Spinal Cord Injury Team
In order to optimize the chances for success, it takes the dedication of a team of experts. The Spinal Cord Injury Center of Excellence is guided by a Medical Director who provides clinical leadership for the department. Beneath the Medical Director, you or your family member will be cared for by a team that specializes in every aspect of spinal cord injury rehabilitation. We have assembled this team to provide the resources so that you can be you again.
Jeff Johns, M.D., Medical Director for the Spinal Cord Injury Center of Excellence, is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and has a sub-specialty certification in Spinal Cord Injury Medicine. He graduated from Duke University School of Medicine and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate from UNC-Chapel Hill. Dr. Johns has co-authored more than 15 peer reviewed articles in journals such as Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine, Muscle and Nerve, Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Topics in Spinal Cord Injury. He has also been an Assistant Professor at MCV/VCU and has served as a guest oral examiner for the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
Jennifer McParland, Program Director for the Spinal Cord Injury Center of Excellence, is a longtime Brooks employee with tremendous experience. McParland works very closely with Dr. Johns.
Your Spinal Cord Injury Team
Physiatrist – A medical doctor who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation manages medical issues and medication concerns. You meet with the physician once a week.
Rehabilitation nurse – A registered nurse (RN) specializing in rehabilitation is a key element of care while in Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital.
Physical therapist – Evaluates, treats and educates the patient about ways to maximize functional abilities and mobility in order to increase independence.
Occupational therapist – occupational therapists teach new ways to function following a spinal cord injury including how to function, neuro re-education and return to work. Teaching includes basic skills, including self care to more more advanced skills such as skills for home making and return to work.
Speech language pathologist- a speech-language pathologist assesses, diagnoses and provides therapeutic interventions for people who have experienced a spinal cord injury and have difficulty with concentration, communication or swallowing.
Aquatic therapist – Promotes muscle relaxation, strengthening and improved circulation in a low-impact, relaxing environment.
Recreation therapist – Uses recreation as a therapeutic tool to help return you to a life that includes recreation and leisure activities.
Biofeedback therapist – Uses computerized instrumentation to literally show you how your body is responding to stress and pain. The instrumentation measures and provides biological (bio) information (feedback) to help you learn to control muscle tension and spasms, commonly associated with chronic pain.
Psychologist – Assists you and your family with mental and emotional needs relating to having a spinal cord injury. The psychologist will provide psychological evaluations, individual psychotherapy and marital/family therapy, as needed.
Case manager – In charge of handling communication regarding your progress with you, your family and your insurance provider, as needed.
Dietitian – Acts as a consultant to help all patients eat a healthy and appropriate diet.
Chaplain – Available as a resource to all patients independent of religious affiliation or belief system. The chaplain offers a variety of forms of support, including listening and helping you and your family work through the difficulties that arise from having a spinal cord injury.