Gerard Francisco, MD, Receives 2015 AAPM&R Distinguished Member Award

Gerard Francisco, MD, has been selected by the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AAPM&R) to receive the organization’s 2015 Distinguished Member Award. Dr. Francisco is chief medical officer and director of the NeuroRecovery Research Center at TIRR Memorial Hermann and clinical professor and chair of the department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth.

Established in 1994, the Distinguished Member Award honors AAPM&R members who provide invaluable service to the specialty of physical medicine and rehabilitation through dedicated efforts on behalf of the discipline and participation in organizations other than the Academy. Dr. Francisco’s award will be presented In October during the 47th Walter J. Zeiter Lecture and Awards Ceremony at the Annual Assembly of the AAPM&R in Boston, Massachusetts.

“I deeply appreciate all of those who made it possible for me to receive the Distinguished Member Award,” Dr. Francisco says. “I’ve had the privilege of in the field of PM&R, and I’m grateful to the many mentors who’ve helped me along the way to the attending physicians, residents and fellows I’ve taught and learned from. I am humbled by this award, but our greatest reward as physiatrists is always the accomplishments of our patients.”

Dr. Francisco has a 25-year history of clinical, academic and research accomplishment and contributions to medical associations. He is president of the Association of Academic Physiatrists and chair of the Residency Review Committee for PM&R of the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education. He is a director of the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and has chaired the organization’s Brain Injury Medicine Committee since August 2013. He previously chaired the Education Committee and is currently the co-chair of the Publications Committee of the International Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He has served in many leadership positions for the AAPM&R, including vice chair of the Program Planning Committee (Neuro). Dr. Francisco is also a member of the Advisory Board of the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research of the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Francisco was named Outstanding Alumnus of the UMDNJ-Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in 2011 and Baylor College of Medicine in 2015. In 2014, he was named Honorary Fellow of the Philippine Academy of Rehabilitation Medicine, Outstanding Alumnus of the University of the Philippines Medical Alumni Society and Physician of the Year at TIRR Memorial Hermann. In 2012, he was named Distinguished Teaching Professor and Member of The University of Texas System Academy of Health Science Educators and Distinguished Educator Professor and Member of the Academy of Master Educators at McGovern Medical School. In 2011, he was selected to deliver the 43rd Walter J. Zeiter Lecture to the AAPM&R. Dr. Francisco has been named among Best Doctors in America by U.S. News & World Report, Best Doctors in Houston by Houstonia magazine and Texas Super Doctors by Texas Monthly magazine. He has been listed in Best Doctors in America published by Best Doctors, Inc., and Castle Connelly’s Best Doctors in America and America’s Top Doctors.

Dr. Francisco is associate editor of the Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine and a section editor for Current Reviews in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He serves as a reviewer for Europe Medicophysica, Brain Injury, Stroke and the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He has served as principal investigator or co-investigator on grants from the National Institutes of Health; National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research; and Mission Connect, a project of TIRR Foundation. His research has been published in more than 150 abstracts, original journal articles, invited articles and book chapters, and he is a sought-after speaker both nationally and internationally.

Psychiatrists Receive Dean’s Teaching Excellence Awards

Four physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists and attending physicians at TIRR Memorial Hermann were among those honored with Dean’s Teaching Excellence Awards in a ceremony held at the McGovern Medical School in May. They are Joel Frontera, MD, assistant professor and residency program director; Jacob Joseph, MD, clinical assistant professor and clinical chief of Specialty Rehabilitation Programs and medical director of International Programs at TIRR Memorial Hermann; Judy Thomas, MD, clinical assistant professor; and Monica Verduzco-Gutierrez, MD, clinical assistant professor.

The Dean’s Teaching Excellence Award is an annual recognition presented to faculty and volunteers for outstanding teaching performance. Those chosen to receive the award have incited intellectual curiosity in their students, engaged them in the learning process, helped them develop lifelong skills or otherwise served with distinction.

“We all derive special pleasure from the training of residents,” Dr. Joseph says. “A doctor’s education never ends. I believe I speak for every faculty member when I say that we are privileged to both teach and learn from our residents.”

Sarah Cupit Receives the Mary Joyce Newsom Award at Texas Woman’s University

In April, occupational therapist Sarah Cupit, OTR, MOT, winner of the 2014 Mary Joyce Newsom Award at Texas Woman’s University (TWU), delivered the annual lecture to occupational therapy students at the university’s Houston Center and presented the 2015 award. Her topic was “The OT Student Process: Making the Transition from Student to Clinician.”

In her lecture she discussed closing the gap between scholarship and practice. “When we leave school, we have to step up to our new role as therapists, which was challenging for me,” says Cupit, who joined the staff at TIRR Memorial Hermann in March of this year. “As new therapists we all go through a cycle of anxiety, excitement, practice, confidence and competence. I still see in myself a new graduate who is struggling and doubtful of her capabilities. I’m grateful that the culture at TIRR is highly supportive and that guidance from other therapists is within arm’s reach.”

The award was established to honor Mary Joyce Newsom for her professional contributions, and to honor and promote student excellence at TWU’s Houston Center. Newsom received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in occupational therapy at Texas Woman’s University and served as director of occupational therapy at TIRR Memorial Hermann for 20 years, until her resignation in 1980.

Criteria for the award are based on Newsom’s concept of the ideal occupational therapist. These include scholarship, professional and community service, an ability to see things in perspective, a sense of humor, a commitment to finding better ways to do things, a commitment to the theoretical base of occupational therapy and a genuine concern for people.

DeAnna Bennett, RN, BSN, CRRN, CBIS, clinical manager of Patient Care Unit 6, was among 150 Houston nurses recognized during the Houston Chronicle Salute to Nurses Awards luncheon held in May in honor of National Nurses Week. The nurses were featured in a special section of the Chronicle.

In Print

Jahanmiri-Nezhad F, Barkhaus PE, Phymer WZ, Zhou P. Innervation zones of fasciculating motor units: observations by a linear electrode array. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 2015 May;9:239.

Keser Z, Hasan KM, Mwangi BI, Kamali A, Ucisik-Keser FE, Riascos RF, Yozbatiran N, Francisco GE, Narayana P. Diffusion tensor imaging of human cerebellar pathways and their interplay with cerebral macrostructure. Frontiers in Neuroanatomy, 2015 Apr 8;9:41.

Klein CS, Zhou P, Marciniak C. Excitability properties of motor axons in adults with cerebral palsy. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 2015 June;9:329.

Li L, Li X, Liu J, Zhou P. Alterations in multidimensional motor unit number index of hand muscles after incomplete cervical spinal cord injury. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 2015 May;9:238.

Li S, Francisco GE. New insights into the pathophysiology of post-stroke spasticity. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 2015;9:192.

Li S, Melton DH, Li S. Tactile, thermal, and electrical thresholds in patients with and without phantom limb pain after traumatic lower limb amputation. Journal of Pain Research, 2015 Apr 20;8:169-74.

Liu J, Ying D, Rymer WZ, Zhou P. Robust muscle activity onset detection using an unsupervised electromyogram learning framework. PLoS One, 2015 June;10(6):e0127990.

Liu Y, Ning Y, Li S, Zhou P, Rymer WZ, Zhang Y. Three-dimensional innervation zone imaging from multi-channel surface EMG recordings. International Journal of Neural Systems, 2015 Sept;25(6):1550024.

Marciniak C, Li X, Zhou P. An examination of motor unit number index in adults with cerebral palsy. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology, 2015 June;25(3):444-50.

Sherer M, Sander AM, Nick TG, Melguizo MS, Tulsky DS, Kisala P, Hanks R, Novack TA. Key dimensions of impairment, self-report, and environmental supports in persons with TBI. Rehabilitation Psychology, 2015;60:138-46.

On the Podium

Davis M, Skelton F. Catheter Valves: An Alternative Method of Managing Neurogenic Bladder after SCI. Presentation at the Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals, New Orleans, September 2015.

Kern M, Jennings J, Chang S-H, Davis M, Francisco G. Improving Gait Performance After Spinal Cord Injury: A Comparison Between Conventional Physical Therapy and Therapy Using an Exoskeleton. Presentation at the 4th Annual International Spinal Cord Society and American Spinal Injury Association Joint Scientific Meeting, Montreal, Canada, May 2015.

Korupolu R. Effects of Transvertebral Direct Current Stimulation in Healthy Humans: A Randomized Crossover Study. Presentation at the Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals, New Orleans, September 2015.

Korupolu R. Voltage-gated Potassium Channel Antibody-related Myelitis: A Case Report. Presentation at the Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals, New Orleans, September 2015.

Lyon M. Occlusion of the vertebral artery: screening and treatment by a physical therapist, case study of a non-surgical candidate. Presentation at the American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, February 2015.

Nosek MA, Hughes L, Stampas A, Fletcher SG, Wenzel LR, Ivanhoe C, Fremion E, Hughes RB, Morrison-Jacobus M. Pelvic Health Disorders in Women with Mobility Impairments: A Review of Literature. Poster presentation at the Association of Academic Physiatrists, San Antonio, Texas, March 2015.

Robinson-Whelen S, Taylor HB, Feltz M, Vega J. Loneliness among people with spinal cord injury. Paper presented at the Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals, New Orleans, September 2015.

Sander AM. ACT for success: Application of acceptance and commitment therapy for persons with traumatic brain injury and emotional distress. Invited workshop presented at the 5th International Neuropsychological Society/Australian Brain Injury Society Pacific Rim Conference, Sydney, Australia, July 2015.

Sander AM. Memory strategy training after traumatic brain injury: Where we have been and where we are going. Invited keynote address at the 5th International Neuropsychological Society/Australian Brain Injury Society Pacific Rim Conference, Sydney, Australia, July 2015.

Sherer M. TBI ACTION: A clinical support for case conceptualization and treatment planning for patients with traumatic brain injuries. Presentation at the TIRR Memorial Hermann Advancing Best Practices in Brain Injury Rehabilitation Conference, Houston, June 2015.

Sherer M. Early assessment of patients with TBI. Workshop presented at the 5th International Neuropsychological Society/Australian Brain Injury Society Pacific Rim Conference, Sydney, Australia, July 2015.

Sherer M. A new classification system for persons with TBI in the post-acute period of recovery. Keynote address given at the 5th International Neuropsychological Society/Australian Brain Injury Society Pacific Rim Conference, Sydney, Australia, July 2015.

Stampas A, Davis M, Kitagawa R, Schmitt KM, Donovan WH. Communicating Hydrocephalus Due to Traumatic Lumbar Spine Injury: Case Report and Literature Review. Presentation at the Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals, New Orleans, September 2015.

Wenzel L. Evaluating Diagnostic Criteria for Urinary Tract Infection in Spinal Cord Injury Patients. Presentation at the Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals, New Orleans, September 2015.

Wenzel L. Hospital-acquired Urinary Tract Infections in Patients with SCI: Description and Considerations. Presentation at the Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals, New Orleans, September 2015.

Wenzel L. Gluteal Hematomas in Complete Spinal Cord Injuries after Advanced Wheelchair Skills Training. Presentation at the Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals, New Orleans, September 2015.

Smith D. Rehabilitation and Urological Considerations for the SCI Patient. Presentation at the BARD Medical National Sales Meeting, Lake Tahoe, January 2015.

Job Opportunities

TIRR Memorial Hermann is now accepting applications for the following:

Registered Nurses

Inpatient and Outpatient
Physical Therapist II and III
Occupational Therapist II and III
Speech Therapist II and III

Upcoming Education Courses

For more information about the courses below, including CEUs, visit the education section.

Skills for Life 4: Bilateral Upper Limb Loss Workshop
October 22-25, 2015
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Houston Marriott-Medical Center

The Skills for Life (SFL) workshop is devoted specifically to issues faced by individuals with bilateral upper limb loss. Presenters will include individuals with bilateral upper limb loss, therapists, prosthetists, physicians and others. SFL workshops have brought together more than 50 people with bilateral upper limb loss and have drawn audiences from Canada, Australia, Sweden, Germany and Austria. Skills for Life 4 is the first time the workshop will be held in Houston and sponsored by TIRR Memorial Hermann. The workshop will be led by Danielle Melton, MD; Kristin Reeves, PT; and Shawn Swanson, OTR.

Team Approach to Limb-loss Rehabilitation
September 18-19, 2015
Day 1: 8 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.
Day 2: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Presented by the TIRR Memorial Hermann Education Academy, this two-day seminar will educate participants on medical concerns, therapy treatment approaches, planning, prosthetic information and collaboration across the rehabilitation team for those with limb loss. This will include medical and rehabilitation considerations for pre-amputation, acute post-surgical, pre-prosthetic and prosthetics. The seminar will have didactic and lab components, discussing whole-person treatment needs from a team approach, including a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, prosthetic consultants and a community peer educator. The lab component will allow participants to gain hands-on experience about prosthetics and rehabilitation treatment interventions for either upper-extremity or lower-extremity needs. The workshop will be led by Danielle Melton, MD; Kristin Reeves, MSPT; Susanne Stanley, OTR/L, MOT, CLT; Kacee Pavelka; Jon B. Holmes; PT, CP; Earl Fogler, CP, LP.

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Fall 2015 Edition
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For the 34th consecutive year, TIRR Memorial Hermann is recognized as the best rehabilitation hospital in Texas and No. 4 in the nation according to U.S. News and World Report's "Best Rehabilitation Hospitals" in America.

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