Yaga Szlachcic, MD

Yaga Szlachcic, MD graduated from medical school in Warsaw, Poland, and completed her post-graduate training in Canada and California. Highly regarded for her skill and empathy as a physician, she served as Associate Chief Medical Officer and Chair of Medicine at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center. She has spent most of her medical career working with individuals with disabilities and has witnessed the impact an injury has on quality of life and social isolation. As a researcher at Rancho Research Institute (RRI), she spearheaded the awarding of grants from the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation to conduct RRI’s photography programs. She is also proud to have developed and led a federal grant-awarded project that studied cardiovascular risk factors in women with spinal cord injury. At the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine, Dr. Szlachcic holds an academic appointment in the division of Cardiology. Her research interests include women’s health, spinal cord injury, cardiovascular risk factors and secondary conditions, and quality of life improvement for individuals with physical disabilities. She has a firm belief that music and art, particularly the visual arts, provide opportunities for rising above difficult circumstances and creating new narratives and experiences to share with others. Her vision and perseverance have led to heartwarming success stories and will continue to do so as the photography program is refined and expanded to deal with ever-changing conditions.

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