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New program focuses on quality of life for kids with neurological, musculoskeletal conditions

A new pediatric service is available to help children with neurological and musculoskeletal conditions be as active and independent as possible. WVU Medicine Children's Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) Program is the only program like it in West Virginia and opens up exciting possibilities to improve kids’ quality of life.

Leading the program are two fellowship-trained pediatric physiatrists, Stephanie Ferimer, MD, and Mary Louise Russell, MD.

“Physiatrists have a unique, holistic perspective on patient care that considers a child’s medical, as well as rehabilitative, needs,” Dr. Ferimer said. “We make recommendations based on a child’s condition, stage of development, assistive equipment needs, home environment, and therapy progress. And we work with other specialists to coordinate care and minimize medical complications.”

Physiatrists help children with a wide variety of conditions, including amputations, brain injuries, musculoskeletal disorders, cerebral palsy, and myelomeningocele (spina bifida). They focus on concerns, such as mobility, muscle tone, and range of motion.