Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center honored at 2019 Cerebral Palsy Foundation Gala

(Debby Weinberg and David Roye, MD, accept one of the three Excellence Awards given out at the gala) 

The Cerebral Palsy Foundation hosted their 2019 Design for Disability Gala, on October 28, 2019. This annual benefit event provides an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the positive impact being made to improve the lives of people with disabilities through healthcare, research, and design. The Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Jason Benetti, an ESPN and Chicago White Sox Sports Announcer with cerebral palsy (CP).

The Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center (WFCPC) was honored to be one of three Excellence Award winners of the gala. Specifically, the WFCPC was recognized for the commitment to lifespan care for individuals with CP.

“The Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center is humbled and honored to receive this award,” said Dr. David P. Roye, Jr., Executive Medical Director of the Center. “We are proud to have a partner like the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, whose mission so closely aligns with our own a commitment to making a difference and improving the quality of life for people of all ages living with Cerebral Palsy. The resources that the Cerebral Palsy Foundation offers to patients and caregivers are integral to supporting the medical care provided by our faculty and staff. We look forward to working together in service to our patients and the cerebral palsy community, and want to thank the Cerebral Palsy Foundation for this tremendous honor.”

The event also featured an innovative line of accessible accessories created by a partnership between the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) Master of Fine Arts program in Fashion Design; Barbara Bradley Baekgaard, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Vera Bradley; and the Cerebral Palsy Foundation.

To learn more about the lifespan care offered at WFCPC for individuals with CP, click here.

To learn more about the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, click here. 

Dr. David Roye – Retirement in 2020

It is with bittersweet feelings we announce the upcoming retirement of Dr. David Roye, executive director of the Weinberg Family CP Center, effective January 31, 2020. To ensure continuity of care, Dr. Roye has arranged to transition his patients to one of his following colleagues; Drs. Michael Vitale, Joshua Hyman, Benjamin Roye, and Paulo Selber. Please be assured that our staff will do everything they can to make this transition as smooth, and as stress free, as possible. If you have questions about your care structure please contact (212) 305-4565 or email us at pedsortho@cumc.columbia.edu or cpcenter@cumc.columbia.edu. Though Dr. Roye will no longer be seeing patients, he will remain in an emeritus role with the department of pediatric orthopedic surgery and the Weinberg Family CP Center.⁠ ⁠

“If I do not have the opportunity to see you in the office before the end of January, I want to personally wish you lifelong health and happiness, and thank you sincerely for entrusting me with your care.” – Dr. David Roye

Patient Spotlight: Kathleen Downes

Kathleen Downes with Dr. David Roye

Meet Kathleen Downes:

I am 26 years old and from Floral Park, NY. I am a licensed social worker and a two time graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where I earned degrees in Community Health/Rehab Studies and Social Work.  While at the university, I lived in a supported residential setting for people with significant physical disabilities called Beckwith Residential Support Services. I have quadriplegic cerebral palsy and enjoy advocating for disability rights. I currently coordinate workshops for the families at an adaptive dance program called Dancing Dreams and write my own blog, The Squeaky Wheelchair. My work has also been featured in Huff Post and Women’s Media Center.

How did you find the Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center (WFCPC):

I was already a patient of Dr. Michael Vitale’s at the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital as a teenager and I knew of Dr. David Roye because he operated on many of my friends as children. Luckily, the WFCPC was opening just as I was due to age out of the pediatric system and my mom found out about the initiative at a conference in 2012. We were and are so grateful that I am able to continue receiving care as an adult because there is such a paucity of knowledgeable providers when it comes to cerebral palsy–without WFCPC I wouldn’t really have any options. 

My first interaction with the Weinberg Family CP Center was working with Dr. Heakyung Kim, who is an incredible doctor and a great person. I recently had a hip osteotomy with Dr. Roye after dealing with persistent hip pain and he has been so kind and I am very appreciative of all he has done to help me.

How has the Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center impacted your care:  

CP is traditionally classified as a “children’s condition” when it is actually a lifetime condition. We don’t disappear into thin air at age 18 and our healthcare system must reflect that. One of the goals of medicine has historically been to give people with disabilities and medical conditions long lives–but to ensure long lives is not enough. We need comprehensive care that ensures not just length, but quality of life through the years. Generally, turning 18 with a disability is like falling off a service cliff in every aspect of life. Even though adults with disabilities have always been and always will be here, the larger medical community (and society in general) tends to treat us like unicorns…and often greets us with a sort of, “what do we do with you?” attitude. It’s super frustrating to essentially remind doctors on a regular basis that you do, in fact, exist.

The existence of WFCPC means that I have a place where people are well-versed about my disability and a place where I don’t have to deal with the too-familiar feeling of abandonment by the healthcare system. It would be the easy choice to turn away from the daunting task of bridging the pediatric-adult care gap, but these providers have instead made the choice to turn towards us, to support us, and to play a part in changing the culture of care. That means a lot to me!

What is one thing you would like people to know about the Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center?

The work that the Weinberg Family CP Center is doing is crucial. There is no age limit on the need for quality medical care. I’m so glad WFCPC recognizes that we adults with CP are here and we’re not going anywhere.

Paulo Selber, MD presented at 39th Annual IOA Meeting

The 39th Annual Meeting of the Israeli Orthopedic Association (IOA) featured several lectures from Dr. Paulo Selber of the Weinberg Family CP Center. Orthopedics. IOA took place December 11-12 in Tel Aviv, Israel and is an annual meeting founded by the Israeli Medical Association. IOA provides education and practice management services for orthopedic surgeons whose practice includes disorders of bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. This year the meeting had over 1,000 attendees.

See below for the outline of Dr. Selber’s lectures at the conference:

Wednesday, December 11

Plenary I

  • Phases of Grief in Parents with Children with Disabilities. Paulo Selber, MD.

Thursday, December 12

Specialty Session – Pediatrics Orthopedics Part I

  • Crouch: a Multi Factorial Gait Disorder. Paulo Selber, MD.
  • Treating a Flexed Knee Gait without Compromising the Pelvis and Lumbar Lordosis. Paulo Selber, MD.

The 2019 Lindenauer Lecture Presents “Novel Roles of Placental Hormones in Newborn Brain Injury”

On November 7, the 2019 Marilyn R. Lindenauer Distinguished Speaker Series hosted Anna Penn, MD, PhD, who discussed “Novel Roles of Placental Hormones in Newborn Brain Injury” at the Vagelos Education Center at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC).

Dr. Penn is a neonatologist and developmental neuroscientist at Children’s National Health System in Washington DC. She is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at George Washington University School of Medicine, with appointments in the Children’s National Fetal Medicine Institute, Neonatology and the Center for Neuroscience Research. In January 2020, she will join Columbia University as the Chief of Neonatology in the Department of Pediatrics.

The Speaker Series was established by Drs. S. Martin and Ms. Marilyn R. Lindenauer in 2013 and provides an opportunity for the Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center to host lectures by medical professionals from around the globe to discuss groundbreaking new ideas and emerging technologies related to cerebral palsy patients.

Watch the lecture: 

Weinberg Family CP Center Faculty Honored Among 2019’s Best Doctors in the Nation

Congratulations to the Weinberg Family CP Center providers who have been named some of the top doctors throughout the United States in Castle Connolly America’s Top Doctors, Castle Connolly New York Metro Top Doctors, The New York Times Magazine Super Doctors and Rising Stars, and New York Magazine.

Castle Connolly America’s Top Doctors

  • Joshua Hyman, MD

Castle Connolly New York Metro Area Top Doctors

  • Joshua Hyman, MD
  • Michael Vitale, MD, MPH

New York Times Magazine Super Doctors

  • Joshua Hyman, MD
  • Charles Popkin, MD
  • Benjamin Roye, MD
  • David Roye, MD
  • Wakenda Tyler, MD
  • Michael Vitale, MD, MPH

New York Times Magazine’s Super Doctors – Rising Stars

  • Lauren Redler, MD

New York Magazine’s Best Doctors

  • Joshua Hyman, MD
  • Michael Vitale, MD, MPH

Castle Connolly Doctors are nominated by their peers and are extensively screened by the Castle Connolly’s physician-led research team. These doctors in this list are “among the very best in their specialties and in their communities are selected for inclusion. Doctors do not and cannot pay to be included in any Castle Connolly Guide or online directory.”

The New York Times annual Super Doctors list is “approximately 5% of the physicians within the respective state or region” and, after receiving points from a panel of experts, only the highest scoring doctors after a rigorous selection process are included.

The Super Doctors “Rising Stars” List highlights exemplary physicians who have been fully licensed to practice for less than 10 years. Only 2.5% of physicians in each state/region have the honor of making this list.

New York Magazine’s Best Doctors is a shorter version of the Castle Connolly New York Metro Top Doctors list and, because of space limitations, the whole list isn’t published in their magazine. The list is adjusted for geographic and specialty balance.

Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center Receives $10,000 Donation

The Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center (WFCPC) received a donation from a Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) Capital Markets Speak Up for Inclusion Program winner Ashley Caldwell. The program grants $10,000 each to five RBC Capital Markets employees, to donate to charity, as a reward for their dedication to creating a diverse and inclusive environment inside and outside RBC Capital Markets. Ashley Caldwell, Vice President of Leveraged Finance at RBC Capital Markets and Advisory Board member for the WFCPC, was one of the five awardees of the RBC Capital Markets Speak Up for Inclusion Award. Awardees must be in good standing as a U.S. RBC Capital Markets employee, contribute to creating an inclusive culture inside/outside RBC Capital Markets, recruit and create a diverse work environment as well as speak up in workplace conversations involving diversity and inclusion. Her passion for speaking up and creating spaces for those who are disabled contributed to her being selected for the award. 

“I am really passionate about helping those with disabilities as I am disabled myself,” Ashley said. “My experiences give me a unique opportunity to speak on behalf of those who are disabled.” 

Ashley suffered a spinal cord injury as a child. This injury motivated her to make a difference as a community leader for those with disabilities. Ashley joined the WFCPC advisory board in 2015. The Center, established in January 2013, is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people of all ages living with cerebral palsy by providing comprehensive personalized care, conducting groundbreaking research, and educating medical professionals, patients, and caregivers about the latest advances in cerebral palsy. Ashley’s work with on the board ultimately inspired her to donate her RBC Capital Markets award to the center.  

“The Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center is a one-stop-shop for patients with cerebral palsy. They not only understand your medical needs, but your needs as a whole person, which is important and necessary for those with cerebral palsy,” said Ashley. “The Center helps improve the quality of life that patients have, especially as patients age. Their work and growth inspired me to donate my award.” 

“We are delighted to receive this donation from Ashley,” said David P. Roye, Jr., MD, Executive Director of the Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center. “Ashley has been an instrumental member of our advisory board for the past few years, providing advice to leadership and ensuring that our efforts align with the Center’s mission.” 

Mental Health and Cerebral Palsy: What You Need to Know

When someone has a disability, oftentimes their mental health is overlooked due to the primary focus on physical health. However, mental healthcare doesn’t discriminate, and we all need a little extra support at different times of our lives, and this is where psychotherapy can be so important. At the Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center (WFCPC), we want to give our patients and their families the resources they need to get the most comprehensive and holistic care possible.

Jan Moskowitz, LCSW, (pictured above) is part of the Weinberg Family CP Center social work team and provides individual psychotherapy sessions for cerebral palsy patients of all ages, and also for their caregivers. Below, she answers questions about all things psychotherapy that you need to know.

Psychotherapy and Cerebral Palsy:

Q: What is psychotherapy?
A: In general terms, it is talk therapy and a way to treat mental health. It is primarily used as a way to get out thoughts and feelings to a non-biased third party. It is not psychiatry and therefore medicine cannot be prescribed, however, at the Weinberg Family CP Center, we can work collaboratively with your psychiatrist for the most comprehensive care.

Q: Who is psychotherapy for at the Weinberg Family CP Center?
A: Anyone and everyone with Cerebral Palsy, including family members, who have the capacity to communicate and talk about their thoughts and feelings.

Q: Why is this important to our patients and their families?
A: Your emotional health is just as important as your physical health. When something is not right with your physical health you go and make it better, the same needs to be done for your mental health.

Q: What types of psychotherapy do you commonly use at the Weinberg Family CP Center?
A: I personally don’t stick to one type of psychotherapy; I like to use an eclectic approach that matches the needs of my patients. A lot of times, I will pull from psychodynamic approaches that focus on unconscious thoughts and feelings, working from the past forward. I also use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with the goal of identifying and challenging negative thought patterns and replacing them with more adaptive thoughts. Family Systems theory is also helpful as it focuses on the family unit as whole and utilizes such unit as the holding space for complex interactions among its members.

Q: How is this related to CP care?
A: We all need a little extra support at different times of our lives. At the WFCPC we want to give our patients and their families the resources they need to get the most comprehensive care possible, and psychotherapy is one aspect of that.

Q: What is one thing you want to tell the community about psychotherapy?
A: I understand there is a strong stigma surrounding mental health and a goal of mine is to normalize it as much as possible. You don’t have to have a huge trauma in your life or significant issue to say I need a little more support. The goal of the WFCPC is to provide holistic care and your mind is just as important as your body.

Q: Who do you work with?
A: Currently, I work with young adults/adults with cerebral palsy and the caregivers of those patients. We are looking to expand toward providing services to children in the near future, which we are really excited about.

Q: What would be next steps?
A: I am a licensed practitioner in both the states of NY and NJ and accept many insurance plans. We know at the WFCPC physical access can be challenging, so I also offer these services via telehealth. Anyone can self-refer by contacting us on their own, and I also take referrals from any of the physicians and medical staff as well.

Interested in what the process for psychotherapy at WFCPC looks like moving forward? Click here.

Psychotherapy at the Weinberg Family CP Center

Jan Moskowitz, LCSW, is part of the social work team at WFCPC and provides individual psychotherapy sessions for cerebral palsy patients of all ages, and also for their caregivers. She walks us through what the typical process of starting psychotherapy sessions with her might look like:

Step 1 – Phone screening: This is a brief call to find out more about who you are, what you are looking for in regards to therapy, your basic demographics, high risk issues etc. This call will help to see if I am the right fit for you, or if you need to be referred for more immediate attention somewhere else.

Step 2 – Schedule an intake in person: This is a one-hour appointment focused on questions about your history of health and mental health, past experiences with mental health, any impactful events in your life I should know about, etc. Once this takes place, we are ready to start scheduling our follow up sessions.

Step 3 –  Follow up sessions: After steps 1 and 2 have been completed, we begin weekly sessions which are about 45 minutes long and continue to meet until mutually agreed upon goals have been achieved. These sessions are typically recurring appointments, same day/time each week, for everyone’s ease of scheduling, commitment, and consistency. We do have Telehealth as an option for those who can’t travel to the Weinberg Family CP Center regularly, but I still prefer in-person appointments once every 3 months.

For more information on Psychotherapy at WFCPC click here. To contact Jan directly: jm4100@cumc.columbia.edu.

First Annual Adaptive Ski Trip

“I never would have thought it would be possible for me to ski!”

On Friday, March 1, 2019, the Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center hosted our first annual Adaptive Ski Trip – it was an amazing success!  Seven patients, ages 8 to 28, and their family members joined us at Windham Mountain for a beautiful day of skiing, fun, and laughs.

The patients participated in ski lessons, led by certified instructors from the Adaptive Sports Foundation. It was the first time on the mountain for many of our patients, and one participant said “I never would have thought it would be possible for me to ski.” The patients had an incredible time, and the parents enjoyed watching their children be happy, engaged, and active.

A special thanks to faculty and staff at the Weinberg Center for making this day possible!