Atlanta, GA,
09:30 AM

Spinal Cord Injury Treatment, Research and Injury Prevention Efforts Expanding

Anna Elmers, M.D., provides updates in a 10-minute podcast.

Congress has designated September as National Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Awareness Month. In addition to raising awareness and support for much-needed cure research and new treatments, National SCI Awareness Month aims to further educate the public about how paralyzing accidents can be prevented.

There is no cure for spinal cord injury, nor is there an FDA-approved therapeutic or device that can restore function. But researchers are working toward these goals, and more research dollars are needed to continue that work.

For now, people who sustain a spinal cord injury receive acute care in trauma hospitals and then typically undergo rehabilitation, which can help to restore some function and independence. Early, comprehensive rehabilitation – such as what Shepherd Center provides – yields the best outcomes.

In a new, 10-minute podcast on Shepherd Center Radio, physician Anna Choo Elmers, M.D., discusses spinal cord injury rehabilitation, research under way across the nation and efforts to prevent spinal cord injuries, especially those caused by distracted driving, falls and diving.

This podcast and others are available at or can be downloaded as an MP3 file from the link above. A transcript of the interview is also available on the Shepherd Center Radio web page.

Dr. Elmers first worked at Shepherd Center as an Emory University resident in 2006. She officially joined as a staff physiatrist in July 2009 in the Spinal Cord and Brain Injury programs. Upon completing medical school at the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C., she moved to Atlanta to complete her residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Emory University, where she served as chief resident in her final year. As part of her residency, she worked at Shepherd Center, Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Children’s Hospital at Scottish Rite, Emory Sports and Spine, Emory Center for Rehabilitation Medicine and Wesley Woods. Before completing medical school, Dr. Elmers received her juris doctorate from the University of San Diego School of Law, following which she practiced for a couple years in California. She is licensed to practice law in the state of California.

About Shepherd Center

Shepherd Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neurological conditions. Founded in 1975, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation. In its more than four decades, Shepherd Center has grown from a six-bed rehabilitation unit to a world-renowned, 152-bed hospital that treats more than 740 inpatients, nearly 280 day program patients and more than 7,100 outpatients each year in more than 46,000 visits.