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Stark to direct rehab services at Children’s Hospital

Sep. 26, 2013, 9:48 AM

Stacy Stark, D.O., has been named medical director of Pediatric Rehabilitation Services at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. She is also assistant professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R).

Stacy Stark, D.O.

Stark comes to Vanderbilt from Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, where she was medical director of both the Outpatient PM&R Clinic and the Adult and Transitional Spina Bifida Clinic.

“Stacy brings to our department excellent clinical skills in pediatric rehabilitation and a passion for graduate medical education that will help us build a nationally recognized department,” said Walter Frontera, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the PM&R department.

A fellow of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Stark is board certified in both pediatric and adult PM&R. She has expertise in spasticity management and the transition of children with disabilities into adulthood.

Stark will oversee inpatient and outpatient pediatric rehabilitation and develop new programs and clinics.

“Multi-disciplinary clinics are about working with other physicians, nurses, therapists, social workers, psychologists — whatever the field is that impacts this patient. We get together as a team because we’re all working toward one goal, which is the betterment of the patient’s medical condition or function, helping them achieve their goals in life,” Stark said.

“I plan on helping pediatric rehab grow and flourish and make an impact not only in Vanderbilt’s community but hopefully around the state and on the national level.”

During the first year of her Internal Medicine residency, with a plan to go into Cardiology, Stark met a patient with a spinal cord injury and learned about the field of physiatry. She switched residencies to PM&R and never looked back.

“It’s all about helping them lead a better life. You want to play baseball? I want to figure out how that can happen for you.”

“I like working with children because the things that they do with their disability are unfathomable. They participate in sports. They drive. They go to college. They do everything because they don’t let that disability hold them back,” Stark said.

Stark completed a residency in PM&R at Harvard Medical School (where Frontera was department chair at the time) and then a fellowship in pediatric PM&R at Northwestern University and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

Stark will also serve as director of the PM&R Residency Training Program, and is in the process of applying to the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

At Penn State, Stark was director of education for PM&R and received the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

“Ever since I was at my residency, I always wanted to be a residency director because I always thought that you’re impacting someone’s life and making a difference for the better, helping them become the best physicians that they can be,” she said.

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