Julie Silver

MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General, Brigham & Womens and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospitals

Julie Silver, MD is an Associate Professor, Associate Chair and Cancer Rehabilitation Director in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School and the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network. Dr. Silver’s work has focused on improving gaps in the delivery of healthcare services, particularly cancer rehabilitation. She has published many scientific reports and is well-known for her ground-breaking work on “impairment driven cancer rehabilitation” which was initially published in the journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians–a high impact factor oncology journal that is published by the American Cancer Society. Impairment-driven cancer rehabilitation was subsequently incorporated into the American Cancer Society’s Facts & Figures. Dr. Silver is the co-founder and co-director of the Cancer Rehabilitation Group for the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine—a research focused interdisciplinary professional society. She is committed to improving healthcare for oncology patients and developed a best practices model for cancer rehabilitation care that hundreds of U.S. hospitals adopted. Dr. Silver has also written and edited numerous books including a standard textbook used in the field of rehabilitation medicine titled the “Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation”, now in its 3rd edition with multiple international translations.

Prehabilitation is part of the rehabilitation care continuum and may significantly reduce morbidity and improve outcomes. Early definitions of prehabilitation focused on getting people ready for an “upcoming stressor”. This talk explores the origins of prehabilitation and discusses modern day definitions as well as the evolution of the field. Looking at how prehabilitation fits into the care continuum and may affect such things as “value based care” and the “triple aim” helps to understand the opportunities for clinical care and future research.

Quote: “In 2013, I had to convince the editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation that it was worthwhile to publish my review with Dr. Jennifer Baima titled “Cancer prehabilitation: an opportunity to decrease treatment-related morbidity, increase cancer treatment options, and improve physical and psychological health outcomes. This was the first review of cancer prehabilitation in the literature and 5 years later, through the lens of the evolving field of alternative metrics, it is ranked #2 out of 1,046 reports published by the journal.”

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