Often associated with the care of battle injuries, military medicine covers many fields including but not limited to infectious diseases, occupational and environmental health – incorporating submarine and aerospace medicine – disaster medicine, as well as military psychiatry and psychology, to name a few. From the introduction of large-scale immunization to prevent disease, first use of motorized vehicles to transport casualties, blood-clotting dressings, to bionic prosthetic limbs, military medicine is responsible for many innovations that are today part of civilian health and rehabilitation services. During the Second World War injured soldiers started receiving physical and occupational therapy for the first time, starting physiatry and rehabilitation as we know it. In Canada, a group of veterans with spinal cord injury founded the Canadian Paraplegic Association which, along with medical leaders, created the first rehabilitation centre dedicated to spinal cord injury in the country and only the second one in the world. Lyndhurst Lodge, as it was called, opened its doors on January 15th 1945 with 10 patients. Many things have changed in the last seven decades. The Canadian Paraplegic Association recently became Spinal Cord Injury Canada with provincial chapters across the nation and thousands of members. And the institution that the vision and efforts of those brave men created, is now the Lyndhurst Centre of the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute – University Health Network. The Lyndhurst centre serves 300 inpatients with its 60 inpatient beds and has over 15,000 outpatient visits each year. Today, we invite the community to look into the past, present, and future impact of military medicine on spinal cord injury rehabilitation, to be amazed, and to say “”thank you.”
- To provide an opportunity to see, hear and discuss the latest advances on knowledge care, clinical application and policy change in the field of SCI rehabilitation.
- To understand the importance of veterans needs and concerns in driving innovation in technology and SCI rehab service in the last 70+ years.