NYU Langone Medical Center issued the following announcement on May 31.
Further advancing its world-renowned reputation, NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation has opened a new specialized program to address the complex rehabilitative needs of individuals with cancer, with a principal goal of helping them re-establish optimal function during and following treatment.
Jonas M. Sokolof, DO, an expert physician–educator with a deep background in rehabilitative care for people with cancer, recently joined the faculty at NYU Langone to serve as director of its new Division of Oncological Rehabilitation.
The new division will work in conjunction with clinicians at NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center to deliver individualized rehabilitative care for patients regardless of where they are in their cancer care. Patients who are newly diagnosed, currently undergoing treatment, or in remission may seek care in the program. Each patient will have an individualized treatment plan developed under the guidance of Dr. Sokolof that may include many of the services Rusk Rehabilitation can offer its patients, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech–language pathology and swallowing therapy, vocational therapy, psychological services, music and recreational therapy, nutrition, and social work services.
“We are thrilled to have Dr. Sokolof on board spearheading Rusk Rehabilitation’s new oncological rehabilitation efforts,” says Steven R. Flanagan, MD, the Howard A. Rusk Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine and chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at NYU Langone Health. “Our plan for this new program is to become the premier rehabilitation center for people with cancer.”
Each person with cancer is unique and has different goals for their recovery, explains Benjamin G. Neel, MD, PhD, director of Perlmutter Cancer Center, and this is factored into patients’ rehabilitation plans.
“Cancer is a life-altering event that affects all facets of a person’s life; there are not only physical consequences but emotional, social, and vocational factors that a patient has to manage daily,” says Dr. Neel. “Developing a personalized care plan with Dr. Sokolof and his rehabilitation team can be the missing piece of the treatment puzzle, and brings patients towards their goals of better quality of life and function. We want people to be empowered and take an active role in their care and survivorship.”
Dr. Sokolof also plans to start an exercise and cancer research program at Rusk Rehabilitation, building on his interests in exploring lifestyle interventions to improve the lives of people who have had cancer. “Numerous studies have shown that exercise improves quality of life and prolongs survival,” he says, “while other studies note that exercise and a healthy diet may also have a preventive role in cancer and disease recurrence.”
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