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AADO Scholarship 2004
A Report on the Spinal Cord Injuries Conference
San Francisco 2-5 June 2004

It is a report from Mr. Cheng Ying Cheung Anthony, one of the successful applicants of AADO Scholarship 2004, who attended the Spinal Cord Injuries Conference held in San Francisco, USA in 2 - 5 June 2004.

Thanks for AADO in offering me a sponsorship to attend the Spinal Cord Injuries Conference, held at San Francisco from 2/6/04 to 5/6/04.

Of the 350 registrants, there were nurses, therapists, physicians, rehabilitation specialists, social workers and case managers. Most of them came from North America and I was the only one from Asia. Although the schedule of the conference was very tight, we still found some times to chat and share our experience on the management of spinal cord injury. It was really a good opportunity to learn the health care belief in other parts of the world, how it affects health care practice and outcomes of the recovery.


The conference adopted a multidisciplinary approach to layout topics, which were significant to the care of spinal injury patients. The focus was so comprehensive that not only clinical-based issues were included, social and psychological concerns were also put in a high priority for discussion. Topics such as patient’s compliance, euthanasia, transition from critical care to rehabilitation were thoroughly addressed. I was so impressed that some speakers bore two roles - on one hand they were health care providers while on the other hand they were spinal cord injury patients! They have continued their career and contributed to the community in a different way. Their unfortunate experience has given them insight on how to take care of such group of patients. They brought out an important message that health care providers have to show respect and maintain patient’s dignity in all circumstances and it was through a good rapport that the delivering care would become effective and meaningful. Their sharing also offered me new perspectives that no one was totally disabled if he / she had the drive of achieving something! Of course, good support from family and health care services were also keys of success.

Furthermore, there was quite a lot of related information provided by the organizers of the conference. Reading materials such as patient education pamphlets, books and wide varieties of rehabilitative equipment such as electric wheelchair, pressure-relieving devices were shown at the exhibits during the conference time. All this valuable information became part of my “bring home gifts”.


Although it was a long way to travel from Hong Kong to San Francisco, I really treasure the experience. Not only because of what I have learnt from the conference, but also because of the health care professionals that I got to know and the city life of such a fascinating city. I strongly recommend for those who are interested in spine services to attend the conference next year at Washington D. C. in April.

By CHENG Ying-cheung, Anthony
Nurse Specialist (O&T), PYNEH
18 June 2004



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