Network News

September 2022

Spinal Network's mission is to promote community integration, participation, and independence for individuals with spinal cord injuries/disease by providing the tools and community support to be successful in their work and personal lives. Our goal is to maximize quality of life, raise self-esteem and improve physical and mental health.

Are You a Spinal Network Member?

If not, join today, it's free!

Become a Member
Select Spinal Network as your preferred Charity by clicking on Amazon Smile above. This is a very simple process that helps Spinal Network realize our mission.

Hi Rick,

So many exciting things happening here at Spinal Network!

  • We will host, along with the MCAP group, the Day on the Bay October 16th at Crown Point on Mission Bay.
  • 30-Day Virtual Challenge launching November 1, 2022 (registration is now open)
  • National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month in September
  • Creation of a family support group
  • A women's support group run by Sharp rehab Hospital
  • The LGBTQIA support group hosted by United Spinal Association.
  • Launch of the Spinal Network advocacy team
  • New episodes of our Podcast Series coming soon. Subscribe here

Spinal Network wants to hear from YOU! 

What programs are you interested in? What resources and information are the most helpful? What kinds of events would you be interested in attending? Please share your input in the short, 2 -3 minute survey. This will provide guidance for our team to create the type of organization, programs, events and resources that best suit your needs. Thank you in advance for sharing your valued feedback. 

Click the link below for the survey.


Rick Hayden

Executive Director

Take the Survey

Registration is now open for our 2nd Annual Spinal Network Virtual 30-Day Challenge

Our 2nd Annual Spinal Network Virtual 30-Day Challenge is coming up. During the month of November you will challenge yourself to complete whichever challenge you decide to sign up for. There is a 5K, 10K, Marathon, Fitness, Book Reading, Volunteer Hours and if none of these sound interesting, you can select custom and design your own. Remember that you have 30 days in which to complete your challenge.

Please click the link below to register. This year we will be sending all registrants a Spinal Network Challenge hat.

The money raised from this fundraiser will allow us to expand our Community Integration, Participation and Independence program.


Our Day of Sailing was a Great Success

Spinal Network partnered with Challenged Sailors San Diego to provide a day of sailing on the bay. The participants piloted Martin 15 sailboats from the dock out into the bay near the Coronado Bay Bridge. They sailed for about two hours before coming back to dock the boat. A fun day of sailing has to finish off with food and that's just what we did, great to share a meal with friends.

A Day on the Bay

Scheduled for October 16th

We are thinking of a Hawaiian theme, Hawaiian dancers, a ukulele jam, and more. We will have a full list of events shortly.

Our new Family Support Group with Richard Green, LCSW. Family members are often times left out, yet they are trying to understand what they need to do to prepare the home, what to expect and have they been prepped for the emotional side, the anger and resentment. Well if this is you or you know of someone who would benefit, join Richard on the 12th. If you have any questions, please email Rick at

The limit o​n the amount of assets you can own and still be eligible for Medi-Cal went up on July 1, 2022

What are​ assets?​​

​Assets are things you own, which can be counted for Medi-Cal eligibility. These items include bank accounts, cash, second vehicles and homes, and other financial resources. Please see below for examples.​​

Do assets include mon​thly income?​​

​No, assets are things you own, and do not include income, such as social security and retirement payments or monthly income.​​​

To learn more click on the button below.

Learn More

Are You Work Ready?

Spinal Network is Recruiting for a Pilot Program

Spinal Network is collaborating with United Spinal Association on a small pilot program. This program is related to employment preparedness and titled "How to be work ready". Our conversation with Lesly St. Louis, Director of Employment and DCI programs, shared his outline for this program. Here is the outline:

  • We will recruit 6 - 8 members of Spinal Network for this program
  • The program length will be six months
  • Orientation for the program will be on January 11th
  • The orientation session will cover the requirements of the program and the expectations
  • Lesly will meet with each recruit once per month
  • Group meetings will occur every 2 - 3 months
  • Topics covered will be resume writing, interview skills and would ask these questions, "how work ready are you?", "what are you doing to become work ready"?
  • The program will connect the individual with technology, if assistive technology devices are required, we will utilize our assistive technology loan closet equipment
  • A key topic, "If I go back to work will I lose my benefits" will be discussed in detail
  • United Spinal Association employees involved, Lesly St. Louis, Erin Jeannine (Tech Access Initiative Coordinator), and Annie Streit (Grassroots Advocacy Manager)
  • At the end of the pilot, graduates have the option of becoming employment preparedness mentors
  • Graduates could also become a part of the presentations to potential employers (testimonial)

If interested, please email Rick.

Email Rick

Walk, Roll & Stroll

Check out the new locations

We have enjoyed meeting at South Shores Park on Mission Bay every other Saturday but now it is time to spread our wings a bit. We will add two new locations and rotate through them. Here are the three locations:

South Shores Park,

Mission Bay

Town Center Community Park,

Santee (will resume in October)

The Beach, 

(exact location is being worked on)

Look for our emails with date and location. If you have any questions, email

All are invited to participate!

Hope to see you there


United Spinals New LGTBQIA+ Discussion Group

Join us for Rolling with #Pride to meet other #wheelchair users in the LGBTQ+ community! Tuesday, June 7th @ 1:00 pm ET. Register:

A new podcast 3-4 times per month

We have a number of interesting and fun podcast in our library. Click on the button to go to our Podcast page where you can find the link to all of our podcasts on all available platforms.

We will post on social media when a new podcast is available.
Podcast Link

On our latest podcast, we discussed Mental Health

with Lindsey Elliott and Michaela Devins

"It's OK to Not Be OK"

The Spinal Network Advocacy Team is Back

The Advocacy Team are a group of individuals committed to improving the quality of life for others, to guide the way to greater independence through advocacy. Areas of focus are:

  • Connecting people to resources
  • Peer mentoring and support
  • Promoting access and independence
  • Connecting with organizations that offer activities of interest
  • Event planning
  • Sharing of information on upcoming events

The Advocacy Team has a strong connection with our community hitting the streets and engaging in quality conversation that allow them to determine what needs are not being met, what obstacles are still in the way so that we as an organization can advocate to get those needs met and to break down the barriers that we sometimes still face in our day to day journey towards independence and a better quality of life.

Jim Weber, Advocacy Team Leader

Email Jim if you are interested in being a team member.

Click the button below to see who else is on the Advocacy Team

Advocacy Team

Our mission is to build a world where inclusion is the norm, where education leads to employment, and where quality of life is elevated. MCAP will be a consistent and reliable resource and pillar of advocacy in the community.

Cure Medical Supports Medical Research

me+™ from ConvaTec Continence Care is a support program designed to help you navigate life using intermittent catheters. As a member of me+™, you have full access to several benefits:
• A team of WOC nurses and product specialists available by phone or email to answer questions and offer advice.
• Personalized product sampling helping to ensure you are using the best product for you and your cathing needs.
• The GentleCath™ Video Trainer, create your own personalized video guide with tips and advice tailored to your approach to cathing.
• me+ answers, an in-depth online resource for all your cathing questions.
• me+ community, highlighting real stories and experiences from intermittent catheter users.

Enroll Today

John's Specialty Jeans

Jeans that Fit

Specializing in custom made adaptive wheelchair pants and other specialty denim and casual wear.

Jack Dow has been wearing this brand for 20 years and says "They make quality slacks and jeans"

Check out their website
Join Spinal Network Now
Spinal Network
a chapter of United Spinal Association
Please Support Our Sponsors

Purcell International Group
Facebook  Instagram  LinkedIn  Twitter