April 30, 2016 - Board Director News

ABPMR Bids Farewell to Chair Dr Karen Kowalske

In July, Dr Karen Kowalske MD will complete her second and final term on the ABPMR Board of Directors. The ABPMR expresses appreciation and gratitude for her outstanding service to the board and to the field of PM&R. She will be missed!

Dr Kowalske was elected as a director of the ABPMR in 2004. She served as chair of the board from 2013-2016, and as interim executive director of the ABPMR from 2015-2016. She has been a diplomate of the ABPMR since 1991, also holds subspecialty certification in brain injury medicine, and is meeting all maintenance of certification requirements.

Prior to becoming a director, Dr Kowalske served as a guest examiner for the ABPMR Part II Examinations and as a Part I Examination item writer. Over the course of her career on the board, Dr Kowalske served on the executive committee (chair 2013-2016; secretary 2012-2013), brain injury medicine committee, cooperative subspecialty committee, Part I Examination committee, and maintenance of certification committee.

Dr Kowalske has made significant contributions to the field of burn injury rehabilitation in both adults and children, including more than 60 publications primarily focused on rehabilitation complications such as neuropathy and heterotopic ossification and functional outcome after major burn injury. Her clinical and research interests include rehabilitation complications and outcome after catastrophic injury including burn, polytrauma, and traumatic brain injury. Dr Kowalske has been the recipient of multiple grants from the National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research since 1992, primarily as principal investigator for a Burn Rehabilitation Model System at UT Southwestern.

After graduating from the University of Florida College of Medicine, Dr Kowalske completed an internship and residency in PM&R at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. She has spent her career at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and is now Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, having recently stepped down as Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department Chair after 15 years of service.


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