Steven Kirshblum, M.D., Senior Medical Officer at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation and Chief Medical Officer at Kessler Foundation, has been named Chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. Kirshblum, internationally recognized for his work in the field of medical rehabilitation, is also the Chief of Service at University Hospital in Newark.
In announcing the appointment, Robert L. Johnson, MD., Dean of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, noted that, “We are honored to have Dr. Kirshblum at the helm of our PM&R Department. His knowledge of rehabilitation medicine and his commitment to excellence in education, patient care and research make him the ideal individual to lead us forward.”
“I am extremely excited about this opportunity and believe we are in a position to not only prepare future physicians, but to direct the very future of medical rehabilitation,” said Kirshblum. “I’m looking forward to working with the administration and staff, and leveraging the relationships between the medical school, Kessler Institute, Kessler Foundation, and University Hospital to advance education, training, research, and patient care.”
As Chair, Kirshblum will work to grow the nationally ranked department by enhancing its academic and residency programs; supporting the clinical, academic and research activities of faculty; and coordinating educational, training, clinical, and research activities with those of Kessler Institute, Kessler Foundation, and University Hospital.
Kirshblum, who joined Kessler Institute in 1990, also serves as the hospital’s Director of Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation, and is the Chief Academic Officer to the inpatient rehabilitation hospital division of Select Medical, Kessler Institute’s parent organization. In addition, he is the Medical Director of the Northern New Jersey Spinal Cord Injury Model System, a collaborative program of Kessler Foundation, Kessler Institute and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and one of only 14 such federally funded programs in the country. Kirshblum was also recently named Chief Medical Officer at Kessler Foundation, where he has administrative and clinical oversight of research protocols and programs in collaboration with the research teams.
Widely respected for his work in spinal cord injury medicine, rehabilitation and research, Kirshblum has received numerous awards and honors, including the 2017 Distinguished Academician Award from the Association of Academic Physiatrists, the Sell Lectureship from the American Spinal Injury Association, and the Leadership Award from the Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals. He is a highly sought-after speaker and a prolific writer, having authored hundreds of articles, abstracts, book chapters, and peer-reviewed publications, and two textbooks. A graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, and Finch University of Health Sciences/The Chicago Medical School, Kirshblum is active in many organizations, currently serving as Chair of the SCI Medicine Fellowship Program Directors Council, on the executive committee for the International Standards and Data Set Committees of the International Spinal Cord Society, and Director of Think First New Jersey.