CSCIRA strives to be Canada’s leading society in the field of Spinal Cord Injury care, education, and research.

Who We Are

Approximately 40,000 Canadians are currently living with a spinal cord injury and about 1,000 Canadians acquire a new spinal cord injury or disease each year. These individuals not only have to adjust to their new circumstance, but must also be cautious of many secondary complications including: pressure sores, osteoporosis, depression, etc. How can you assist their rehab process to allow for a smooth transition back into the community?  Are their unique considerations based on sex or gender that should influence service delivery or may augment rehabilitation outcomes and or community participation and wellbeing?

The Canadian Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Association (CSCI-RA) was incorporated on March 8, 2017 by founders, Dr. B. Catherine Craven, Dr. Milos Popovic and Ms. Heather Dow, to deliver a biennial conference that will drive the mission, vision and goals forward; with purpose.

CSCI-RA value of membership is intrinsic to achieving the mission, vision and goals and the society is committed to innovate and provide increased learning opportunities, services, and connections.   The annual dues form the core of our organization’s financial support and are used to pay for our administration/secretariat, the annual scientific meeting, special edition journal in the JSCM and other educational activities, the CSCI-RA website, and the awards & contests.

There are over 100 members and the list grows daily.



  • Promote and establish standards of excellence for all aspects of health care of individuals with spinal cord injury from onset throughout life
  • Educate members, stakeholder, healthcare professionals, patients, families and the communities spinal cord injury, injury prevention, improve care, increase availability of services and encourage ability though disability.
  • Foster research in preventing spinal cord injury prevention, improving care, reducing consequent disability, and finding a cure for both acute and chronic SCI
  • Facilitate communication among members, physicians, allied health care professionals, scientists, researchers and those with lived experiences.

Core Values

  • Enhance the recovery, health and quality of life of all people living with spinal cord injury/disease/disorder (“SCI/D”), including veterans, and provide support, information and education to patients, families, care providers and regulated health professionals;
  • Focus on how SCI/D rehabilitation care is designed, interpreted, delivered and evaluated using biological and clinical evidence to shape clinical practice;
  • Share information for the mutual benefit of the members;
  • Advance public policies that lead to greater rights and independence for people with SCI/D;
  • Deliver educational content regarding how veterans have informed SCI/D care in the last 150 years and highlight the unique needs, and challenges, of individuals injured in combat;
  • Raise public awareness on the often-overlooked disability issues that affect our community; and
  • Carry on such other complementary purposes not inconsistent with these purposes.


CEO Heather Dow Kingston, ON
Chair Dr. B. Catherine Craven Toronto, ON
Vice Chair Dr. Milos Popovic Toronto, ON
Member at Large Dr. Kristin Musselman Toronto, ON


Accreditation Dr. Colleen O’Connell St. John, NB
Education Dr. Hardeep Singh Toronto, ON
Scientific Dr. Kristine Cowley Winnipeg, MB
Student Rep & Mentorship Dr. Vivian Mushahwar Edmonton, AB
Abstract Adjudication Dr. Jose Zariffa Toronto, ON
Resource Development Dr. Sukhvinder Kalsi-Ryan Toronto, ON
Awards Dr. Cesar Marquez-Chin Toronto, ON
JSCM Liaison Dr. Julio Furlan Toronto, ON