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. Catharine 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 membership is intrinsic to achieving the mission, vision and goals.  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 Topics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation (TSCIR) and other educational activities, the CSCI-RA website, and the awards & contests.

There are over 100 members and the list grows daily.


To enhance the recovery, health and well being of all people living with spinal cord injury/disease (“SCI/D”) through research, education and information for patients, families, care providers, regulated healthcare professionals and the scientific community.


  • Foster a community of support and advocacy for comprehensive rehabilitation.
  • Promote and establish standards of excellence for spinal cord injury rehabilitation,
  • Educate members to increase availability of complex services.
  • Foster research in preventing spinal cord injury, improving care, reducing consequences of disability, and finding a cure for both acute and chronic SCI

Core Values

  • 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;
  • Raise public awareness and advance public policies that lead to greater rights and independence for people living with SCI/D;
  • Deliver educational content and highlight the unique needs, and challenges, of individuals living with SCI/D;
  • Facilitate communication among members; and
  • Enhance care, promote education, and drive research to improve the lives of persons living with spinal cord injury nationally and internationally.


CEO Heather Dow Kingston, ON
Chair Dr. B. Catharine 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
Journal Liaison Dr. Julio Furlan Toronto, ON

World Rehabilitation Alliance Representatives (WHO)

Clinical Janelle Unger
Workforce Heather Dow
Research Naaz Desai