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Spinal Cord Injury Center

The mission of the Michael Bilirakis VA SCI/D Center is to improve function, promote independence, and enhance quality of life of persons served through state-of-the-art clinical care, education and research.

Veterans are part of an interdisciplinary team that includes providers, clinicians and practitioners in nursing, recreation therapy, physical therapy, vocational rehabilitation, occupational therapy, nutrition, chaplain, kinesiotherapy, family therapy, psychology, and social work at the Michael Bilirakis VA Spinal Cord Injury/Disorder Center at James A Haley Veterans’ Hospital and Clinics in Tampa, Florida.

The SCI Center provides primary care and specialty health services to persons with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI), multiple sclerosis (MS) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Our specialists provide coordinated care throughout your life. We work to help you achieve your goals for independence, productivity, and quality of life.

VA has the nation's largest system of care for spinal cord injuries and disorders. We provide a convenient, connected network of experts to care for you during each phase of your life. Our experienced primary care providers are trained to check for problems unique to spinal cord injuries.

  • Pressure ulcers
  • Pneumonia
  • Blood clots
  • Bladder and sexual issues
  • Constipation and other gastrointestinal problems
  • Sexual issues
  • Autonomic Dysreflexia
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • ALS

The SCI Outpatient Rehabilitation Program provides many types of therapies and classes. These are offered as outpatient and virtual sessions. Veterans and Service Members with a new SCI or chronic SCI can take part in the program. Your primary care provider can make a referral.

For more information, please contact 813-972-2000 ext.7670

Therapies & Classes Offered:

Kinesiotherapy (KT)

KT Conditioning Training (12-week program)

Physical Therapy

Occupational Therapy

Pool Therapy

Smoking Cessation

Adaptive Sports & Recreation

Speech & Language

Driver’s Training

SCI Patient Education Classes

Behavioral Health Counseling

Sexuality Education

Nutrition-Weight Loss

Vocational Counseling

Prosthetic & Orthotic Services

Social Work Services

Whole Health

SCI/D Long Term Care   

 

Home Care Progressive Rehabilitation Program (HCPR)

HCPR provides case managed rehabilitation services for Veterans with a SCI in their home setting. Rehabilitation care is provided by the SCI Home Care (HC) team. The team consists of an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), Licensed Practical Nurse, Occupational and Physical Therapy, Psychology, Dietitian, and Social Work.

If you think you would benefit from SCI Home Care Progressive Rehabilitation, please talk with your SCI primary doctor.

For more information, please contact 813-972-2000 ext.7670

Tampa VA SCI Administration

813-972-7517

Toll free: 888-716-7787

 SCI ALS Coordinator

813-972-2000 ext. 3891

 SCI ALS Social Worker

813-972-2000 ext. 2917

 SCI ALS Appointments

813-972-7670

Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Center at James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital

Building 38

13000 Bruce B. Downs Blvd

Tampa, Florida 33612

Admission / Respite                    813-972-2000 

VA Travel Assistance                   ext. 4754

SCI Admin Office                          ext. 7517

 

SCI Outpatient Clinic

Clinic Hours: Monday- Friday 8 am -4 pm; excluding Federal Holidays

Clinic Appointment                         813-972 2000 ext. 4768

 

Synergy PACT Team

PACT Care Manager: 813-972-2000 ext. 4545

Administrative Associate: 813-972-2000 ext. 7670

 

Genesis PACT Team

PACT Care Manager: 813-972-2000 ext. 7517

Administrative Associate: 813-972-2000 ext. 4768

 

Outpatient Therapy: 8 am – 4 pm, excluding Federal Holidays

Physical Therapy:   ext. 4787, 4788

Occupational Therapy: ext. 7506

Inpatient Hours- 24/7

For Acute Issues after hours contact the Clinical Contact Center   877-741-3400 or go to the nearest Emergency Department

Appointments

A referral may be initiated by the individual, family, physician social worker or case manager.

Phone

813-972 2000 ext. 4768

Referral required? Yes

Walk-ins accepted? Yes, 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Are you traveling out of the area? Are you new to the area?

Contact your Social Worker

SCI- Outpatient Social Worker      ext. 7914

MS Social Worker                                     ext. 5010

ALS Social Worker                                   ext. 6661

Patient Aligned Care Team/PACT

https://www.patientcare.va.gov/primarycare/PACT.asp

 

Portable Medical Profile-MyHealtheVet

https://www.myhealth.va.gov/mhv-portal-web/download-your-own-va-

 

COVID-19 Vaccination Information

https://www.va.gov/tampa-health-care/

 

Peristeen Anal Irrigation System

https://www.coloplast.co.uk/bladder-and-bowel/consumer/

The initial focus of the Robotics Center is to increase the utilization and availability of powered robotic exoskeletons through the Exoskeleton-Assisted Ambulation Program. 

Receiving a  referral: Veterans are referred to the clinic by their primary care physician or recommended to the clinic by another therapist. After the consult is received by the clinic, the therapists will initiate the screening and evaluation process. In most cases, this will involve a bone density scan and a physical examination including leg length, weight, strength, balance and standing tolerance. If the Veteran meets the manufacturer’s established criteria for one or more of the available exoskeleton devices, the clinicians will help the Veteran to establish goals and trial appropriate devices to meet their specific needs.

For Veterans using the device for rehabilitation of independent gait: the clinicians will work closely with the other therapy disciplines to maximize walking time while progressively decreasing robotic assistance to improve independent gait. The robotic exoskeleton devices can be integrated into other therapy sessions when appropriate to maximize standing and walking time.

For Veterans with a diagnosis of SCI who are pursuing a device for long term use in their home and community: the clinicians will help the Veteran progress toward the advanced skills required for home use prescription. This will include training the Veteran and a qualified companion to operate the device independently in a variety of conditions. The Veteran will have the opportunity to experience two devices that are approved for home use and select the device that best suits their needs and environment. If the Veteran meets the advanced skills criteria for their selected device, the equipment can be prescribed for home use.

General Requirements and Contraindications: A neurologic diagnosis that impairs the ability to walk due to partial of complete paralysis of the lower extremities and:

  • Weight less than 250
  • Hand and arm strength on at least one side
  • Full range of motion for standing
  • No lower extremity fractures
  • Cognitive ability to follow multistep instructions
  • No wounds that contact any part of the device

This is not an exhaustive list. Requirements and contraindications vary between devices.

Contact information:

Educational Booklets