"My goal is to improve the outcomes and quality of life for those with spinal cord injuries through two main areas of focus. One is developing a network of care for people with spinal cord injury, because it is a very complex, lifelong and chronic condition. My other research interest is the complications of spinal cord injuries such as pressure ulcers."
Dr. Chester Ho is a recognized expert in spinal cord injury and related complications such as pressure ulcers. His fascination with these areas began when he was a medical student at the University of Cambridge in England. While working with a stroke patient, he realized the potential of rehabilitation to help people regain their function and improve their quality of life. After graduating from medical school, he completed a residency in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School/Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, followed by fellowship training in Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Medicine at the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey/Kessler Institute of Rehabilitation.
Dr. Ho was Chief of Spinal Cord Injury at the Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center between 2006 and 2011. He then joined the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary where he was an associate professor and division head, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, for the Department of Clinical Neurosciences and Alberta Health Services. Dr. Ho was recruited to the University of Alberta in 2017 as director, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, and inaugural Spinal Cord Injury Research Chair.
Clinical and Research Scholarship
Dr. Ho’s scholarship in health services delivery emphasizes developing access and consistency of care in rural areas for people with spinal cord injury. His related research is in the management and rehabilitation of complications following spinal cord injury, such as pressure ulcers. He champions mobilizing knowledge into care—the integration of research into clinical practice, such as the use of functional electrical stimulation to improve function and to prevent pressure ulcers after spinal cord injury. He is a member of the team that designed and conducted clinical testing of the Smart-e-Pants system of pressure ulcer prevention developed by colleagues Dr. Vivian Mushahwar, Dr. Dick Stein and their teams. Dr. Ho has numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on pressure injuries. He co-authored the Wounds Canada Best Practice Recommendations for the Prevention and Management of Pressure Injuries, as well as the Consortium of Spinal Cord Medicine Clinical Practice Guidelines on Pressure Ulcer Prevention and Treatment Following Spinal Cord Injury, 2nd edition.
Leadership and Collaborations
Dr. Ho is co-chair of the Alberta Health Services Pressure Injury/Ulcer Prevention committee, and the Provincial Rehabilitation Steering Committee. He co-chaired the revision of the Canadian Spinal Cord Injury Pressure Ulcer Strategy, which was sponsored by the Rick Hansen Institute and Ontario NeuroTrauma Foundation. He is working with partners across Alberta, including Campus Alberta Neuroscience (CAN), to create a registry that will allow doctors and researchers to track the long-term outcomes and effects of spinal cord injuries, foster research collaborations and build the knowledge infrastructure necessary to advance rehabilitation treatments and techniques.