Expert Team

A highly skilled team of professionals is dedicated to each patient's rehabilitation needs. This group is comprised of physiatrists, psychologists, neuropsychologists, rehabilitation nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, respiratory therapists, speech-language pathologists, therapeutic recreation specialists, social workers, case managers and dietitians. This interdisciplinary team works together to develop the most appropriate treatment plan for each patient. But, the most important team members are the patient, family, friends, caregivers and significant others.

  • Physiatrists or rehabilitation physicians are medical doctors who work towards the goal of restoring function lost through injury, illness or disabling conditions. They are responsible for the medical management of the patient.
  • Physical therapists evaluate and treat persons  with a disease or injury contributing to pain or loss of strength, range of motion, balance or coordination. Their goal is to enable individuals to restore and maintain movement and increase functional mobility.
  • Occupational therapists assess an individual's ability to perform daily tasks such as eating, dressing, bathing, toileting, homemaking and community activities. They work with individuals to maximize independence with these tasks.
  • Speech-language pathologists evaluate and treat people with speech, language, cognitive, communication and swallowing disorders.
  • Neuropsychologists may test for cognitive problems associated with brain injury, stroke or other neurologic disorders and may also be involved with adjustment to disability. Treatment plans are designed to address the individual needs of each patient.
  • Therapeutic recreation specialists help patients with management of their leisure lifestyle. They may work with individuals to continue to pursue personal interests or develop new ones and provide resources for support and community involvement after discharge.
  • Rehabilitation nurses provide 24 hour specialized care. The nurse educates the patient, family, and caregivers regarding medications, skin care, bowel and bladder function and other nursing related issues.
  • Social workers provide emotional support to assist patients in dealing with the onset of illness. As care coordinators they can assist with community resources such as transportatin, in-home caregiver support, nutrition programs, and insurance issues.
  • Respiratory therapists evaluate, treat and care for patients with breathing disorders.
  • Admissions coordinators screen patients for potential admission to the inpatient rehabilitation unit.
  • Pharmacist
  • Dietitian
  • Consultants

Many of the physicians who have medical staff privileges to practice medicine at
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center are independent physicians, and not employees or agents of the hospital. These independent physicians bill separately for their services. You should contact your physician to determine their status and billing practices.

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Richard V. Riggs, MD

Chair Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

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Team Members

Arash Asher, MD

Director Cancer Rehabilitation and Survivorship

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Jana Baumgarten, MD

Co-Associate Medical Director Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

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Ryan H. Kotton, MD

Medical Director High-Risk Infant Progress Clinic

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Mary C. Nasmyth, MD

Co-Associate Medical Director Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

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Other participating team members:

  • Pam Roberts, PhD, OTR/L, CPHQ, FAOTA
    Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Program Director
  • Lorraine Kimura, PT
    Manager, Acute Therapy
  • Susan Rivera, MSN, CRRN, RN
    Nursing Manager, Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit
  • Connie Shaffer, OTR/L
    Manager, Outpatient Rehabilitation Services