National SCI Care Strategy

Praxis Spinal Cord Institute

Branding, Communications Strategy
Graphic Design

Researchers: Vanessa Noonan (Lead), Christiana Cheng
Knowledge Translation, Communications: Charlene Yousefi, Joanna Rivera
Strategy Development: Cense Ltd.
Marketing Communications: Amanda Maxwell
Social Media: Nandhini Sasikumar

Three circles in pink, yellow and light purple circle overlap on an abstract dark backgroundPraxis Spinal Cord Institute is a ‘networker of networks,’ uniquely positioned to lead the development of the first strategic framework for spinal cord injury care in Canada.

Launching the strategy is a process of animation—moving co-creation design into the community where it can impact quality of life. Branded communications use a grassroots storytelling approach with thought and practice leaders.

National SCI Care Strategy logo; text reads "The three circles engage as a unity - a holistic vision for spinal cord injury care across an individual's life course."

The Brief

Design a communications plan for the National SCI Care Strategy with a team of researchers, knowledge translators and experts with lived experience. The objective: support and grow collaborations across Canada to support the vision of optimal and accessible care for all people living with spinal cord injury.  


The Praxis team has access to vast networks of people with lived experience of spinal cord injury, community organizations, clinicians, researchers, regional interest groups and international organizations. To have impact, the strategy would need to be effective across a wide audience. Regular meetings with a Praxis working group provided essential input.

The approach was based on the idea of ‘animation’—a grassroots communication tact of translating the strategy into real world results through Learning Circle events. Learning Circles support knowledge sharing with community champions, trusted and respected allies with a high degree of influence. Their stories of care excellence already in practice would help inform others on what might be adapted to their region.


The spinal cord injury network across Canada is in both rural and urban centres with varied access to resources. Low-barrier tactics were important to consider for reach.

Capacity for engagement was also a key consideration. If time and energy were an obstacle to supporting the strategy, it would be unlikely to impact people and live beyond the pages of a report.  


The strategy is currently being animated through recorded interviews with care champions across the country. The Praxis team produces a regular themed digest on Learning Circles, enriched by local and national news in research, care and commercialization to engage audiences. People making an impact in the spinal cord injury community are invited to share their stories for future knowledge-sharing on the Praxis website.

Frontiers in Public Health published a community case study on the strategy that includes planning for communication, dissemination and evaluation.

Map of Canada with pink boxes of names, National SCI Care Strategy logo and text "Sharing knowledge to animate the community-led vision of Canada's National SCI Care Strategy."Map of Learning Circles led coast-to-coast by Arushi Raina, Jason Daoust, Heather Gainforth, Taryn Buck, Kristin Musselman, Louise Clément, Barry Munro, Joe Lee and Jamie Milligan.

Rivera JMB, Yousefi C, Cheng CL, Norman CD, Legare J, McFarlane A and Noonan VK (2022) Optimizing spinal cord injury care in Canada: Development of a framework for strategy and action. Frontiers in Public Health 10:921926. doi:10.3389/fpubh.2022.921926

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