Cleveland, OH,
08:58 AM

MetroHealth Appoints Chair of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Richard Wilson, MD

The MetroHealth System has appointed Richard Wilson, MD,  as Chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R), a role in which he’s served on an interim basis since August 2023. He also is Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Case Western Reserve University.

Since joining MetroHealth in 2006, Dr. Wilson has held various leadership positions within the Department of PM&R including Director of Stroke Rehabilitation, Director of Inpatient Rehabilitation, Medical Director of Rehabilitation Therapy Services, Director of Neurological Rehabilitation, and Vice Chair. He is also Co-Director of the MetroHealth Center for Rehabilitation Research.

“It is humbling to follow past Chairs, such as Drs. John Chae and Gary Clark, whose vision and leadership allowed MetroHealth to become a top rehabilitation center in the region and nation,” Dr. Wilson said. Dr. Clark, who retired in 2022, was the founding chair of the PM&R Department for MetroHealth and Case Western Reserve. Dr. Chae was recently elevated to Executive Vice President and serves as Chief Academic Officer and Senior Associate Dean and Professor, PM&R and Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve.

“It is an honor to have the opportunity to work with this team who are recognized for their leadership in the field of rehabilitation. The physicians, nurses, therapists, psychologists and researchers in the Department of PM&R are passionate about improving the lives of those with disabilities – and I am excited to continue the mission and to reach new levels of success.”

Dr. Wilson's research expertise is in percutaneous peripheral nerve stimulation for the treatment of chronic pain. He serves as the Principal Investigator on two National Institutes of Health (NIH) R01 funded multi-site clinical trials for the treatment of chronic shoulder pain. He led the team that first demonstrated generalized hyperalgesia in hemiplegic shoulder pain, a finding that supports central sensitization involvement in persistent hemiplegic shoulder pain.

“Dr. Wilson is a nationally renowned physician-scientist, and we are deeply grateful for his commitment to MetroHealth and the individuals we serve,” said Christine Alexander, MD, Interim Executive Vice President, Chief Physician & Clinical Officer. “Under his leadership, we are confident the Rehabilitation Institute will continue to push the boundaries of medicine.”

Dr. Wilson has published over 30 peer reviewed articles, 50 abstracts, nine book chapters and one textbook. He has delivered over 60 national and international presentations and mentored nearly 100 students, residents, fellows, and junior faculty. Nationally, he serves on the Board of Trustees of the Association of Academic Physiatrists and as Deputy Editor of PM&R, the official scientific journal of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

“Elevating MetroHealth’s clinical and academic enterprises are key strategic priorities, and we are fortunate to have a leader in Dr. Wilson who has an impressive track record of doing just that,” said MetroHealth President and CEO Airica Steed, Ed.D, RN, MBA, FACHE. “He is the right leader at the right time to lead our nationally renowned Rehabilitation Institute where our team is actively engaged in translating pioneering research into life-changing treatments.”

Dr. Wilson graduated from the Medical College of Toledo. He completed his residency training at MetroHealth, serving as Chief Resident for one year. After joining the faculty, he completed a master’s degree in clinical research at Case Western Reserve as part of the NIH K12 Rehabilitation Medicine Scientist Training Program. He is Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

About The MetroHealth System

Founded in 1837, MetroHealth is leading the way to a healthier you and a healthier community through service, teaching, discovery, and teamwork. Cuyahoga County’s public, safety-net hospital system, MetroHealth meets people where they are, providing care through five hospitals, four emergency departments and more than 20 health centers. Each day, our nearly 9,000 employees focus on providing our community with equitable healthcare — through patient-focused research, access to care, and support services — that seeks to eradicate health disparities rooted in systematic barriers. For more information, visit