The Spinal Cord Injury Model System of Care Program was established via Congressional Act in 1970 to maintain and improve a cost-effective, comprehensive service delivery system for people who incur a spinal cord injury. A Model System must demonstrate outstanding care to individuals with spinal cord injury, from the emergency medical services, to acute care in the hospital, to rehabilitation.

The UAB-SCIMS, the longest continually funded Model System of Care, is one of 14 national SCI Model Systems Programs located throughout the US. Each Program is funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR).

The UAB-SCIMS is currently operating via a 5 year grant (#H133N110008 ) from 2011 - 2016.