NorCal SCI presents at the Sutter Rehab Centers in San Francisco and Oakland

As part of our continued outreach to the Northern California Rehab Centers, NorCal SCI co-founder Nick Struthers visited the California Pacific Regional Rehabilitation Center (CPMC) at the Davies Campus in San Francisco last Thursday. He then rushed over the Bay Bridge to present to the SCI Team at the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center Acute Rehabilitation Center in Oakland.

   Todd Boyer (left) and Nick Struthers at CPMC North Tower

Todd Boyer (left) and Nick Struthers at CPMC North Tower

I had arranged to meet up with Todd Boyer at the Davies Campus just before our meeting with the CPMC Team, writes Nick.  I first met Todd in August of 2017 when I visited the Sutter Rehabilitation Institute (SRI) in Roseville. Todd, who is a volunteer, coordinates the peer support group there and has been doing great work in the SCI community for many years now.

We made our way to the Activity Room on the first floor which has spectacular views of the evolving city skyline and on to the Bay. We were greeted by Michelle Nicolas, an occupational therapist who was hosting us that day and she helped me set up for my presentation.

   CPMC North Tower

CPMC North Tower

The medical team has regular in-service meetings where it gives a chance for the medical rehab staff to learn about services and organizations they may benefit from knowing. I had the opportunity to update the staff on NorCal SCI's plans for 2018 as well as give a clear picture of the Northern California Rehab and volunteer organizations. Todd was able to communicate the approach SRI was taking regarding peer support for the SCI patients and community in Roseville. Before I rushed off to Oakland, I was able to deliver our latest Care Package to one of the patients and say hi to Mira El-Katcha, the occupational therapist who was instrumental in setting up my visit.

Mary Cafarella-Ake, the Director of Rehabilitation Services at the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, had invited me to present to the multi-disciplined SCI Rehab team at their regular team meeting. The Summit Center is the third largest SCI Acute Rehab Facility in Northern California in terms of number of patients treated and like its San Francisco counterpart, many of the spacious single rooms have spectacular views of the Bay Bridge and the city skyline. I saw a few familiar faces in the meeting as I had been given the opportunity to meet with some of the team a year previously.

   Alta Bates Summit Medical Center

Alta Bates Summit Medical Center

I was able to introduce NorCal SCI to the staff as the majority were not aware of our work. I was also able to present my own views on Peer Support Programs and how such a program could be implemented. I then left another four NorCal SCI Care Packages for the patients.

I want to thank the staff at Sutter for taking the time out of their busy schedules to learn more about our work at NorCal SCI. In particular, I would like to personally thank Mira El-Katcha for organizing my visit to CPMC and Mary Cafarella-Ake for being such an accommodating host at Alta Bates.

NorCal SCI is excited about working with both CPMC and Alta Bates to best serve their SCI patients in any way we can.