Message From The CMO
Gerard E. Francisco, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer
TIRR Memorial Hermann
Chair, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
McGovern Medical School at UTHealth
“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” So wrote the Greek statesman Pericles in the 5th century B.C.E. As clinicians in physical medicine and rehabilitation, the work we do for patients extends beyond the time they spend with us in therapy regaining lost skills. We are also strong advocates for political change that will improve their lives for years to come.
As we prepare to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act next July, Lex Frieden, an architect of the ADA and lifelong advocate of disability rights legislation, interviewed his personal friend President George H. W. Bush about the changes brought about by the passage of the act and the work that remains to be done. In this issue, you’ll also learn about Dr. Matt Davis’ work with the National Quality Forum and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to advocate for spinal cord injury patients in the acute care setting.
Many of our former patients also become advocates in the community. We’re grateful to Nina Brown for sharing her story. Since 1985, when she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, she has devoted her life to educating the public about the condition and is a recognized resource for politicians and advocates seeking information about current medical research.
We have a privilege and responsibility that few others have: the opportunity to work with impassioned and empowered people dedicated to a cause. The work we do together has a common message: Everyone counts and all people matter.