NYU Winthrop Hospital today announced that Lyn D. Weiss, MD, has joined the hospital as the inaugural chairman of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. Weiss brings to the hospital more than 30 years of expertise in rehabilitation medicine and is an industry trailblazer who was among the first-ever women (in 1996) to serve as chairman of a hospital’s rehabilitation department. In her leadership position at NYU Winthrop Hospital, she will align the services of the hospital’s physical medicine and rehabilitation department with that of NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation, which for 29 consecutive years has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as 1 of the top 10 rehabilitation programs in the country. NYU Winthrop will provide Long Islanders with access to the same type of education, research, and stellar clinical services that have kept Rusk Rehabilitation in the elite tier of rehabilitation programs for so long.
“At Rusk Rehabilitation, we’ve seen the great value of a multidisciplinary team approach to rehabilitation medicine for patients facing not just physical, but social and emotional challenges,” says Steven R. Flanagan, MD, the Howard A. Rusk Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine and chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at NYU Langone Health. “We’re thrilled that by implementing this patient-centered model under Dr. Weiss’s leadership, our colleagues at NYU Winthrop will further expand Howard Rusk’s legacy.”
Prior to joining NYU Winthrop, Dr. Weiss was chairman and director of residency training for the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Nassau University Medical Center, where she was also director of electrodiagnostic medicine and chair of the ethics committee. She is board-certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation (also called physiatry) as well as in electrodiagnostic medicine.
Rehabilitation services have long been represented at NYU Winthrop, including physical and occupational therapy, speech therapy, and cardiac rehabilitation. The new Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation will round out those services by adding in the strong component of physiatry. Physiatrists are focused on nonsurgical approaches to treating disorders, injuries, or pain resulting from musculoskeletal conditions such as neck and back pain, neurological conditions such as stroke or concussions, and other medical conditions. Expertise includes electrodiagnostics, therapeutic exercise, medications, injections for management of pain, prostheses (artificial limbs), and more. Dr. Weiss will seek to develop a full staff of board-certified physiatrists at NYU Winthrop.
“The goal is to increase the functionality and quality of life of patients by treating and managing their conditions through conservative, nonsurgical methods,” said Dr. Lyn Weiss. She points to back pain as an example of the need for a focus on non-surgical approaches: “Over 80 percent of Americans will develop back pain at some point in their life, but only about five percent will actually need surgery. Physiatric medicine can help to prevent and manage back pain and bring patients back to maximum functionality.”
Dr. Weiss is especially renowned for her expertise in electrodiagnostic medicine (electromyography, or EMG), a nerve and muscle test that evaluates the integrity of peripheral nerves and muscles. This can help in the diagnoses of multiple disorders including nerve entrapments, such as carpel tunnel syndrome, and radiculopathy.
The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation will partner with existing NYU Winthrop physicians and services to build a thorough comprehensive care model. Dr. Weiss’s team will work with inpatient services to coordinate and improve patient function, transitions of care, and discharge planning, and as the department grows, she hopes to establish outpatient centers for physiatric care.
Dr. Weiss will also serve as the inaugural chair of physical medicine and rehabilitation within NYU Long Island School of Medicine, where she will be instrumental in teaching future physicians the science and benefits of well-articulated rehabilitation plans and goals. Already, over the course of her career as an educational program director, she has personally mentored more than 200 residents and medical students.
In addition, Dr. Weiss has authored nine books, several of them serving as authoritative guides for physicians worldwide, such as one on physical medicine and rehabilitation titled “PM&R Q&A” and “Easy EMG A Guide to Performing Nerve Conduction Studies and Electromyography.” Her prolific writings include countless articles and abstracts, with a particular focus on education, electrodiagnosis, ethics, and women in medicine.
NYU Winthrop’s Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation is located at 173 Mineola Boulevard, Mineola, NY. For more information call 516-663-1145.