HICKORY, NC – July 28 2017 – The Center for Rehabilitation at Catawba Valley Medical Center (CVMC) is pleased to announce the appointment of physiatrist Jessica Urzen, DO to the position of Medical Director for Inpatient Rehabilitation. In this role, Dr. Urzen will address the needs of acute rehab patients and work with the center’s comprehensive team of therapists in helping patients reach their highest level of functioning. Beginning in September, she will also provide outpatient services at a new practice located on the hospital’s campus in southeast Hickory.
A physiatrist – also called a rehabilitation physician – is a medical or osteopathic doctor trained to treat a wide variety of medical conditions affecting the brain, spinal cord, nerves, bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. The field of physiatry is also known as Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, or PM&R. Ava Jarrett, CVMC Administrator of Rehabilitation and Wellness says, “Many people who first hear the term ‘physiatrist’ are unfamiliar with this type of physician. It’s a small specialty but it’s become more popular because of the significant role it plays in certain areas, especially for the integrative treatment of many medical conditions such as stroke, brain injury, musculoskeletal issues, and concussion across the age spectrum.”
A graduate of Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Urzen completed her residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Louisville School of Medicine in Louisville, KY where she served as chief resident of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. At CVMC, Dr. Urzen will manage a wide range of medical care for patients following illness or injury including those recovering from stroke, amputation, neurologic and musculoskeletal disorders, spinal cord injury, concussion and spasticity among other diagnoses. She will develop coordinated treatment plans in collaboration with physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, certified athletic trainers, advanced practice providers and other physicians to optimize patient outcomes.
“Many patients with physical limitations can be treated with conservative approaches that have a lower risk for complication than surgery or pain medication,” says Dr. Urzen. “And, if patients do need surgery, working with a physiatrist before and after can help speed recovery.”
Dr. Urzen is board certified in scoring spinal cord injuries and served as a first aid physician for the University of Louisville football team. She is currently a member of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, the American Academy of Physiatry, the American Institute of Ultrasound Medicine and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Medicine. For more information, please visit CVMC Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.