Message from the President

Let us rise up together to the challenge posed by spinal injuries

Dear Colleagues,

I  want to use this opportunity of being able to reach out to all of you through my last Newsletter message as the ISCoS President to request you to contribute wholeheartedly on ways and means to bridge the gap between what “is possible” or “needed” and that “actually available” to persons with spinal injury across the globe through implementation of ISCoS Strategic Plan. As the only international society working in the field of spinal injuries, it becomes our mandate as well as moral responsibility to do everything possible within our resources to improve the plight of persons with spinal injuries. Although persons with SCI in developed countries have access to established standards of care and advancements in technology, we know that the vast majority in emerging countries are deprived of even fundamental treatment modalities.

Over the years ISCoS has shown tremendous growth and has been working diligently under the leadership of dynamic Presidents as well as others officials. However, you will all agree that a lot more still needs to be achieved.

With the Strategic Plan of ISCoS, we have a road map to move forward constructively with clearly defined goals. Every year the Strategic Management Committee will work out an operational plan, which would basically include initiatives from within the Strategic plan, that would be planned to be implemented or initiated within the year.

Working on the Strategic Plan has also given an opportunity to review the various ongoing initiatives of ISCoS. There has been a major focus on the ISCoS Journals, one of the key initiative of ISCoS. Many of you have responded to the survey that was sent out. The opportunity to listen to the voice of the members has been very useful in planning for the future.

Similarly, there has been a major thrust to give a proper structure to the Special Interest Groups. The template Terms of Reference of the SIGs have been compiled so as to standardize the process of membership, activities, governance and reporting. Two new SIGs, “Consumer Engagement” and “Sustainability” have been approved.

Similarly, there has been a rethink on the association with Affiliated Societies. Is the terminology “Affiliated Society” appropriate? How could ISCoS support trainings of members of these Societies?, How can broader representation of these Societies be ensured in ISCoS ASMs?  How can ISCoS further consolidate the relationship with these Societies?

A lot of work has also gone into finalizing the Vision, Mission, Core Values, Objective & Goals as well as finalizing and  prioritizing the initiatives for the ISCoS priorities of “Research”, “Education, Training & Capacity Building” & “ISCoS Journals”. We are in the process of finalizing those for “Advocacy”, “Communication”, “Partnering/Collaboration”, “Streamlining Activities, Organizational Structure and Governance (including Financial Management)” & “Scientific Activities”. We will soon give you further details.

I am grateful to all of you for having bestowed faith in me and giving me the opportunity to serve as the President.  It has been a great experience and I am thankful for your wholehearted support, co-operation and participation. I hope I have been able to live up to your expectations. I am indebted to Dr Douglas Brown, Mr W S El Masri, Dr Fin Biering Sorensen, Dr William Donovan and Dr JJ Wyndaele, all past Presidents who have been my mentors in my journey. I am obligated also to my Executive colleagues, Ruth, Susie and Ellen, for bearing with me, responding regularly to my mails and being available at odd hours (inevitable due to the time zones) for online meetings. I am grateful to the members of the Board and the Chairs of Special Interest Groups for the wonderful work they have been doing. All those mentioned so far have been members of Strategic Management Committee and have contributed wholeheartedly to the Strategic Plan. I am thankful to all members of Standing Committees and Special Interest Groups without whom we wouldn’t be able to transform our Vision into reality. Of course, I have relied on the support and advise of Marianne, who preserves the history of ISCoS in her mind. I must acknowledge the great work being done by BCD and would especially want to mention the names of Susan and Daisy. Similarly, our association with Springer Nature has been very fruitful and Pooja as well as Virginia have been a great help. I am also obliged to the team at Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, Gaurav, Shakti, Nidhi, Priyanka and special mention of Shashi who have been helping me meet my commitments at ISCoS.

We are all also about to create history for ISCoS with the forthcoming first ever Virtual Annual Scientific Meeting from 1st to 5thSeptember. I am sure that not only will you join in for this historic event and contribute to its grand success, you will also help disseminate information about the conference so that a large number of our target population avail the opportunity of the Virtual Conference.

You would also be aware about the ISCoS podcast series “SCI care: What really matters” (available on This aims to engage with our members and entice non members to join on our conversation while complimenting all of our existing platforms and giving our listeners a taste of what will come with our Virtual conference. To date nine main episodes and five burst episodes have been released and we hope to release two more of each before the conference. Heather Pownall has done a lot of hard work coordinating these podcasts and deserves to be specially commended. Please share your feedback regarding the podcasts. 

Of course, the successful implementations of the Strategic Plan will require contribution and cooperation of all members of ISCoS.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”

-Helen Keller

“if everyone is moving forward together then success takes care of itself”

- Henry Ford

“None of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful”

-  Mother Teressa

Let’s contribute to a progressive change towards a dynamic organization


Let’s accelerate the movement to serve our constituency

With regards

Harvinder Chhabra

President - ISCoS


Where to find us

National Spinal Injuries Centre,
Stoke Mandeville Hospital,
Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire,
HP21 8AL, United Kingdom

How to contact us

Tel: +44 1296 315 866


Contact ISCoS Headquarters for Application forms, copies of the Constitution and Bye-Laws of the Society, queries on the journal delivery and information on Scientific Meetings.

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