The capacity for acute inpatient rehabilitation has grown by 40 percent at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. The effort is being led by faculty from the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, including rehabilitation neuropsychologist and national psychology training expert William Stiers.
“It’s a perfect fit,” says Pablo Celnik, director of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. “Dr. Stiers has contributed so much to the field of rehab psychology as a national expert. Now he’s leading our effort to help more patients who need neuropsychology, rehab psychology or other physical medicine and rehabilitation services.”
Stiers and his team have added a psychologist and two psychology residents to the team of physiatrists, nurses, therapists, social workers and recreational therapists at Johns Hopkins Bayview. He is also collaborating with colleagues across Johns Hopkins Medicine to develop specialty programs, including state-of-the-art stroke and spinal cord injury programs at Hopkins Bayview.
“We’re going to incorporate cutting-edge technology, equipment and new research findings in our stroke program,” says Stiers. “I’m excited about integrating functional electric stimulation, robotics and transcranial magnetic stimulation over the next year.”
In 2011, Stiers convened a national consensus conference on rehabilitation psychology training with 46 academic and medical experts from 17 different states. Known as the “Baltimore Conference,” the experts developed guidelines that are now accepted as the national standards for accreditation for rehab psychology. In addition, the conference made plans for a national Council of Rehabilitation Psychology Postdoctoral Training Programs, which has been in existence for three years and Stiers now chairs.
Thanks to Stiers, the rehab psychology division in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation was one of the first accredited rehab psychology training programs in the United States. Today, his skills and experience continue to benefit students, clinicians and patients alike.
“When someone needs care after a stroke, limb loss, paralysis, burn injury or spinal cord injury,” he says, “we will help patients return as much as possible to the level of functioning they had before the injury.”