UT Health San Antonio faculty member and physician receives national honor

By Juanita Alvarez-Hernandez
Monica Verduzco-Gutierrez, MD

Monica Verduzco-Gutierrez, MD, of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (also known as UT Health San Antonio), recently received the 2021 Distinguished Member Award from the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AAPM&R).

The academy represents more than 10,000 physicians specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation. The awards presentation will take place virtually during the academy’s annual assembly Nov. 11–14.

A native of South Texas, Dr. Verduzco-Gutierrez earned her undergraduate degree at Rice University and her medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine. She completed her residency training in physical medicine and rehabilitation through the Baylor College of Medicine-UT Houston Rehabilitation Alliance.

The professor then moved to San Antonio in 2020 to lead UT Health San Antonio’s Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, based in the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine.

Dr. Verduzco-Gutierrez’s clinical expertise is caring for patients with traumatic brain injury, stroke rehabilitation and interventional spasticity management. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she developed a Post-COVID-19 Recovery Clinic to aid in the rehabilitative and recovery of patients with functional, mobility and cognitive deficits.

“I was deeply honored to hear that I was a recipient of this award,” Dr. Verduzco-Gutierrez shared. “The AAPM&R has supported me and provided many opportunities to hold national leadership roles earlier in my career. For that, I am very grateful and humbled to receive this honor.”

“The AAPM&R continues to support UT Health San Antonio’s missions of patient care and education,” Dr. Verduzco-Gutierrez added.  “During the COVID-19 pandemic, they helped organize a Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 Infection Collaborative that includes more than 30 clinics providing care for patients that had long-term effects of COVID.” The collaborative collects patient and treatment data to help characterize the long-term effects and help define standards of care for treatment.

Continuing her dedication to educational excellence, Dr. Verduzco-Gutierrez also co-directs the Intervention Spasticity Certification Program for the AAPM&R.

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