Physiotherapist from Spain returns home with a new outlook on therapy.
International accessibility to the Project Walk® method can mean recovery for those in wheelchairs.

Carlsbad, CA - Project Walk is excited to announce that Joan Romero, a resident and native of Barcelona, Spain is currently completing the first portion of the Project Walk Level I Certified SCI Recovery Trainer (CSRT) program. His goal is to bring the Project Walk method of recovery, The Dardzinski Method™, to his country and the rest of Europe and the staff at Project Walk is thrilled to be working with him! Romero began the program on July 16, 2007 and is scheduled to complete his first four weeks of Project Walk course work on August 10, 2007.

During his four weeks in Carlsbad, CA, Romero has been immersed in the Project Walk atmosphere: training hands-on with senior staff and clients alike, as well as completing a formal lecture series on SCI 101, Safety & Professionalism, The Dardzinski Method & the Five Phases of Recovery, The Developmental Activity Scale, and Training & Modalities and participating in staff discussion groups. Once back in Spain, with the guidance and supervision of the Project Walk Institute, Romero will begin the challenging task of fulfilling the remainder of his year-long practical experience by working with clients of his own. He is scheduled to complete his Level I CSRT in August of 2008.

Romero’s background in this industry is vast and offers him the ability to quickly pick up the intricacy of the method and adapt it to meet the needs of his existing and future clients. Romero has been a physiotherapist since 2000, a certified osteopath since 2005, and has been working to rehabilitate spinal cord injuries (SCI) for over two years in a trauma clinic in Barcelona, Spain. It was through one of his SCI patients that he first heard of Project Walk. Romero and his patient, Frederic, both unsatisfied with the limited rehabilitation offered in Spain, came to Project Walk in August of 2006 to participate in the week-long Train Your Trainer Program. Romero was amazed at the work of the specialists and the success of the program’s clients. He knew immediately that he needed to return to Project Walk as soon as possible to begin his education in SCI recovery and to bring The Dardzinski Method back to Spain.

As Romero quickly learned during his visit, the method practiced by the Project Walk specialists has been able to reproduce results for most of its clients. But, each year, clients still leave the program. Project Walk learned that without making its program more accessible, clients would continue to leave, thus foregoing their possibility of recovery.

Because of this reality, one of the organization’s core values became accessibility. The board and founders made it a priority to make its program more accessible in fee structure as well as in physical location. With centers currently in San Diego, CA, Portland, OR and one scheduled to open in October in Boston, MA this value was beginning to make an impact on SCI clients, but the international accessibility struggle still existed. With trainers like Romero learning The Dardzinski Method and sharing it with his peers and clients, Project Walk’s value of accessibility will become less of a struggle and more of a reality.

As its name suggests, Project Walk Spinal Cord Injury Recovery Center is a not-for-profit organization, whose core mission is to provide an improved quality of life for people with spinal cord injuries through intense exercise-based recovery programs, education, support and encouragement. They do this by offering their clients the most specialized, comprehensive exercise-based recovery program available. In the pursuit of its mission, Project Walk has been encouraging its clients and providing opportunities for different levels of recovery for eight years. The program’s success is based on highly skilled specialists who go through a five-year, hands-on apprenticeship, learning how a dysfunctional nervous system recovers. There are currently people at Project Walk improving in a number of skills and functions and many others are learning to take steps. Most impressively, the majority of the participants are recovering in the same pattern as those that have come into the program before them. For more information on the certification programs offered through the Project Walk Institute of Spinal Cord Injury Recovery, please contact Christel Mitrovich at CMitrovich@ProjectWalk.org or (760) 431-3606. For more information about Romero, please contact him at joanromero@fisioterapeutes.org or visit our website at www.ProjectWalk.org and view “Find a Trainer”. For more information on the programs at Project Walk please call (760) 431-9789 or visit www.projectwalk.org.