Meet Ariana Vora, MD
Meet Ariana Vora, MD
ARIANA VORA MD IS WORKING to partner Spaulding with global leaders in integrative medicine. With the support of Dr. Ross Zafonte, Chief of the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at Spaulding/Harvard, Dr. Vora is coordinating collaboration between Spaulding and the Government of India’s Ministry of AYUSH. The goal of this partnership is to improve rehabilitation care by integrating current practice in the U.S.A. with traditional health approaches of India (Ayurveda). This involves connecting Spaulding with Ayurveda clinicians, researchers and educators to develop holistic treatments for common rehabilitation conditions such as osteoarthritis and stroke, and to enhance rehabilitation education for integrative health.
Board-certified in Integrative Medicine, Sports Medicine, and PM&R, with additional certification in Ayurveda and acupuncture, Dr. Vora leads national academic integrative medicine initiatives and most recently is Co-Chair of Complementary and Integrative Rehabilitation Medicine for the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine.
With Dr. Rick Leskowitz, Dr. Vora co-directs the Spaulding Integrative Medicine Task Force (IMTF). Many IMTF clinicians are already using Ayurveda-based approaches like yoga and meditation in specialized programs for stroke, traumatic brain injury, pain, and amputee rehabilitation. For decades, Spaulding has been a leader in integrative health, incorporating these and other integrative medicine treatments such as acupuncture, acupressure and massage. Members of the IMTF speak nationally on integrative medicine, host local educational events, and provide yoga instruction, weekly meditation classes, and hundreds of Reiki treatments to Spaulding patients and staff members free of charge.
In October 2017, Dr. Vora delivered a keynote address to an international delegation hosted by the Indian government in New Delhi, participated in international strategic planning in integrative medicine with the Minister of AYUSH, and signed a Letter of Intent between the Department of PM&R at Spaulding/Harvard and the Indian Ministry of AYUSH’s All-India Institute, an Ayurveda-focused academic medical center. The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, praised this collaboration with Spaulding in his televised address to the nation.
In April of 2018, Spaulding hosted Dr. Manoj Nesari, Advisor to the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India. During this visit, Dr. Nesari and Dr. Vora delivered a joint presentation at Spaulding on the Ministry of AYUSH’s work, Ayurveda for public health, and evidence-based practice. Dr. Nesari observed Dr. Vora’s patient encounters in Spaulding-Wellesley, in which she combines modern rehabilitation medicine with traditional Ayurveda and regenerative approaches. He met with researchers at Spaulding’s Neuromodulation Laboratory, Motion Analysis Laboratory, and Stroke Research and Recovery Institute. Dr. Nesari also met with Spaulding leadership to discuss further collaboration with the Ministry.
In July of 2018, Dr. Nesari and Indian Consul General Sandeep Chakravorty met with Dr. Zafonte, David Storto, and Dr. Vora, toured the hospital, and discussed ideas for collaboration in education and research. Following this meeting, the Consul General praised Spaulding and granted political clearance for a Memorandum of Understanding between Spaulding and the All-India Institute under AYUSH. Clearance from India’s Department of External Affairs is now in process. Once the agreement is formalized by the Indian government, it will facilitate the Ministry of AYUSH and Spaulding’s abilities to globally exchange expert clinicians and researchers, share resources, and build projects together with support from the Indian and U.S. governments, who have already agreed to formal collaboration on integrative medicine at the national level.
Dr. Vora said, “Spaulding patients already have access to excellent rehabilitation care. A relationship with the Ministry of AYUSH enables us to further extend our knowledge and enhance patient care by collaborating with experts in whole health paradigms such as Ayurveda. Extending our knowledge in this way will facilitate globally-informed best practices that improve health and quality of life for all.”
Imagine the Possibilities
At a time when scientific advancements can help make the impossible possible, an investment in rehabilitation medicine has never been more necessary—or more promising.
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