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New Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine Service Now Available; Led By Pediatric Physiatry Authority on Cerebral Palsy

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital has established a Pediatric Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Service, led by Dr. Heakyung Kim. 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: NewYork-Presbyterian Phyllis and David Komansky Center for Children's Health at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center.

'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.

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.

Cutting edge therapies

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.

About Dr. Kim

Dr. Kim received her medical degree from the Ewha Womans University, College of Medicine. She completed a research fellowship in neuroscience and a residency in a combined program between the Department of Pediatrics and the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey - New Jersey Medical School/Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation.

Prior to joining NewYork-Presbyterian, Dr. Kim was Medical Director of the Section of Rehabilitation Medicine; Medical Director of the Cerebral Palsy Clinic; Assistant Chief of the Division of Child Development, Rehabilitation and Metabolic Disease; and Trauma Associate Director for Rehabilitation, all at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. She was also Program Director of Pediatric Rehabilitation medicine at the Temple University School of Medicine and University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Beginning in 1998 Dr. Kim served on faculty of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, prior to which she was on the faculty of the Yonsei University College of Medicine in Seoul. She is the recipient of honors, including Teacher of the Year at Temple University School of Medicine and inclusion in Consumers' Research Council of America's 'America's Top Physicians.'

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