New partnerships offer hope to people living with a disability
Beijing, April 14, 2011 – The Rick Hansen Institute (RHI), a world-renowned spinal cord injury (SCI) research institute signed agreements today with the China Rehabilitation Research Center (CRRC) and the Peking University Third Hospital (PUTH) to strengthen cooperative SCI research and rehabilitation initiatives in China.
The agreements were signed as part of the 25th Anniversary celebration of Rick Hansen’s Man In Motion World Tour and will help advance the field of SCI research and contribute to the global quest for accessibility, and will accelerate and enhance international cooperation on SCI rehabilitation and the establishment of accessible and inclusive communities.
Rick Hansen, President and CEO of the Rick Hansen Foundation, Daryl Rock, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Rick Hansen Institute, Mark Aston, Senior Director, Strategic Partnerships and Initiatives with RHI, and Dr. Andrei Krassioukov from iCORD (the Vancouver, BC-based International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries) were among officials and specialists in the field of SCI research and care who attended the signing ceremony, mirroring the commitment of both China and Canada.
The main elements of the cooperative agreements include: shortening the discovery time for new treatment methods; developing a shared data platform and clinical trials network; and identifying best practices.
“China is home to world leaders in SCI related research,” said Rick Hansen. “International collaboration with leaders in the field will be key to accelerating research and progress, and I am honoured to be part of the strong friendships with organizations in China that share our vision of having a significant impact in the areas of SCI research and care, and making a powerful difference in this world."
"The signing of these two (agreements) is an excellent example of people-to-people cooperation and is a great milestone in Canada-China collaboration,” said Jeff Nankivell, Minister and Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Canada in Beijing. “The Government of Canada is very proud to support the work of the Rick Hansen Foundation and Rick Hansen Institute, and we are particularly pleased to see this kind of cooperation in the vital area of research. I am confident we'll see tremendous results.”
In recent years, spinal cord injury has seen a global increase in numbers due to the incidence of natural disasters, traffic accidents and sports accidents. For example, one-quarter of the fracture patients in the mega earthquake that struck Wenchuan, China in 2008 suffered spinal injuries, highlighting the urgent need to improve SCI treatment in China. With the support of government and leaders from the medical community, China has made breakthroughs and continues to seek international collaboration.
In partnering with PUTH and CRRC, the Rick Hansen Institute is joining forces with China’s highest level of expertise in the field of SCI. PUTH is a national pioneer in SCI research, housing China’s best spinal surgery department, while CRRC is a preferred rehabilitation facility due to its technical sophistication and professionalism.
Founded eight years ago by Rick Hansen and the Rick Hansen Foundation, RHI’s vision is to enable people living with SCI to enjoy a healthy, active and productive life. Inspired by this goal, RHI has worked with leaders and experts around the world, sharing SCI registry information, clinical trial networks and other best practices, paving the way for international clinical trials.
The announcement of the cooperative agreements follow the signing yesterday of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF) and the China Disabled Persons' Federation (CDPF). RHF and CDPF will be partnering to pursue the common goal of advancing the life and interest of people with a disability by raising awareness in the areas of global accessibility; participating in the Interdependence 2012 Conference and Exhibition being held in Vancouver, Canada in May 2012; and continuing to support the work being done in the areas of SCI research.
Founded in 1988, CRRC is an affiliate of the China Disabled Persons' Association. As China’s only top-notch hospital dedicated to rehabilitation care and cure, it undertakes multiple tasks, including medical care, research, training, information services, rehabilitation engineering, and community consultation. Supported by a team of experienced experts and technical staff with overseas training, CRRC focuses on the rehabilitation of functional disorders resulting from SCI and other conditions. For more information, please visit www.crrc.com.cn.
PUTH was founded in 1958 under the supervision of the Ministry of Health. It has grown to be a top-notch modern hospital offering comprehensive services, including medical services, medical education/teaching, research and prevention as well as health care. It was a designated hospital for the Olympic Games in 2008. PUTH houses China’s best spinal surgery department and the only state-level athletic disease prevention and cure center certified by the Chinese Olympic Committee. As a teaching hospital of Peking University, PUTH has achieved remarkable accomplishments in medical training and R&D. For more information, please visit www.bysy.edu.cn.
China Disabled Persons' Federation is a unified organization of/for the 83 million persons with various categories of disabilities in China, reaching every part of China with approximately 80,000 full-time workers. CDPF represents interests of people with disabilities in China and helps protect their legitimate rights, provides them with services, and is commissioned by the Chinese government to supervise affairs relating to people with disabilities in China.
About the Rick Hansen Foundation
The Rick Hansen Foundation is a registered charitable organization that provides leadership to create more accessible and inclusive communities for people with a spinal cord injury, and supports the search for a cure. The Foundation achieves its goals by connecting the people and resources that make innovation possible. Please visit www.rickhansen.com for more information.
About the Rick Hansen Foundation’s 25th Anniversary
The Rick Hansen Foundation is currently celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Rick Hansen’s Man In Motion World Tour, and the extraordinary progress that has been made in the fields of accessibility and spinal cord injury advancement since. Over the two year anniversary period (March 21, 2010 – May 22, 2012) a number of programs and events will be unveiled to inspire others to dream big, recognize difference makers, create lasting and sustainable legacies and change the world, one good turn at a time.
About the Rick Hansen Institute
The Rick Hansen Institute (RHI) is a Canadian‐based not‐for‐profit organization committed to accelerating the translation of discoveries and best practices into improved treatments for people with spinal cord injuries. It does this by leading the collaboration of researchers, health care professionals and service providers across Canada and internationally. For more information, visit: www.rickhanseninstitute.org.
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For More Information:
Hill & Knowlton (China)
Tel: (8610) 59677622
Fax: (8610) 6512 3712
Rick Hansen Foundation:
Robin Russell (in China)
Rick Hansen Foundation representative in China