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Glen White Trains Peruvian Medical Professionals to Care 
for People with Spinal Cord Injury 

RTC/IL Director Glen W. White, PhD, made three trips to Peru in 2012 to teach medical rehabilitation professionals how to better care for people with spinal cord injury (SCI). 

In March, he went to Lima, accompanied by Sam Ho, a University of Kansas Honors Program student who is majoring in biology and plans to attend medical school. In July, White provided trainings in Arriquipa and Lima, and in December he visited Chiclayo.

People with SCI often experience secondary health conditions such as pressure sores and urinary tract infections. White has previously delivered a series of workshops to Peruvians with SCI about strategies to prevent or reduce the severity of secondary conditions.

For these visits, he focused on training medical professionals who treat SCI patients. He collaborated with other health professionals from major medical rehabilitation centers in the U.S. to re-frame the workshops for the new audience. 

“We expect the benefits of this project could be much further amplified through the health care professionals who treat SCI patients versus just giving the workshop to those who have sustained a spinal cord injury,” said White.

More than 100 people attended the trainings, including medical rehabilitation professionals, physical therapists, physicians, occupational therapists, speech language therapists, psychologists and physical therapy students.

“We want these medical professionals to build capacity in Perú for understanding SCI and to eventually train their rehabilitation colleagues. To support this goal, we also provided a package of secondary condition training materials in Spanish and a facilitator's guide,” White said.

The first series of six workshops was conducted in Lima, Perú from March 15-25. White conducted sessions on sexuality, depression, pressure sores, urinary tract infections, and intestinal dysfunction. Ho developed and presented one session on obesity.

The project is supported by a Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation Quality of Life Grant through funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Secondary Condition Booklets

White and Ho provided the Peruvian medical professionals with a package of secondary conditions training materials in Spanish.

The RTC/IL offers a range of secondary condition booklets in both English and Spanish.

White has made previous trips to Peru to support the independent living movement there.

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