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Meet Ala Elyaman, DO, Shirley Ryan AbilityLab’s first Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Neurorehabilitation Fellow

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For the first time in the history of the organization, Shirley Ryan AbilityLab is offering a one-year fellowship in Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and Movement Disorders (PDMD) Neurorehabilitation, with lead support provided by the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s. We are proud to introduce our first PDMD Fellow, Ala Elyaman, DO, who will begin her fellowship on July 1, 2021.

This course of advanced study is dedicated to training physiatrists in the principles of neurorehabilitation as applied to PD and movement disorders. The field of movement disorders includes Parkinson’s disease, atypical Parkinsonian syndromes, tremors, dystonia, gait disorders, Huntington’s disease, functional movement disorders, spasticity and other movement-related conditions.

Led by Shirley Ryan AbilityLab PDMD Section Chief Jennifer Goldman, MD, MS, the fellowship will provide an educational training experience incorporating didactics, clinical care management, scientific research and mentorship opportunities. The clinical experience will encompass the continuum of rehabilitative care for individuals with PD and movement disorders and include management across the disease spectrum, from early interventions to advanced care. Other program faculty include Shirley Ryan AbilityLab physiatrists, clinicians, researchers, allied health professionals and Northwestern PDMD faculty.

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Fellowship rotations will take place in Shirley Ryan AbilityLab inpatient units, outpatient clinics and DayRehab Centers®, as well as in Northwestern Medicine Neurology/Movement Disorders clinics. The fellowship is designed to provide a comprehensive educational experience that will prepare the trainee with the evaluation and management skills requisite for providing optimal care to patients with PD and movement disorders.

“We welcome Dr. Elyaman to our program,” says PDMD Section Chief Jennifer Goldman, MD, MS. “She brings great energy and enthusiasm for the field of neurorehabilitation in treating Parkinson’s and movement disorders in this first-of-its-kind fellowship program. She will help set an example of the importance of physiatry and rehabilitation team care for people with PDMD.”

Dr. Elyaman comes to us having completed her PM&R residency at Larkin Community Hospital in Miami, Fla.  She attended medical school at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Erie, Pa., and received her BS in biomedical science at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Fla.

Her residency sparked a keen interest in spasticity and movement disorder diagnosis and treatment. While working at the VA hospital in West Palm Beach, Fla., she gained experience with EMG/NCV studies, Botox for migraines and spasticity and imaging-guided procedures.

“I am passionate about pursuing a career in movement disorders that includes both integrated and innovative techniques,” said Dr. Elyaman. “I am honored and excited to begin this unique fellowship at a leader in treatment and research for this patient population. The opportunity to pursue my passion in the first and only translational PM&R research hospital is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Her research includes acting as a research assistant with the Miami Pain and Diagnostics Center on a study assessing the success of AmnioFix in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis, experience for which she co-authored a literature review. She also developed a case study focusing on a patient with bilateral knee osteoarthritis who was treated with Euflexxa in one knee and AmnioFix in the other. In addition, as part of a QI project, she created and taught an interactive nursing course on bowel regimens in SCI patients and looks forward to other cross-discipline education, treatment and research.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Elyaman.

Lead support for this fellowship is generously provided by the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s.

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