Archived In the News

In the News


Dr. DJ Kennedy is featured in two articles: March 20, 2024 article in Next Avenue/PBS "Coccydynia: A Pain in the Tail" by Laurie Saloman  Read the Article Here

And the March 15, 2024 edition of First for Women/Yahoo News "Starting Your Day With This One Simple Move Thwarts Upper Back Pain, Doctor Says." by Marisa Iallonardo and Reviewed by Dr. DJ Kennedy. Read Article Here. 

CONGRATULATIONS! PM&R Chair D.J. Kennedy, MD was elected president of the American Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at their July 2023 Conference in New Orleans, LA .  Read VUMC Reporter Story Here 


Dr. W

Dr. Ruth Q. Wolever, PhD, NBC-HWC, Professor of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Director of Vanderbilt Health Coaching: Practice, Research & Education Osher Center for Integrative Medicine is in a December 2023 VUMC Reporter. The article name is: “Study connects patients who visit the ED with acute flare-ups of chronic back pain with remote integrative health coaching program.” Dr. Wolever is part of a multidisciplinary team funded by a Department of Defense grant. To read more, click here!



PM&R is proud to announce that our pediatric rehab specialist, Dr. Elizabeth Martin, has been featured in December 2023 Issue of "Discoveries in Medicine." The topic: Comprehensive, Early Intervention for Cerebral Palsy. To read the article, click here!




VUMC Department of PM&R  Welcomes Dr. Saumya Aujla, MD 

Dr AujlaDr. Saumya Aujla, MD

Dr. Saumya Goel Aujla, M.D.  is an Assistant Professor of Clinical in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) and the Department of Anesthesiology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, specializing in Interventional Pain Medicine.

Dr. Aujla completed both her PM&R residency, where she was elected and served as Chief Resident, followed by an Anesthesiology Pain Medicine Fellowship at the University of Rochester in New York. She believes in a multidisciplinary approach to pain management, combining evidence-based treatments with personalized care plans to optimize outcomes and enhance her patients’ quality of life. Dr. Aujla joined us March 2024.


VUMC Department of PM&R and the Osher Center for Integrated Health Welcomes Dr. Susanna Sutherland, PhD, MS, MEd


Dr. Susanna Sutherland, PhD, MS, MEd

Susanna Sutherland, PhD, MS, MEd an Assistant Professor Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Dr. Sutherland is a clinical research psychologist at The Osher Center for Integrative Health. Dr. Sutherland received her PhD in Psychological Science from Vanderbilt University, her doctoral internship at The Osher Center and then went on to complete a post-doctoral fellowship in Women's Health at Atrius Health in Boston, Massachusetts.

Dr. Sutherland’s current program of research is oriented towards enhancing the implementation of established cognitive-behavioral interventions for women’s health needs, with the primary objective of augmenting feasibility and accessibility, with a personal passion and professional experience in both maternal psychological well-being and health outcomes. Dr. Sutherland joined us October 2023 


VUMC Department of PM&R Welcomes Dr. Lauren Massey, MD and Dr. Heidi Chen, MD! 

MasseyDr. Lauren Massey, MD

Dr. Massey is an Assistant Professor in the Department of PM&R who specializes in the care of patients with Spinal Cord Injury and Spinal Cord Disorders (SCI/D). She completed her residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) at Vanderbilt University Medical Center followed by a Fellowship in Spinal Cord Injury Medicine at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, Washington. Dr. Massey’s clinical interests include providing comprehensive care for patients with paraplegia and tetraplegia, spasticity management and Neurorehabilitation.

She is passionate about education, mentorship, and quality improvement with a special interest in enhancing education of medical staff in the management of patients with acute spinal cord injury. Dr. Massey joined us September 2023.


Chen VUMC Dr. Heidi Chen, MD

Dr. Chen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of PM&R who specializes in musculoskeletal and spine conditions. She completed her residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at New York Presbyterian-Columbia and Cornell. She subsequently completed a North American Spine Society accredited interventional spine and musculoskeletal medicine fellowship at OSS in York, PA.  

Dr. Chen understands the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to any neuromusculoskeletal or spine-related problem including physical therapy, occupational therapy, exercise, nutrition, lifestyle modifications, and targeted interventional procedures. Dr. Chen joined us October 2023.



Asley Eaves

VUMC Health Plus Healthier You Presents: Conquering Chronic Pain! an interview with Dr. Ashley Eaves with the VUMC Pain Clinic! Watch Here.

Dr. Ashley Eaves answers the question: "Do you know your options when it comes to chronic pain?" Click the link above and watch as Dr. Eaves explores 6 key areas of wellbeing that can impact pain levels and recommends a variety of pain management options. Dr. Eaves teaches why there is no "one size fits all" answer to living with pain. 



Dr. D.J. Kennedy was recently interviewed by Fluent Knowledge for their "My Body Odyssey Podcast" about the Gokhale Method. The two episodes with Dr. Kennedy's commentary are now live! Listen Here: Episode 1  and   Episode 2

PM&R Chair, Dr. DJ Kennedy is featured in the January 2024 issue of “Medical Economics.”  The website article is entitled: “Creating a Patient-Centered Practice: Strategies for Improving Patient Satisfaction & Retention.”  Website Story Here.  You can also access the print story (January Issue Page 16) here

The publisher noted that Dr. Kennedy’s quotes were “insightful and compelling”: "Find a way to allow patients to schedule appointments online. For years, people have been able to book airline tickets online around the world. “Why not be able to do the same with your doctor?” said D.J. Kennedy…


Jeff johns update

Congratulations to Dr. Jeff Johns was appointed, for the third time, as Vice Chair of the ABPMR during their January 2024 Winter Board Meeting. See Announcement Here. 

PM&R is proud to announce that Dr. Jeff Johns has been named the Central Region Encompass Health Medical Directors Award Winner for 2023! Click here to read the Medical Notes ~ Encompass Health article! Congratulations

Dr. Cristina Kline-Quiroz, DO

Congratulations and thank you to Dr. Cristiana Kline-Quiroz for leading this important charge to introduce VICC, VUMC and our community to the numerous ways PM&R can help to improve oncology care. Whole Patient Care Article



Kudos to Dr. Aaron Yang's recent work as part of a collaborative article on "Myth Busting Running and Back Pain," in the April 22, 2023 issue of My Southern 

Dr. Aaron Yang was recently interviewed about new practices used by residents for interventional spine procedures. Click here to read the article.

Dr. Aaron Yang was recently interviewed for the Association of American Physiatrists podcast. Click here to listen to his interview on work/life balance and efficiency!



Congratulations to Dr. Stephen Schaaf for receiving his RMSK certification! He is currently the only non-radiologist VUMC provider with this certification. 

Dr. Stephen Schaaf's newest article "How to Avoid Running Injuries" is featured on Vanderbilt Health social media platforms. Read for great tips on enjoying running and avoiding injuries!