How to Build Spinal Cord Injury Solutions Alliances

This manual provides working knowledge and the basic tools to develop a Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Solutions Alliance in your city, region, or province.

The Introduction provides a description of the Solutions Model. One of the three components of this model is the SCI Solutions Alliance. The Alliance is further defined with an explanation of national, provincial and regional SCI Solutions Alliances.

Given that an Alliance engages a number of partners and stakeholders, accountability is especially important to ensure open communication, transparency and meaningful participation of all.

Each Alliance is facilitated by a Coordinator, and their duties are administrative, logistic and strategic in scope.

Coordinators work with members of the Alliance to achieve the following objectives:

  • Ensure that every person with Spinal Cord Injury receives the right services at the right time
  • Identify and address systemic barriers
  • Identify and implement best practices
  • Develop Customized Solutions

In describing how to build an SCI Solutions Alliance, this manual has developed three phases:

  • Phase One is focused on consultation; that is, how partners are approached to establish the priorities and the direction for the Alliance.
  • Phase Two concerns infrastructure building; namely, the means by which the Alliance arrives at decisions and conducts business.
  • Phase Three addresses strategic planning: how to develop priorities into plans of action.

Those wanting to develop an Alliance are encouraged to consider their region's System Coordination, with acute, rehabilitation and community-based partners, and to look at how a seamless continuum of service might be developed. Many barriers and opportunities for change are identified through a mechanism called process mapping.

As one of the four objectives of the SCI Solutions Alliance, the development of Customized Solutions is a process that is addressed by decision makers from across the continuum who deal with systemic and secondary barriers.

Best practices will emerge as an Alliance sets out to meet its objectives. By fostering research networks, addressing systemic barriers and working on service coordination those best practices that are developed can be implemented and shared in other parts of Canada to improve quality of life for people with SCI.

Throughout the process, all Alliance successes – great and small – should be recorded to show where meaningful change has occurred because of collaborative efforts. To this end, evaluative mechanisms are essential.

With a focus on outcomes, results are sure to follow. The tools, resources and information in this manual will help to forge a path forward and beyond.