Emergency Grant Provides Financial Assistance to SCI Patients During COVID-19 Pandemic
Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation – Dallas (BSWIR-Dallas) has received two grant awards totaling $20,000 from the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation this year to support our spinal cord injury (SCI) patients in financial need due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with spinal cord injury through research and community initiatives. The Neilsen Foundation set aside funds to be quickly disbursed to individuals living with spinal cord injury and provide them with emergency relief throughout this pandemic.
BSWIR-Dallas received the first award of $10,000 in May, 2020, to assist our spinal cord injury patients facing tremendous financial needs as they transition home. The funds have allowed BSWIR-Dallas to partner with Cindi Cooperman, Executive Director of the Neuro Assistance Foundation (NAF), a non-profit in the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area. The NAF is dedicated to allowing people with spinal cord injury to achieved self-sufficiency and mobility by providing assistive vehicles, equipment, technology and home modifications. BSWIR case managers have relied on the generous support of the NAF over the last 13 years to help support our SCI patients in need as they return home following inpatient rehabilitation. However, the enormous economic losses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic left the NAF unable to continue providing these services to BSWIR-Dallas and other area hospitals. Thankfully, the Emergency Relief contribution provided by the Neilsen Foundation has allowed our case managers to resume requesting these services for our spinal cord injury patients.
The first round of relief funds helped assist 14 community members with spinal cord injury through providing rental assistance, medications, home modifications, assistive equipment, ramps and even a wheelchair-accessible van that was sold at a generous price by a Baylor Scott & White staff member. In July, 2020, we received a second award of $10,000 and to date we’ve been able to provide assistance to 24 SCI patients.
In total, we anticipate that we will be able to provide financial assistance for up to 26-27 SCI patients with the entire $20,000 grant. In addition to the partnership with NAF, the funds are also available for grocery assistance and to provide gift card payments as a thank-you to our dedicated peer mentors who provide much needed patient support and guidance to our SCI patients.