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by Leslie Hill | Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013, 10:02 AM
Jeffery Johns, M.D., has been named medical director of Vanderbilt Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital, effective Aug. 12. He has also been appointed associate professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R).
He comes to Vanderbilt from Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital in Jacksonville, Fla., where he was associate medical director. He was also medical director of the Spinal Cord Injury Program.
“I’m entering a very good, solid rehabilitation hospital and am charged with helping to make it great, which it clearly has the potential to be,” Johns said.
“Given the resources here — the partnership with Health South, the prestige of Vanderbilt and its commitment to building the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation — there is no reason why Vanderbilt Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital should not be a destination rehab hospital. It has the geography, the resources and the solid foundation. My goal is not just to maintain it but to step it up a notch or two.”
Johns is board certified in PM&R and sub-specialty Board Certified in Spinal Cord Injury Medicine.
“Jeff brings significant experience in academic settings, as well as in the medical direction of rehabilitation hospitals. We are very happy that he is joining our department and know he will contribute greatly to our mission,” said Walter Frontera, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the PM&R department.
“I would also like to thank Dr. Thomas Groomes for serving as interim director for the past year while we conducted a national search for the next leader.”
A graduate of Duke University School of Medicine, Johns completed a PM&R residency and was chief resident at Medical College of Virginia Hospitals and Physicians of Virginia Commonwealth University Health System.
Johns said his interest in rehabilitation evolved slowly in medical school as he realized he wanted to improve the quality of patients’ lives.
“I liked neuroscience but not the sole focus on diagnosis and acute management. I always thought, ‘But then what?’ Some physical therapists who lived across the street from me at the time helped me realize that PM&R was the ‘then what,’” Johns recalled.
“To see someone make their recovery and integrate back into their family and community is so rewarding. It’s always amazing to see a patient who was told they would never walk again walk out of the hospital, but it’s just as amazing to see someone regain any bit of function.”
Johns is also interested in medical education and writes board certification exam questions for spinal cord injury medicine.
“Being able to train the next generation is very exciting. We want to be able to put out quality future physicians who are pushing the envelope in an evidence-based way,” he said.
Joining Johns in Nashville are his wife Gigi and three daughters—twins Sydney and Avery, 11, and Virginia, 8.
Vanderbilt Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital, opened in 1993, is an 80-bed inpatient rehabilitation hospital that offers comprehensive inpatient rehabilitation services.
In addition to caring for general rehabilitation diagnoses, Stallworth has specialized inpatient programs for stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury, amputations and hip fractures, among others.
“The strengths Dr. Johns brings to Vanderbilt Stallworth will further enhance the work we are doing in successfully returning patients to their communities, “said Susan Heath, chief executive officer of Stallworth. “He has a proven track record in patient satisfaction, program development, education, and outreach, and we are looking forward to the leadership skills he will offer our team in these as well as other areas. It will be a privilege to have him at Stallworth.”
Vanderbilt Stallworth was named a “2012 Top Performer” for Outstanding Rehabilitation Program Performance by the Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation. This places Stallworth in the top 10 percent of all UDS-PRO subscribers (nearly 900 facilities).
Leslie Hill, (615) 322-4747
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