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Burke Rehabilitation Hospital Launches Inaugural Brain Injury Fellowship Program

Released November 11, 2021

-Program Educates Leaders in the Field of Traumatic Brain Injury-

(White Plains, NY, November 4, 2021) - Burke Rehabilitation Hospital launched a new Brain Injury Medicine Fellowship Program to support the educational needs of the medical community and to provide the continuum of care to patients recovering from strokes and traumatic brain injuries. Burke’s Brain Injury Medicine Fellowship received ACGME accreditation in January 2020, and matched two fellows, Charnette Lercara, MD, and Jared R. Potter, MD, who began a one-year course of training and education on July 1, 2021.

Director of the Brain Injury Medicine Fellowship Erika L. Trovato, DO, MS, said the program complements the already robust Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency Program at Burke.  “A graduate medical education is one of the pillars of an academic hospital. Brain Injury Medicine is a very dynamic subspecialty, and being able to manage these patients in an effective, efficient and thoughtful manner is our goal. We want the fellows to take this year to really cultivate their skills, their management styles and truly have an understanding of what it means to be a brain injury physician, and witness the complexity of care we deliver at Burke.”

The Brain Injury Medicine Fellowship consists of twelve 1-month rotations that encompass work both on and off the White Plains campus. At Burke’s main campus, the fellows rotate on the inpatient units, as well as the outpatient faculty-group practice. Also on campus they rotate with the neuropsychology department in both the inpatient consultative side of patient care, as well as the outpatient center.  The fellows gain exposure to the rehabilitation consult service, neurosurgery, and neuroradiology departments at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, a level 1 trauma center. Having exposure to these services augments the knowledge the fellows have regarding the management and interventions given to patients before they arrive at Burke for inpatient rehabilitation.

As part of the program, participants complete a performance improvement (PI) project and are involved in resident didactics. Every Friday is dedicated to the fellows’ development of their individual PI project, educational engagements and participation in their continuity clinic in the outpatient office.

Dr. Lercara and Dr. Potter explained how Burke’s Fellowship Program is expanding their knowledge and development.

“I wanted to be a part of this program from the ground floor up,” said Dr. Potter. “I enjoy forming relationships with the patients and the families, and impacting their lives in a meaningful way. I observe a variety of presentations on the Traumatic Brain Injury Unit, and it can be fascinating.”

According to Dr. Lercara, “I am partial to the neurological aspect of medicine, and this year, I am gaining exposure to a diversity of brain injury which, while challenging at times, will be a welcome supplement to my residency training. I am most excited to continue develop my procedural skills. In addition, when you look back at the patients’ progress, it is quite gratifying.”

In addition to Dr. Trovato’s mentorship, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency Director Benjamin Seidel, DO, and Sharon Bushi, MD, also provide guidance to the fellows through the program.

Burke Rehabilitation Hospital is a not-for-profit, acute rehabilitation hospital in White Plains, NY. Founded in 1915 through an endowment from philanthropist John Masterson Burke, it is the only hospital in Westchester County dedicated solely to adult rehabilitation medicine. Burke is a member of the Montefiore Health System, Inc. The hospital offers both inpatient and outpatient programs for those who have experienced a disabling illness, traumatic injury or surgery. For additional information, please visit burke.org.
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