Rancho physicians teach rehab course in Saudi Arabia

DOWNEY - Renowned Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center physicians Mindy Aisen, MD and Amytis Towfighi, MD last week journeyed to Riyadh, capital of Saudi Arabia, to teach Saudi clinicians about a broad range of rehabilitation topics during a comprehensive two-day course at the prestigious Prince Salman Institute for Disability Research."Dr. Towfighi and I have worked with physician leaders from throughout the Middle East to help improve the quality of rehabilitation medicine in the region," said Dr. Aisen, Rancho's Chief Medical Officer. "In the process we have learned that the desire to provide medical and rehabilitation care transcends all political, ethnic and religious differences. Boundaries are irrelevant when medical science and care and education are the issue at hand." Dr. Aisen had previously worked with Jordanian, Israeli, Egyptian and Palestinian clinicians as part of a project with the Cerebral Palsy International Research Foundation, then continued and expanded her efforts to exchange information with Middle Eastern clinical leaders when she arrived at Rancho two years ago. She selected Dr. Towfighi to help her assess progress being made and reach out to clinical leaders throughout the Middle East. Dr. Towfighi's areas of responsibility at Rancho include serving as Associate Medical Director, Director of Patient-Centered Medical Homes, Medical Director of the Seamless Care Initiative, Chair of Neurology and Director of the Acute Neurology Unit. "Last year, I gave a telecast to Riyadh for the Prince Salman Institute, which was beamed from Los Angeles at 3 a.m. our time," Dr. Aisen said. She was then invited to teach a course with Dr. Towfighi at the prestigious Institute in Riyadh. "Dr. Towfighi is a brilliant young physician whose research has made a huge impact across the world," Dr. Aisen said. "She was a natural choice to join me on what has turned out to be an excellent adventure." The Rancho doctors taught their Saudi students about the latest medical evidence for stroke care, post-stroke prevention, technologies for rehabilitation, aging with a disability and Cerebral Palsy treatment in children and adults. "They were so impressed with Rancho's holistic approach - including our KnowBarriers life coaching program, our robotic and virtual reality technology and our efforts to reinvent rehabilitation at Rancho," Dr. Aisen said. Rancho Chief Executive Officer Jorge Orozco put the trip into perspective: "This is just one of the many ways Rancho is reaching out to our colleagues and sharing the advances we are creating," he said. "In the last year, we have also conducted visits with colleagues as far away as China and Korea, and our physicians, therapists and nurses have continued to present information about how Rancho is moving the Art and Science of Rehabilitation Medicine forward in written, online and in-person forums throughout the world." Dr. Aisen pointed out that Rancho has led the way in Rehabilitation Medicine for nearly seven decades, and that Rancho is revered by colleagues throughout the world. "Although it was somewhat frightening to consider a trip to such a foreign land for two American women traveling alone, the warmth of our hosts and the genuine sincere intellectual pleasure expressed by our clinical colleagues made it an experience of a lifetime," she said. Dr. Aisen said she and Dr. Towfighi learned much from the students attending the conference. "They reminded us how important it is for Rancho to continue building bridges of understanding and hope with our international colleagues," Dr. Aisen said. "As we collaborate in medical education and on research projects, we will continue to advance Rehabilitation Medicine and help create a world wide medical renaissance so that patients everywhere will receive the very best rehabilitation care." For further information, please call the Rancho Los Amigos Foundation at (562) 401-7053 or visit wrancho.org

********** Published: June 30, 2011 - Volume 11 - Issue 10