Guest post by E. F. Shaw Wilgis, M.D.
The Curtis National Hand Center, originally led by Dr. Raymond Curtis and three of his colleagues, was founded in a trailer on a porch of Union Memorial Hospital in 1975. This trailer, which housed a rudimentary therapy and rehabilitation unit, effectively married clinical treatment with the post-treatment therapy and rehabilitation so desperately needed by patients to restore the function of their hands.
The rehabilitation section of the Curtis National Hand Center now houses fifteen therapists and rehabilitation specialists, as well as a social worker who attends to the psychological needs of patients who have lost some function of their hands.
Our hand surgery training program began with one hand fellow. Now, it produces five completely trained hand specialists each year utilizing the comprehensive knowledge of fourteen hand surgery experts on the clinical faculty.
A Hand Center Research Division was the last component to complete the build-out of the Curtis National Hand Center. Several key projects have added to the hand treatment knowledge tree for the care of the hand compromised by trauma, arthritis, and other conditions affecting hand function.
The following webcast features five hand surgeons and one hand therapist. Together, they discuss advances in treatment. They also answer questions from the audience. This webcast complements our book, The Wonder of the Human Hand: Care and Repair of the Body’s Most Marvelous Instrument, which was written for the general audience by hand specialists from the Curtis National Hand Center.
E. F. Shaw Wilgis, M.D., is one of the founding members of the Curtis National Hand Center, where he served as chief from 1983 to 2000 and research director from 2000 to 2013. He is the author of Vascular Injuries and Diseases of the Upper Limb.