WALLINGFORD, CT. September 23, 2021 - The University of Connecticut School of Medicine announces the first and only Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) Residency in Connecticut created in partnership with Hartford Hospital, Gaylord Hospital, and UConn Health. The joint program will have a tremendous impact on the health and quality of life of Connecticut residents as well as the aging national population by helping fill the need for additional PM&R physicians.
"This program is a testament to the quality and diversity of healthcare provided here in Connecticut," said Governor Ned Lamont. "Partnerships like this showcase the true collaborative spirit of our residents - particularly our young people. I continue to believe Connecticut is a great place to live and work, and full of opportunity for residents of all ages."
PM&R, also known as Rehab Medicine/ Physiatry, is the branch of medicine emphasizing the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of disorders that produce temporary or permanent functional impairment.
The mission of the PM&R residency program is to train physicians capable of delivering comprehensive, high-quality, evidence-based, and compassionate care to individuals with disabilities and impairments from disease and injury.
PM&R is unique among medical fields in that its area of expertise addresses the function of the whole patient, as compared with a focus on an organ system or systems. Suffering an acute injury or living with chronic illness can affect the way people move and perceive themselves and their role in the home and in the workplace. With an aging population and more than 25 percent of individuals self-identifying as having a physical disability, the patient-centered care that physiatrists provide is vital to maximizing patients’ independence and mobility with the goal of returning them to their roles in society.
“The UConn School of Medicine is proud to be the sponsor of the state’s first and only Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation residency program. The partners in this endeavor, Hartford Hospital, Gaylord Hospital, and John Dempsey Hospital at UConn Health, have put together a dynamic program that will ensure that the training of the next generation of physiatrists will be able to meet the ever-expanding need for these specialists in the state of Connecticut,” says Dr. Steven Angus, designated institutional official, UConn School of Medicine.
The four-year program will support a total of 16 residents annually at full enrollment. The first residents will begin their Transitional Internship year in July of 2022 at UConn Health and Hartford Hospital followed by their first exposure to PM&R, beginning with rotations at Hartford Hospital Inpatient Rehabilitation and Gaylord Hospital in July of 2023. Additional participating sites include Connecticut Children’s, Hospital for Special Care, and the VA.
“Our program is committed to take on every challenge of - and with - our patients, and is dedicated to support them in their journey to restoring function and quality of life/ wellness,” says Dr. Subramani Seetharama, Program Director, Chief, Division of Physical medicine & Rehabilitation, Medical Director, Hartford Healthcare Rehabilitation Network and the THOCC Spine Center.
PM&R residents will manage the care of patients with disabilities as part of an interdisciplinary care team and will engage in frequent discussions about the ethical principles foundational to the profession. Residents will learn to advocate for their patients and work with team members to provide the care and resources that allow patients to maintain the highest level of function and independence possible.
“As a rehabilitation-focused healthcare system, Gaylord Hospital is uniquely positioned to provide the hands-on training that the next generation of physiatrists needs to serve our community, not only in Connecticut but also throughout the country. Gaylord offers a broad continuum of care including inpatient and outpatient care, transitional living for brain injury and stroke, and the largest adaptive sports program in the region. These settings, coupled with Gaylord’s extraordinary and experienced staff, create the ideal learning environment to understand how physiatry plays a vital role in patients’ improved function and quality of life,” said Dr. David Rosenblum, Gaylord Hospital, Associate Program Director, PM&R residency and Site Director.
The PM&R Residency program aims to develop graduates that have a unique perspective in caring for patients with disabilities influenced by local, regional, and international experiences and participate in the Physician Leadership Development Institute to help develop a new generation of physician leaders promoting the positive transformation of the quality of human-centered care for people with disabilities.
ABOUT HARTFORD HOSPITAL (Member Hartford HealthCare)
Hartford Hospital, founded in 1854, one of the largest teaching hospitals and tertiary care centers in New England with perhaps the region’s busiest surgery practice, has been training physicians for over 160 years. The hospital is an 867-bed regional referral center that provides high-quality care in all clinical disciplines. The hospital’s active medical staff includes more than 1,000 physicians and dentists within 18 departments. In 2012 the hospital had over 41,000 discharges and almost 100,000 emergency department visits. It performed over 36,000 surgeries in 42 operating rooms and delivered almost 3,700 babies that year. When hospitals can’t provide the advanced care, expertise, and new treatment options their patients require, they turn to Hartford Hospital. During 2016, more than 6,000 patients were transferred here, from over 50 different facilities in the Northeast.
Hartford Hospital’s rehabilitation needs are provided by the Hartford HealthCare Rehabilitation Network, a statewide network that includes more than 40 outpatient locations providing a variety of rehabilitation services, a 26-bed Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit located at Hartford Hospital that provide specialized physical, occupational, and speech therapy to those who have suffered a major illness or injury. The Rehabilitation Medicine team includes PMR trained physicians, APRN’s and PA’s who are experts in value-based evaluation, diagnosis, and management of neurological musculoskeletal and disabling conditions.
Hartford Hospital is a part of the Hartford Healthcare Community Network that provides comprehensive resources for the continuum of care throughout the Hartford healthcare system. This includes the Rehabilitation network, Home Health services, 3 skilled care short term and long term care facilities, assisted living communities, Community fitness programs, healthy aging resources for the elderly, Alzheimers, and Behavioral health programs.
Site Director: Dr. David Monti
ABOUT GAYLORD SPECIALTY HEALTHCARE
Gaylord Specialty Healthcare is a rehabilitation-focused, nonprofit health system located in Wallingford, Connecticut, that provides inpatient and outpatient care for people at every point in their journey from illness or injury to maximum recovery. Gaylord is one of the few places in the country that is CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) certified for comprehensive inpatient rehabilitation, as well as subspecialty certified in Spinal Cord Injury, Stroke and Brain Injury and outpatient.
Gaylord Specialty Healthcare is anchored by Gaylord Hospital, a long-term acute care hospital, and includes Gaylord Outpatient Services and Gaylord Physical Therapy for patients who require diagnosis and treatment on an outpatient basis, and the Milne Institute for Healthcare Innovation - a hub for accelerating world-class rehabilitative research, technology development and innovation. Together, these entities deliver a complete continuum of rehab care driven by technology, research, clinical experience, and human compassion. For more information visit www.gaylord.org.
ABOUT UCONN HEALTH
UConn Health is Connecticut’s only public academic medical center. Based on a 206-acre campus in Farmington, UConn Health has a three-part mission: research, teaching, and patient care. Home to the UConn School of Medicine, School of Dental Medicine, and UConn John Dempsey Hospital with nearly 5,000 employees supporting nearly 1,000 students, over 800,000 annual patient visits, and innovative scientific research contributing to the advancement of medicine. For more information, visit health.uconn.edu.