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2014 Winter

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TIRR Memorial Hermann Celebrates a Milestone with the Opening of a New Research Center

2104 Winter Center BuildingTIRR Memorial Hermann opened its doors in 1959 as the Texas Institute for Rehabilitation and Research (TIRR), one of the country’s first rehabilitation hospitals. Over the span of 55 years, the institution has grown into a national leader in interdisciplinary rehabilitation, clinical care, education and research. Last fall, the hospital celebrated another milestone when the TIRR Memorial Hermann Research Center was completed and diverse research programs came together under one roof for the first time, creating new synergy between researchers, disciplines and programs.

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2014 Winter Dr FranciscoAs Braxton Taylor’s story illustrates, it takes an entire team to guide a patient from illness or injury to a return to meaningful participation in the community. There is no one right way to accomplish that goal; we do it by working together to touch each aspect of the individual’s life.

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NIDRR Grant to Evaluate Memory Remediation

The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) has awarded $3 million to TIRR Memorial Hermann to perform a five-year study to determine whether the medicine donepezil is an effective treatment for memory deficits resulting from traumatic brain injury (TBI).

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Rehabilitation for Dysautonomia

Eighteen-year-old Justin Lamb is one of many patients to benefit from a unique collaboration between TIRR Memorial Hermann and the pediatric neurology and pediatric cardiology services at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital. Working together, the two institutions have developed a program that provides a complete continuum of care for children and adolescents with dysautonomia, a complex genetic disorder that affects the autonomic nervous system and can cause life-threatening medical complications.

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Braxton Taylor Benefits from the Spinal Cord Injury Program

When 20-year-old Braxton Taylor arrived at TIRR Memorial Hermann in August 2013, he was unable to walk, transfer, eat or manage other activities of daily living without total assistance. When he was discharged on Halloween, he could walk with assistance and was independent in most aspects of daily care, a tribute to his motivation and the resources of TIRR Memorial Hermann’s Spinal Cord Injury Program.

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Profiles in Caring: Lisa Thomas

It’s no surprise that Lisa Thomas was recognized in 2013 as a Good Samaritan Foundation Excellence in Nursing Bronze Medalist, an award program created to recognize “nursing’s best and brightest.” An advanced practice nurse and clinical nurse specialist in adult health, she brings energy, expertise and enthusiasm to her role as director of clinical education for TIRR Memorial Hermann and the hospital’s growing citywide rehabilitation network.

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A Potential Biomarker of Emotional Distress

In our National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research-supported study of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) for the treatment of emotional distress among persons with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in the subacute and chronic recovery periods, we are performing a pilot study of an innovative method of assessing a physiological correlate of emotional distress through sampling of cortisol levels attained from hair samples of the study participants.

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Ensuring Active Engagement in Robotic Therapy

High intensity and high repetition upper-limb movements are necessary for recovery of function following neurological injury, since such actions are capable of inducing brain and spinal plasticity. Robotic devices are uniquely suited for delivering such intensive, repetitive therapy. However, studies have shown that passively moving the limb through prescribed trajectories is not necessarily efficacious.

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TIRR Memorial Hermann was featured as an ROI Case Study in the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Pathway to Excellence™ e-Newsletter distributed on October 10, 2013. The hospital’s outcomes were cited as “continually exceeding expectations” with a below-average fall rate, a five-year track record of no cases of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP)...

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Adair C, Phillips D. Seven Meaningful Days. Educational session presented at the Texas Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference, Sugar Land, Texas, November 2013

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Davis LC, Sander AM, Bogaards JA, Pappadis MR. MPAI-4 discrepancy ratings of abilities predict memory and executive functioning performance after traumatic brain injury. Presented at the 90th Annual Meeting of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, Orlando, Fla., November 2013.

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When I was recruited to TIRR Memorial Hermann in 2006, one of my first tasks was to guide an independent rehabilitation hospital as it transitioned to its new role as a member of the 12-hospital Memorial Hermann Health System. I felt the great sense of responsibility that comes with being entrusted with a national treasure.

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Featured in this Issue

Rhonda Abbott, PT
Administrative Director
Director of Therapy Services and Clinical Programs
Brain Injury and Stroke, Spinal Cord Injury and Specialty Rehabilitation Programs

David B. Arciniegas, M.D.
Senior Scientist, Medical Director for Brain Injury Research, TIRR Memorial Hermann
Executive Director of the Beth K. and Stuart C. Yudofsky Division of Neuropsychiatry and Professor, Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine

Adele Bosquez, PT, D.P.T., ATC, LAT
Physical Therapist, Spinal Cord Injury and Specialty Rehabilitation Programs

Teresa Cramer, PT, D.P.T., PCS
Pediatric Clinical Coordinator
TIRR Memorial Hermann Outpatient Rehabilitation at the Kirby Glen Center

Jessica Dalmolin, D.P.T.
Physical Therapist, TIRR Memorial Hermann Adult and Pediatric Outpatient Rehabilitation at the Kirby Glen Center

Matthew Davis, M.D.
Clinical Director, Spinal Cord Injury Program

William H. Donovan, M.D.
Former Medical Director, TIRR Memorial Hermann
Former Chair, Department of PM&R, McGovern Medical School at UTHealth

Gerard E. Francisco, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer and Director of the NeuroRecovery Research Center
Professor and Chair of the Department of PM&R, McGovern Medical School at UTHealth

Lex Frieden
Senior Scientist, Director, Independent Living Research Utilization
Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Professor of Rehabilitation, McGovern Medical School at UTHealth
Professor of Rehabilitation, Baylor College of Medicine

Carl Josehart
Chief Executive Officer
System Executive for Rehabilitation Services

Marcia K. O’Malley, Ph.D.
Senior Scientist, Director of Rehabilitation Engineering, TIRR Memorial Hermann Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Rice University
Director of the Mechatronics and Haptic Interfaces (MAHI) Lab, Rice University
Adjunct Associate Professor of PM&R, Baylor College of Medicine
Adjunct Associate Professor of PM&R, McGovern Medical School at UTHealth

Angelle Sander, Ph.D.
Director, Brain Injury Research Center, TIRR Memorial Hermann
Associate Professor of PM&R, Baylor College of Medicine

Mark Sherer, Ph.D., ABPP, FACRM
Senior Scientist, Director of Research and Director of Neuropsychology, TIRR Memorial Hermann
Clinical Professor of PM&R, Baylor College of Medicine and McGovern Medical School at UTHealth

Lisa Thomas, CNS, RN, CRRN, APRN
Director of Clinical Education, TIRR Memorial Hermann and the Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Network Affiliated with TIRR Memorial Hermann