Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Neurosciences;
Division Head, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Foothills Medical Centre
1195D, 1403 - 29th Street NW
Rehabilitation, spinal cord injury, pressure ulcers
Primary Area of Research:
Ever since my first rotation in Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Rehabilitation during my residency in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R) at the Harvard Medical School program in Boston, MA, I have always known that SCI rehabilitation was my passion and I have since dedicated my career to it. What intrigued me was that despite the advances in technologies and clinical care, the prevalence of pressure ulcers (PU) remained to be unacceptably high and very difficult to treat. This sparked my clinical and research interest in PU. Over the last 12 years, I have become an expert in the management of PU in persons with SCI. I have organized international symposiums in PU and have been invited to speak internationally on this topic. My successful clinical work in PU has been acknowledged by being chosen as the physician category winner of the Crain’s Cleveland Business Health Care Hero Award in 2010. Our SCI unit in the Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center also became nationally known for our work in PU.
At the same time, I developed a research program in SCI PU management at the Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Together with my biomedical engineering and nursing research colleagues, we created an interdisciplinary research team and studied the use of various biophysical agents (e.g. pulsatile lavage) and functional electrical stimulation in the management of PU. Our work was funded by national agencies such as the US Department of Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation Research & Development Service. This led to 13 peer-reviewed publications on PU over the last 5 years, as well as 5 book chapters in PU in most of the major PM&R textbooks over the last 4 years. Furthermore, following the positive findings of our study on the use of pulsatile lavage in the treatment of PU in SCI, I was successful in translating this research finding into clinical practice by implementing pulsatile lavage as a standard nursing treatment for PU on the SCI unit. My research and knowledge translation endeavours were recognized by the United Spinal Association/VA Rehabilitation Research & Development Service James Peters Scholar Award in 2006.