Gerard Francisco, MD, chief medical officer of TIRR Memorial Hermann and chair of the department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, was selected to deliver the prestigious Sidney Licht Lecture at the closing ceremony of the 10th International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ISPRM) World Congress. The meeting was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, May 29 through June 2, 2016.
“Our ultimate goal as physicians and researchers is to work together as a global community to improve quality of life and minimize disability and medical problems throughout the world,” says Dr. Francisco, who spoke on the topic Global Academic Physiatry. “In doing so we promote important clinical and research collaborations among academic institutions, governments, businesses and organizations of people with disabilities. I am sincerely honored and truly humbled to have been chosen to deliver this year’s Sidney Licht Lecture.”
The Sidney Licht Lectureship Award was established by the International Rehabilitation Medicine Association in honor of Sidney Licht, the founder of the association and a staunch advocate for the expansion of rehabilitation medicine. In 2000, the association evolved into the ISPRM, which continues the award to honor physiatrists who make consistent contributions to the advancement of international physical and rehabilitation medicine.
Dr. Francisco is director of the NeuroRecovery Research Center at TIRR Memorial Hermann and a Distinguished Teaching Professor at The University of Texas System, as well as Distinguished Professor in Neuro-Engineering for Rehabilitation at the Tecnologica de Monterrey, Mexico. His research, supported by the National Institutes of Health among other funding sources, focuses on the application of brainmachine interfaces and robotics for rehabilitation, spasticity management, and neuromodulation. He has published more than 100 refereed articles, reviews and book chapters, and is an associate editor of the Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine and section editor of Current Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Reports. Dr. Francisco is active in several national and international professional, educational and research societies, and is co-chair of the Publications Committee and past chair of ISPRM’s Education Committee.
Dr. Francisco serves as president of the Association of Academic Physiatrists, chair of the Review Committee for PM&R of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, and a director of the American Board of PM&R. He is also a member of the National Advisory Board on Medical Rehabilitation Research of the National Institute of Child and Human Development. In addition to consistently being named in America’s Top Doctors, he is the recipient of prestigious national and international awards for his clinical, research and educational efforts.
On April 21, more than 120 wheelchair rugby athletes from around the world converged at the University of Houston for the 2016 U.S. Quad Rugby Association (USQRA) National Championship Tournaments. Among the teams participating was the fifth-seeded team in the nation, the TIRR Memorial Hermann Texans. The team includes 12 athletes who range in age from 19 to 45.
“We had been Division II for the past several years and were excited to play against the best in Division I,” says Randy Gilmer, head coach for the TIRR Memorial Hermann Texans. “We knew we were considered a dark horse to win the championship and are pleased that we came in third.”
The USQRA is the governing body for wheelchair rugby in the nation and is responsible for selecting and training the team that represents the U.S. in international tournaments. To participate, athletes must have loss of function in at least three limbs. Using rules and elements from wheelchair basketball, hockey and handball, wheelchair rugby is an intensely physical full-contact sport.
In March, Lex Frieden, director of the Independent Living Research Utilization program at TIRR Memorial Hermann, was named to the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) Board of Directors. Frieden was nominated by Mayor Sylvester Turner, and his nomination to the nine-member board was confirmed by the Houston City Council soon afterward.
“This new board will reflect the diversity of Houston and a diversity of thinking and experience that will be beneficial as METRO works to increase transit options and improve mobility in the area,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner.
“I am honored to be appointed by Mayor Turner to this position,” says Frieden, professor of biomedical informatics at The University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHealth) at Houston and professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. “My experience using public transportation in cities throughout the United States and abroad will aid me in making insightful recommendation and judgments to improve our transit system.”
Frieden has a track record of published research and successful advocacy in transit policy, urban planning and livable communities.
Four physiatrists and a researcher at TIRR Memorial Hermann were among those honored with Dean’s Teaching Excellence Awards in a ceremony held at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth in May. They are Glendaliz Bosques, MD, clinical assistant professor in the department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation; Christopher Falco, MD, clinical assistant professor; Joel Frontera, MD, clinical 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; and Nuray Yozbatiran, PhD, PT, research 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.
When Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner’s transition team sought help developing its goals, it turned to local leaders, including Monica Verduzco-Gutierrez, MD, clinical co-director of the Outpatient Medical Clinic at TIRR Memorial Hermann and assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth.
Dr. Verduzco-Gutierrez accepted an invitation to serve on the transition team’s Public Health Committee, which over the next several months will identify ways to improve the health of the estimated 2.2 million people living in the nation’s fourth-largest city.
Hammel J, McDonald KE, Frieden L. Getting to Inclusion: People with Developmental Disabilities and the Americans with Disabilities Act Participatory Action Research Consortium. Inclusion. 2016 Mar;4(1):6-15.
Li L, Shin H, Li X, Li S, Zhou P. Localized electrical impedance myography of the biceps brachii muscle during different levels of isometric contraction and fatigue. Sensors. 2016;16(4):581.
Verduzco-Gutierrez M, Redd CC, O’Dell MW. Is There a Need for Early Seizure Prophylaxis after Traumatic Brain Injury? PM&R. 2016 Feb;8(2):169-75.
Williams JM, McCrae CS, Rodrigue JR, Patton P. A Novel Application of a Biopsychosocial Theory in the Understanding of Disturbed Sleep Before and After Kidney Transplantation. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. 2016;12(2):247-56.
Zhang X, Ren X, Gao X, Chen X, Zhou P. Complexity analysis of surface EMG for overcoming ECG interference toward proportional myoelectric control. Entropy. 2016;18(4):106.
Davis ME. Neurogenic Bladder; The Next Step: What Happens After Acute Care?; and Advocacy 101. Presentations at the American Spinal Injury Association Annual Scientific Meeting, Philadelphia, May 2016.
Ivanhoe CB. Spasticity: It’s not what you treat. It’s the way that you treat it. Presentation at the International Brain Injury Association’s 11th World Congress on Brain Injury, The Hague, Netherlands, March 2016.
Li S. Central and Peripheral Stimulation for Spasticity Management. Presentation as part of the Signature Spasticity Course at the Association of Academic Physiatrists, Sacramento, March 2016.
Ponter C. Clinical Assessment of Spasticity. Presentation at the Association of Academic Physiatrists, Sacramento, February 2016.
Reimers A, Euliarte MA. Architects of Success: Certification as a Roadmap for Lifelong Professional Development. Presentation at the ANCC Pathway to Excellence Conference: Collaborative Culture, Engaged Care, Philadelphia, April 2016.
Williams JM, Pruiksma KE. Sleep in the Military: Impact, Assessment, and Intervention. Workshop conducted at the Third Annual Military Social Work Conference, Austin, Texas, September 2015.
Williams JM, McCrae CS, Rodrigue JR, Patton PR. An average and daily biopsychosocial assessment of sleep disorders among pre- and post-kidney transplant patients. Symposium conducted at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Society, Seattle, Washington, 2015.
Alessi CT, Cuellar LM. Creating a Synergistic Model for Innovative Pharmacy Practice in a Long-term Care and Skilled Nursing Facility. Poster presentation at the Texas Society of Health-System Pharmacists Annual Meeting, Frisco, Texas, April 2016. Won first place in the clinical category.
Arzu JE, Lake-Wallace S. Technician Leadership and ADC Management: Improving Efficiency and Nurse Satisfaction While Decreasing Cost. Poster presentation at the Texas Society of Health-System Pharmacists Annual Meeting, Frisco, Texas, April 2016. Won honorable mention in the technician category.
Hughes RB, Robinson-Whelen S, Hunt T, Billehus J, Goe R, Arnold K and the GoWoman Consortium. Unleashing Women’s Power in Second Life: The Development of a Virtual Weight Management Program for Women with Mobility Impairments. Poster presentation at the 2015 Association of University Centers on Disabilities Annual Meeting and Conference, Crystal City, Virginia, November 2015.
Loughlin SM, Cuellar LM. Evaluation of Daptomycin Use in Adult Inpatients Within a Rehabilitation Hospital. Poster presentation at the Texas Society of Health-System Pharmacists Annual Meeting, Frisco, Texas, April 2016.
Nosek M, Robinson-Whelen S, Hughes R, Ledoux T, Goe R, Silveira SL, Lee RE, O’Connor DP, Nosek T. A Virtual-Reality Weight Loss Program for Women with Mobility Limitations: Results of a Pilot Study. Poster presentation at the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, Dallas, October 2015.
Pandya DA, Oliver A, Roperes J, Stampas A. Old Wives Tale or New Cure for UTI: Cranberry Use in Spinal Cord Injury. Poster presentation at the Texas Society of Health-System Pharmacists Annual Meeting, Frisco, Texas, April 2016.
Robinson-Whelen S, Hughes R, Ledoux T, Lee RE, O’Connor D, Nosek T, Goe R, Silveira S, Nosek MA and the GoWoman Consortium. GoWoman: A program to help women with mobility impairments lose real weight in a virtual world. Poster presentation as part of Weight Management Interventions for People with Mobility Impairments: Increasing Relevance, Accessibility and Sustainability, a symposium conducted at the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, Dallas, Texas, October 2015.