BALTIMORE — (December 20, 2016) —Dr. Raymond Wittstadt, attending hand surgeon at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital’s Curtis National Hand Center, is the first practicing physician in Maryland to hold a credentialing certificate in performing arts medicine from the Performing Arts Medicine Association and the American College of Sports Medicine. Dr. Wittstadt received the certification at Cornell Weill University in July. It’s the first time in the 40-year history of the Performing Arts Medicine Association (PAMA), that the organization has offered a certificate of expertise in the field of performing arts medicine.
Founded in 1989, PAMA is an organization comprised of dedicated medical professionals, artists, educators, and administrators from all over the globe, whose common goal is to improve the health care of the performing artist.
“Physicians were able to claim PAMA membership,” Dr. Wittstadt said, “but there was never any formal training in performing arts medicine. This certification makes me even more proud of the hard work we do here at MedStar Union Memorial and the Curtis National Hand Center, and it helps the patients understand how dedicated we are to treat and care for them.”
Musicians are known as small muscle athletes, because much like sports players, who are known as large muscle athletes, musicians practice for extraordinary hours each day, year round. Overuse injuries are common among them and they too are “sidelined” with instrument specific tendon, nerve and muscle damage.
Performing arts physicians and therapists evaluate physical fitness, posture, hand and arm positions, tension on strings and other factors, to teach techniques that will deter injuries. The specific needs of an instrumentalist may dictate potential risks, as well as corrective therapy and surgery, if needed.
For more than 15 years, Dr. Wittstadt, along with physical therapist and certified hand therapist Lauren Valdata, and Karen Guertler, an Alexander Technique therapist, has treated hundreds of patients who attend a monthly musicians’ clinic at the Curtis National Hand Center. Patients include young, old, amateur and professional musicians. Dr. Wittstadt has been the go-to professional for several Baltimore Symphony Orchestra musicians.
Maryland is currently the only state MEDCHI (Maryland State Medical Society) with a performing arts medicine committee.
For more information on the Curtis National Hand Center or the MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, please visit medstarunionmemorial.org.
About The Curtis National Hand Center
Since 1975, people all over the world have placed their hands in ours – The Curtis National Hand Center. From repairing traumatic injuries to treating repetitive motion injuries, arthritic conditions and congenital differences, our goal is to restore the patient's use of the hand, wrist, arm, elbow and shoulder to the greatest degree possible. Our long history of experience, outstanding medical staff, and state-of-the-art facilities combine to create a treatment center that is the first choice in caring for the hand or arm, no matter how common or complex.
Today, The Curtis National Hand Center is recognized as the largest, most experienced hand center in the nation. In fact, the hand center was designated by Congress as the National Center for the Treatment of the Hand and Upper Extremity.
About MedStar Union Memorial Hospital
MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is a not-for-profit, 223-bed acute care teaching hospital with a strong emphasis on cardiac care, orthopaedics and sports medicine. With roots stemming back to 1854, MedStar Union Memorial has provided high-quality care for 160 years. As one of the region's top specialty hospitals, MedStar Union Memorial is home to: The Curtis National Hand Center, the only hand center designated by Congress as The National Center for the Treatment of Hand and Upper Extremity; MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute, a premier cardiovascular program in the mid-Atlantic, aligned with Cleveland Clinic Heart and Vascular Institute, the nation’s #1 heart program; and MedStar Union Memorial Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, the oldest hospital-based Sports Medicine Program in Maryland (founded in 1979). In addition, MedStar Union Memorial offers a comprehensive range of inpatient and outpatient services including oncology, diabetes and endocrinology, general surgery, thoracic surgery, vascular surgery and palliative care.
MedStar Union Memorial is accredited by The Joint Commission (TJC). It is the first hospital in Baltimore to receive spine certification by TJC, and the first in the state of Maryland to receive advanced certification for palliative care. MedStar Union Memorial is also TJC-certified in hip and knee replacement and CARF-accredited in Curtis Work Rehabilitation Services, and has been designated as a Primary Stroke Center and the Hand Trauma Center for Maryland.
MedStar Union Memorial is a proud member of MedStar Health, a non-profit, regional health care system with 10 hospitals and more than 20 other health-related services in the Maryland and Washington, D.C., area.
For more information, visit MedStarUnionMemorial.org.