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TBIMS Group webThe National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), located at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, supports and directs the collection, management and analysis of the National SCIMS Database, which was established in 1973 as a repository of data collected through the collaborative efforts of federally funded SCI Model System Centers. There are 18 SCI Model System Centers currently contributing data to the Database, with a total of 32 Centers contributing data since the Database’s inception. Through the June of 2022, there were more than 51,000 persons who have sustained traumatic SCI registered in the National SCIMS Database and more than 30,000 persons had follow-up data. This makes it the world's largest and longest active SCI research database and the world’s most extensive source of available information about the characteristics and life course of individuals with SCI. There are individuals enrolled into the National SCIMS Database who have now been followed for 45 years after injury

Meet the NSCISC Team

  • Yuying Chen, MD, PhD

    Yuying Chen, MD, PhD

    ChenProject Director

    Dr. Chen is a tenured Professor in the UAB Department of PM&R. She is a board-certified physiatrist from Taiwan and also an epidemiologist with extensive training and experience in database management, research methodology, and statistical analysis. With this unique blend of medical and research training, Dr. Chen has been very productive and gained international recognition for her research involving epidemiology, mortality, and secondary conditions after SCI including obesity, racial health disparities, and social determinants of health. Dr. Chen’s research has been continuously funded through the NIDILRR, NIH, PVA, and industries over the last 2 decades. She currently serves on the Editorial Board of the Topics in SCI Rehabilitation and the Executive Committee of the International SCI Data Sets. She is also a member of the Oversight Committee of the NINDS SCI Common Data Elements, International Spinal Cord Society’s Prevention Committee, as well as American Spinal Injury Association’s Award Committee. Dr. Chen has been affiliated with NSCISC since 2001, serving as Statistical Analyst until summer 2005, when she assumed the role of the Project Director. She has led a number of studies and published more than 75 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals, most of which involved the use of the SCIMS Database.

  • Victoria Allen, MPH

    Victoria Allen, MPH

    Tori AllenData Collection and Analysis Manager

    Ms Allen has ˃15 years of longitudinal data collection and management experience. Ms. Allen’s primary goals are to manage processes that sustain high-quality data and develop strategies to improve efficiency of the 18 SCIMS Centers’ important work. To that end, she manages a comprehensive, integrated learning and development program, monitors data quality assessments, and is always on the look-out for new procedures and programs to improve processes and sustain and improve high-quality, reliable data for research. r

  • Huacong Wen, MD, PhD

    Huacong Wen, MD, PhD

    Wen 2022Statistical Analyst

    Dr. Wen has been affiliated with NSCISC as a pre-doctoral fellow (2016-2019) and post-doctoral fellow/Statistical Analyst (2019-present). Dr. Wen was trained as a physiatrist in China and earned a PhD in Rehabilitation Science with emphasis on large dataset research under the mentorship of Drs. Chen and Mehta. Dr. Wen has been involved in many projects as a statistician, applying advanced technique in longitudinal research (i.e, individual growth curve and trajectory analysis), survival analysis, probabilistic matching approach, and inverse probability of treatment weighting using the propensity score, etc. Her SCIMS Database research has produced 15 articles (5 first author articles), presented study findings at 24 local and national professional conferences. Dr. Wen provides statistical supports for the SCIMS Database research and collaboration, under the direction of Drs. Mehta and Chen. She also assists Mrs. Allen with the production of management reports.

  • Phil Klebine, MA

    Phil Klebine, MA

    PK web2Knowledge Translation Director
    DEI Manager

    Mr. Klebine joined the UAB Department of PM&R in 1998 to assist the UAB-SCIMS, UAB-TBIMS, and NSCISC in designing, developing, and directing the adaptation, implementation, and translation of research knowledge into an understandable and contextually relevant format for utilization. In this role, Mr. Klebine has written, directed, and produced videos as well as serving as lead or contributing author on book chapters, journal publications, magazine articles, and fact sheets. Mr. Klebine has led the NSCISC cultural competency activities for over a decade. Mr. Klebine has training in multiple areas of cultural competency diversity, and inclusion, which includes courses on training culturally competent staff, strategy for recruitment and retention of minority participants in research, addressing health disparities through engagement of the peer researcher, etc. In addition, he is highly active community advocate for people with disabilities. Since 2004, he has served on the Board of Directors for Disability Rights and Resources, a non-profit organization supporting the principles of community-based integration, employment, consumer control, and equal access for all people with disabilities. Since 2008, he has served on the Alabama Governor’s Office on Disability State Advisory Council.

  • Sarah Banasiewicz, BA

    Sarah Banasiewicz, BA

    BanasiewiczResearch Administrative Associate

    Originally a Form I data collector for both TBI and SCI Model Systems at UAB, Sarah has moved up to working with the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center as of May 2022. Sarah has shifted her focus to helping Dr. Yuying Chen and Tori Allen in the data center. Her responsibilities including but not limited to, transitioning the four new data centers into the 2022-2026 funding cycle as well as helping all centers work through the process of the upcoming non-traumatic SCI data collection through July 2023. While Sarah’s main focus is handling the day to day management of administration of the UAB Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation research group, Sarah does spend some of her time helping with data abstraction for SCIMS Form I and Form II follow-up for the Virginia and Missouri centers.