Susan Sienko, Ph.D., is a member of the clinical research team at the Portland Shriners Hospital. She works in partnership with researchers, physicians and other care providers both within the Shriners Hospitals for Children system and externally to conduct research studies that help further advance our knowledge of how the treatments offered to our patients improve their function, activity and participation.
Susan has devoted 28 years of her life to working at the Portland Shriners Hospital. With a degree in kinesiology, and a doctorate in systems science, she is particularly well-versed in gait abnormalities, and has worked in partnership with other physicians and clinicians on numerous research studies examining treatment efficacy. She is currently investigating to learn if children with cerebral palsy have similar gains and retention of skills following an intensive motor learning camp when dosed at various intervals.
Susan has been a member of the American Academy of Cerebral Palsy Developmental Medicine (AACPDM) since 1986 and has been involved in numerous committees. This has allowed her the opportunity to gain insight into the important role the society has in providing education and sharing knowledge with health professionals and researchers dedicated to the well-being of individuals with cerebral palsy and other childhood-onset disabilities. This September, Susan will accept the position of president of the AACPDM. This commitment to upholding a leadership position through the organization takes true dedication toward promoting excellence in research and advancing care for children with cerebral palsy and developmental disabilities.
“The society has been involved with many ground-breaking changes including the development of care pathways which provide professionals with evidence-based guidelines to inform practice,” said Susan. “Becoming president is a distinct honor. What we do and how we support research and education makes us better physicians, researchers and clinicians.”
The AACPDM is an internationally recognized organization that is at the forefront of leading the education of professionals involved with the treatment of cerebral palsy and developmental disabilities in children. Members consist of a variety of professionals in various disciplines who are united by a common goal to advance care options for cerebral palsy and childhood-onset disabilities. The organization facilitates an annual meeting to bring professionals together to collaborate, share findings and provide the opportunity to learn from one another. This year, due to COVID-19, Susan and the planning committee have a new challenge as they move the traditionally in-person AACPDM annual meeting to a four-day virtual event.
“The goal with an organization like this is to collaborate with clinicians and researchers around the globe and to disseminate findings to show that the care we give makes a difference in kids’ lives,” said Susan. “We are constantly systematically evaluating the best care options to make sure that the care we’re providing allows patients to be independent in their lives.”