New Pediatric Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Service at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

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NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital has established a Pediatric Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Service, led by Dr. Heakyung Kim. In this role, Dr. Kim will provide specialized care for children with neuromuscular disorders and other special needs at the Hospital's two major centers for pediatric care: Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and the Komansky Center for Children's Health at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

Dr. Kim has also been named to the faculties of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and Weill Cornell Medical College. Previously, she served as director of pediatric rehabilitation at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and as associate professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

"Rehabilitation is critically important for children to help them grow and develop into adulthood and independence, whether their condition is cerebral palsy, a brain tumor, brain injury, stroke or a spinal disorder. I am very pleased that one of our country's leading pediatric physiatrists, Dr. Heakyung Kim, will lead this important new program," says Dr. Joel Stein, physiatrist-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, the Simon Baruch Professor and chair of the Department of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and professor and chief of the Division of Rehabilitation Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College.

The new Pediatric Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Service will employ techniques such as physical therapy, biofeedback, occupational therapy and speech therapy to improve the child's physical movement and coordination, speech, vision and intellectual development.

According to Dr. Kim, rehabilitating children presents unique challenges. "With children we must continually fine-tune treatments based on the child's anticipated growth. As one example, by using Botox to treat muscle stiffness in young children with cerebral palsy, the physiatrist can manage their symptoms as they grow, reducing or even eliminating the need for multiple orthopedic surgeries. It is also crucial that we work closely with families to make sure all the physical and emotional needs of their child are met."

A leading authority in the rehabilitation of cerebral palsy, Dr. Kim has helped pioneer several new therapies, including combined therapy of Botox and phenol with a spinal drug-delivery system called Intrathecal Baclofen Pump for spasticity and dystonia; and Botox for drooling.

Along with Dr. Kim, the Pediatric Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Service will consist of a multidisciplinary team of nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech language pathologists.

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