Network News

November 2020
Spinal Network's mission is to support the employment and education of individuals with spinal cord injuries/diagnoses by providing the tools and community support to be successful in their work and personal lives.
Spinal Network Movie Review - Adam
November 24th at 12 noon
Join Us, All Are Welcome

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United Spinal has announced Vincenzo (Enzo) Piscopo, an experienced professional in diversity, inclusion and social causes, has been appointed president and CEO by the organization’s board of directors.

Piscopo will begin his tenure as United Spinal’s president and CEO on November 16, 2020 replacing James Weisman, who is retiring after 40 years of service to the disability community as an advocate for disability rights and accessible transportation.
“I’m honored to lead United Spinal’s important mission to improve the quality of life and independence of people with spinal cord injuries and disorders and to ensure the inclusion of wheelchair users in all facets of our society,” Piscopo said. “When we do this, not only do people with disabilities win, but our communities, employers, and all of society wins.”

Piscopo, a wheelchair-user who was paralyzed from a herniated disk in 2010, previously worked at The Coca-Cola Company for 25 years in a variety of strategic roles both in the US and internationally.
In his most recent position as the Community and Stakeholder Relations Director at The Coca-Cola Company, Piscopo managed and cultivated company relationships with disability, veteran and Hispanic organizations and advocates for these communities.
“With the help of United Spinal’s talented staff and dedicated chapter leaders, I remain committed to advancing opportunities for people with disabilities, strengthening their voice and empowering them to have a positive impact in their community,” Piscopo added. “I’m looking forward to continue building on the amazing work James did to take this organization to the next level.”

Piscopo has based much of his work on the belief that people with disabilities are assets for corporations because of their resilience, perseverance, and creative problem-solving skills. “For corporations to hire us is not only right, but also smart,” he said.

Piscopo is also the founder and Executive Director of the Wheels of Happiness Foundation which helps people with motor disabilities in disadvantaged areas of the world, and a member of the board of directors of the organizations Respectability and Friends of the Disabled Adults and Children.
Born in Venezuela of Italian immigrants, Piscopo currently resides with his wife and four children in Atlanta, Georgia.


Rick Hayden
Executive Director
An Affordable Way to Support Spinal Network
Become a Good Will Sponsor for $10 per month, you can set the amount of your recurring donation. Spinal Network is a 501(c)(3) organization and donations are tax deductible.
Spinal Network Has Partnered with and
Spinal Network has partnered with and to provide free one-on-one job mentoring, information about the Ticket to Work program, information about Medicaid buy-in programs, and access to employment benefits counseling to help persons with disabilities gain and maintain employment. Please fill out the survey by clicking on the button below to be matched with a free disability employment benefits mentor and counselor.
United Spinal Association’s Pathways to Employment (PTE) program supports the pursuit of new job opportunities and a successful career for people with spinal cord injuries (SCI) by providing the tools and support necessary to successfully overcome barriers to gainful employment.
Check Out Our New Scholarship Page
Spinal Network has put together a list of scholarships that may be of help if the next phase of your life's journey takes you to college. Check it out by clicking on the button below.
Grassroots Advocacy Network
What is Self-Advocacy?
Advocating for oneself is more of a learned skill than most expect, It involves being able to identify an issue or need; articulating desired action steps; listening to alternative suggestions or outright refusal; and standing firm to ensure an end result.
Conversely, advocating “is not about being bossy, nor is it about being apologetic,” However, “it is about building up a self-confidence to realize that being self-directing is in fact empowering. And whether done independently or with assistance from those trusted agents (such as family, friends, or caregivers) you have in your network, it still all comes down to your choices and your desired outcomes.”

Benefits of Self-Advocacy
1)   Being able to make your own decisions.
2)   Gaining self-confidence and self-respect.
3)   Building allies.
4)   Learning to properly express your needs to achieve goals.
5)   Experiencing teamwork.
6)   Developing conflict resolution and creative problem solving skills. 
During the COVID-19 Pandemic
We Are Providing Additional Services and Resources or maybe you just want to talk with someone.

Contact Information and Resource Links
Bill White 310-770-7503
North County Inland, Escondido to Mira Mesa

Chelle Struve 619-316-3743
North County Coastal, Oceanside to Del Mar

Jim Weber 619-851-8633
East County

Dominick Taitano 619-289-0753
Mission Valley to Del Mar

Ania Flatau 831-224-0006
Mission Valley to Del Mar

Rick Hayden 951-775-2561
West and Southwest Riverside County

Virtual Meet Ups and Movie Reviews in October
  • Spinal Networks Movie review of "Adam" will be on Tuesday, November 24th at 12 noon. This movie is available for to rent ($4.99) on YouTube, or Itunes.
Meeting ID: 944 2702 6477
Password: 136239
  • Spinal Network Group will meet on Tuesday, November 10th from 12noon - 1:30. Zoom Link

  • Sharps SCI Support Group will be on the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month from 4:00pm - 5:30pm.

If you would like more information on this group, please email Richard Green at
Only $10....Really?
If we've had any impact on your life or if you feel that our vision for our community is one worth supporting, but you thought it would cost too much, then our new Good Will Sponsor program is perfect. The program allows a person to put the amount that they would like to sponsor each month, it could be $5 or $25..that's the beauty of the program. If your interested then simply click the button and it will take you to the sign up. I'd like to thank you in advance for supporting Spinal Network.
Check Out Dextra from Cure Medical
Watch the short video below
Cure Dextraproprietary attributes are intended to facilitate use, increase independence, and reduce risk of infections. A Support Band enables controlled use without the need to grip the device with two hands. Tip Advancing Technology moves the pre-lubricated catheter from the 1000 ml collection bag into the body without contact. Sterile intermittent catheterization is possible without the requirement to use gloves. A Gripper Arrow facilitates advancing the catheter with each forward stroke. The catheter does not retract on back strokes. Like all Cure Medical intermittent catheters, the Cure Dextra features polished eyelets for increased comfort and is made of quality materials  – not made with DEHP*/DINP, BPA or NR-Latex.

Click the button below which will take you the Cure Medical website where you can request your free sample.
Sin Limites on Facebook
Are you spanish speaking and looking for a spinal cord injury group where you can ask questions or just chat with others from our community? Go on Facebook and search for Sin Limites, this group meets the 1st Thursday of every month from 1pm - 2pm. Just ask to join the group.
Looking for a Certified Peer Mentor?
Do You Want to Become a Peer Mentor?
Spinal Network has eleven certified peer mentors available to meet, listen, share their experiences as well as sharing resources and services. Whether your newly injured/diagnosed or you've been wheeling this earth for a while, or maybe your a friend, family member or rehab professional, reach out, we're here for you.

During this time of lockdown we will mentor via phone or video chat.

If you'd like to become one of our peer mentors, shoot me an email, click here Rick
Slingshot Golf, a Game for Everyone
It doesn’t matter if you are a professional golfer or a high-level quadriplegic – ANYONE CAN PLAY.
To hit the long ball a golfer or their caddie uses a hand-held slingshot and once on the green uses a putting mechanism of their choice to get the ball in the hole.

United Spinal Association/ Spinal Network Membership Benefits
  • Personalized Advice and Guidance
  • Peer Mentor/Support
  • Advocacy and Public Policy
  • Veterans Benefits Counseling
  • Accessibility Advocacy
  • Local Chapters such as ours
  • New Mobility Magazine (free subscription)
  • Informative and Educational Publications
  • Ongoing Educational Webinars
  • Local Meet and Greets
  • Virtual Movie Reviews
Our Website Has Many Areas of Interest?
Health and Wellness
Nine areas of interesting facts related to SCI/D such as caregivers, managing pain, depression and spasticity.
Peer Mentoring
Requesting a peer mentor or looking to become a peer mentor. The information is right here in one spot. We currently have eleven certified peer mentors.
Employment Preparedness
This is a very important focus for us. Many of us in the disability community want to become gainfully employed. We want off the system and to help others along their journey.
Virtual Meet & Greet Events
Our monthly Meet & Greets are a great way to connect with peers and to build your personal support network. It's also a great way to meet new friends within the SCI/D world.
Video Gallery
Our helpful video gallery has available to you, a number of videos related to SCI/D. Topics on advocacy, lifestyle, health, employment and more.
Vets First
VetsFirst is a program of United Spinal Association that assists veterans and their eligible family members in obtaining the benefits they are entitled to, deserve and need.
Spinal Network
a chapter of the United Spinal Association
Tel: 951-775-2561
Please Support Our Sponsors
Purcell International Group