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Craig Hospital Research Summary

Mission Statement:

“To conduct high-quality research to promote optimal health, independence, and life quality for people affected by spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury.”

Core Values:

  • Advance the state of the science of disability and rehabilitation research.
  • Adhere to ethical and legal principles governing research activities.
  • Conduct research and dissemination that is meaningful to our constituents.
  • Involve individuals with disabilities and their families, the interdisciplinary treatment team, other professionals and community members, in the research and dissemination process.
  • Integrate research in clinical practice, education and evaluation.
  • Foster a research culture throughout Craig Hospital.
  • Promote scientific enquiry that will contribute to evidence-based practice.
  • Lead and participate in spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury collaborative research.
  • Participate in setting the national disability research agenda.


The Craig Hospital Research Department currently has a staff of 20 with an annual budget of $3.8 million in federal, state, foundation, and industry-sponsored grants devoted to conducting a wide variety of applied spinal cord injury (SCI) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) rehabilitation research. In addition, funds raised from the annual PUSH Dinner support more basic research.

The Research Department was established in 1974 when Craig Hospital was first awarded a Spinal Cord Injury Model System grant from the US Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). In 1998, Craig’s brain injury program received a similar designation when it was first named a TBI Model System. Each Model System project consists of a three-pronged research effort: contributing to a national longitudinal database, conducting local research projects that are of interest and importance to Craig, and collaborating with other Model Systems in research of common interest.

In 2006, Craig was named the TBI Model Systems National Data and Statistical Center, managing the TBI National Database and coordinating research among all TBI Model Systems. Perhaps the greatest benefit of the Model Systems programs is the research climate they have spawned here at Craig Hospital, giving us the expertise and confidence to successfully compete for and obtain funding from other sources as well.

Craig currently receives research funding not only from NIDRR, but also from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Colorado TBI Trust Fund, the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) which is part of the Department of Defense, other researchers via subcontracts, and pharmaceutical and medical equipment companies. As research has become more important to the mission and reputation of Craig, the Research Department has increased collaboration with other institutions by leading and participating in multi-center research and becoming a national research coordinating center.

Updated April 2014

Craig Hospital Research Summary