Improving therapy for kids with spinal cord injuries across the province

Toronto, November 2, 2015 – Kids with incomplete spinal cord injuries now have access to ongoing rehabilitation therapy they require closer to home.


The Honourable Tracy MacCharles, Minister of Children and Youth Services made the announcement in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, during the opening ceremonies of the Ontario Association of Children’s Rehabilitation Services conference.


Funding will allow Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital to provide specialized training to therapists across the province, deliver increased care to children who have suffered an incomplete spinal cord injury – which means nerves were not severed - and purchase equipment needed to deliver services.


“This is a powerful example of what can be achieved when we all work together, partnering with our clients and families,” says Dr. Golda Milo-Manson, Vice-President, Medicine and Academic Affairs at Holland Bloorview. “As a result of collaboration between the Ministries of Health and Long-Term Care and Children and Youth Services, we are able to ensure that children with incomplete spinal cord injuries receive the right care, at the right time, closer to home.”


The announcement, which was years in the making, can largely be accredited the active partnership between Holland Bloorview and the tireless efforts of Diane Talbot-Schoenhoff, who founded Support in Motion, a charitable organization working to advocate for change and funding therapies so children who sustain spinal cord injuries, like her son Nick, would have the therapies they deserve.


Nick suffered a serious spinal cord injury in 2005 and was told he wouldn’t walk again.


After intensive inpatient therapy, Nick was discharged and intensive rehabilitation services were unfunded.


“This is a good day for children with spinal cord injuries in Ontario!” said Diane, “And, it’s good for their families who will now be able to access specialized treatment for their children closer to home, ensuring the best chance at recovery. That’s one less burden they have to carry on this long journey of a thousand miles measured in footsteps.”


Diane’s outreach to the late Barbara Turnbull resulted in a series of articles that were published in the Toronto Star during the summer of 2012, bringing the issue to the forefront.


Holland Bloorview and Support in Motion worked together with the Ministries of Health and Long-Term Care and Children and Youth services to utilize the talented pool of pediatric therapists across the province through children’s treatment centers.


Once they are discharged as an inpatient from Holland Bloorview, funding will follow children with spinal cord injuries to their communities to ensure they receive the advanced care they need to live life to the fullest.


Funding has been granted for two years. During that time it will be evaluated to determine if further commitments will be made.


“Barbara would be so pleased to see her legacy in action. She exemplified the pro-active behavior this world needs and will miss,” says Diane. “As she wrote in Looking in the Mirror,incredible achievements can be accomplished when people join hands and work together for a worthy goal.’”


About Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital is Canada’s largest children’s rehabilitation hospital focused on improving the lives of kids with disabilities. Holland Bloorview is a global leader in applied research, teaching and learning, and client and family centred care. We are a provincial resource transforming care for children with cerebral palsy, acquired brain injury including concussion, muscular dystrophy, amputation, epilepsy, spina bifida, arthritis, cleft-lip and palate, autism and other physical and developmental disabilities. Our vision is to create a world of possibility for kids with disability.