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2019 Winter Edition
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As TIRR Memorial Hermann prepares to celebrate its 60th anniversary, the hospital ranks as the best in the southern half of the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report’s annual listing of Best Hospitals for Rehabilitation. The hospital has ranked among the top five in the country in all but three years since the magazine began publishing the list 29 years ago in 1990.
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If you hang out with eagles, you’re going to fly. It’s an honor to have been recognized in U.S. News & World Report’s annual listing of Best Hospitals for Rehabilitation since the inception of the list 29 years ago.
People who suffer traumatic injuries as a result of accidents may have multiple fractures that require surgery and acute care. After their initial treatment, many have severe functional limitations in their ability to perform daily activities. These people may benefit from therapy with a multidisciplinary rehabilitation team that helps them regain flexibility and strength in the context of function.
Although Jonas Salk’s vaccine came into use in 1955, polio was not yet eradicated. Former Houston resident Debbie Mason was four years old in September 1958 when she started showing symptoms of the virus. She was the second paralytic poliomyelitis patient admitted to the hospital now known as TIRR Memorial Hermann.
TIRR Memorial Hermann traces its roots back to the early 1950s when the polio epidemic was at its height in the United States. Today clinicians affiliated with the rehabilitation hospital provide care for people with post-polio syndrome, a condition that affects 25 percent to 40 percent of polio survivors according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. In 2016, approximately 315,000 polio survivors were estimated to be living, with 85 percent over the age of 65.
The Independent Living Research Utilization (ILRU) program at TIRR Memorial Hermann has received a $75,000 grant to advance the capabilities of individuals with disabilities – and those who acquire disabilities as they age – by studying the experience of patients who have had poliomyelitis or have other mobility impairments.
In 2017, Dr. Blum donated two of his private collections to TIRR Memorial Hermann, where they are housed in the library. “The Personal Experience of Disability Collection” is an archive of about 200 newspaper and journal articles recording the experience of overcoming disability by people with loss of vision or hearing, paralysis, short stature, congenital problems, cerebral palsy and burn patients, as well as physicians with disabilities.
In August, the Brain Injury Association of American (BIAA) announced that Angelle Sander, PhD, was named the recipient of the 2018 William Fields Caveness Award. Each year, the BIAA presents the award in recognition of an individual who, through research on both a national and international level, has made outstanding contributions to bettering the lives of persons with brain injury.
Ping Zhou, PhD, has been awarded a $1.83 million grant by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) for the project, “From Fiber to Muscle: A Multifaceted EMG Examination of Motor Unit Function After Spinal Cord Injury.” Dr. Zhou is a professor in the department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at McGavern Medical School at UTHealth and director of the NeuroMyo Engineering for Rehabilitation Laboratory at TIRR Memorial Hermann Research Center.
During her 45 years at TIRR Memorial Hermann she has seen many changes. “When I started working at TIRR, the majority of patients were young males with spinal cord injury or brain injury who were otherwise healthy,” she says. “Today we’re admitting patients with acute illness and much greater medical complexity..."
Nikola Dragojlovic, DO; Sara Goel, DO; Christine Krull, MD, and Shabrez Tariq, MD, FIPP, have joined the medical staff of TIRR Memorial Hermann.
TIRR Memorial Hermann employees receive accolades for their efforts in print, behind the podium and poster presentations.
All those who enter our main doors pass an uplifting statue entitled Prometheus Unbound, and a plaque engraved with the words of TIRR Memorial Hermann founder Dr. William A. Spencer: “Man uses the tiniest strengths for the greatest purposes.” These words remind our patients and staff that disability is no barrier to using experience, skills and talents to contribute to the lives of people around us.