Dr. Gerard Francisco is Chairman and Clinical Professor in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston. He also serves as Director of the NeuroRecovery Research Center and Chief Medical Officer at TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital. He currently is President of the Association of Academic Physiatrists and Chairperson of the Brain Injury Medicine Committee of the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. The recipient of a great many honors and awards, his medical degree is from the University of the Philippines College of Medicine. He also had a postdoctoral fellowship for training in brain injury rehabilitation at the Baylor College of Medicine. He has obtained several research grants and his work has been published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and as chapters in books on medicine. Dr. Francisco's interview is divided into two parts. In Part One, he discusses patient-provider communication in long-term post-stroke spasticity management, brain machine interfaces, the role of technology, and prognostication in TBI. Next week Dr. Francisco will be back for Part Two.
Dr. Steven Kirshblum serves as Medical Director of the West Orange campus and Co-Project Director of the Northern New Jersey Model Spinal Cord Injury System, one of only 14 federally-designated model systems in the United States. Dr. Kirshblum has delivered more than 500 lectures nationally and internationally. He also is a prolific writer and researcher who has written and co-authored more than 120 articles in peer-reviewed publications and completed over 40 book chapters, 80 abstracts, and monographs on his major research interests in spinal cord injury and education issues. He is editor of the textbook, Spinal Cord Medicine and has written a children's book on spinal cord injury. Dr. Kirshblum received his medical degree from the University of Health Sciences/Chicago Medical School and completed a residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City, where he was a chief resident. He became board certified in 1991. Serving as a professor of rehabilitation medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, he most recently was President of the Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals while also currently being a member of numerous advisory boards and foundations for spinal cord research. In this interview, Dr. Kirshblum provides excellent insights into spinal-cord injury-related medical needs that require follow-up care, the notion of collaboration in care, communicating prognosis, workforce and postgraduate training, and what the future of PM&R might hold.
Alberto Esquenazi is chairman of the Department of Medicine and Rehabilitation and chief medical officer for MossRehab. As chairman of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Albert Einstein Healthcare Network, he also serves as a professor at Temple University School of Medicine. His specialties are amputee rehabilitation, mobility evaluation and treatment, and gait analysis. Dr. Esquenazi was instrumental in the development of ReWalk T, the first commercially viable upright device that enables wheelchair users to stand, walk, and climb stairs. His career has been characterized by high productivity in the area of research, which has been accompanied by his work being widely published in books and journal articles that have garnered awards for excellence. Active both nationally and internationally, he has lectured widely throughout the United States, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. Apropos of his participating in this Rusk podcast series, it is worth noting that earlier in 2015 he was the recipient of the Rusk Award for Leadership and Innovation in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. In this interview, Dr. Esquenazi discusses the many ways technology is leading to dramatic effects on patient care as well as his work with Amputee Coalition of America among multiple other great insights into rehabilitation medicine.
Dr. Kathleen Bell is Chairperson of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. She also plays a significant role as a leading investigator with the Texas Institute for Brain Injury and Repair. A nationally recognized leader in rehabilitation medicine, she is a specialist in neuro-rehabilitation. As a clinician, Dr. Bell focuses on rehabilitation after acquired brain injuries; traumatic brain injuries including concussions, strokes, and brain tumors; and anoxic and metabolic brain injuries. A nationally acknowledged researcher in the field of traumatic brain injury, she has been funded continuously by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research and the Department of Defense, among other sources. She has been published extensively and has given presentations all over the world about her work. In 2014-15, she served as President of the Executive Board of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, her medical degree is from Temple University Medical School. This interview is split into two parts. In Part Two, Dr. Bell continues her discussion around EMRs as well as ICD-10, best practice guidelines, professional education, and the future of PM&R.
Dr. Kathleen Bell is Chairperson of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. She also plays a significant role as a leading investigator with the Texas Institute for Brain Injury and Repair. A nationally recognized leader in rehabilitation medicine, she is a specialist in neuro-rehabilitation. As a clinician, Dr. Bell focuses on rehabilitation after acquired brain injuries; traumatic brain injuries including concussions, strokes, and brain tumors; and anoxic and metabolic brain injuries. A nationally acknowledged researcher in the field of traumatic brain injury, she has been funded continuously by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research and the Department of Defense, among other sources. She has been published extensively and has given presentations all over the world about her work. In 2014-15, she served as President of the Executive Board of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, her medical degree is from Temple University Medical School. This interview is split into two parts. In Part One, Dr. Bell provides excellent insights on unique characteristics of PM&R, the AAPM&R, how the ACA is influencing care, and EMRs. Please listen next week for Part Two.
Divya Mathur is the Program Manager of Physical Therapy at the Hospital for Joint Diseases where her primary responsibility is to oversee all physical therapy operations at this site in three programs: Acute Medical Surgery, Adult Inpatient Rehabilitation, and both inpatient and outpatient Pediatrics. She is actively involved in all the various changes occurring in acute care. She also has a primary role as the Epic champion for rehab at the Hospital for Joint Diseases, which involves being the liaison for therapy services and the Epic team for all Epic upgrades. A related duty includes serving as an extension of the Coordinator of Clinical Education for PT. She is a graduate of Stony Brook University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Physical Therapy and has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service. In this interview, Divya delves into multiple aspects of physical therapy, the changing healthcare environment, and the future of this discipline.
Dorra Blacker is the Clinical Supervisor in the department which encompasses clinical, supervisory, and managerial duties. For the past thirty-one years she has been in the Vocational Rehabilitation department at Rusk Institute, providing vocational counseling to both adult and pediatric in- and outpatients who have physical, orthopedic, neurological and psychiatric disabilities to address return-to-work issues that may include career alternatives, academic planning, career exploration, accessibility and job modifications, employer contact and identifying transferable skills. A graduate of Hunter College with a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, she is both a certified vocational rehabilitation counselor and licensed mental health counselor. She is a member of the NYU Langone’s Concussion Center and the liaison counselor to the NYU Langone Multiple Sclerosis Center and the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone. In this interview, Dorra shares her experiences in vocational therapy and provides amazing insights to this critical component of rehabilitation.
Carie Sumida is the program manager for pediatric inpatient and outpatient therapies at the Hospital for Joint Diseases where she oversees programming for pediatric physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech/ language pathology, psychology, child life, therapeutic recreation, and creative arts therapies throughout the hospital. She also serves as a resource for pediatrics at other Rusk campuses. A physical therapist by training, both her Master of Science in Physical Therapy and Doctor of Physical Therapy degrees are from Columbia University. Her current areas of interest and practice are in infant care in the neonatal intensive care unit and pediatric concussions. In this interview, Carie provides an in-depth look at pediatric care and the challenges/opportunities for children in rehabilitation.
Alicia Esposito is a clinical specialist in Rusk’s adult inpatient rehabilitation unit at the Hospital for Joint Diseases where she is responsible for coordinating patient care, training programs, and research endeavors for the inpatient physical therapy department. She also is a clinical instructor in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at the School of Medicine and the Residency Coordinator for Rusk’s Neurological Physical Therapy Residency Program. She specializes in the evaluation and treatment of patients with a variety of neurological conditions including stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury, degenerative neurological diagnoses and vestibular and balance dysfunction. In this interview, Dr. Esposito discusses the role of physical therapy as one kind of intervention to drive neuroplastic changes in the brain after an injury, the impact of a residency program on physical therapy education, and the activities of a Parkinson’s Disease Edge Task Force.
In this special edition interview, April O'Connell, clinical specialist in the Hand and Upper Extremity Therapy Department, and Melissa Hirsch, a Senior II physical therapist with her Doctorate in PT credentialed in Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy, describe an exciting project ongoing at Rusk. Working in collaboration with proprietary 3D motion sensing technology leader Extreme Reality and Aetna's Innovation Labs, the team at Rusk continues to explore the best ways to provide extraordinary patient care.
Dr. Charles Kim is an assistant professor in the departments of rehabilitation medicine and anesthesiology at the NYU School of Medicine. He completed his medical education at the State University of New York-Downstate College of Medicine in Brooklyn, a residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and a fellowship in anesthesiology-pain medicine also at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He trained in acupuncture at the UCLA School of Medicine and is a New York State-certified acupuncturist. With his unique training and board certifications in multiple specialties, he practices and teaches a comprehensive and integrative approach to pain management and physiatry at Rusk Rehabilitation at the Center for Musculoskeletal Care of the NYU Langone Medical Center. He is published in the medical literature, lectures locally and nationally, and has appeared in numerous media outlets discussing wide-ranging medical and health topics.
Miriam Gross is a senior physical therapist at Rusk. Her focus is on early mobility with patients in the ICU, following rotations in the adult outpatient and acute rehabilitation units. She works primarily in the Medical Intensive Care Unit while providing support to the Surgical Intensive Care unit. She has participated in NYU’s Dr. Radio program and has published in Advance for Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation regarding physical therapy interventions following total knee replacements. She also has presented at the APTA’s Combined Sections Meeting. She lectures physical therapy student interns and has been the lab instructor for the Examination and Intervention of the cardiopulmonary systems courses. Her doctorate in physical therapy is from the NYU Steinhardt School and she received her board certification in neurologic physical therapy through the American Physical Therapy Association. In this interview, Miriam discusses the importance of early mobilization, physical therapy interventions following knee replacement surgery, and coordination of care between inpatient and community settings.
David Biderman has worked with individuals with brain injuries and their families for almost 25 years. He is the supervisor of the Brain Injury Day Treatment Program at Rusk Rehabilitation. He has performed research on the benefits of significant others’ participation during the rehabilitation process and has presented internationally, nationally and in local community forums on this important topic. He also is working on ways to assess quality of life as an outcome measure for patients, updating cognitive training software for individuals with a brain injury to help restore or improve attention and concentration functioning, and trying to develop an app for brain-injured individuals to help manage their appointments at Rusk as well as help them work around various other brain injury based problems. In this interview, David discusses his work in an intensive day care program for brain injury patients, along with his involvement in updating cognitive training software for individuals with a brain injury and trying to develop an app for patients to help manage their appointments at Rusk and increase their ability to deal with various brain injury problems.
Wei Angela Liu, MD is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Rusk Rehabilitation. A former Chief Resident at Rusk, Dr. Liu received her B.A. degree in Biochemistry at Columbia College where she was honored as a Fu Foundation Scholar for four years and her M.D. degree from NYU School of Medicine where she was a Debrovner Scholar. Tune in to listen to Dr. Liu discuss emerging trends in rehabilitation care, specifically focused on treating patients with sports injuries, musculoskeletal conditions, and those who have suffered a stroke or other neurological event.
April O’Connell is a Clinical Specialist in the Hand and Upper Extremity Therapy Department at NYU Langone Center for Musculoskeletal Care. As a member of the American Society of Shoulder and Elbow Therapy (ASSET) she has a strong interest in sports rehabilitation, especially as it pertains to professional and recreational athletes. She has lectured to orthopedic surgeons and therapists in current concepts of orthopedic rehabilitation of the shoulder, elbow and hand. She has been a guest speaker for Doctor Radio on Sirius Satellite on topics including football & baseball injury and prevention, golf, tennis and skiing injuries and was featured in Shape Magazine in May 2013. She earned her Occupational Therapy degree at Boston University, is a Certified Hand Therapist and is certified by the American Council of Sports Medicine (ACSM) as a Clinical Exercise Specialist. In this interview, April discusses the emerging field of hand transplantation and 3-D motion analysis using wireless technology.
Dr. Jonathan Whiteson is Assistant Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine; Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine; Medical Director of Rusk Outreach and Growth; and Medical Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation. His research interests include: cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation coping strategies during cardiac rehabilitation following cardiac surgery, pulmonary rehabilitation of individuals exposed to world trade center dust, and recognizing encephalopathy and delirium in the cardiopulmonary rehabilitation setting. In this interview, Dr. Whiteson discusses the occurrence of encephalopathy and delirium and the importance of coordination along the continuum of care.
Jena Harb is a board certified geriatric specialist and senior physical therapist, who most recently became a left ventricular assist device rehabilitation educator at Rusk. She has worked in acute care and adult inpatient acute rehabilitation settings with special interests in the areas of geriatrics and critical care medicine. Over the last several years she has worked primarily in the surgical and medical intensive care units, helping to lead an early mobility pilot project, which is now an accepted early mobility program in both the surgical and medical intensive care units. She has presented at multiple American Physical Therapy Association Combined Section Meeting conferences and is an active participant in clinical research at Rusk. She teaches at NYU Langone Medical Center, New York University, and Columbia University’s physical therapy departments. In this interview, Jena discusses the role of physical therapy in providing both inpatient and home-based care, teamwork with other members of the health professions, prevention, and key aspects of physical therapy research in rehabilitation.
Holly Cohen has been at NYU Langone Medical Center for almost 15 years. In 2006, she founded the Assistive Technology Service at NYU, which now reaches across all of the campuses. The focus of that Service is to improve the quality of life and independence of adults and children through technology use. Holly also started the Driving Rehabilitation program in 2007 and is currently the program manager of both services. Along with her clinical experience, she holds certification in assistive technology from the Rehabilitation and Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America and has a specialty certification in environmental modifications from the American Occupational Therapy Association. She has been an adjunct professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at the Steinhardt School at New York University since 2005 and has lectured at national conferences focusing on technology use for individuals with disabilities. Her degree is in occupational therapy and she has taken graduate level courses within the Interactive Telecommunications department at New York University. In this interview, Holly discusses the many innovative ways in which assistive technology interventions improve the lives of patients in this interview.
Dr. Salvador Portugal serves as a Clinical Instructor at the NYU School of Medicine and is an Attending Physiatrist within the Rusk Department of Rehabilitation Medicine. Board certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation as well as in Sports Medicine, he specializes in Interventional Spine & Sports Medicine. He provides comprehensive evaluation and non-surgical management of a multitude of musculoskeletal conditions, predominantly of the lower back and neck. Dr. Portugal also teaches medical students, residents, and sports medicine fellows. In this interview, Dr. Portugal provides insights on treating patients with medically complex health problems and how proper diagnosis is imperative, as well as his thoughts on the future of rehabilitation.
Dr. Barbara Siminovich-Blok is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Rusk Rehabilitation. Her research interests include: integrative research in rehabilitation medicine, how traditional modalities and modern science collaborate to enhance patient outcomes, physiological stress markers to analyze the effectiveness of Integrative Modalities, and retrospective analysis of the effectiveness of integrative health therapies at NYU Langone. In this interview, Dr. Siminovich-Blok discusses integrative medicine with an emphasis on naturopathic medicine, acupuncture, and treatment of pain
Liat Rabinowitz is the Program Manager of Speech Language Pathology. She has worked as a speech-language therapist in the field of neuro rehabilitation for over 11 years; six of them at Rusk. Her experience has been in evaluation and treatment of adults with acquired brain injury with a specific area of interest in cognitive communication impairments and working with patients in disorder of consciousness. Most of her current work involves managing the Speech Language Pathology department, along with supervising and training staff. In this interview, Liat reviews when to initiate speech-language therapy, complementary modalities, and the identification of areas where additional research is warranted.
Geoffrey Hall is an accomplished operational strategist and executive leader with more than 15 years of experience cultivating, improving, and directing operations for various facilities throughout the healthcare industry. He is currently the Administrator for the top 10 nationally ranked Rusk Rehabilitation at the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. In this interview, Geoffrey discusses controlling health care costs through bundled payments, the use of technology in health care, conversion from ICD-9 to ICD-10, and Rusk's health involvement in China.
Dr. Ira Rashbaum is the Chief of Stroke Rehabilitation at Rusk where he cares for adult stroke inpatients and outpatients. He also provides care for adults with general outpatient rehabilitation needs, including chronic pain and musculoskeletal disorders. In particular, he has an expertise in diagnosing and treating psychosomatic pain. He has served as chairperson of the Study Guide Committee of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, a position that placed him at the cutting edge of all aspects of rehabilitation medicine. He has been selected as a Castle Connolly Top Doctor every year since 2012. In this interview, Dr. Rashbaum discusses the importance of the multidisciplinary team to stroke care and the treatment of medically complex patients.
Sofiya Prilik, MD is a Clinical Instructor at Rusk Rehabilitation and practices general and cardiopulmonary rehabilitation in both the inpatient and outpatient settings. Dr. Prilik’s work extends to two subacute facilities which work closely with Rusk and provide an opportunity to follow her patients throughout the continuum of care. After moving to the US at the age of 17, Dr. Prilik received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from NYU where she was awarded membership in the Phi Betta Kappa honorary society and was the recipient of the Founders Day Award, and her medical degree from SUNY Downstate. In this interview, Dr. Prilik discusses two critical elements of medical care today: education and patient empowerment and how these translate to all those she works with in the clinical setting.
Maria Tafurt is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Rusk Rehabilitation. She is the Site Director at Rusk and Hospital for Joint Diseases where she manages an interdisciplinary staff that includes occupational and physical therapists, speech and language pathologists, psychologists and neuropsychologists, recreational therapists, and child life professionals. She has authored or co-authored sixteen articles, abstracts and international presentations in her field. In this interview, she discusses innovative pediatric integrative approaches as well as electrical stimulation after stroke and the importance of teamwork to achieve optimal success.