Please welcome visiting scholar Yannick Tousignant-Laflamme, PT, PhD, to the DPT Division

Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 9.41.42 AMWe would like to welcome visiting scholar Yannick Tousignant-Laflamme, PT, PhD, to the DPT division. Dr. Tousignant-Laflamme is a visiting scholar from University of Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada, and will spend the next ten months of his sabbatical leave working on the development of a comprehensive and strategic pain management algorithm for patients with chronic low back pain.

Dr. Tousignant-Laflamme grew up in Ottawa, received his degree in physical therapy from the University of Ottawa (1999), and then worked as a clinician for five years, mostly with patients with chronic pain.  Afterwards, he moved to the University of Sherbrooke and began his research training in clinical sciences (pain management), where he obtained his Master’s in 2005 and PhD in 2008.  He began as tenure-track faculty in the Department of Physical Therapy in 2008, and has been the program director since June 2014. He continues to pursue his research program, is a big Montreal Canadians hockey fan, and continues to play hockey and coach both of his sons, Max (11) and Noah (10).

As a researcher, he is interested in developing and evaluating new ways to improve pain management in rehabilitation. His research program focuses on the treatment of chronic pain conditions, such as chronic back pain and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) as well as the development of pain assessment tools. His research program and the grants he obtained focus on three key areas of pain management: Self-management programs, appraisal of therapeutic approach, and the development and validation of assessment tools. Finally, he has numerous research collaborations aimed to develop and validate various tools for measuring pain in vulnerable populations (ie: elderly, critical care).

Perez Agaba selected as 2016 recipient of the Anthony V. Seaber Student Fellowship Award

PerezWe would like to extend a HUGE congratulations to Duke University Medical Student, Perez Agaba, who was selected as the 2016 recipient of the Anthony V. Seaber Student Fellowship Award for his research presentation, “Risk Factor Combinations For Stiffness After Total Knee Arthroplasty,” which was presented at the Southern Orthopaedic Association Annual Meeting and Exhibit (July 28-31, 2016) at Naples Grande Beach Resort, Naples, FL. The award was named after Anthony V. Seaber, a former Professor at Duke, who passed away in July 2010 and had no greater desire than to aid medical students. The grant, funded through the Piedmont, allows medical students to travel and present their research at orthopaedic meetings across the country.

“Perez is certainly deserving of this award. It means a lot to me as his research mentor, as Tony Seaber played a huge role in my life as my research mentor when I was working in Dr. Urbaniak’s lab. Perez has worked very hard this past year and has been a pleasure to be around. He has made great impressions on numerous members of our care team doing this research, working in the clinic, and helping in the OR. Many people have been vocal to let me know how impressed they have been with his work ethic and humble nature. I know Tony would have approved of Perez receiving this award.” – Dr. Michael Bolognesi, Chief of the Division of Adult Reconstruction

We invite you to read on to learn more about Perez’s journey to Duke and the qualities that have made him a more than worthy recipient of this prestigious award.

Q: Please give us a brief background on you (where you’re from, where you went to school, etc.).

Perez: I am 1 of 8 children born and raised in Kampala, Uganda. My upbringing did not come without its challenges, especially after losing my father to a motor vehicle accident at the age of 6 and seeing my mother try to raise all 8 of us single-handedly. Among the things I learned from my childhood, the value of respect, hard work, and humility were paramount. After graduating from King’s College Buddo (high school in Uganda), I was very fortunate to earn an academic and Division 1 soccer scholarship at the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology, IUPUI. While there, I majored in Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Mathematics, and was very humbled to be named the 2012 Chancellor’s Scholar as well as the SUMMIT League Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2011 and 2012. Following my graduation from IUPUI, I worked as a software automation engineer helping in the design and verification of insulin pumps and meters at Clarke Engineering Services/Roche Diagnostics in Indianapolis before eventually matriculating at Duke University School of Medicine in 2013.

Q: What attracted you to Duke?

Perez: DukeMed possesses a distinctive curriculum that I believe is both challenging and rewarding and one that requires a high level of motivation, individual maturity, and practical collaboration. The amount of exposure students get right from their first year through early hands on patient care interactions and taking the core clinical rotations in the second year greatly reinforces learning. With my passion of becoming a physician scientist, the Duke third year was also an outstanding opportunity for me to continue pursuing research and expand my knowledge and experiences through the various opportunities available to students at Duke.

Q: What drew you to the field of orthopaedics?

Perez: I have mostly lived in underserved communities both in Uganda and in the US and have seen firsthand the challenges that musculoskeletal problems place on individuals with limited access.

My first concrete exposure to the field of orthopaedics was during my undergraduate career. As a biomedical engineering major, my focus was on biomechanics and tissue engineering and this gave me the opportunity to do research in human biomechanics using rat models. As a student-athlete, I got the opportunity to interact with some orthopaedic surgeons through soccer-related injuries. Most impactful of all, however, has been my research and clinical experiences during my third year here at Duke. I had the privilege of working on some exciting clinical research projects within the Division of Adult Reconstruction under the mentorship of Dr. Bolognesi, and was able to work and learn from some of the finest surgeons both in the operating room and in clinic. These experiences have further molded and reinforced my dream of being an orthopaedic surgeon and of extending orthopaedic care and access to the underserved communities both here and in Uganda.

Q: Please describe your research presentation and the implication it could have on patient care.

Perez: My research presentation at the recently concluded Southern Orthopaedic Association meeting in July was on Risk Factor Combinations for Stiffness after Total Knee Replacement. This was a national database study that focused on the risk factors that predisposed patients to a limited range of motion after they had a total knee replacement (TKR). Of the 123,728 patients studied, 2.5% of them had significant stiffness that warranted a trip back to the O.R. to help improve their range of motion within 90 days after their initial surgery.  Our study showed that having stiffness prior to surgery or being African-American or Hispanic all increased the risk of stiffness after knee replacement.  Of note, patients with a BMI<30 were 1.5 times more likely to go back to the O.R. within 90 days to have their stiffness corrected by manipulation under anesthesia. Our study results show the need to optimize outcomes by encouraging extensive pre-operative counseling, pre-operative physical therapy, and close post-operative follow up of the patients at risk.

Q: What you like to do outside of medicine?

Perez: I am a big sports fan and mostly enjoy playing and watching soccer. I have played since I was 6 years old and continue to stay engaged in the sport here at Duke when time allows. I also enjoy watching basketball, football, and volleyball. I think that team sports are a great way to meet new people, become exposed to different cultures, and make new friends.

Additionally, I am a big movie fan and can occasionally be found catching the latest blockbuster at the movie theaters.

I also enjoy being a part of community service and outreach programs. I have had the pleasure of participating in some local programs that help extend education and other services to the underserved communities here in Durham.

Q: Please tell us any other interesting facts about yourself!

Perez: Some people I have met think Usain Bolt could be my twin brother in a different world.

Steven Z. George, PT, PhD selected as the 2016 recipient of the FPTA Award for Scholarly Impact on Practice

georgeWe would like to congratulate Dr. George, who was recently selected as the 2016 recipient of the FPTA Award for Scholarly Impact on Practice.

This award acknowledges and honors a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant whose individual and/or collaborative scholarly activity has made a meaningful difference to clinical practice by physical therapists in Florida. Dr. George’s highly valuable work in chronic and musculoskeletal pain has indeed impacted the clinical practice of PTs and PTAs in Florida and beyond.

Dr. George will be recognized as this year’s recipient at the FPTA Honors and Awards Luncheon on Saturday September 24, 2016 following the FPTA Assembly of Representatives in Orlando, FL.

Will Eward, MD, DVM, featured in People Pets

We would like to congratulate Will Eward, MD, DVM, who was recently featured in People Pets:

Veterinarian Goes Back to Medical School to Help Save Dogs and Humans from Rare Cancer


Dr. Will Eward spends half his week treating pets, the other half treating people in Durham, North Carolina. The 42- year-old is both a veterinarian and an oncologist, specializing in treating cancer patients of the two legged and four-legged kind.  He points to a dog named after a basketball star as one of reasons why.

His name was Shaq and he was a 12-year-old golden retriever with a cancerous tumor the size of a basketball. “I’ll never forget him,” Eward tells PEOPLE.

Shaq’s family came to the vet desperate to keep him alive as the little girl who’d grown up with him prepared to get married. “We managed to get the tumor out and he lived another fifteen months. The girl and her new husband got into a car at the end of the wedding to leave on their honeymoon and Shaq died 45 minutes later.”

It’s that kind of pet loyalty that the father of three says pushed him to do something incredible in his efforts to save his canine patients. He was working as a vet in 2000, treating dogs with osteosarcomas (96 percent of dogs with this type of cancer die within a year of being diagnosed) when he decided to visit what he calls “the human” hospital to see how doctors were treating humans with the same tumors.

“I wanted to see what we could learn from the human doctors.”

So in 2003, Eward went back to medical school, this time becoming an oncologist.

Read the full article here.

Duke Sarcoma Clinic receives Top Performer Score for July 2016 CG CAHPS Global Rating for Patient Experience

UnknownWe would like to congratulate all team members from the Duke Sarcoma Clinic for receiving the Top Performer Score for the July 2016 CAHPS Global Rating for Patient Experience!

This honor was presented at the DUH Dept Head meeting on Thursday, August 18, 2016, and showcased to the entire hospital the wonderful work that everyone has contributed to in order to provide our Sarcoma patients with the best possible customer service experience.

In addition, recognition was given to the PRMO check-out team for doing such a fantastic job facilitating the imaging, pre-op screening and follow-up appointments for the Sarcoma patients.

Duke Orthopaedics Welcomes Elshaday “El” Belay and Randall “Tim” Kreulen to the department!

Duke Orthopaedics is excited to welcome Elshaday “El” Belay and Randall “Tim” Kreulen as our first rising Duke third-year medical students. They will begin the inaugural Accelerated Pathway in Orthopaedics starting August 22, 2016.

This innovative and competitive program is a year-long structured curriculum supported by the Duke University School of Medicine and created to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of orthopaedic surgery training. The students will participate throughout the year in the Duke Orthopaedics CORE curriculum and we are looking forward to having them as a part of our team! To learn more about El and Tim, we asked them to tell us more about themselves!

photo-elshadayQuestion and Answer with Elshaday “El” Belay:

Q: Give us a brief history about you (where you’re from, why you came to Duke).

El: I was born in Ethiopia and moved to Houston, Texas at the age of seven with my family. I studied biochemistry and played soccer at Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, OH. I choose to attend Duke for medical school because of the amazing classmates, commitment to excellence, and leaders in medicine.

Q: What attracted you to Duke Orthopaedics?

El: Duke Orthopedics has created an exciting and unique opportunity for medical students to bridge the transition from medical school to residency with a focused Third-Year scholarly experience in Orthopedics. For me, this program reaffirmed the tradition of Duke leading the change in medical education and I look forward to the challenge.

Q: Do you have any research interests at this time?

El: I have experiences in spine and joints research related to outcomes but I am open to exploring many different areas within Orthopedics.

Q: What do you like to do for fun outside of medicine?

El: My fiancé and I like to explore the Triangle food scene and go to Duke basketball games. I also enjoy playing/watching soccer, supporting Houston teams, hiking, and skiing.

Q: Any other fun, interesting facts you’d like people to know about you?

El: I just got engaged!

photo-timQuestion and Answer with Randall “Tim” Kreulen:

Q: Give us a brief history about you (where you’re from, why you came to Duke).

Tim: I was born in Scranton, PA and raised in nearby Clarks Summit, PA with my three younger siblings. I first came to Durham as an undergraduate and graduated from Duke in 2014 with a degree in chemistry. I then started at Duke Med and developed a strong passion for orthopaedics.

Q: What attracted you to Duke Orthopaedics?

Tim: I enjoyed studying musculoskeletal problems and interacting with both the attendings and residents in the orthopaedics department. I am excited to become a member of the Duke Orthopaedics team where I’ll be able to take care of patients as well as contribute to exceptional research projects and meaningful community outreach.

Q: Do you have any research interests at this time?

Tim: I do not know what sub-specialty I want to pursue, but I am excited to reach that decision by working with the orthopaedics team in the OR, clinic, and research lab.

Q: What do you like to do for fun outside of medicine?

Tim: When I’m not at work I enjoy hiking, running, going to the gym, exploring the Triangle with friends, and following Duke basketball.

Duke Orthopaedics Intramural Flag Football Team, “Bone Saw,” completes Perfect Season

Unknown-2From left to right: Evan Guerrero, Peter Casey, Mike Morwood, Colin Penrose, Andrew Federer, Alex Lazarides, and Beau Kildow

We would like to congratulate the Duke Orthopaedics intramural flag football team, “Bone Saw,” who completed their perfect season with a 30-8 victory in the Championships this week. The team, composed of players from every PGY year, replicated the same team work and hard work demonstrated in the hospital as a cohesive, winning unit on the field.

Despite facing challenges throughout the season, from weekend warrior injuries to patient care obligations, the team managed to complete the regular season undefeated. A hard fought victory in the playoffs against the Physical Therapy department ensured team Bone Saw’s spot in the Championships, where they took the lead and never looked back.

Photo #1: Victory score

Photo #2 from left to right: Evan Guerrero, Peter Casey, Mike Morwood, Colin Penrose, Andrew Federer, Alex Lazarides, and Beau Kildow

Photo #3 from left to right: Jordan Liles, Will Byrd, Alex Lazarides, Andrew Matson, Peter Casey, Beau Kildow, Colin Penrose, and Andrew Federer

Duke Sports Medicine published in Shoulder & Elbow Journal

Screen Shot 2016-08-18 at 9.13.20 AMWe would like to congratulate June S. Kennedy, Heather S. Myers, Scott D. Gibson, Matthew G. Kanaan, and former DPT faculty member and director of the K-Lab, Robert J. Butler, who were recently published in the journal, Shoulder & Elbow, for their study, “The validity and reliability of ultrasound on identifying supraspinatus tears during passive external rotation from 0 to 30: a pilot project.

Duke Orthopaedic Residents Learn Casting Techniques in Skills Lab

As part of the new curriculum outlined in the August 4, 2016 edition of the Chair’s Corner, residents participate in weekly skills labs, where senior residents and faculty help teach and mentor junior residents. We invite you to enjoy photos taken at the casting skills lab which took place Monday, July 25 at the Trent Semans Center.

Photos courtesy of Dr. Fraser Leversedge


Eugene Rossitch, MHA joins the department as Administrative Manager

Unknown-2We are delighted to welcome Eugene Rossitch, MHA to our central admin team as an Administrative Manager in the Department of Orthopaedics. He earned his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Healthcare Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill. Many of us know Eugene from his work as a Senior Planning Analyst, Strategic and Clinical Services Planning for Duke Health System. He was a key participant in developing the strategic plan that became the Duke Sports Sciences Institute, and brings a solid head, positive attitude, and a new set of skills to our team.

When he isn’t at work, Eugene spends most Saturdays in the fall at Kenan Stadium watching UNC football. Eugene has been a member of the UNC Wellness Center for the 3+ years he’s been back in the Triangle and tries to attend Cardio Sculpt class every Sunday evening. He also enjoys traveling to other cities; researching in advance local hot-spot restaurants.