Title: Say Cheese! Helping Patients with Head and Neck Cancer Smile: An Acute Care Perspective Presenters: Jennifer Bochynski, PT, DPT (she/her); Helaine Firestein, PT, DPT (she/her); Jenelle Iannello, PT, DPT (she/her); Jennifer Miguel, PT, DPT (she/her)
Session Information: Physical therapists can literally help to bring a smile to their patient’s face through rehabilitation after cutting edge surgeries like facial reanimation. They can also address many other deficits that patients face after treatment for head and neck cancer which accounts for 4% of all cancers diagnosed in the United States. Although the prognosis of patients is improving due to advances made in chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, patients can continue to face significant disability after treatment. Patients are often found to have side effects from treatment affecting their strength, range of motion, activity tolerance, ability to emote through facial expressions, and ultimately their quality of life. Physical therapists as well as lymphedema therapists are in a unique position to provide preventative, restorative, supportive, and palliative care to patients diagnosed with head and neck cancer throughout their continuum of care. This educational session will provide an acute care perspective to review head and neck cancer diagnoses and treatments, discuss the potentially debilitating side effects, and explore the role that physical therapists play to address the complications from the sequelae of interventions.
Jennifer Bochynski PT, DPT, CLT, WCC is a Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Geriatric and Oncologic Physical Therapy working at Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Center in New York City. In her practice, she has the opportunity to work with many different patient populations within the oncology setting including adult, geriatric, and post-surgical. She works with the Head and Neck Cancer service and has the privilege to provide physical therapy and lymphedema therapy interventions to patients during the acute post-surgical stage as well through subsequent readmissions to the hospital. Jennifer graduated from the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at the State University of New York at Buffalo in 2010 and she is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education degree. She lives in Queens, NY with her
husband and 2 children.
Helaine Firestein, PT, DPT, CLT is a Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Oncologic Physical Therapy and works as Senior Physical Therapist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NYC. In her practice, she has had the opportunity to work with many different patient populations within the oncology setting including adult, pediatric, and geriatric post-op and medically complex patients. Currently, Helaine splits her time between MSK’s Outpatient Pediatric Gym and providing PT and lymphedema services on the acute care units, continuing to explore all of her interests within oncology rehabilitation. She presented an Educational Session at CSM 2020 entitled “A Novel Oncologic Treatment: The Role of Physical Therapy following CAR T-Cell Therapy.” Helaine graduated from Stony Brook University’s Doctorate of Physical Therapy program in 2016.
Jennifer Miguel PT, DPT, CLT is Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Oncologic Physical Therapy and works as an Advanced Clinician at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. Throughout her
experience as physical therapist and certified lymphedema therapist, she has had the opportunity to work with a variety of patients within the oncology setting including adult, pediatric, geriatric, and post-surgical patients of all levels of complexity in both the acute care/ICU and outpatient settings. Currently, Jennifer primarily provides physical therapy services for pediatric patients in MSK’s outpatient pediatric gym. She enjoys mentoring fellow staff with interests in pediatrics to expand their knowledge in developing treatment interventions and to optimize oncology rehab for pediatric patients. Jennifer graduated from Northeastern University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program in Boston, Massachusetts
Jenelle Iannello, PT, DPT, CLT is a Senior Physical Therapist working at Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Center in New York City. She started her career as a PT at MSK and has since worked there for the last 5 years. Within that timeframe she has worked with a variety of oncologic patient populations. She has discovered a passion for treating patients with head and neck cancer, including those with both complex physical therapy and lymphedema therapy needs. Jenelle graduated from the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 2016 and became a certified Lymphedema therapist through Norton School of Lymphatic Therapy in 2018.