Dr. Ryan Branski is the Howard A. Rusk Associate Professor of Rehabilitation Research and the Vice Chair for Research in Rehabilitation Medicine at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine. He also has appointments in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery in the school of medicine and Communicative Sciences and Disorders in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Dr. Branski runs a productive research enterprise encompassing both clinical and laboratory initiatives. His NIH-funded laboratory primarily focuses on wound healing and regenerative approaches to optimized healing in the upper aerodigestive track. Dr. Branski is one of only a few investigators to be named Fellow of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, the American Speech Language Hearing Association, and the American Laryngological Association.
In Part 1 of his presentation, Dr. Branski discussed how efforts are underway to push research over the top in productivity at NYU. It is important to consider the economic implications of research. Obtaining external support is not easy and we should celebrate those accomplishments when funding is obtained. Voice disorders are the single most common communication disorder across the lifespan. He mentioned the importance of Reinke’s space and his contributions in describing the layered structure of the vocal folds. He indicated how challenging it is to deal with the problem of vocal fold necrosis.
In Part 2 of his presentation, Dr. Branski discussed voice research, an area of investigation that not only poses the most opportunities, but also the most obstacles. He also mentioned developments in addressing tissue deficits in the airway. He closed on the theme that research needs to be opportunistic and that what is of value in this institution is to enhance communication between the thousand clinicians at NYU and the researchers.
A Q & A period followed.
This is a special two-part Grand Rounds series with Dr. Steven Flanagan, Professor and Chairman of Rehabilitation Medicine and Medical Director of Rusk Rehabilitation.
In Part 1 of his presentation, Dr. Flanagan discusses the contributions of Dr. Howard Rusk, the father of rehabilitation medicine. He brought it to the forefront as a recognized specialty by showing that rehabilitation contributed to improving the lives of patients with disabilities. Dr. Flanagan referred to various efforts over the decades to manage health care costs through managed care and other means. Even today when it is evident that a inpatient care is necessary, barriers can offer resistance because of the costs involved. What makes the case of inpatient care more challenging is the need to have more data to justify the decision to provide care at that level. He predicts that cost containment will continue well into the future. Our aims are to improve health care outcomes and increase efficiency. He concluded Part 1 of his presentation by stating that PM&R has a critical role to play in attaining the Triple Aim.
In Part 2 of his presentation, Dr. Flanagan discusses challenges involved in justifying the need for the provision of inpatient rehabilitation care in the context of controlling expenditures and the critical role that physical medicine and rehabilitation play in attaining the Triple Aim. We know that the intensity of some of our rehabilitation therapies are associated with better outcomes, for example, aphasia therapy. Early mobilization results in better outcomes with cost savings. Nonetheless, we still need more data to show that what we do is important. Mention was made of expansions at Rusk, such as a new division on Technology and Innovation to advance rehabilitation science. Health care is changing and education must change with it.