Focus on Research: Wylie Winner Brings Home Amputation Innovations
In an instant in April 2013, Dr. Jeffrey A. Kalish went from Boston Marathon spectator to surgeon at Boston Medical Center, performing amputations, complex vascular repairs and other procedures.
The profound experience led Dr. Kalish to apply for the SVS Foundation’s E.J. Wylie Traveling Fellowship. His goal was to witness the highest level of military amputee surgical care and rehabilitation and bring that knowledge home to the civilian setting.
“Vascular surgeons play a central role in caring for amputation patients, and knowledge of optimal intraoperative and postoperative care is vital to positive outcomes for our patients,” he said in his report on his fellowship.
Dr. Kalish toured and talked with surgeons from a variety of medical centers, plus participated in unique amputation-related surgeries and observed rehabilitation clinicians, physical therapists and prosthetists.
One concrete result of his fellowship is the creation of a multidisciplinary team of providers at Boston Medical Center to formalize and standardize best practices for amputation patients, known as STRONG – Surgery To Rehab Ongoing Needs Group.
“I believe that STRONG can ultimately serve as a model system of care throughout Boston and the Northeast, and perhaps can positively influence the practices of many other surgeons and centers that treat amputees,” he said.