nTIDE), issued by Kessler Foundation and University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability (UNH-IOD). 

Man Moves Paralyzed Legs Using Device That Stimulates Spinal Cord

April 3, 2017
Mayo Clinic

ROCHESTER, MN (Mayo Clinic) — Mayo Clinic researchers used electrical stimulation on the spinal cord and intense physical therapy to help a man intentionally move his paralyzed legs, stand and make steplike motions for the first time in three years. 

Social Music Network Helps Disabled

March 24, 2017
The Daily Gazette

TROY, NY (The Daily Gazette) — The intersection of technology and art can lead to some incredibly beautiful things, bringing people together in dynamic ways. But the power to create a social music network for disabled musicians, or those hoping to become one, is something new entirely, and in the works here locally. 

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