The Region’s Leading Spine Experts from MedStar Union Memorial Hospital Address Common Back Pain in a Live Online Forum

Aimed to bring relief to the 8 out of 10 people suffering from back pain, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital will host a free one hour Spine Webcast on Thursday, March 26 from 7 to 8 p.m.

March 20, 2015

Baltimore—(March 20, 2015)—Aimed to bring relief to the eight out of ten people suffering  from back pain, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital will host a free one hour Spine Webcast on Thursday, March 26 from 7 to 8 p.m.  Moderated by WMAR-TV news anchor Kelly Swoope, the Spine Webcast will feature five of Baltimore's top spine expertsincluding orthopaedic surgeons, a neurosurgeon, psychiatrist, and physical therapist—in an engaging question and answer session focused on the latest in the diagnosis and treatment of common back and spine conditions.

As the first spine team in Maryland to receive the Joint Commission’s Spine Surgery Gold Seal of Approval, the spine program at MedStar Union Memorial is well-respected in the region for the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of back and spine disorders. The program brings together a variety of skilled specialists with experience in a wide range of spinal conditions, including some of the most complex conditions seen in orthopaedic medicine. The multidisciplinary team, including orthopaedic spine surgeons, neurosurgeons, physiatrists, nursing staff, physical and occupational therapists, radiologists, and an interventional pain management team, are focused on bringing relief to patients through both operative and nonoperative treatment.

During the webcast, participants can log on to to watch streaming video and chat live with the experts. Viewers also can participate in the event on Facebook and on Twitter, by following the hashtag #AskMedStar.

Meet the panelists:

Paul Asdourian, MD, is chief of Spine Surgery at MedStar Union Memorial. He is board certified in orthopaedic surgery and fellowship trained in spine surgery. His expertise is reconstructive spinal surgery, treating adult spinal deformity, spondylolisthesis and degenerative disc disease. For more than 25 years, Dr. Asdourian has utilized state-of-the-art techniques in the diagnosis and treatment of failed cervical and lumbar decompressions and fusions. Dr. Asdourian has been named a Baltimore magazine Top Doctor in 2014 and 2013. 

Zeena Dorai, MD, is chief of Neurosurgery at MedStar Union Memorial. She is a board-certified neurosurgeon with advanced fellowship training in brain and spine tumors. Dr. Dorai has extensive expertise in the surgical treatment of degenerative cervical and lumbar spine disease and brain conditions. Her philosophy is to perform the least invasive, most effective procedure available, specifically tailored to each patient. She has been named a Baltimore magazine Top Doctor in Neurosurgery most recently in 201

Justin Tortolani, MD, is the director of Research and Education for the MedStar Union Memorial Spine Program. He is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon, fellowship trained in spine surgery. His vast experience includes treating all disorders of the spine, including herniated discs, spinal stenosis and spondylolisthesis. He is considered an expert in the field of cervical disc replacement surgery. Dr. Tortolani's special interests include spine research and treating adults and children with spinal deformities (scoliosis and kyphosis). He was named a Baltimore magazine Top Doctor in 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011.

Morvarid Yousefi, MD, is a physiatrist (rehabilitation and physical medicine specialist) whose clinical practice emphasizes the non-surgical management of musculoskeletal diseases. Her special interest and advanced training includes interventional joint procedures, musculoskeletal ultrasound, and regenerative cell therapies, such as prolotherapy, to treat various orthopaedic conditions.

Amy Davis, PT, graduated from Towson University with a Bachelor’s degree in physical education and a concentration in athletic training. She worked for a year at MedStar Union Memorial as an athletic trainer before returning to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore to receive a second Bachelor’s degree in physical therapy. Amy returned to MedStar Union Memorial in the acute care department. Over the last 20 years, she has worked in sports medicine, home health, the comprehensive inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient rehabilitation and now works in orthopaedic acute care as a clinical specialist. Amy has also worked as a lab assistant in both Functional Mobilization I and Back Education and Training and frequently teaches pre-surgical patient education courses.

Meet the moderator:

Kelly Swoope, an award-winning TV news anchor, has been with WMAR, ABC 2 News in Baltimore, MD since 2003, when she started as a medical reporter and weekend anchor. Prior to that, she spent nine years in Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida at WFTS. Kelly has a demonstrated commitment to the community and is an active member on the Susan G. Komen Maryland board.

For more information or to pre-register for the Spine Webcast, click here. Registrants will have a chance to win an iPad® Mini (restrictions apply). To learn more about spine services at MedStar Union Memorial, click here.

About MedStar Union Memorial Hospital

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is a not-for-profit, 249-bed acute care teaching hospital with a strong emphasis on cardiac care, orthopaedics and sports medicine. As one of the region's top specialty hospitals, MedStar Union Memorial has been caring for members of the community for more than 160 years.

We are renowned for The Curtis National Hand Center, Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Heart Institute, and our Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine program. In addition, we offer a comprehensive range of inpatient and outpatient services including diabetes and endocrinology, eye surgery, general surgery, oncology, thoracic surgery, vascular surgery and palliative care.

MedStar Union Memorial was among the highest rated Maryland hospitals based on Consumer Reports rankings in 2013, and is the only hospital in Maryland to receive the Delmarva Foundation’s highest honor, the Excellence Award for Quality for Hospitals, for six years in a row.

MedStar Union Memorial has ranked among the nation’s top 50 “Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report, earning national recognition for seven consecutive years. Our excellence in care also has been recognized by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Award), the American College of Cardiology (ACTION Registry Award) and Thomson Reuters (Top Hospitals®: Cardiovascular Benchmarks for Success).

MedStar Union Memorial is accredited by The Joint Commission (TJC). We are 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 also is designated as a Primary Stroke Center and the Hand Trauma Center for the state of Maryland.

MedStar Union Memorial is a proud member of MedStar Health, a non-profit, regional healthcare system with 10 hospitals and more than 20 other health-related services in the Maryland and Washington, D.C. area.


Media Contact:

Megan Lutz
[email protected]

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