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UR Medicine Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation welcomes Ben L. Laplante, DO, MS

Wednesday, December 4, 2019


UR Medicine is pleased to welcome Dr. Ben Laplante to our UR Medicine Spine Center -- a collaboration of our Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R) and Orthopaedic Surgery teams. Dr. Laplante's appointment is part of the Spine Center's expansion of evaluation services for patients with spinal disorders in order to meet our commitment to providing expertise and access for our community. In addition to assessing new patients, he is an experienced interventionalist for spine injections.

Prior to joining our team, Dr. Laplante worked as an interventional spine physiatrist at Rochester Regional Health He is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and fellowship-trained in interventional spine. Dr. Laplante received his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2007. He then earned his Master's of Science in Business Administration from Simon Graduate School of Business in 2011. Dr. Laplante completed his residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Rochester Medical Center in 2011. He then completed both an Interventional Spine Fellowship and a Clinical Research Fellowship at Virginia iSpine Physicians in Richmond, Virginia in 2012.

Dr. Laplante will see patients in Brighton and Brockport, notably expanding the Spine Center's presence in the western area of Monroe County. For more information or to request an appointment call us at (585) 275-5321.

Meet our new Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Physicians

Thursday, September 19, 2019

BarfordNathan G. Barford, DO

Dr. Barford's clinical interests include musculoskeletal conditions, especially hand and upper extremity.

Dr. Barford received his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from A.T. Still University in Kirksville, Missouri in 2014. He then completed a residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio in 2018. Upon completing his residency, Dr. Barford then pursued a fellowship in Musculoskeletal Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, finishing in 2019.

Dr. Barford is certified by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Dr. Barford sees patients at 4901 Lac De Ville Blvd., Suite 250, Rochester, NY 14618.

DougDouglas R. Fetkenhour, MD

Dr. Fetkenhour has extensive experience in the management of disability and functional needs post-stroke, spinal cord injuries, the management of adult and pediatric spasticity and amputation.

Dr. Fetkenhour received his Medical Doctorate from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 2001. He then completed an internship in Internal Medicine at Lankenau Hospital in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania in 2002. Following his internship, Dr. Fetkenhour completed a residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at University Hospital in Syracuse, New York in 2005.

Dr. Fetkenhour is certified by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He is a member of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Dr. Fetkenhour sees patients at 4901 Lac De Ville Blvd., Suite 250, Rochester, NY 14618.

MaHeather Marie Ma, MD, MS

Dr. Ma's clinical interests include the treatment of brain injuries of all severities (severe, moderate, or mild concussions). With her fellowship experience, she will be
leading the care of brain injury rehabilitation for inpatients and outpatients at UR Medicine Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Dr. Ma attended Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, graduating with her Medical Doctorate in 2013. That same year, Dr. Ma also completed the Clinical Research Scholars Program at Case Western Reserve University, graduating with her Master of Science degree.
Dr. Ma then pursued her internship in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Northwestern McGaw Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois, finishing in 2014. She completed her PM&R residency at Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago in 2017. In 2018, Dr. Ma completed her fellowship in Brain Injury Rehabilitation at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital -- the teaching partner of Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Ma is certified by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Dr. Ma sees patients at 4901 Lac De Ville Blvd., Suite 250, Rochester, NY 14618.

New Multi-Institutional Partnership to Focus on Stroke Rehabilitation

Monday, May 20, 2019

The University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC), Burke Neurological Institute, and Wadsworth Center of the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) have been awarded a $5 million grant from the Empire State Development Corporation to speed the development of ground-breaking neurological treatments for those disabled from stroke.

The project is a part of the NeuroCuresNY (NCNY) initiative, a new non-profit formed by the three institutions to accelerate the discovery of novel treatments for chronic neurological impairment and disability. The new state funding will support a two-year pilot study that will be launched in January 2020. This study design will be unique because it will test the efficacy of state-of-the-art robotic-assisted rehabilitation technology combined with drugs to improve the functional recovery of stroke patients.

Neurological conditions such as stroke, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury permanently disable more than one million people each year in the U.S., and stroke is the nation's leading cause of disability. Clinical trials for neurological disabilities and impairments are usually passed over because of unclear results, high costs, and challenges in recruiting participants. NCNY will seek to lower the barriers to participation in clinical trials by assisting with travel funding for patients, while providing a supportive and guiding environment for patients and their families.

Clinical and research faculty from URMC Departments of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation will collaborate with the UR Neurorestoration Institute during the pilot study.

Read More: New Multi-Institutional Partnership to Focus on Stroke Rehabilitation

From Employee Education to Expanded Services, PM&R’s Brain Injury Efforts Grow

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation hosted its second annual Brain Injury Symposium May 8-10 for faculty and staff; the training is part of its long-term plan to expand its service line for complex brain injuries and become a regional resource for care. Long known for its stroke rehab services, PM&R is working to leverage URMC's role as a Level 1 regional trauma center and introduce services for brain disorders caused by trauma, as well as organic causes.

In recent years PM&R has enhanced brain injury services and expanded/renovated its patient care areas to retain these patients for the duration of their care. These efforts are being led by faculty who specialize in complex brain injury and its physical/psychological impacts, including Heather M. Ma, M.D., M.S., Eric Morrison, M.D., M.Sc., Renee L. Madathil,Ph.D. and Amy Pacos-Martinez, Psy.D.

With the proposed addition of a neurorehabilitation unit in the future, the department has focused on a training plan. It benchmarked the Northeast Center for Rehabilitation and Brain Injury in Lake Katrine, NY, which serves patients at all stages of injury and uses a highly patient-centered, transdisciplinary approach to care. Future site visits will include trips to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston and Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago.

PM&R's Brain Injury Symposium was a department-wide approach to educate faculty and staff about brain injury. Everyone from administrative assistants to RNs, MDs, participated in group learning exercises.

Organized by Madathil, the symposium included presentations by internal speakers including Ma, Morrison, and members of PM&R's Integrative Cognitive Rehab Program, directed by Pacos-Martinez. Additionally, former rehab patients and family members participated in a Q-and-A session to share their insights on treatment and their experiences during and after rehab.

PM&R's plans for growth will continue. Over the next several months the department will:

  • Broaden the scope of training and build department-wide expertise in treating patients with more complex brain injuries
  • Dedicate a service line to patients with significant cognitive impairments
  • Plan major renovations in FY21 to meet the needs of patients with increased cognitive and behavioral needs.