Newswise — Young patients at New York City’s Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) will soon see their doctors in a new light. The hospital is sponsoring a ski trip for patients with cerebral palsy and other disabilities, and their orthopedic surgeons will be skiing alongside them at Windham Mountain on February 15.
The Adaptive Sports Academy at HSS enables pediatric patients with physical disabilities to participate in athletic activities they never dreamed possible. Some have had multiple surgeries to improve their mobility and have been patients at HSS for years. Dr. David Scher, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon specializing in treating people with cerebral palsy, is one of the doctors who’ll trade his hospital scrubs for snow garb this month.
The Adaptive Sports Academy sponsors trips and recreational activities at no cost to participants to build their self-confidence, encourage independence and increase mobility.
Adaptive sports programs promote physical activity for people with disabilities. Trained volunteers from the Adaptive Sports Foundation at Windham will provide instruction and adapt equipment for participants.
So far, 10 patients ranging in age from 8 to 16 have signed up for the trip. Most have cerebral palsy or another condition that affects body movement, muscle control, posture and balance. Some of the young people use a walker or walking canes, but that won’t stop them from hitting the ski slopes. Previous outings, including rock climbing and surfing, have proven to be a life-changing experience for them. Many had never participated in a sport due to a physical challenge.
“The Adaptive Sports Academy gives our patients a chance to develop new skills and interests, and it promotes mobility and activity. It also reinforces therapy goals by engaging participants in a new activity and requiring them to use their bodies in a new way,” explains Dr. Lisa Ipp, chief of Pediatric Medicine at HSS. “They always feel empowered after trying a new activity and succeeding.”
Dr. Scher, who enjoys skiing, has been on previous adaptive ski trips to encourage his patients and cheer them on. He skis alongside them, taking photos and videos to capture their enjoyment.
“It’s a fun and novel experience for the kids, an opportunity for them to be outside, to get the feeling of using their body in a different way,” he says. “For the first time, many can experience that feeling of going fast down a hill, and it’s exhilarating for them. It’s also fun for me to interact with the kids and their parents and to see their happiness.”
The ski trip will take place at Windham Mountain Resort, 19 Resort Dr, Windham, NY, on February 15, with skiing from 10 AM to 3 PM.
The Adaptive Sports Academy is sponsoring a number of additional activities this year, including a sports clinic focusing on basketball and soccer in New York City in April; tennis at the National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York in May; therapeutic horseback riding in Mount Kisco, New York in July; and an adaptive surfing trip in Long Beach, Long Island in August.
About HSS | Hospital for Special Surgery
HSS is the world’s leading academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. At its core is Hospital for Special Surgery, nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics (for the eighth consecutive year) and No. 3 in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report (2017-2018). Founded in 1863, the Hospital has one of the lowest infection rates in the country, and was the first in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center four consecutive times. An affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College, HSS has a main campus in New York City and facilities in New Jersey, Connecticut and in the Long Island and Westchester County regions of New York State.
In 2017 HSS provided care to 135,000 patients from 80 countries, and performed more than 32,000 surgical procedures. In addition to Patient Care, HSS leads the field in research, innovation, and education. The HSS Research Institute comprises 20 laboratories and 300 staff members focused on leading the advancement of musculoskeletal health through prevention of degeneration, tissue repair, and tissue regeneration. The HSS Innovation Institute was formed in 2015 to realize the potential of new drugs, therapeutics and devices; the global standard total knee replacement was developed at HSS in 1969, and in 2017 HSS made 130 invention submissions (more than 2x the submissions in 2015). The HSS Education Institute provides continuing medical curriculum to more than 15,000 subscribing musculoskeletal healthcare professionals in 110 countries. Through HSS Global, the institution is collaborating with medical centers worldwide to advance the quality and value of care, and to make world-class HSS care more accessible to more people.