Dr. Carlozzi Featured at Michigan Health Lab About Smart Test Research

New Survey Methods to Measure Quality of Life in Huntington’s Disease Patients

Cutting-edge patient-centered “smart tests” will allow clinicians to evaluate specific quality of life concerns for individuals with Huntington’s disease.[A hand completing a Huntington's Disease test]Huntington’s disease is an inherited disease that leads to problems with movement, thinking and mood which can negatively affect an individual’s quality of life.

The fatal disease progressively causes nerve cell degeneration in the brain. Typically, individuals with Huntington’s disease develop symptoms during their 30s or 40s, and these symptoms gradually worsen until death.

“The cognitive, behavioral and motor symptoms associated with Huntington’s disease can significantly impair an individual’s ability to perform their daily routine or lifestyle,” says Noelle Carlozzi, Ph.D., associate professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation and director of the center for Clinical Outcomes Development and Application  at the University of Michigan.

Carlozzi is the lead author of four new papers which present the results of her National Institutes of Health-funded study to develop new patient-reported outcome measures for Huntington’s disease.


Hand Therapy And Lymphedema Services Now Located at Burlington Building 3rd Floor

As of October 3rd, 2016 we have expanded Occupational Therapy out-patient services at the Burlington Building (325 E. Eisenhower Parkway), on the 3rd floor. We relocated and combined the hand therapy team from UH and Med Rehab, and combined the outpatient lymphedema/cancer rehab team from UH and the 2nd floor of the Burlington Building to the 3rd floor of the Burlington Building.  We are no longer providing these services at UH and Med Rehab. Same day walk-ins can be accommodated by hand therapy. Outpatient services are available Monday-Friday 7am-6pm.

We look forward to servicing your patients at our new locatiion. Thank you from the entire out-patient occupational therapy team.


Dawn Krause Wins Medical School Dean's Staff Award

We are proud to announce that Dawn Krause, who provides research and procurement support to the department, is the winner of the 2016 Dean's Award for Support Staff of the Year. According to the dean's office, the Dean’s Awards Program recognizes medical school faculty and staff who demonstrate exceptional accomplishment in the areas of teaching, research, clinical care, community service, innovation and administration. They will be honored November 15 at the annual Faculty and Staff Awards Dinner.

Carol Bowen, Dawn's supervisor in PM&R, had this to say: "As her supervisor, I’m proud of her and proud to have her serve the PM&R Department. In addition to Dawn’s amazing support to so many in the department, she also puts energy into helping the community, especially those families who have a child with a disability."
Carol received several letters of support for Dawn’s nomination. Below are just a few of the comments:

  • Excellent rapport with faculty, staff and outside vendors

  • Consistently thorough, timely and extremely reliable

  • Thirsty for knowledge and looking for new challenges

  • Understands and embraces the Michigan Difference

  • A problem-solver who takes on challenges with a can-do positive attitude

  • Seems to always try to make things easier for the people she is supporting

  • Her ability to go beyond her job expectations and to advocate the way she does is exceptional 

Fraternal Order Of Eagles Award UM-SCIMS At National Convention

Pictured above are the entertainment of the night Andy Childs and It Is What It Was: The Music of Elvis, along with Grand Worthy President Elwin “Bud” Haigh and Grand Madam President Helen “Penny” Skinner

The Fraternal Order of Eagles (FOE) presented the University of Michigan's Spinal Cord Model System a check for $30,000 at their annual convention Jul 19, 2016 at the Grand Sierra in Reno, NV. 

The University of Michigan Spinal Cord Injury Model System program wishes to thank the Fraternal Order of the Eagles for their continued support. The funds will be used to support our studies on complications after SCI and more specifically to help us reach out to persons with SCI in the State of Michigan who may be facing these problems.

For more information about the great relationship between the FOE and the University of Michigan, check out this YouTube video.

Dr. Smith Featured in Medicine at Michigan Story About Rehab of Terrorism Survivor

Dr. Sean Smith was featured in a Medicine at Michigan story about the rehabilitation of Sebastien Bellin, a professional basketball player and survivor of the Brussels airport terrorist attack. Bellin had this to say about his time with Dr. Smith:

“They did a phenomenal job in Brussels,” he says. “But they told me I wouldn’t walk unassisted for a year, and I just didn’t believe that. I felt I needed hands-on, really top-of-the-line physical therapy and occupational therapy that would push me to my max, but at the same time make sure the recovery wasn’t going too far too quick.”

Bellin says he found that “ideal combination” under the care of Sean Smith, M.D. (Residency 2013), a physician specializing in physical medicine and instructor at the U-M Medical School.

You can read more about Bellin's time spent with Dr. Smith and our entire inpatient rehabilitation unit at Medicine at Michigan.

Dr. Shapiro Awarded Rehab Engineering Research Grant

Congratulations to Danielle Shapiro, PhD, Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

She was awarded the Spring 2016 Small Grant for Technology to Support Health Management and Independence from the UM Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center.

The grant is awarded in the spring and fall of each year for an innovative technology project that will improve the lives of adolescent and young adults with physical, cognitive and neurodevelopmental disabilities.

Shapiro’s funded project will analyze teenagers’ Facebook activity to measure changes in their social processes following a traumatic brain injury. The long-term goal of the project is to develop a Facebook application that would automatically identify social changes in patients with TBI. Clinicians could then use the data as a way to guide rehabilitation with the adolescent and their parents.

Do you have an app, game or other type of innovative technology that could improve the lives of those with disabilities?

The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center is currently accepting proposals for the fall 2016 award. Visit the small grants website to learn more and submit your proposal. Applications must be submitted by Oct. 12 and the winner will be announced Nov. 30.

The RERC is supported by a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research – NIDILRR grant number 90RE5012. NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Website: http://cthi.medicine.umich.edu/projects/tiktoc-rerc/small-grants

Dr. Peterson Interviewed About Exercise Advice at UMHealth Blog

What Happens to Your Body When You Stop Exercising?
Annie Hauser

Miss a workout? No big deal. But two weeks away from the gym can mean declines in strength, stamina and health, even for the ultrafit.

When it comes to exercise, consistency is key.

Even for the fittest among us, a few weeks away from training can result in rapid declines in strength, aerobic capacity and the biomarkers, such as blood pressure, that indicate a healthy body.

“Detraining will occur relatively quickly, with major declines occurring after two or three weeks,” says Mark Peterson, Ph.D., an assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Michigan. The graphic above outlines some of the changes and when they occur.

But maintaining a regular exercise routine has many benefits.


Dr. Smith Interviewed About Rehab During Cancer Recovery for UMHealth Blog

How Physiatrists Help Cancer Patients During Recovery

Using their knowledge of the musculoskeletal system, physiatrists are playing a greater role in cancer care.

Cancer patients are sometimes bewildered by the number of medical professionals who become part of their treatment team.

A growing number of cancer centers are adding yet another clinician to the mix: the physiatrist.

Physiatrists, who are doctors with training in physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R), are increasingly found in the field of cancer symptom management and recovery.

That’s because their training allows them to focus on the effects that cancer has on nerves, muscles, bones, joints and the brain.

“We’re often able to zero in on impairments and subtle changes in mobility that others on the oncology team might not see,” says Sean Smith, M.D., director of cancer rehabilitation at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.


UM PM&R-Created Video Featured on MSKTC National Website


As part of the launch of free online resources to help people with spinal cord injury (SCI) manage bowel function now available on the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC) website. there is a featured video that introduces viewers to bowel management issues after SCI via discussions with SCI participants and professionals at the University of Michigan Spinal Cord Injury Model System (UM-SCIMS). A bowel program can retrain one’s body to have regular bowel movements. The featured video also shares the experiences of three individuals who used bowel programs to improve their quality of life after experiencing SCI. The hot topic module also consists of short clips of Model Systems researchers and individuals with SCI discussing the details of bowel function programs. Videos are accompanied by a factsheet and slideshow. Each of these resources is grounded in Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems (SCIMS) clinical practice and offers insight on bowel programs after SCI. The factsheet is available in both English and Spanish.


Dr. Meade Discusses Psychological Issues After Spinal Cord Injury At The Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals

Last September, Dr. Michelle Meade talked with the folks at Facing Disability about psychological issues after SCI.  I was one of a group of experts that they interviewed at the last Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals Conference.  Those video clips are now available online at http://www.facingdisability.com/expert-topics/psychological-of-spinal-cord-injury-rehabilitation


Dr. Murphy Highlighted for New Pilot Award for Patients With Scleroderma

From the REACT Center website:

Dr. Susan Murphy heard about the REACT Center Pilot Funding opportunity via NEXtNet, a national network for exercise clinical trials run out of UAB’s Center for Exercise Medicine. As director of clinical trials in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Michigan, with a role in the University of Texas Medical Branch’s Center for Large Data Research and Data Sharing (CLDR), she says she was pleased to learn about REACT.

“Rehabilitation research is really my passion—this study provides an opportunity to build evidence in an area in a rare, debilitating disease where people are spread out geographically,” Murphy says. Her project will create and test a standardized treatment protocol for therapy for individuals with scleroderma.


Dr. Hurvitz Appears On Ann Arbor Inclusive

Dr. Hurvitz spent some time last week talking with Ann Arbor Inclusive about physical therapy for patients with cerebral palsy and other disabilities and the newest technology that the University of Michigan Health System offers.

Click here for a streaming video of the episode (Latest version of Adobe Flash required)

Click here to download the episode for viewing if the streaming site doesn't work


PM&R Patient and Terrorism Survivor featured on CBS This Morning and ESPN's Outside The Lines

From the UMHS Communication Team:

The PM&R Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit was showcased during patient Sebastien Bellin’s story! Bellin is a Michigan native and survivor of the March Belgium terrorist attack bombing in the Brussels airport. He has been doing his inpatient rehabilitation here at U-M with our exceptional program and staff. We’ll also be included in an hour-long segment on him to air this fall on CBS. Sebastien’s optimism is contagious and he’s been working extremely hard during his time here to get back to walking.
A story on the patient/team is also the top story in UMHS Headlines.

From our communication rep, Kylie O'Brien: "Dr. Hurvitz and Linda, I know you already know this, but you have an exceptional team on 6A. Every single person was extremely easy to work with, accommodating to all of the filming, and it was incredibly obvious during the filming (and to the media producers) how much the entire team cares about their patients. Thanks for having such a wonderful staff to work with. P.S. Dr. Sean Smith did a FABULOUS job on his interview. He was a natural on camera!!"

Link to CBS This Morning Segment
Link to ESPN Outside the Lines Segment


Drs. Gabel and Smith Highlighted in Michigan Health Blog Story About The Functional Wellness Initiative

Former Boxer Gives Brain Tumor a Counterpunch
Haley Otman

Two bouts with a brain tumor are a lot to handle, but a former professional boxer brought her lessons in endurance to the fight and recovery.

Retired professional boxer Kat Brauer Rice knew she always had to leave it all in the ring. “Krackin’ Kat” never gave up.

Rice, now a wife and mother of two, used those hard-hitting lessons from her boxing career, and her time as a college basketball player, in recent years to battle her brain tumor.


For a take-no-prisoners athlete who went 5-1 in the boxing ring, this medical fight was a deeply personal rematch.

“The second time, when I came to the University of Michigan, I said: ‘We’re going the distance,’” says Rice, a former boxer at the legendary Kronk Gym who now lives in metro Detroit. “Round two needed to go down at U-M.”


Four Faculty Promotions Announced

Congratulations to our four faculty members who will be promoted this coming September 1.  We have received official notification of the following promotions:
Dr. Jane Huggins              
Associate Research Scientist, Research Track
Dr. Andrea Aagesen      
Assistant Professor, Clinical Track
Dr. Giana Rodriguez       
Associate Professor, Clinical Track
 Dr. Sean Smith                 
Assistant Professor, Clinical Track
 Congratulations to all of you!

  PM&R-Created Game Featured on iMedicalApps

SCI Hard, an interactive simulator that allows players to experience some of what happens after waking up from an accident, was featured on the iMedicalApps website.

U of M app SCI Hard gaming app helps those with spinal cord injuries
Brian Wu PhD | May 13, 2016

Imagine waking up in a virtual world with a doctor telling you that you suffered a T-6 level injury. You are now confined to a wheelchair because you broke your neck and injured your spinal cord, meaning that you are paralyzed from the mid-waist and down. Virtual life as you knew it won’t be the same, but you will have all kinds of people helping with your rehabilitation process. After all, everyone has the same abnormal head to body ratio like you. The University of Michigan created SCI Hard as a fun and interactive simulation to help players see what it’s like to tackle everyday challenges after waking up from an accident.


Dr. Hurvitz Re-Appointed as PM&R Chair

From Dr. Hurvitz:

At the end of this academic year, I will have completed ten years as the Department Chair of PM&R.  It is difficult to believe that so much time has passed so quickly.  I am pleased to let you know that Dr. Marschall Runge, Executive Vice President of Medical Affairs and Dean, has renewed my appointment for five more years.
I want to thank each and every one of you for all of the hard work you do to make this the greatest department of PM&R in the country.  Part of the decision to renew my term was based on a favorable report about the department in our recent external review.  In that review, distinguished leaders of the field came to visit our department and wrote about our excellence in clinical care, our innovative research programs, and our leadership as educators in rehabilitation.  These things happen because of all of YOUR contributions, whether you are writing grants, providing therapies, checking patients in, or helping someone on the phone.
It has been a great ten years, and we are looking forward to even more growth and advancement of Michigan PM&R.  Thank you again for all that you do to make Michigan such a wonderful place.

Rewalk Device Approved by FDA For Home Use

The Rewalk™ personal device has several hardware and software updates that make the device more user friendly. Auto insurance has pre-approved personal Rewalk™ devices while others have fundraised for their devices. Anyone purchasing a Rewalk™ must be referred to a clinical training program, such as the one offered at MedRehab. Our adjustable training Rewalk™ device is still available for those patients who wish to try it prior to purchase.

Patients who would like to be evaluated as a candidate for ReWalkTM, or for referral to MedRehab’s Clinical Training Program, should contact: (734) 998-7888

Mike's Story

Following a spinal cord injury, Mike’s dream was to walk again. Thanks to our dedicated therapists, a lot of determination and the ReWalk™, Mike’s dream was achieved! Mike is the first ReWalk user at the University of Michigan to complete ReWalk’s™ Advanced Training Program. He is the first University of Michigan ReWalk™ user in MI to obtain a personal ReWalk™ device to be used independently at home.

Dr. Joe Hornyak elected to CLINACAP Advisory Committee

Congratulations to Joe Hornyak, MD, PhD, on his election to CLINACAP, The Advisory Committee on Clinical Track Appointments, which advises the dean and the provost on appointments and promotions on the clinical track.  This important committee reviews all appointment and promotion packages for clinical track faculty members, which is now the largest and fastest growing track in the medical school.  The clinical track and its promotion standards are currently the focus of a review as part of the UMHS strategic plan, as we try to deal with the definition of the clinician scholar in an atmosphere where UMHS plans greater clinical expansion.  At the same time, the medical school and the University is seeking a model to recognize clinical innovation as a scholarly contribution.  Dr. Hornyak will now be at the forefront of these discussions as any new recommendations are processed through CLINACAP.
Dr. Hornyak is currently the chair of PM&R’s Faculty Performance Committee which serves as our Promotion and Tenure Committee for clinical track faculty.  He is a recognized clinician scholar, with multiple awards for teaching, several publications, and a record of national service including serving on a committee that developed guidelines for care of neuromuscular diseases, among other things.  He is also ACU director for our pediatric outpatient facilities.  Joe’s membership on this committee will be a great benefit for our clinical faculty in advising the department on faculty development and promotion. 

PRC Holds First Ever Bike Day

The first ever “Bike Day” was held April 14 at the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation's Pediatric Rehabilitation Center.  This event was a blast of adaptive equipment evals designed to qualify kids in need of adaptive bikes. Groups attending included:

PEAC- Progams to Educate All Cyclists (think every adaptive bike under the sun for all ability levels)
SafeKids (they will be a helmet or a helmet check to every child who is evaluated)
Several different charitable funds (these bikes are traditionally not covered by most insurances)
And from the PM&R end:
PT’s for OP Peds and WSS teams
Our pediatric MSW


Drs. Zheng and Wang Named 2016-2017 Chief Residents

The Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation is pleased to announce Drs. Jasmine Zheng and Jing Wang as  the Chief Residents for the academic year 2016-2017.  Dr. Zheng and Wang bring new ideas and excellent team building to this very important role. They also bring a combination of talents and interpersonal skills that will serve the program, colleagues, and our new class (July 1, 2015) well.
Please join us in congratulating them and supporting Drs. Zheng and Wang in their new roles!

Finch, Knickerbocker, and Kirsch Win 2016 Tom Lucas TRAIL Blazer Awards

At the March Department-Wide Meeting, The Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation announced the winners of the 2016 Tom Lucas TRAIL Blazer Award! This year we presented three TRAIL Blazer awards; one to recognize a faulty member, one to recognize a non-clinical staff member, and the other to recognize a clinical staff member.
This award is a way for all of us to recognize our colleagues for the amazing work they do for our patients, but also to recognize their ability to be a compassionate team member who helps themselves and others succeed by striving to take action, take responsibility, and maintain their professionalism in all situations.
Nominations were based on these standards and traits:
Teamwork (pursues a common goal)
Respect (recognizes the value and diversity of each team member)
Accountability (accepts responsibility for their actions)
Integrity (adheres to the highest standards of ethics and professionalism)
Leadership (being involved; willing to take action)



Linda Grosh and Dr. Edward Hurvitz present Dr. Ned Kirsch the Tom Lucas TRAIL Blazer Award for Faculty

Dr. Edward Hurvitz (l) and Linda Grosh (r) with Stacey Finch, winner of the Tom Lucas TRAIL Blazer Award for Clinical Staff

Dr. Edward Hurvitz (l) and Linda Grosh (r) with Pam Knickerbocker, winner of the Tom Lucas TRAIL Blazer Award for Non-Clinical Staff

About Tom Lucas

Tom Lucas, CFO, was a member of the PM&R UM Orthotics and Prosthetics Acute Care team for over 20 years.  Tom was a respected and well revered member of the UMHS team. Tom loved his work and the people he worked with. For those that have worked alongside of Tom, this was evident in his spirit, respect, and compassion he had for his patients and colleagues.

TRAIL Blazer Committee Members

•Diane DeVoogd, Rehab Counselor, Milestones
•Stacey Finch, Clerical Senior Supervisor, RPN
•Jill Gerber, Clinic Intermediate Manager, PRC
•Claire Kalpakjian, PhD, Associate Professor
•Trish Mozdzierz, Occupational Therapy Supervisor, OTPT Acute      
•Nyangel O’Neal, Administrative Assistant Senior, BRL
•Ron Sayre, PT Clinical Specialist, OTPT Acute
•Carole Dodge, Occupational Therapy Supervisor, OTPT
•Sabrina Starks, Administrative Manager, MedRehab
•Courtney Chavez, Administrative Manager, Spine Program

•Administrative Lead: Vanessa David

Dr. Tony Chiodo Appointed Associate Chair of Clinical Affairs: Dr. M.Catherine Spires Appointed Associate Chair of Education

The Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation is pleased to announce the appointment of Tony Chiodo, MD, MBA as the Associate Chair of Clinical Affairs. Dr. Chiodo is a Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.  Currently, he is co-director for the U-M Spinal Cord Injury Model System (SCIMS), Clinical Director and Fellowship Director of U-M Spinal Cord Injury Medicine, Spine Fellowship Director and the Burlington ACU Medical Director. At the national level, he has held numerous leadership roles in ABPMR, AANEM, AAP, ASIA, ACGME, and the American Board of Anesthesiology. His research has included SCI:  SCIMS, Wellness in SCI and Predictors of Health, ventilator weaning, and sleep apnea as well as in EMG related topics.  
In his role as Associate Chair, Dr. Chiodo will be charged with helping to develop and implement the clinical strategy for the department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He will work with leaders in PM&R and in the Medical Center on expansion of the inpatient rehabilitation program; greater involvement in post-acute care; and our strategies relating to expanding to a statewide network.  In his current roles, he has been significantly involved in the UM Comprehensive Musculoskeletal Center, the PM&R role in Neurosciences, and in our ACU functions, and he will continue working on growth in those areas.  Please join me in welcoming him to this role.
We are also pleased to announce that Dr. M. Catherine Spires will transition from her Clinical Affairs role to become the founding Associate Chair of Education for PM&R.  Our department has grown, and our educational programs have grown with them, and there are many opportunities as well as challenges in this area.  Dr. Spires will be charged with overseeing our medical education programs, coordinating with our other training programs in psychology, orthotics and prosthetics, physical therapy, occupational therapy and others, as well as strengthening PM&R’s presence with medical students.
Dr. Spires is a Professor in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and will continue to serve as the department’s residency program director. In 2012, she was selected as American Academy of AAPM&R Distinguished Clinician. Dr. Spires was awarded inaugural membership of the U of M Medical School Academy Of Excellence in Education in 2012. She has served as chair of the AAPM&R Medical Rehabilitation Council and on the PM&R Knowledge NOW Editorial Board.  She is past chair of the Residency and Fellowship Program Director’s Council of the Association of Academic Physiatrists.  She has served on the UMHS Graduate Medical Education Board and has received the PM&R Silver Crutch Teaching Award.  She is the lead editor of Prosthetic Restoration and Rehabilitation of the Upper and Lower Extremity (2014) and The Manual of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She is author of peer-reviewed journals publications and author of many book chapters.
Please join us in congratulating her on her service as Associate Chair of Clinical Affairs, and on her appointment to her new role as Associate Chair of Education.


RERC Awards First Small Grant for the Development of Technology to Support Health Management and Independence.

Deema Totah, a graduate student in the College of Engineering,is the first recipient of the $10,000 Small Grants for the Development of Technology to Support Health Management and Independence. Her project, entitled Next Generation Ankle Foot Orthosis for the Next Generation: Quantified Performance for Enhanced Efficacy and Customized Design will be funded by the University of Michigan Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC).  Ms. Totah’s project is a collaboration between the College of Engineering and the Orthotics and Prosthetics Center. Her faculty mentors are Dr. Kira Barton and Dr. Brian Kelly.
The Spring 2016 call for proposals is now open. Proposals are sought for apps, games, or other types of innovative technology to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities. For more information, visit: cthi.medicine.umich.edu

The RERC is supported by a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research - NIDILRR grant number H133E130014.  NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).


Free Wheelchair Basketball Clinic With The Michigan Rollin' Pistons

FREE Youth Wheelchair Basketball Clinic

Saturday, Jan. 23 from 9-12 at Ann Arbor Skyline High School in the Auxiliary Gym

Come join the Michigan Rollin’ Pistons staff and players to see what wheelchair basketball is all about! This FREE clinic includes instruction on the basic rules of the game, live demonstrations, fun drills, games, and much more. To be eligible to play wheelchair basketball, boys and girls (ages 6-18) must have a permanent lower extremity physical disability but need not use a wheelchair every day. Sport wheelchairs will be available for use.

To register, please visit the Ann Arbor Rec & Ed website at www.a2schools.org/reced, go to “Classes,” click “Catalog” on the drop down menu, click “Go to online registration,” type “Wheelchair basketball” in the search box and continue to follow the directions. The Class ID# is 3491.201. (If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at mirollinpistons@gmail.com)

Personal Training And Exercise Classes Offered At Transitions Studio

The U-M Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation provides one-on-one personal training sessions that promote health and fitness for both our patients and the general public.

We offer personal training sessions performed by degreed and certified professionals to assist participants in achieving improved body composition and weight control, decreased stress and depression, increased muscle strength and endurance, improved cardiovascular fitness, reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and osteoporosis, lower blood pressure, healthier bones, muscles and joints and improved flexibility, balance and agility.

The Transitions Training Studio is a medically-based fitness facility that provides an enjoyable exercise environment for you whether you’re transitioning from therapy or looking for a safe environment to start. Some of the equipment you will find at our location includes:

  • StarTrac & Vision Treadmills

  • Upright & Recumbent Bikes

  • Elipticals  & Stairmaster

  • Nustep Recumbent Steppers

  • FreeMotion & Magnum Strength Machines

  • Dumbbells, small and large therapy balls, kettlebells, bands, TRX suspension, BOSU trainers, and balance equipment

We would be happy to help you reach your health and fitness goals at the Transitions Training Studio. Call us to set up your first personal training session today. 

Contact Information:
Department of Physical Medicine &  Rehabilitation, Transitions Training Studio, 325 East Eisenhower Parkway, Garden Level, Suite 12, Ann Arbor, Mich. 48108, 734-232-1196.

Website: http://pmr.med.umich.edu/transitions

Congress Passes Rehabilitation Medicaid Reimbursement Bill Thanks In Part To PM&R Advocacy

PM&R Staffer Dawn Krause recently visited Washington DC on behalf of the department to advocate for CRT services to congress and wrote about her experience. We are pleased to announce that Congress passed the bill she was advocating for.

Krause had this to say about the exciting news: "It has been a long and challenging year trying to protect access to Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) within the Medicare program.  While not a complete win, the signing of S-2425 into law on 12/28/15 gives us a one year delay in the application of competitive bid pricing for accessories used with complex power wheelchairs.  This one year delay will give us time to continue to advocate for the people who rely on these complex wheelchairs for their daily living.  We still need to collaborate with Congress in 2016 to make sure CRT equipment and accessories are separately recognized within the Medicare program. 
Our visit to Washington, D.C. in April of 2015 was a true collaboration and bill was passed with the help and support of many organizations including the University of Michigan’s Wheelchair Seating Division.”

The text of bill S.2425 can be found at Congress.gov

A Note From The Chair: December 2015

Happy holidays, everyone!  This time of year is always a good time to say "Thank You" to everyone who makes PM&R such a wonderful place for people to get the rehabilitation care that they need, for students of all kinds to learn the science and art of rehabilitation, for investigators to work on the important questions of human function, disability, and pain and for all of us to come to work each day.  As I near the completion of a decade as chair of this department, I reflect on how fortunate I am to have the opportunity to work with each and every one of you.
As some of you know, the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation is going to go through a process called “External Review” in early 2016.  Three distinguished department chairs from other PM&R programs around the country will spend two days in Ann Arbor, talking to people here and learning about the department.  Their job is to verify if we are using best practices in all of our missions—clinical care, research and education—and to make recommendations as to how we can continue to improve.
As part of this process, many senior faculty and staff members worked together to perform an internal review of the department, and produced a document for the external review committee to use as background for their review.  First, I want to thank everyone who put tremendous time and effort into this document, which is more than 100 pages long.  Secondly, I am proud to say that this document, which is inclusive of all of the work done in our department, describes a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department that is second to none.  Let me tell you a few of the highlights:

  • Leadership at a regional, national and international level among faculty and staff;

  • Clinical programs that are national leaders and include components of translational research and innovative care;

  • High levels of patient satisfaction;

  • Evidence of growth in both inpatient and outpatient areas;

  • NIH funding that ranks third in the nation;

  • Cutting edge research programs in many areas of PM&R;

  • Work in progress to bring together researchers and clinical providers to make sure everyone’s expertise is brought into the efforts to create and investigate innovative rehabilitation care;

  • Leading training programs for physicians, psychologists, therapists, O&P professionals and rehabilitation researchers;

  • And many, many more, too many to list here. 

So as a way of saying thanks and honoring ALL of you, whether you are hands on with our patients or support the ones who are, whether you are the principal investigators on the grants, the front line educators or the people who help them to do their job, my wife, Karen, and I are investing in this department and its future by giving a gift to the Theodore M. Cole Lectureship fund, which builds the continuity of this department and helps to assure that its great work continues.  We will also make a gift to the Cerebral Palsy research fund, which supports just one of the great areas of research going on in PM&R.   I hope that all of you will consider doing something similar as the year draws to a close.  It is a gift that says that we are all doing a great job, and we want that to continue.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to everyone, and thank you again for all of the great work that you do.

Dr. Chiodo and Dr. Green Nominated for PFCC Evan Newport HOPE Award

Congratulations to Drs. Tony Chiodo and Liza Green, who have been nominated for the Patient and Family Centered Care (PFCC) Evan Newport HOPE award.  This is a very special award given to a caregiver who displays unusual care for a patient.  Here is a description:

PFCC Principles include:- Providing dignified and respectful care- Engaging in timely, clear and effective communication- Encouraging and welcoming familypresence and participation in decision-making- Collaborating with patients and families to create new policies, programs and services- Remaining flexible to the unique needs of patient and family.

Congratulations and thanks for the wonderful care that you give our patients!!!

Dr. Edward Hurvitz and Dawn Krause Honored as CP Pacesetters by Euro-Peds Foundation

Dr. Edward Hurvitz and Dawn Krause have been honored with the Pacesetter Award by the Euro-Peds Foundation for their work with Reaching for the Stars. The 2015 Pacesetter Award criteria includes outstanding service in one or more of the following areas:

  • Supports the Special Needs community

  • Advances treatment, care and/or research

  • Creates awareness

  • Makes a difference in the special needs community

  • Serves as a role model

  • Actively advocates for special needs children

  • Demonstrates a commitment to Euro-Peds and the Euro-Peds Foundation

The award will be presented  during the First Step Gala on Friday, November 20, 2015 at the Detroit Athletic Club.Proceeds from the Gala will help provide treatment and travel grants for kids with neuromuscular disorders, such as cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injuries, spina bifida, etc. and enable them to take their first steps toward improved mobility at the new location of Euro-Peds® National Center for Intensive Pediatric PT.

For more information on Euro-Peds click here.
For more information about Reaching for the Stars click here.


PM&R Faculty Sending Six Presenters to AACPDM This Month

The University of Michigan Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation did exceptionally well with submissions to the American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine 69th Annual Meeting this month in Austin.  We have about 6 submissions accepted for this very competitive meeting. This is an exceptional performance on our part for this meeting. The selected presentations include:

  • "Neuropsychological and Motivational Contributions to Health Self-management of Persons with Congenital Neurodevelopmental Conditions" - Seth Warschausky, Jacqueline Kaufman, Ed Hurvitz

  • "Bridge to Work: A Work-Trial Program for Young Adults with Pediatric Onset Disabilities" - Ned Kirsch, Ed Hurvitz, Steve Girardin, Jean Tennyson, Anita Gibson, Jennifer Scott-Bell, Jennifer Piatt

  • "Long Term Outcomes of Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy: A Case-Control Study" - Alecia Daunter, Anna Kratz, Edward Hurvitz

  • "Sedentary Behavior versus Physical Inactivity in Cerebral Palsy: What are the Implications for Chronic Disease Risk?" - Mark Peterson, Ed Hurvitz

  • "Managing Gynecologic and Reproductive Health in Adolescents and Young Adults with Childhood Onset Disabilities" - Virginia Nelson, Susan Ernst

  • "Prevalence of Chronic Diseases in a Population-Representative Sample of Individuals with Cerebral Palsy" - Mark Peterson, Jennifer Ryan, Edward Hurvitz, Elham Mahmoudi

  • "Puzzle Pieces to Support Lifelong Health-Related Fitness and Activity Among Individuals with Cerebral Palsy: The importance of knowledge sharing across borders." - Mark Peterson, Wilma van der Slot, Jan Willem Gorter

Dr. Claire Kalpakjian Awarded Five Year ROI Grant on First Review

We are pleased, thrilled, and ecstatic to announce that Dr. Claire Kalpakjian has been awarded a 5 year R01, entitled “Women’s Health & Disability: Building a Clinically Relevant Outcome Measure”. Lead by UM, this project is in collaboration with Boston University, Kessler Foundation, New York University, University of Washington, and the University of Delaware. This project will build a clinically relevant outcome measure focused on the gynecological and reproductive health related quality of life of women with physical disabilities. The project will also demonstrate its clinical utility for enhancing communication between patients and health care providers. This is an opportunity for PMR to become a leader in women’s health and disability and to involve our patients in its development. Dr. Kalpakjian will likely come knocking on many of your doors for helping to engage your female patients in this effort.
This proposal was written as part of the inaugural year of the R01 Bootcamp and received a fundable score on the first round of reviews; in fact, she didn’t need the new investigator payline to be successful! It is a testament to making good use of institutional resources and collaborating with colleagues to craft a strong and timely proposal.  It demonstrate the outstanding utility of efforts like the Bootcamp.

PM&R Faculty Featured in Exercise Story From The Office of Research

The 'best' medicine

By Alex Piazza

Doctors call it one of the best prescriptions on the market.

It can help you live a longer life. It can keep you out of the hospital. It can improve your mood. And it’s free.

Yet more than 50 percent of adults do not get enough exercise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Researchers at the University of Michigan make a good case for millions of Americans to realign their priorities and embrace exercise. Whether it’s testing the correlation between handgrip strength and longevity or studying the impact of physical activity on preschoolers’ attention span, U-M research emphasizes the importance of exercise on your overall health and wellbeing.

“The big thing about exercise research is that it’s so broad and it doesn’t have to just focus on one small area,” said Joe Hornyak, professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at U-M. “It can involve everything from cardiac research to psychiatric research. And the unique thing here at U-M is that, regardless of what people are interested in, someone somewhere on campus is studying it. Exercise is no different, and it’s such an important topic to study because it’s fundamental in so many aspects of our life.”


Jennifer Miner Awarded Honorable Mention For Dean's Staff Award

Congratulations to Jennifer A. Miner, who received an Honorable Mention for  a Dean’s Staff Award.  Jennifer is a research area specialist senior, and project manager in the Center for CODA  (Clinical Outcomes Development and Application, Dr. Carlozzi director), which is part of the IHPI (Innovations in Health Policy Institute) and the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.  Thanks, Jennifer, for your outstanding work! 
Read More About the Dean's Staff Award HERE>>

Pilates Classes at PM&R start in SEPTEMBER!

Below you will find the Fall/Winter Schedule for all Pilates classes conducted at the Burlington Building by our own certified Pilates Instructors. Classes run for 14 weeks and begin on Thursday September 10th.  All registration is held through MHealthy and you can go to their website to find out more. You will see additional instructions on the attached document that will help (used for early bird registration).

 All classes participants are required to take a private lesson prior to attending the class. Registration is permitted as long as a private lesson is obtained before the start of the class. An introductory price of $50 for the private is available to all new enrollees.  You can also consult the brochure below containing the contact information for our Pilates instructors.  If you have difficulty contacting someone don’t hesitate to let Britt Michel know.
Fall/Winter Schedule
Pilates Brochure

Beat the crowds and register early!

Study by Dr. Mark Peterson and Dr. Chandramouli Krishnan Highlighted in Men’s Health

A recent study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine by Mark Peterson, PhD, MS, and Chandramouli Krishnan, PhD, PT, both assistant professors of physical medicine and rehabilitation at U-M, was highlighted in Men’s Health.

The study focused on creating population growth charts for muscle functional capacity, using hand grip strength, as a clinically feasible way to screen individuals for risk of future health problems.

Peterson explains that body mass index (BMI), which only takes into account someone’s height and weight, isn’t always able to accurately identify individuals with heightened risk. Instead, examining muscle strength and ways to preserve it over a person’s life may help to prevent cardiometabolic diseases, functional declines, musculoskeletal deterioration, and early all-cause mortality.


Orthotics & Prosthetics Makes The Cover of Medicine at Michigan

The PM&R Division of Orthotics & Prosthetics is featured in the cover story "Humanizing Prosthetics" in the Summer 2015 Issue of Medicine at Michigan.

Humanizing Prosthetics
Michigan advances artificial limbs toward natural control, movement and sensation

By Allison Wilson
illustration by Oli Winward; Photography by Austin Thomason

The project manager from the Army Research Office didn't want to hear another word about nails being stuffed into nerves. And he said so as loudly and as forcefully as his fist pounding the conference table.

Seated at that table, back in 2006, was a team of University of Michigan researchers. The Army Research Office had recently given them $4.5 million based on a grant proposal that went on for hundreds of pages about "stuffing nails" — or electrodes, more accurately — into nerves. The grant was part of the Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative, or MURI, whose purpose was to create "the next generation of artificial limbs."

The U-M team, which included reconstructive and plastic surgeon Paul Cederna (M.D. 1989, Fellowship 1997), was focused on developing an interface that would allow amputees to control robotic arms using the motor signals carried by their remaining peripheral nerves — enabling the nerves that once flexed fingers, for example, to flex prosthetic fingers. Cederna first heard about the project through a colleague he'd known since his years as an engineering undergrad at U-M, Daryl Kipke, Ph.D., a U-M professor of biomedical engineering from 2001-2013.

"He was a brain guy, and he was putting these really amazing, high-tech electrodes into the brain to record signals," says Cederna, who is now the Robert Oneal Collegiate Professor and chief of plastic surgery and a professor of biomedical engineering. "I was a nerve guy. I said, 'How about I take your brain electrodes, and we put them into peripheral nerves to control prostheses?'"

But that entire premise was out the window, as the team learned during that heated kickoff meeting with the Army Research Office.


PM&R Staffer Advocates for CRT to Congress

PM&R Staffer Dawn Krause recently visited Washington DC on behalf of the department to advocate for CRT services to congress. She provided this written report of her trip with links and calls to action for how everyone in the department can help advance this important cause.

In April I was invited along with my husband and son to attend the 2015 National CRT (Complex Rehab Technology) Leadership and Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C.  The University of Michigan’s Wheelchair Seating Service was one of the conference sponsors.  The conference was organized by the National Coalition for Assistive and Rehab Technology (NCART) and the National Registry of Rehabilitation Technology Suppliers (NRRTS.) This conference brought together providers, manufacturers, consumers, and others together to protect and promote access to CRT.  CRT is medically necessary and individually configured wheelchairs, adaptive seating and positioning systems, standers, gait trainers, and other equipment that requires evaluation, configuring, adjustment, training and programming.  My son, Willy, is a long-time patient of Dr. Hurvitz’s and complex rehab technology has, in part, kept him safe and healthy and able to be mobile.  As the insurance codes now stand, access to CRT is very difficult and not guaranteed. Many times a clinician will find a device that will help their patient, only to have their insurance company deny the item.


Dr. Ted Claflin, MD Named Associate Director of Adult Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit

Congratulations to Ted Claflin, MD, who is the new Associate Director of the Adult Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit on 6A.  He will join with Unit Medical Director Ed Chadd in leadership of our inpatient efforts.  One of Dr. Claflin’s primary duties will direction of he consult service.  He will be a liaison to acute care services, and he will interact with Care Management.  He will also play an important role in resident education.  Dr. Claflin joined us a couple of years ago from Seattle.  He has been building the Stroke rehabilitation service, and is currently leading the effort to have our Stroke Rehabilitation Program certified by the Joint Commission.  Please join me in welcoming Ted to this new role, both for him and for the inpatient services.  In addition,  I want to thank Dr. Anita Craig and Dr. Lisa DiPonio for their leadership of the consult service over the past many years.

Dr. Mike Wheaton Named Co-Director of the Adult and Pediatric Brachial Plexus and Peripheral Nerve Program

Congratulations to Dr. Mike Wheaton, who has just been appointed as the Co-Director of the Adult and Pediatric Brachial Plexus and Peripheral Nerve Program.  He will join Dr. Lynda Yang, Neurosurgery, who is the director of the service.  Dr. Wheaton completed his PM&R training at the University of Michigan, followed by a fellowship in spinal cord injury medicine at Michigan as well under the direction of Dr. Tony Chiodo.  Mike’s fellowship had some emphasis on peripheral nerve as well.  Mike has been actively involved in the clinical care, electrodiagnosis and injection interventional care in the clinic, as well as the educational and research aspects.  The Brachial Plexus clinic, especially the pediatric clinic, is an award winning service at the University of Michigan, and has a well deserved strong reputation regionally, nationally, and internationally.

Call for Applications - TIKTOC RERC Small grants for the Development of Technology


Do you have an idea for an app, game or other type of innovative technology that may improve the lives of individuals with disabilities?  Have you created technology for another diagnostic or age group that can be adapted to help adolescents and young adults with physical, cognitive, sensory or developmental impairments manage their health and achieve independence?  If so then consider applying for a small grant from the TIKTOC RERC, which can provide up to $10,000 in funding for a one year project.

The primary goal of the University of Michigan Technology Increasing Knowledge: Technology Optimizing Choice Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (TIKTOC RERC) is to develop and evaluate mobile technology that will enhance the ability of adolescents and young adults with disabilities to manage their health and transition to independence.  As such, a goal for this small grant opportunity is to increase the number of people who are working to develop technology that is relevant to and considers the needs of adolescents and young adults with physical, cognitive, developmental and sensory disabilities.   

Eligible Applicants: 

  • All members of the University of Michigan community are eligible to apply

  • This includes students, fellows, staff, clinicians, and faculty 

Project & Proposal Requirements

  • Proposals need to describe a plan to develop or evaluate innovative technology to enhance the ability of adolescents and young adults with disabilities to better manage their health and achieve independence. 

  • The project and technology must reflect an awareness of accessible design and disability issues

  • Projects can address any stage of the innovation process

  • Must be able to be completed within a one year period

  • Total budget can be no more than $10,000 

Deadline and Submission

  • The application deadline for the Fall 2015 cycle is October, 14, 2015. 

  • Applications must be submitted online through the Competition space website: https://umms.infoready4.com.  

  • The final announcement, templates and submission guidelines for the Fall 2015 submission will be posted on the Competition Space website by the end of August. 

Please see the attached Call for Proposals for details.  Additional information about this small grant competition is available at http://cthi.medicine.umich.edu/initiatives/tiktoc-rerc/small-grants. If you have any questions, please e-mail RERC staff at UM-PMR-CTHI@med.umich.edu

The TIKTOC RERC is supported by a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant #H133E130014). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). 

Review and update your outside interest disclosures in M-Inform

U-M faculty, leaders, house officers, fellows and management staff are required to disclose all paid and unpaid job-related outside interests, activities and relationships in M-Inform annually. The outside interest disclosure period runs July 1 through July 31.

Individuals required to annually disclose will receive email reminders from the M-Inform system until outside interest disclosures have been made.

To complete your M-Inform disclosure:

Go to https://minform.it.umich.edu. (NOTE: The form will become available at noon July 1)
Use the “decision tree” located here to assist with disclosure reporting decisions.
For guidance on reporting individually held stock in a biomedical company (i.e., stock that is not held in a mutual fund or retirement account) go here. 
For guidance on board membership or other leadership roles with biomedical industry, go here.

Keep in mind, you must disclose your job-related outside interests as well as those of your family members (spouse, domestic partner, children).  If you or your family members do not have an outside interest related to your job requiring disclosure, you must still log in to complete the conflict of interest training and attest to having nothing to disclose.

For general questions, send an email to coi-oid-questions@med.umich.edu.

Dr. Sean Smith Interviewed About Managing Cancer Symptoms

mCancerPartner sat down recently with Sean R. Smith, M.D., a clinical instructor and director of Cancer Rehabilitation in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the University of Michigan Health System, to learn more about doctors who specialize in physical medicine and rehabilitation, and the growing sub-specialty of cancer symptom management and rehabilitation.

mCancerPartner: How would you define physical medicine and rehabilitation, or PM&R, as it relates to cancer symptom management?

Dr. Smith: PM&R doctors, called physiatrists, ARE symptom management doctors, but they also diagnose and treat a variety of physical conditions. Our expertise is used for patients with conditions that affect the brain, spine, muscle and bones. We also help patients with nerve damage or serious scar tissue. So you might find physiatrists in sports medicine, but you will also find us treating conditions like cerebral palsy, spinal cord or burn injuries. For all our patients, we look at nutrition, pain management and range of motion, and may order tests or treatments to optimize patients’ ability to move and reduce pain or fatigue. Our goal is to improve and maintain function by diagnosing and treating side effects of these various medical conditions.


PM&R Staff and Facilities Featured in 57 Mile Cerebral Palsy "Swagger" Walk

Last year, Hunter Gandee of Temperance, Michigan carried his brother, Braden Gandee, who has cerebral palsy,  40 miles from Temperance to the University of  Michigan.  Hunter’s goal was to raise awareness of cerebral palsy, and he accomplished this in a big way, drawing national headlines and having stories run about him on the national news. This year they wanted to go even bigger and went 57 miles. More information about the event can be found on Facebook here.

The Gandee family and PM&R chair Dr. Edward Hurvitz also participated in a webchat on June 10, 2015. You can see the feed for that webchat here.

Coverage in The Detroit Free Press
Coverage in The Ann Arbor News
Coverage on Fox 2 Detroit
Coverage in People
Coverage on CNN

A Note From Dr. Hurvitz:

"Hunter Gandee is a true hero.  He walked 57 miles with his brother on his back over three days, and then gave interviews, talked up cerebral palsy and said nice things about the Pediatric Rehabilitation Center before even sitting down!  Some of his family members walked the entire distance with him. 
Many thanks and Kudos to Donn Hilker who played a leadership role in our department involvement in this event, and who, with his wife Sherri, walked most of the way as well.  Also to Jill Gerber, Dawn Krause and Beth Riske who played a big role in pulling all of this together, and to many of you who were there at the rest stops and at the finish line to set up and encourage Hunter is and his team.  It was a great day for the Gandee family, for all of the families who include an individual who has a diagnosis of cerebral palsy and a wonderful service weekend for the department.  Thanks everyone!!"

Dr. Jacqueline Kaufman Interviewed on NPR About Prescriptions For Legal Services Instead of Medication

 Jacqueline Kaufman, associate professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation, and Debra Chopp, clinical assistant professor of law, were interviewed on Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity for a story about a medical-legal partnership that provides legal assistance to improve child health.

Read the whole story HERE>>


PM&R Faculty Promotions

Brian Kelly, Clinical Professor
Claire Kalpakjian, Associate Professor, with tenure
Noelle Carlozzi, Associate Professor, with tenure
Edmund Chadd, Clinical Assistant Professor

Congratulations on this well-deserved honor, and thank you for all of the good work that you do.

ReWalk™Lecture and Live Demo Coming to MedRehab June 2

What is ReWalk™?
The ReWalk™ exoskeleton allows an ambulation and rehabilitation alternative to wheelchair users, enabling people with lower limb disabilities, such as paraplegia, to stand and walk. The training program is 8-12 weeks and is for complete or incomplete spinal cord injury at T8 or below.

Join Christine Wallis, PT for an informative lecture and an exciting demo of the ReWalk™ exoskeleton.

MedRehab Physical Therapy
355 Briarwood Circle, Building 4
Ann Arbor, MI 48108

Or join our webcast live at:

Call: (734) 936-9334
Email: ahok@med.umich.edu

For more information view the flyer here.

PM&R Faculty Efforts in Nepal Featured on Television

PM&R Physician Dr. Andrew Haig was featured on the Fox affiliate in his hometown of Milwaukee, WI for his work with his brother in rescue efforts in Nepal.

MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Two brothers with Milwaukee ties are helping a specific group recovering from Nepal’s devastating earthquake.

The Glendale natives say patients with spinal cord injuries are specifically vulnerable after disasters like this because many developing countries just are not prepared.

Dr. Andrew Haig and his brother, Tom Haig, say the challenges facing Nepal are reminiscent of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, but the big difference is the mountains. That alone makes living with a spinal cord injury in Nepal extremely difficult and the brothers are trying to help.

Older brother Dr. Andrew Haig is the president of International Rehabilitation Forum, Inc.

Read the rest of the story here>>

PM&R James Rae Day Features M. Elizabeth Sandel, MD

Elizabeth Sandel MD, will be the keynote speaker for the upcoming James Rae Scientific Day and Lecture on May 15 to be held at the Kensington Court Hotel in Ann Arbor.  Dr. Sandel is a clinical professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of California – Davis School of Medicine. She is also a medical director for Paradigm Management Services, an organization that provides medical case management to improve the outcomes of catastrophically injured workers.

Dr. Sandel will present on the topic “Commotio cerebri: More Questions Than Answers” at this year’s event.

The program for James W. Rae Scientific and Lecture Day traditionally includes original scientific papers by members of the Michigan Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, as well as, papers by staff and alumni of the University of Michigan Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Please visit www.JamesRaeDay.com for more details and to register.  You must register to attend.

PM&R Celebrates Our Nurses During National Nurses Week

During National Nurses’ week, which starts May 6thand goes through May 12th,  I want to give special recognition and a heartfelt thank you to our rehabilitation nursing team, including the adult rehabilitation service on 6A, the pediatric unit on 12 mott, and in the outpatient setting.  Thank you for all of the work that you do to advance the work that all of us are trying to do to improve the quality of life for our patients.  I invite everyone to thank our nurses this week for their wonderful efforts.

-Ed Hurvitz

For more information about National Nurses Week visit the American Nurses Association website.

Pediatric Physical Therapy Residency Achieves Accreditation


It is with great pleasure and pride that we announce the Pediatric Physical Therapy Residency, has received accreditation from the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education.  This is a tremendous milestone for the Inpatient and Outpatient Pediatric PTOTTR teams, and will go a long way in promoting clinical excellence in pediatric Physical Therapy practice for the Physical Therapy profession.  
Special recognition and congratulations to all of the clinical mentors: Susie Steele, Michaela White, Amy Casedy, Sarah McAllister, Chris Tapley, and Cara Komisar.  We also extend congratulations to our academic partners in this endeavor: The University of Michigan-Flint Physical Therapy Department, specifically: Carol Daly, and Jaimie Creps.  Last, congratulations and sincere thanks to our first two Physical Therapy Residents: Breanna Waldron and Risha Kotecha.
The UMHS/UM-Flint Pediatric Physical Therapy residency is the only pediatric residency available to Physical Therapists in the state of Michigan and is just the 13th in the country. 

Read more about the ABPTRFE here>>

Congratulations to Claire Kalpakjian, Susan Murphy, Michelle Meade, Gianna Rodriguez, Margy Fox And Patricia Moulis On Being Selected For The Faculty Leading Change Program

This new program offered by ADVANCE provides faculty led teams with consultation and support for fostering departmental change in an identified area of need. Their project, “Bridging Clinical and Research Missions in PMR – Strengthening Translational Research and Team Science in Rehabilitation Research” will focus on developing effective ways to enhance the collaboration between clinicians and researchers. The overall goal is to strengthen the infrastructure for translational and team science in PMR by engaging clinicians and researchers in collaboration. Recognizing that this transformation is years in the making, project goals are intended to begin the momentum. The team will work closely with change consultants and attend a series of workshops to further develop and implement the project. I encourage you to join them in this effort by contributing your perspective and ideas to this effort. This is an exciting opportunity for our department and mission of leadership and excellence in rehabilitation through innovative research, discovery and contributing to the evidence base that informs our practice.  

Read more about ADVANCE and the Faculty Leading Change program here>>

PM&R Assists With Bucket List Event For Patient

Community reintegration is a main focus for our inpatient rehabilitation unit patients, their families and our team of therapists.  Recreational therapist Katie Jonkhoff took the lead recently to combine a community reintegration trip and a bucket list event for patient Jim Lewandowski who has been battling terminal cancer since 2014. Jim and many of his family members are avid Red Wings fans and his son Joel arranged tickets for their family while Katie and Jim’s OT, Dawn Bolen, found tickets for themselves.  Drs. Michael Wheaton and Raymond Cheng, Jim's rehab physicians assisted in moving radiation treatments to let Jim rest for the day. The hockey game would be his ‘real-life’ therapy for that day.
Once at Joe Louis Arena, Jim met up with his three sons, four grandchildren, and other family members – 11 in all.  His son Robert flew in from Portland, Oregon while son Eric drove from Nashville. The three sons rotated so that each of them could sit with their father for one period. Katie and Dawn also took turns with Jim to make sure he was comfortable and cared for.  Jim said everyone around him was also very helpful.
"The only one with a negative reaction was the guy I hit with my wheelchair," he remembered.



Dr. JR Richardson Discusses Diabetic Neuropothy With Reuters

There are some steps diabetics can take to stay on their feet even when they suffer from nerve pain, said Dr. James Richardson, a researcher at the University of Michigan Health System.

To decrease the chances of falling, diabetics need to have good vision or good control of ankle movements, strong hips, good reflexes, and avoid distractions while moving, said Richardson, who wasn't involved in the study.

Regular eye exams and good light can help with vision problems, and lightly touching a railing or wall can help with balance when it's hard to see, Richardson noted. And some exercises may be able to strengthen muscles around the hips.

At the end of the day, though, concentration is key.

"It doesn't matter if the muscles are strong if they are strong three seconds after you lose your balance," he said. "You only have about half a second before you hit the ground."

Read the entire story here.


Welcome To David Kohns, DO

We are pleased to announce that David Kohns, DO will be joining the faculty of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in 2015.  David trained as a physical therapist, and after a few years of practice completed training as an Osteopathic physician in Des Moines, Iowa.  Dr. Kohns trained as a specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in the University of Michigan Residency Program, and is currently completing a fellowship in Pain Medicine at the University of Michigan.  David will join the Spine faculty, and is interested in both non-interventional and interventional treatment for spine disorders.  We look forward to having him with us on Faculty. 

Welcome, David!


PM&R Celebrates Therapeutic Recreation Month

February is Therapeutic Recreation month!  Kudos and thanks to all of our wonderful therapeutic recreation specialists and all the great work they do for our patients.  As we all know, our ultimate goal is to get people participating in life, and therapeutic recreation specialists are at the forefront of that effort.  Please note the attached picture of Becky McVey, our Milestones TR demonstrating her recreational skills.

-Ed Hurvitz

For more info about RT month, download this flyer from ATRA




PM&R Celebrates The Career of Dr. Virginia Nelson

On February 5, the department held a reception in honor of the career of Dr. Virginia Nelson in the Ford Auditorium Lobby at the University Hospital.

Virginia S. Nelson, M.D., clinical professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Michigan Medical School, retired from active faculty status on December 31, 2014

Dr. Nelson received her A.B. in German from Stanford University in 1963 and then went on to attend the Stanford University Medical School, receiving her M.D. in 1970.  She completed her pediatric residency at Stanford University Hospital in 1971.  She went on to complete an M.P.H. in Maternal and Child Health at the University of Michigan in 1974. Dr. Nelson started her full-time academic career at the University of Michigan in 1981 as an Instructor in PM&R.  She was a Lecturer in PM&R from 1985-1986 and stared on the clinical track as an instructor in 1986.  She rose through the ranks and ultimately was promoted to clinical professor in 2002.  During her career she also served as a lecturer in the Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases and as adjunct lecturer in the School of Public Health

Dr. Nelson has over 40 years of experience providing care and treatment to children with neurodevelopmental disabilities.  She is well published with 54 articles in peer reviewed journals and 22 book chapters.  Dr. Nelson has been an innovator in many areas of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine.  She is most well known for her work with high Spinal Cord Injury, Home-based Ventilator Dependency, and Brachial Plexus Injury. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the Michigan Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.  She has been an executive board member of the American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine, and a leader in other organizations. She has made numerous regional, national and international presentations.  Dr. Nelson has also volunteered her time to work with children with Spina Bifida in Africa.

Additionally, she has made important contributions to the University with her many service commitments including her active role in the resident education at the departmental level as well as her service to the Medical School Admissions Committee and the Administrative Committee of the Pediatric Rehabilitation Team in the Health System

Transitions Studio Client Celebrates 102nd Birthday With Exercise

Transitions Studio Client Margaret Rookes celebrated her 102nd birthday yesterday at the studio. On this, her official birthday, have a look at this story written about Margaret on her 100th birthday.

100-year-old UMHS patient on exercise: “You’re never too old to start”
by Beata Mostafavi

A gym for the 65-and-over crowd: Senior participants break a sweat at UMHS’s Functional Fitness class; one of program’s first-ever participants turns 100

In between chats with friends and quips with her fitness trainer, Margaret Rookes spent a recent morning walking on the treadmill, stepping on a NuStep and leg pressing 100 pounds.

When it comes to maintaining her three-times-a-week, 75-minute workout routine, Margaret makes no excuses – not even the fact that she just turned 100 years old.

“I wouldn’t be in this condition if I didn’t come here,” says Margaret, sporting white sneakers while switching between strength and cardiovascular machines and stretching exercises. “It’s kept me moving. It’s kept me young.”

At age 89, Margaret was one of the first three participants to enroll in the Functional Fitness for Older Adults class that started at the University of Michigan Health System more than a decade ago. The class, which is offered by the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation for people age 65 and over, has since grown to more than 60 gym-goers.

For Margaret, the class offers a social outlet and place to connect with peers while improving her strength, balance, endurance and mobility – components that typically decline with age and can pose major health risks for older adults.


PM&R Physician Sean Smith In Conversation With The American Society for Clinical Oncology

Incorporating Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Into Palliative Care
A Conversation With Sean Smith, MD

By Jo Cavallo

Although cancer rehabilitation has been a part of oncology clinical practice for several decades, it has largely gone unrecognized as an integral part of palliative medicine and survivorship care. Now, the role of physical medicine and rehabilitation in oncology care may increase as patients with cancer are living longer and need relief from residual physical, emotional, and cognitive impairments resulting from their disease or its treatment. 

A review of data by the American Cancer Society (ACS) on the complex set of issues cancer survivors often face has found that poor physical health is reported by 1 in 4 survivors, compared to about 1 in 10 of those without a history of cancer.1 In addition, poor mental health is reported by 10% of cancer survivors compared with 6% of adults without a cancer diagnosis. According to the review, the numbers suggest that as many as 3.3 million cancer survivors in the United States may have poor physical health and that 1.4 million may have poor mental health as a result of their disease.

According to the ACS report, studies show that multidisciplinary cancer rehabilitation— which often involves a team of rehabilitation professionals that includes physiatrists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, and rehabilitation nurses—improves pain control, physical and cognitive function, and overall quality of life in cancer survivors.

It is for these reasons, said Sean Smith, MD, Director of the Cancer Rehabilitation Program at the University of Michigan Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in Ann Arbor, that survivors should be screened and treated for impairments all along the care continuum to minimize their disability and maximize their quality of life.


Dr. Hornyak Representing Medical School In Unique Inter-Professional Education Program

Dr. Joe Hornyak represents the medical school in an exciting new course that combines faculty from several health care related schools such as dentistry, medicine, nursing and others.  Here is a story from the Dental school web page.  Dr. Hornyak spends Wednesday afternoons with 50-60 students from the different schools, giving them the “medicine” point of view.  This is a unique course, and a unique achievement for Dr. Hornyak, who is well-recognized in our department and in the medical school as a top-notch medical educator.

Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Social Work Learn Together

Ann Arbor, MI — January 30, 2015 — The new year began in a novel way for students from five University of Michigan schools and colleges.  They made academic history.

On the afternoon of January 14, 52 students gathered in the Kellogg Auditorium at the School of Dentistry to participate in one of the university’s first courses in interprofessional education.  They were among approximately 270 students in dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy and social work who began studying and working as teams of professionals.  In the months ahead, students will rotate through all five schools and colleges working to solve difficult patient care cases. 

Students in the course taught at the School of Dentistry, DENT 760 for Health Professions IPE, are now learning more about how each profession contributes to health care and the importance of effective communication and collaboration in clinical decision making.   The School of Dentistry part of the course is taught by Dr. Mark Fitzgerald, associate professor and associate chair of the Department of Cariology, Restorative Sciences and Endodontics (CRSE), and Dr. Gundy Sweet, clinical professor of pharmacy and director of curriculum assessment. 

Also helping develop the dentistry unit is Dr. Nikki Sweier, clinical associate professor of dentistry in CRSE.  She teaches the nursing component of the course taught at the School of Nursing with course leader, Dr. Michelle Pardee, a clinical assistant professor of nursing.


Mandatory AirWatch Enrollment Coming For Mobile Access to UMHS Email and Calendars


Beginning February 23, 2015 the only way to access your UMHS Outlook email and calendar on a mobile device will be through AirWatch®, the mobile device management (MDM) system provided by UMHS to ensure security for smartphones and tablets that connect to the UMHS environment. While you can enroll after February 23, MCIT recommends enrolling as soon as possible so you have time to learn how the new system works and interacts with your devices prior to the final deadline. If you enroll after February 23 you will not be able to receive any UMHS email on your mobile devices until AirWatch® is properly configured.

MCIT has made a wealth of resources available to help facilitate and ease this transition. The main page for the AirWatch® transition can be found here and has system requirements and do it yourself instructions for enrolling your Apple or Android device. There is also an FAQ that addresses some of the common misconceptions about software like AirWatch®. Anita Liberman-Lampear and I have already begun the transition and between the two of us we have installed it on Android and Apple phones and well as iPods and iPads without any problems.

If you have trouble with the do it yourself instructions or you just prefer to have someone help walk you through the process, MCIT will be holding a number of walk-in "Help Me Now" clinics. The current locations and schedules are:

Complex: NCRC
Location: Help Me Now @ NCRC, Building 18, Room G018
Schedule: Monday – Friday 8-5

Complex: Medical Campus
Location: Furstenburg Student Study Center, 2710 Med Sci II
Schedule: Wednesday 8-noon
Thursday noon-5
Friday 8-5

Complex: Hospital
Location: Towsley Connector Link
Schedule: Tuesday – Friday 10-2

If these times and locations don’t work for you, check the MCIT Knowledgebase as more locations will be added.

This page will be updated with any new information we receive as the February 23 deadline approaches so check back regularly. Also, pass this link around to any friends, colleagues, or new employees who might be affected by this transition.

PM&R Patient, Faculty, and Staff Featured on Nightline

These links will take you to the video or the text version of the story that features several therapists and Dr. Liza Green.





Here's a link to the story on the CS Mott Facebook Page so you can share it with all of your friends and family and random classmates from high school.

Milestones Patient Julia Covill Featured at UofMHealth.Org

The Pediatric NeuroRehabilitation program at Milestones is celebrating 25 years of service. Mary Covill shares her daughter’s story

For our daughter Julia, prom night 2012 wasn’t just a rite of passage – it was a milestone we weren’t sure would ever be possible. Except for the walker at her side, you wouldn’t know that the smiling teenager in the purple, strapless dress, arms wrapped around friends while posing for pictures, couldn’t walk or remember everyday words just months earlier.


Milestones Patient Dan Featured at UofMHealth.Org

The Pediatric NeuroRehabilitation program at Milestones is celebrating 25 years of service. Mary Foy shares how her son Daniel has faced numerous challenges in his life, but thanks to his time at Milestones, he’s preparing to attend college next year.

Many parents talk about the whirlwind of emotion surrounding the day of their first baby’s birth and our story was no exception. Within hours of experiencing the joy and excitement of finally meeting our firstborn, blue-eyed baby boy Dan, I learned he had a serious heart condition that could kill him.


MedRehab Patient Paul Christensen Featured at UofMHealth.Org

The MedRehab program is celebrating 25 years of service. Paul and Joan Christensen shared how Paul was able to recover after an unexpected stroke put him in the hospital.

Paul: I had a stroke when I was 59. I was not a candidate for stroke, being a non-smoker who exercised regularly and was in good health, so it was definitely a complete surprise. The stroke resulted in left side paralysis and I was unable to walk at first. I was originally admitted to St. Joe’s Hospital in Pontiac, but I wanted to come back to Ann Arbor for outpatient care. U-M is our home hospital, and we wanted to come back to where our doctors were.

Joan: It was quite a shock at first. It’s completely essential to stroke recovery to continue rehabilitation after the inpatient phase, so we discussed Paul’s needs with his doctors and how we could deal with them. We were told of the MedRehab program and began sessions from there when Paul came home. When he first started rehab, he was in a wheelchair. After a couple of months, he came out walking with a cane.


MedRehab Patient Danielle Jones Featured at UofMHealth.Org

The U-M MedRehab program is celebrating 25 years of service. Here, stroke survivor Danielle Jones shares how the program helped her get back on her feet.

At 25 years old I thought I had it all. I was studying for my Master’s degree in Secondary Education, coaching both a dance and high school cheer team, I also danced on a team and worked full time. In December 2010, my life as I knew it, was about to change drastically. I suffered a massive stroke. I was perfectly healthy. My right side was paralyzed and I lost my ability to speak. I spent two months at U-M Hospital, and then I was sent to MedRehab in March 2011.


Fraternal Order of Eagles Donates $30,000 to SCIMS

The University of Michigan Spinal Cord Injury Model System program wishes to thank the Fraternal Order of the Eagles, their Grand Worthy President Bud Haigh for having selected them for a $30,000 donation this year. The funds will be used to support their study on bladder and bowel complications after SCI and more specifically to help them reach out to persons with SCI in the State of Michigan who may be facing these problems.

For more information about the donation, check out the informational flyer here.

For more information about the great relationship between the FOE and the University of Michigan, check out this YouTube video.

MedRehab Patient Kyle Ziegler Featured at UofMHealth.org

The U-M MedRehab program is celebrating 25 years of service. Today, cancer survivor Kyle Ziegler shares how he learned to walk again (and surprise his future wife, whom he married on June 23, 2012).

In the fall of 2007, I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. I was 18 years old, and I’d been dating my then-girlfriend Katie for a year and a half. I received inpatient chemotherapy at the University of Michigan Hospital from October 18th to October 30th, and was sent home for a break before I started another round of chemotherapy. On November 7th, I was readmitted because I had a rare reaction to one of the chemotherapy drugs. This lead to a chain reaction of issues. I was not able to eat or drink anything for about 6 months. It was so bad that when I was coherent, I would flip through the TV channels looking for food commercials.


U of M Basketball Surprises Outpatient Peds

This past Friday was a pretty special one at PRC.  Eight former or current peds patients were invited to a special, mini-basketball camp, organized by Betsy Howell, PT.  What these kids didn’t know however, was that Betsy had also invited some special guests from the U of M Men’s Basketball team!

READ MORE HERE>> (with photos)

Major Training Grant awarded to PM&R in Rehabilitation Research

Congratulations to PI Denise Tate, Ph.D. and Co-PI Claire Kalpakjian, Ph.D.  This grant is an Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training Program from the National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research, currently in the Department of Education (but moving to HHS). In Claire’s words, “This proposal has a number of new approaches to how we conduct our training programs including the use of competency based education and assessment, the use of electronic portfolios to tracking progress as well as providing the fellow with a “package” of accomplishments for job searches, and a strong collaboration with MICHR’s Community Engagement program.”  Attached is an abstract of the proposal

2-year-old Ann Arbor Girl With Rare Joint Disorder Uses 'Magic Arm' For the First Time at University of Michigan Clinic

August 28, 2014
Just 18 weeks into Angie’s pregnancy, Savannah was diagnosed with arthrogryposis. Children with the condition, which affects about 1 in 3,000 babies, have joints that do not move the way they’re supposed to or are locked into place. When Savannah was born, she was unable to move her elbows, wrists or some of her fingers.

“We must have had 100 ultrasounds or something to check on her during the pregnancy and we were really worried because we knew the arms were going to be locked but we had never seen her move her legs so we were afraid they were locked as well,” Shannon Stahlin, Savannah’s father, said. “But then she came out kicking. It was the first of many victories.”

Savannah’s two long scars on her triceps are the remains of twin surgeries shortly after birth known as tendon releases that allow her elbows to bend as they are supposed to.

After the surgeries, Shannon and Angie had to bend Savannah’s elbows at least five times a day to make sure that she gained proper range of motion.