Spotlight on Elisabeth Bates, MSN, CPNP
Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center Provider Spotlight
Elisabeth Bates MSN, CPNP has a personal connection to cerebral palsy. Her commitment to cerebral palsy care spans beyond her daily work. Get to know Elisabeth in our spotlight and find out about her packed work week and other active projects in and outside of work.
1. How did you start working with people with cerebral palsy?
My interest in working with people with cerebral palsy was inspired by my paternal grandparents who both had cerebral palsy. They lived a full and vibrant life in NYC and Florida, and I am very grateful to have spent so much time with them growing up. I originally started my nursing career as a Registered Nurse (RN) in the cardiac care unit at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, but I feel as though the stars aligned when I started as a pediatric nurse practitioner in Pediatric Rehabilitation at CUIMC in August 2020. I am honored to have this opportunity to work with people with CP and their families.
2. Share with us what your week usually look like.
A typical week includes a mix of busy clinic days seeing patients with my counterpart, Dr. Hana Azizi, as well as independently. I also assist with botulinum toxin (Botox) injection procedures that are done in the endoscopy suite or operating room for patients who require sedation. In addition to clinical work, I spend time coordinating care, attending interdisciplinary meetings, interfacing with other departments and specialties, as well as answering patient messages and phone calls. No two days are the same, but that is part of the fun of the job!
3. You just returned from the AACPDM conference and presented on two projects. Can you share what you are involved with outside of your clinical practice?
At AACPDM, I was involved with two poster case presentations. I was also able to attend multiple sessions and workshops on a wide variety of topics related to the care of people with CP. I will be attending the AAPM&R annual assembly in November as well to assist with an ultrasound workshop focused on spasticity management. Outside of clinical practice, I am involved in a couple research projects, including one focused on the utilization of a digital app to promote adherence to a home exercise program for adults with CP. I am a member of a quality improvement group through the CP Research Network that is focused on learning about and creating guidelines for pain in adults with CP. I also really enjoy teaching, so in addition to teaching residents and medical students when they are with us during clinic days, I am involved with pediatric rehabilitation workshops for our PM&R residents.
4. You are a certified meditation teacher and certified yoga instructor. Tell us how you got interested in that and how it helps with your work with CP families.
I have always had a special interest in yoga and fitness, but my personal yoga practice really intensified when I was in nursing school as I found it to be extremely helpful in managing stress and anxiety. And when the pandemic hit, I found myself again leaning heavily on my yoga practice for grounding and stability during a very chaotic time. I decided to take it one step further and became a 200-hour registered yoga teacher in 2020, followed by certified meditation teacher in 2022. I am super passionate about making yoga and meditation accessible to all who are interested in participating. The most powerful tools in yoga are often the most subtle and accessible. Breathing practices and meditation are essential to the practice of yoga and provide enormous benefit. It is a goal of mine to continue to share this practice with patients and their families. Starting a YouTube channel or Instagram account has been an idea that has been floating around in my head for a while and will hopefully come to fruition soon!
Elisabeth Bates MSN, CPNP is a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at the Department of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine. View Elisabeth's profile here.