Integrated Disease Programs: Musculoskeletal Disease
Leader: Regis O’Keefe, M.D., Ph.D.
The development of a Musculoskeletal Disease Signature Program as a part of the Medical Center’s 2007 Strategic Plan is unique among academic medical centers, and reflects the prominence, history of success, and commitment to excellence by the faculty members in the Medical Center’s Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation and other departments committed to this field.
Musculoskeletal health is among the most pressing needs of our aging population. We not only live longer, but demand improved physical function despite worn-out joints and decreasing muscle and bone strength. Osteoporosis and the subsequent fractures that it causes, as well as geriatric athletic injuries, are becoming the new epidemics of aging. This, along with the 3.6 million injuries to bones or soft tissue sustained each year in America due to car crashes, falls, and other injuries makes clear the importance of the musculoskeletal system and the need for innovative medical research and care.
As one of the busiest musculoskeletal services in the United States, more than three dozen faculty members provide subspecialty care in all areas of musculoskeletal disease overseeing approximately 140,000 patient visits per year. This clinical expertise is complemented by an internationally recognized orthopaedic research program. The department has the distinction and prestige of being the top National Institutes of Health funded orthopaedic program in the United States. A series of comprehensive research programs seek to prevent osteoarthritis; speed fracture healing; make possible live bone transplants and replace damaged tendons by either manipulating biochemicals, guiding stem cell differentiation, employing gene therapy or re-engineering tissue. These programs are highly integrated with the musculoskeletal clinic and promise to provide innovations in care for the Rochester community and the entire nation.
The Medical Center strategic plan will enhance the department’s growth by creating and investing in seven new multidisciplinary centers. These centers will translate basic science discoveries into new treatments in areas as diverse as pediatrics, aging, autoimmune disease, trauma care, and minimally invasive surgery. Investments also will include the development of new facilities to support growing clinical volume and research needs, including a new ambulatory surgical center. Additionally, the department will take a national leadership role in defining the need for musculoskeletal education in medical schools and throughout physician training.The Musculoskeletal IDP strategic plan also involves the recruitment of additional musculoskeletal clinicians and researchers to advance understanding and care in promising areas like stem cell biology and epidemiology. These faculty members will be added over the next five years as part of a group of more than 100 new researchers that will enable the Medical Center to continue its commitment to excellence in patient care, education, and discovery.
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