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Swiss Paraplegic Group today

The Swiss Paraplegic Group (SPG) is a globally unique network of services for the comprehensive rehabilitation of people with spinal cord injury – from the scene of the accident or the diagnosis of a disease and throughout their lifetime. The SPG provides services in four key areas: Solidarity (Swiss Paraplegic Foundation, Benefactors' Association, Sempachersee Seminar Hotel), Medicine (Swiss Paraplegic Centre, ParaHelp, SIRMED), Research (Swiss Paraplegic Research) as well as Integration and lifelong support (Swiss Paraplegic Association, Orthotec). Over 1500 professionals and specialists from a variety of areas and disciplines work closely together to fulfil the core mission.

Management structure of the Swiss Paraplegic Group
Structure of the Swiss Paraplgeic Group

Swiss Paraplegic Foundation (FSP):
The Swiss Paraplegic Foundation (SPF) was founded by Dr Guido A. Zäch in 1975. It now ranks among the largest charitable organisations in the country. The Swiss Paraplegic Group comprises an integrated network of services for people with spinal cord injury. Its complete, connected network of services from the scene of the accident, medical care and rehabilitation through to lifelong support and advice is unique. The membership of the Benefactors' Association of the Swiss Paraplegic Foundation of 1.8 million people ensures that there is a sustainable financial basis for the activities of this solidarity network. Over 1500 employees are committed towards performing their challenging duties day in, day out.

Benefactors' Association of the Swiss Paraplegic Foundation:
With 1.8 million members, the Benefactors' Association (BA) of the Swiss Paraplegic Foundation, founded in 1978, is one of the largest membership organisations in Switzerland. Thanks to the solidarity of the benefactors, the foundation's objectives can be met: comprehensive treatment, rehabilitation and social integration of people with spinal cord injuries. Benefactors receive a support payment of 200,000 Francs if they suffer a spinal cord injury in an accident which results in permanent dependence on a wheelchair. This support payment is unique in Switzerland.

Swiss Paraplegic Centre (SPC):
The Swiss Paraplegic Centre (SPC) was opened by Dr Guido A. Zäch in 1990. The SPC is a privately owned clinic which is acclaimed nationwide, specialising in primary care, acute treatment, comprehensive rehabilitation and lifelong care of people with spinal cord injuries and similar syndromes. The SPC has 150 beds, including an intensive care unit. The annual bed occupancy is over 96,5%. In 2015, the SPC provided 1085 in-patient treatments and more than 52’500 days of care. The SPC employs over 1100 people from 80 vocational backgrounds. Since opening in 1990 over 230’000 in-patient and out-patient treatments have been conducted in the Centre.
The specialist clinic is part of the Swiss Paraplegic Group (SPG), which forms an integrated network for the comprehensive rehabilitation of people with a spinal cord injury. The network is supported by the Swiss Paraplegic Foundation (SPF).

Swiss Paraplegic Research (SPR):
Swiss Paraplegic Research (SPR) is a research institution which is supported by the Swiss Paraplegic Foundation (SPF) and was founded in 2000. SPR employs 60 staff. SPR is essentially concerned with conducting comprehensive rehabilitation research into the interaction between physical, mental and social factors in the development and overcoming of disabilities. SPR performs an important function in Switzerland's research environment with its recognition as a non-university research institution by the Swiss government and by the cantonal authorities, with the creation of a foundation professorship at the University of Lucerne, as well as at the Department of Health Sciences and Health Policy, with its facilities in Lucerne and Nottwil.

Interactive online platform "Paraforum":
This website is a forum for people with spinal cord injuries, their relatives and specialists from around the world.

"Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Cohort Study" (SwiSCI):
This is the national research platform for people with spinal cord injuries, operated by Swiss Paraplegic Research in association with all the centres for paraplegia in Switzerland and SUVA (Swiss Accident Insurance Fund).

Swiss Paraplegic Association (SPA):
The Swiss Paraplegic Association (SPA), which was founded in 1980, is the national umbrella organisation for people with spinal cord injury (SCI) and has a membership of around 11,000. It promotes, represents and coordinates the interests of people with paraplegia and tetraplegia as well as those of other members throughout Switzerland. In addition, it supports 27 regional Wheelchair Clubs nationwide.
The social, political and personal concerns of the members are championed by about 180 SPA employees, of which 60 are permanent staff, as well as 2000 volunteers. They are committed to aiding the reintegration of paraplegics and tetraplegics into society and enhancing their quality of life. The range of services includes the Institute for Legal Advice, Wheelchair Sport Switzerland (promotion of elite and grassroots sport), the Centre for Obstacle-free Building and the departments of Life Guidance, Culture and Leisure with its own travel office and fleet of tour buses.
The SPA publishes the Paracontact magazine for members, along with the sports bulletin GoAhead and the search engine for Swiss Wheelchair Accessible Hotels on Furthermore, SPA offers information on all kinds of sports events on

Swiss Olympic Medical Centre 'Sports Medicine Nottwil':
The Swiss Olympic Medical Centre 'Sports Medicine Nottwil' is one of Switzerland's leading institutions for sports medicine. It advises and supports athletes with and without disabilities on the basis of scientific study. It offers elite athletes and ambitious sports enthusiasts alike excellent infrastructure and competent advice in the areas of performance physiology, acute medicine and injury prevention. The accredited Swiss Olympic Medical Centre provides sports associations with expertise and services for implementing their sports medicine concepts effectively. Another unique service offered by 'Sports Medicine Nottwil' is the sports medicine clinic for teenagers and children, as well as an international network for performance physiology within the institution. 'Sports Medicine Nottwil' is a medical division of the Swiss Paraplegic Centre (SPC).

ParaHelp Ltd:
The Swiss Paraplegic Foundation (SPF) maintains a unique network of services in Nottwil for people with spinal cord injury. Its subsidiary ParaHelp advises and supports people nationwide who have SCI disabilities and their families on matters of care and support, tailoring its advice to suit their specific needs. Pivotal to this is rehabilitation at home, avoiding complications and promoting quality of life.

Orthotec Ltd:
Orthotec AG is a subsidiary of the Swiss Paraplegic Foundation (SPF) with its headquarters in the Swiss Paraplegic Centre (SPC) in Nottwil. Orthotec celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2014. At the same time, it extended its sphere of influence by taking over Hoga Roll AG in Kilchberg ZH. In May 2014, a western Swiss branch in Cugy VD was also opened. Orthotec provides a full range of services in orthopaedics, rehabilitation and wheelchair technology, as well as in vehicle adaptation for patients at the SPC. Orthotec is also a market leader in the area of incontinence care.

SIRMED Ltd Swiss Institute for Rescue Medicine:
SIRMED is a subsidiary of the Swiss Paraplegic Foundation (SPF), which provides a unique package of services for people with spinal cord injury in Nottwil. SIRMED, the Swiss Institute of Emergency Medicine, is chiefly concerned with delivering high-quality training in rescue and emergency medicine. SIRMED is a state-recognised technical college and is part of the Swiss Paraplegic Group’s (SPG) extensive network of expertise. The SPG offers a complete palette of services for people with spinal cord injury, commencing at the scene of the accident and encompassing everything from medical care and rehabilitation to lifelong assistance and advice.  

Sempachersee Seminar Hotel:
The Sempachersee Seminar Hotel (SHS) in Nottwil is a subsidiary of the Swiss Paraplegic Foundation. The SHS is certified for conformity to ISO and has already been named Swiss Seminar Hotel of the Year on eight occasions. It offers 36 seminar rooms, an auditorium, two restaurants, a bar and 150 bedrooms. Thanks to its obstacle-free infrastructure, the SHS is ideal for meetings between able-bodied people and wheelchair users.

The Swiss Paraplegic Centre (SPC) is being renovated and extended
Following the ground-breaking ceremony on 1 October 2015, the construction project in Nottwil is now well underway in line with the motto «2019 – continuing our success story». The planned extension will make room for extra wards, a new intensive care unit and state-of-the-art operating theatres. It is a reaction to the capacity constraints of recent years. In future, we will be able to treat around 1300 inpatients instead of the current 1000.
The overall costs for the construction work amount to 150 million francs. Approximately half of this amount is being invested in the existing building, and half in the new infrastructure.
The clinic will continue to offer full outpatient and inpatient services throughout the construction period.




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