HomeVA Spinal Cord Injury SystemSCI/D System OverviewPurpose, Background and Authority

1.1. Purpose, Background and Authority

PURPOSE - This Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Handbook defines procedures for the operation of the Spinal Cord Injury and Disorders (SCI/D) System of Care.


  1. Optimal health care services for Veterans with SCI/D emphasize the importance of rehabilitation and a comprehensive continuum of health care. VHA procedures described in this Handbook reflect the longstanding innovations and policy used to systematize the SCI/D Hub and Spoke continuum of care in VHA. This System of Care requires a full interdisciplinary team of SCI/D experts in the SCI Centers (hubs), and designated SCI Support Clinics or SCI primary care teams (spokes) at all other Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers for care of this population. The majority of symptoms and problems that follow SCI/D are chronic; therefore, the SCI/D System of Care focuses on self-management as a fundamental aspect of prevention and treatment plans. Self-management behaviors are used to prevent additional problems and to maintain function.
  2. The authority for the SCI/D System of Care is title 38, United States Code (U.S.C.), Section ยง 7301, Subparagraph B.


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