The United Spinal Association of Virginia is a non-profit organization founded in 2015 by two Richmonder’s Sharon Drennan (the mother of a paraplegic young man, Rob), and Richard Bagby (a tetraplegic).
The 501c3 operates under the mission to Educate, Empower and Enable individuals living with spinal cord injury and disease, living across the Commonwealth of Virginia, to achieve their highest level of health and independence. USAofVa is currently organized and operated entirely by committed volunteers and relies heavily on generous private donors and strong community partners who value disabled Virginians, specifically SCI’s. www.unitedspinalva.org
“Virginians living with SCI/D have been an afterthought for far too long. Thanks to the foresight and persistence of our Executive Director, Sharon Drennan, SB 287 will be a marked first step in recognizing a significant population of Virginians, so that organizations like the United Spinal Assoc. of Va. know the scope of the issues which we are chartered to tackle.”
-Richard Bagby, Deputy Director, United Spinal Association of Va
2018 has already gotten off to a wildly successful year for the United Spinal Association of Va. During the past legislative session they were pleased to partner with Sen. Jennifer McClellan introduce SB 287 Statewide Trauma Registry; spinal cord injuries. The bill is designed to require the state to capture data on SCI’s, and is pertinent to USAofVa’s efforts in reaching individuals across the state living with SCIs. The bill passed committee unanimously, before passing in the State Senate and House of Delegates, culminating with Governor Northam signing SB 287 into law!
USAofVa is also very excited to be launching bi-monthly workshops for their members and the community in 2018. The workshops focus on various wellness and daily living topics coupled with designated time for injured members and caregivers to socialize and support each other. These workshops will provide an excellent conduit from their ongoing Peer and Family Mentoring Program for newly injured Virginians to daily living, while providing valuable resources to folks who’ve been injured for some time as well.
Finally, USAofVa continues to work closely with Sheltering Arms and VCU Health Systems in an effort to marry the two organizations in a joint venture to build a state of the sciences rehab facility that will serve as a premier destination hospital for individuals from all over the Mid-Atlantic Region. The joint venture will be breaking ground this May in Goochland County, with an expected completion date of March 2020. This is a huge need and will be a remarkable resource for many Virginians.