The first vocational rehabilitation program for patients with a spinal injury has been launched as part of a long term vision to empower patients after rehabilitation at the state’s Spinal Injuries Unit at Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH).
The three-year funding commitment from the Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC) will enable a partnership of life-changing outcomes from researchers at Griffith University and the treatment team at PAH, in conjunction with the Peer Support Team from Spinal Life Australia.
Executive Manager Business Development and Strategic Partnership, Frances Porter from Spinal Life Australia said this program is essential for people with a spinal cord injury to either continue their career or launch a new career in their modified life.
“After the massive change that is a spinal injury, we have to look beyond acute rehabilitation and functional changes patients need to make to ensure their independence.
“This program is all about giving them hope as they transition back to the community, a vocation they love that gets them up in the morning, and the affirmation that they are contributing to their families and to society,” she said.
“The Back2Work program is all about the quality of life we can provide to patients by reskilling them and helping them to get back to work with a few modifications.”
Director of the Spinal Injuries Unit, Dr Sridhar Atresh said the funding and the Back2Work program is an exciting partnership with research that complements our main objectives.
“Evidence supports the approach of complementary vocational training program for our patient group so this funding and the launch of Back2Work formalises what we know to give it more structure and direction,” he said.
“This is meaningful for our patients in developing self-worth and well-being.”
Michael Powell: CEO spinal Life Australia
Sadly, motor vehicle accidents cause the highest number of spinal cord injuries both in Queensland and Nation-wide. We are focussed on empowering all Queenslanders with a spinal cord injury so they feel confident and productive in their local community.
John Frasson: Cane Farmer and former patient of the Spinal Injuries Unit
This program is really important. Now I'm not asking how I am going to do that; I'm asking what I can change to make it happen. You need to have a purpose and do what you love to do, so now I can live my life and show my young fella how to do things the right way and contribute to society.