Mount Sinai Spinal Cord Injury Model System

The Mount Sinai Spinal Cord Injury Model System (MS-SCI-MS) provides comprehensive care to meet the diverse needs of persons with spinal cord injury (SCI). Components of this care include treatment at the scene of the accident, acute medical and surgical care, comprehensive inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, and facilitation of community reintegration.

The MS-SCI-MS is one of 14 Model Systems for care for persons with SCI funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, US Department of Education (grant # H133N060027) for the 2006-2011 funding cycle. It is the only such funded Model System in New York State. A Model System is a system of care selected by the federal government to demonstrate exemplary care, serve as a model for other service providers, and perform research, training and education, demonstration and evaluation activities that improve outcomes of care. Studies show that early transfer to a Model System of Care results in decreased lengths of stay, fewer medical complications, and reduced costs of care, immediately after onset and long-term. Kristjan T. Ragnarsson, M.D. serves as Project Director for the MS-SCI-MS.

MS-SCI-MS collaborates with the other SCI Model Systems nationwide in improving patient care, developing and evaluating new medical, rehabilitative and other treatments, researching the course of SCI, and educating patients, family members, health care professionals, and the public at large on the consequences and management of SCI.

Services provided at MS-SCI-MS include:

  • Team of dedicated professionals with expertise in all aspects of medical, surgical, and rehabilitative care of patients with all types of SCI, led by Kristjan T. Ragnarsson, M.D.
  • Direct access to all of The Mount Sinai Hospital's diagnostic and medical/surgical services, which permits admission of patients with unresolved medical issues, and prompt intervention for acute problems should they develop
  • State-of-the-art inpatient rehabilitation facility with all therapy areas located on the same floor as the nursing beds, so that patients spend more time IN therapy, and less time traveling TO therapy
  • Comprehensive inpatient rehabilitation therapies six days a week that emphasize individual treatment as well as group sessions
  • Program for persons with SCI who are ventilator dependent
  • Extensive educational classes for individuals with SCI and their families
  • Structured rehabilitation program for patients with concomitant traumatic brain injury
  • Peer support and mentoring program
  • Outpatient day program (Do It!) designed to facilitate community reintegration
  • Functional electrical stimulation program
  • Male reproductive rehabilitation program
  • Spasticity management with a variety of oral medications, botulinum toxin injections and intrathecal baclofen therapy
  • Neuro-urological evaluations and management of neurogenic bladder
  • Pressure ulcer management, including reconstructive surgery
  • Opportunities to participate in a wide variety of research related to SCI cure, care, and rehabilitation, including studies of new drugs, equipment, etc

Our commitment to having a successful program that delivers excellence of care in a cost-effective manner by always providing the most advanced rehabilitative and primary care to the individual with SCI is reflected in our accreditation by The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) as a Spinal Cord System of Care, the only civilian program in New York City with that specialty accreditation.

For general information regarding the MS-SCI-MS or this website, please contact James Cesario at (212) 659-9369 or e-mail: For admissions to the inpatient SCI service, please call the Admission Office (Donna O'Rourke and Norma Parets) at (212) 241-5417. For an outpatient office appointment with one of our SCI physicians, please call the Rehabilitation Associates at (212) 241-3981, or our SCI clinic at (212) 241-1537.