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Outpatient PM&R clinic opens at Stallworth

Aug. 14, 2014, 8:29 AM

A new Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Outpatient Clinic has opened on the first floor of the Vanderbilt Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital, part of Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s outpatient clinical services.

Antoinne Able, M.D., examines stroke survivor Becca Gholston in the new Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Outpatient Clinic at Vanderbilt Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital. (photo by Joe Howell)

Designed to care for patients recovering from acute injuries or with neurological and musculoskeletal conditions, the clinic will provide a medical home with expert physicians, nurses and rehabilitation specialists whose focus is on the functional restoration aspects of a patient’s rehabilitative care.

“As Vanderbilt’s PM&R Department enters its third year, we are thrilled to expand our services and offer this much-needed care to our patients,” said Walter Frontera, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the department.

“The clinic staff will be able to follow patients after they are discharged from the inpatient rehabilitation setting to continue the recovery process in a comfortable, convenient setting.”

Frontera, along with Stacy Stark, D.O., Antoinne Able, M.D., and Thomas Groomes, M.D., have begun seeing patients on a limited schedule. The clinic will gradually ramp up to a full schedule in the fall with three new faculty recruits: Gerasimos Bastas, M.D., Ph.D., Natasa Miljkovic, M.D., Ph.D., and Aaron Yang, M.D.

The new outpatient clinic will capture patients discharged from inpatient rehabilitation who previously went home to their primary care providers (PCPs) or had no primary care follow-up. The clinic will also see some patients referred from other internal Vanderbilt departments and from the community.

“These patients need someone to follow them for the rest of their lives who expertly understands their injury and its long-term effects,” said Laura Zimmerman, R.N., clinical lead operations. “The PCPs manage many of the aspects of patient care and are still an important part of it. The PM&R clinic will be able to follow the residual functional effects specific to injury or illness.”

“There are studies that show patients can continue to get better if they are followed properly. Some patients fell through the cracks because they were not able to access needed rehabilitative care in their community,” Zimmerman added.

With an outside entrance at Vanderbilt Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital, the new clinic has four exam rooms and a physician/staff work area. One exam room is large enough to accommodate patients arriving on a stretcher. The clinic also has a procedure suite with a c-arm imaging machine and ultrasound capabilities to manage patient needs, including spasticity and pain.

“Mobility is an issue for just about all of our patients, and we made the clinic space really comfortable and convenient for them,” said Jack Boone, administrative director of the Department of PM&R.

The clinic is near a new administrative suite for the Department of PM&R that centralizes all physician, resident, administration and research offices.

“All of us in PM&R agree on our mission to better serve this particular patient population. It’s a passion that all of our team shares,” added Boone.

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