NorCal SCI co-founders, Nick & Franklin, made their way together to the Sacramento area which is home to the second largest SCI population in Northern California and we couldn’t have asked for a better outcome following our meetings at Mercy General Hospital in Sacramento and Sutter Rehab Institute in Roseville. We’ve been planning on making a major trip to the Sacramento area for some time now and so, we were thrilled to finally be able to coordinate multiple schedules and get up there.
But first, we met up with our very own Samurai, Char Vine and had lunch with her. Char has been a long-time supporter and representative of NorCal SCI in that region, offering support and mentoring to the SCI community for many years. The three of us then took off for our first stop at Mercy General Hospital’s Acute Rehab Center where we conducted an in-service to a dozen OTs and PTs. Mercy sees about 40 new cases of SCI per year, so it was critical for us to share with the staff how we can help support them and their patients through the programs and services we offer. We’re grateful to the entire staff for their time and great questions they asked.
Next, we drove up to Roseville to the very impressive Sutter campus where we met up with the Rehab staff and conducted another in-service. This facility sees over 60 cases of new SCIs per year and the entire region is home to a large population of persons with SCI. It was great that we were also joined by Todd Boyer who runs the peer support program in Roseville. We also had a chance to have an extensive conversation with Pat Blair, the rehab director at Sutter, a genuinely nice guy who wants to develop ways to better serve the SCI population. We had some preliminary discussion about collaborating on a concept with other rehab centers to better serve the SCI population and it was great to see Pat respond enthusiastically to the concept.
Finally, we hung around long enough to attend the monthly Peer Support meeting that is led by Todd and takes place at Sutter. This meeting was extremely well-attended with over two dozen people and fun, with the participants very engaging and vocal. We saw three of our Road To Recovery grant recipients as well as several former patients we had met previously during their rehab at Valley Medical Center. Todd did a wonderful job of moving the meeting along and engaging everyone and we were appreciative of the time he allowed us to speak openly to the group about our services and programs.
Though it was a long day for us, the trip was well worth it and underscores the need for us to come out there more often and connect with the large SCI community in that region.