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Slater and Gordon has today awarded its first NSW Health Projects and Research Fund grant to Royal Rehab, based in Ryde, to undertake new research to support people with spinal cord injuries.

The firm’s $2 million philanthropic venture seeds innovative projects that have the potential to make a positive difference to people’s lives.

The first NSW grant, worth $22,180, was awarded to Royal Rehab to conduct important research that will support people with spinal cord injuries to improve the management of bowel dysfunction.

Today’s launch and grant announcement featured guest speaker, Nick Rushworth, Executive Officer of Brain Injury Australia and carer advocate Cheryl Koenig who is also a member of the philanthropic fund’s committee.

Slater and Gordon Australia CEO Ken Fowlie congratulated Royal Rehab for their work in rehabilitation and disability support and said the research would be important for the lives of people living with spinal cord injury.

“The team at Royal Rehab is doing outstanding work to help improve the lives of those who have experienced catastrophic spinal cord injuries,” Mr Fowlie said.

“The dedicated medical, nursing and allied health staff are all about providing innovative rehabilitation and disability support to increase the quality of life for people living with disability following injury or illness.

“This grant will provide funding to assist the organisation to carry out a study in an aspect of spinal cord injury that is seldom talked about and where little research has been done.

“Their project aims to increase support available to people with a spinal cord injury to manage their bowel care.

“We wholeheartedly support this really important research because we see firsthand just how tragic spinal cord injuries are and the impact that it has not only on individuals, but their family and friends.

“It is important that as a leading personal injury firm we show our support for the work that healthcare professionals are doing in helping our clients rebuild their lives.”

Leading the study will be Royal Rehab’s Nursing Research and Development Leader, Associate Professor Julie Pryor.

“There has been little Australian research that examines bowel care following spinal cord injury so we are thrilled to have received this grant which will help us to undertake our study,” she said.

“One of the most challenging changes people experience after a spinal cord injury is the management of a neurogenic bowel both in the hospital setting and in the community.

“If health professionals fail to appropriately support people with spinal cord injury to undertake recommended bowel care regimes, it can lead to health complications and poorer quality of life.

“Our research aims to examine recommended bowel care practices and to examine the issues people with spinal cord injury experience accessing help to undertake bowel care. This will allow solutions to be identified to enable best practice bowel care and improved quality of life for people with spinal cord injury.

Slater and Gordon’s philanthropic fund supports research that has the potential to improve the treatment of people with asbestos-related diseases, occupation-caused cancers, or who live with a significant disability as a consequence of a catastrophic injury.

The fund also supports education initiatives and information sharing projects amongst medical and other health professionals.

Applications for grants of between $2,000 and $25,000 will be distributed as part of a $2 million philanthropic program in Australia and the United Kingdom.

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