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ACRM 2017 Board of Governors Election


Voting members of ACRM will receive an email invitation to participate in the 2017 ACRM Board of Governors Election survey.  If you believe you are a voting member and do not receive a link to the survey, please check your spam or junk folder and contact to confirm your member status.

If you need technical assistance with the election survey, please contact Cindy Robinson.









Stephanie Kolakowsky-HaynerStephanie Kolakowsky-Hayner PHD, CBIST, FACRM
Associate Professor of Research, Department of Physical
Medicine and Rehabilitation, Icahn School of Medicine at
Mt. Sinai, New York, NY

I am honored to be nominated as ACRM Board of Governors (BOG) President Elect. I have been a member of ACRM for over ten years and have served on the BOG as Member at Large since 2014. Throughout the past ten years I have also served as Chair of the Early Career Development Course, Awards Committee Chair, International Networking Group Conference Task Force Co-Chair, and on a number of other committees/taskforces. It has been a pleasure serving this premier international interdisciplinary organization focused on rehabilitation research.

Professionally, I have over 20 years progressively independent experience in rehabilitation research regarding brain injury, spinal cord injury, and stroke. I am currently an Associate Professor of Research in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, within the Icahn School of Medicine, at Mount Sinai.

I have accepted this nomination to continue to serve the Board, ACRM staff, and members in growing our organization in a fiscally responsible manner. Working with President Dr. Debbie Backus, the ACRM BOG, ACRM staff, and members, I anticipate developing new, and expanding existing, programming; and continuing to recruit early career and international professionals to strengthen and increase the reach of this already worldwide interdisciplinary organization.

I have a long history of service as Co-Chair of the 4th Federal Interagency Conference on Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI); the Immediate Past Chairman of the Brain Injury Association of California; Member of the Academy of Certified Brain Injury Specialists’ Board of Governors; Member of the Community Advisory Board of the Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium; and as the Vocational-Community Issues Panel Chair for the BIAA/Mount Sinai Guidelines for Rehabilitation and Chronic Disease Management of Adults with TBI development project.

I look forward to the opportunity to continue my history of service as ACRM President Elect and thank you in advance for your vote. —Stephanie


Megan Mitchell (Damcott)Megan Mitchell (Damcott), PhD

I am honored to be considered for the position of President-Elect for ACRM. As a biomedical engineer, I work on interdisciplinary teams with individuals from many backgrounds: researchers, clinicians, therapists, vendors and consumers. I have the ability to speak the language across these spectrums and more importantly, to listen. Goals of researchers are not necessarily those of clinicians or encompass the primary needs of the consumer.

Success comes from listening and balancing the needs and goals across the team. This strength is critical to the presidency of ACRM and for continuing the progress of the organization.

I have been very active within ACRM and taken advantage of several opportunities; serving in leadership positions and listening to needs of the membership. As Chair-elect (2013-2014) and Chair (2014-2017) of the Early Career Networking Group, I worked on initiatives to disseminate resources and promote communications for early career members, including establishing liaisons with each ISIG and NG and building a Mentoring Task Force. As Co-Chair of the Technology Networking Group (2015-2017), I’ve supported interdisciplinary teams by promoting initiatives which bring ACRM members together with industry.

As the Early Career Member-at-large on the Board of Governors (2014-2017), I have gained firsthand knowledge and mentorship from ACRM leaders and acknowledge the incredible support ACRM gives early career individuals. Veteran members of ACRM have great experience and wisdom, without whose strong mentorship, I would not be where I am today. Therefore, I would continue to support our recent growth, while maintaining the principles and strengths that ACRM has been built upon.

I believe that ACRM provides a unique, critical venue to foster interdisciplinary networks, teams and initiatives. Coupled with my experience in ACRM leadership, this has instilled a great passion for the organization. I am eager to serve in the capacity of President-Elect.


Pamela Roberts

Cedars-Sinai Health System
Director of Academic and Physician Informatics
Professor and Director of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Co-Director Division of Informatics

I am honored to be nominated for the position of ACRM President Elect. Over the past 18 years I have progressively increased my involvement in ACRM in order to promote its mission to be the preeminent organization for the advancement of rehabilitation science through research and clinical practice.  In my role as Program Committee Chair, I have led the development of quality programming for the annual conference for the past 3 years, using my talent for mobilizing and organizing our members. Recognizing the potential for the stroke community to have a home, I worked with colleagues to establish the Stroke Networking Group which rapidly grew into a Special Interest Group, of which I am currently Chair. These experiences demonstrate my exceptional vision and strategic skills which are essential for leadership. My experience in administration, teaching, service, advocacy, research, and policy shape my perspective and demonstrate the broad range of qualifications that I can bring to this position.

If elected, my focus will be to serve as a catalyst for inquiry and discovery, with the vision of promoting a network of partners for research, evidence-based practice, and education to increase the distinct value for its members and society.  I will work with the BOG to strengthen our global presence to advance rehabilitation science and health care delivery worldwide.  I will facilitate collaborative research through connecting with ACRM groups to systematically disseminate findings to influence and promote rehabilitation science.

Overall, my depth of experience across practice enhances my qualifications for President Elect.  If elected, I will bring my enthusiasm and creativity to increase the expertise that is represented by the members, leaders, and staff of ACRM and grow the interprofessional rehabilitation research community globally.

Thank you for considering me to represent you as President Elect on the ACRM Board of Governors.



Yuying ChenYuying Chen, MD, PhD
Associate Professor  & Director
National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center
University of Alabama at Birmingham

I am grateful to be nominated for the Member-at-Large position on the ACRM Board of Governors. I have been a member of ACRM since 2006 and actively participated in the SCI-ISIG over the last 6 years, serving on the Secondary Complications and Aging Task Force as well as on the Executive Committee as Treasurer, Chair-Elect, and currently Chair. Throughout my involvement in the SCI-ISIG, I truly enjoy working with other committed SCI professionals to increase the quantity and quality of SCI content at the annual conferences, engage members in ACRM activities, and further the growth and mature of the SCI-ISIG into one in which all individuals of diverse disciplines who are involved in SCI rehabilitation worldwide can network and develop professionally. Building upon my positive experiences with SCI-ISIG, I would appreciate the opportunity to expand my service to serve ACRM as a whole and continue to make meaningful contributions to this organization.

I am currently an Associate Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. My research focuses on the epidemiology and secondary conditions after SCI. I am also the Director of the National SCI Statistical Center and provide consultation to investigators who are interested in analyzing data from the SCI Model Systems database for research. I am presently a member of the Editorial Board of the Topics in SCI Rehabilitation, Oversight Committee of the NINDS SCI Common Data Elements, International SCI Data Set, Research and Prevention Committees of the American Spinal Injury Association, and Prevention Committee of the International Spinal Cord Society.

ACRM is a family to me, where I find loving supports, unprecedented opportunities to grow, and exceptional partnership in pursuing academic dreams. I would like the opportunity to serve and help advance ACRM mission of IMPROVING LIVES of people with disabling conditions.


Patricia HeynPatricia C. Heyn, PhD, FGSA, FACRM
Associate Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Research Associate, Center for Gait and Movement Analysis (CGMA) at Children’s Hospital Colorado
Research Associate, The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Advancing Technologies to Enhance Independence for Adults with Cognitive Impairments (RERC-ATACI)
Associate Faculty, Movement Disorders Center, Neurology School of Medicine
University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus, Denver, CO
Faculty Associate, University of Maine Center on Aging, Bangor, ME
Chair, Neurodegenerative Disease Networking Group, ACRM

I am honored to be nominated for member-at-large on the ACRM Board of Governors. I am a cognitive geriatric rehabilitation researcher and I am the chair of the ACRM Neurodegenerative Diseases Networking Group and the chair-elect of the ACRM Complementary and Integrative Rehabilitation Medicine Group.  She started and chairs the Applied Cognitive Task Force (ACTF) for the ACRM Measurement Networking Group (MNG) since 2014. The MNG Applied Cognitive Task Force is composed of two productive and active working groups and each group is systematically evaluating the evidence on (1) pharmacological treatments for cognitive function on individuals with TBI and (2) brain gaming training for older individuals with cognitive impairments.

I have significant leadership roles in many scientific professional committees developing mentorship approaches for early career women investigators as well as scientists from diverse background. I am well known for my investigations on exercise training for older individuals with cognitive impairments. My meta-analysis study on the effects of exercise training for individuals with dementia for many years has been the Top 25 SciVerse ScienceDirect: Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Hottest Article.

My investigations include biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease and identifying preclinical stages of chronic disease development, such as metabolic syndrome and mild cognitive impairment. My research has international recognition and was featured in the La Nación, Argentina’s leading newspaper and is frequently cited in various media such as, WIKIBOOKS, ABC 7 News and the Alzheimer’s Association.


Mark HirschMark A. Hirsch, PhD
Sr. Scientist, Carolinas Rehabilitation
Director, Carolinas Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Core Laboratory
Director, Resident Research Education (PM&R)
Dept of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Carolinas Medical Center
Adjunct Associate Professor & Associate Graduate Faculty, UNCC
Chair Elect, Neurodegenerative Disease Networking Group, ACRM

Mark A. Hirsch, PhD is Senior Scientist, Carolinas Rehabilitation, Department of PM&R, Director, Resident Research Education (PM&R) and PM&R lab, Adjunct Associate Professor, University of North Carolina, Charlotte NC campus. He received his PhD at Florida State University (1996) with a thesis titled “Activity-dependent enhancement of balance in Parkinson’s disease”.  He received post-doctoral training on an NIH T32 neurorehabilitation research fellowship at Johns Hopkins Medicine (1996-1999), Department of PM&R (with Prof. B. DeLateur) and at Neurology Dept, Heinrich-Heine University Dusseldorf, Germany (with Prof. H. Hefter).

Hirsch has been with ACRM since 2008 and the Neurodegenerative Diseases Networking Group since 2013, member of ACRM Program Committee and ACRM Complementary Integrative Rehabilitation Medicine Group, Chair-Elect NDNG, Chair NDNG Awards Task Force. In 2016 the NDNG Awards Task Force developed the ACRM Women in Neurodegenerative Disease Rehabilitation Science Award, given to acknowledge world-class rehabilitation research conducted by a female scientist in neurodegenerative disease.  Hirsch works with physicians and therapists who want to give patients a more active role in their healthcare and he promotes greater patient/provider collaboration in the healthcare system. He believes patients are the most underutilized resource in healthcare today and envisions a system he calls ‘participatory healthcare’.

In 2007 together with Dr. Sanjay Iyer, and Carolinas Rehabilitation PM&R, he founded the Parkinson Network which in 2011 received funding from the Park Foundation and became known as RENEW Carolinas Parkinson Initiative (Research-and-Education-in-NeuroWellness), an innovative regional healthcare concept to improve the quality of care in PD that now includes 96 therapists at 11 outpatient PT and fitness clinics in Mecklenburg county NC. Because of its excellence in patient care and evidence-based quality improvement RENEW received the “Ray of Hope Award” in 2016.

Hirsch serves on committees and boards internationally and has published over 80 publications including over 50 peer reviewed international papers.


Dawn NeumannDawn Neumann, PhD
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, IU School of Medicine Clinical Research Associate, Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana (RHI) Director, IU InterFACE Center at RHI (A Human Observation Lab) Founder, EmotEd, LLC

I am interested in serving on ACRM’s Board of Governors (BOG) as a Member-at-Large. I joined the ACRM family 10 years ago and have enjoyed being an active member. I am a BI-ISIG member and am currently serving my second term as the BI-ISIG Program and Awards Officer. For the last 3 years I have been a member of ACRM’s Program Committee.  From 2012-2014, I was ACRM’s BOG Early Career Member-at-Large, during which time I pioneered the development of the Early Career Networking Group (ECNG), which I Chaired. Under my leadership, more than 400 people joined our ECNG. I also became Chair of the ECNG Communications Task Force and spearheaded the first Early Career Newsletter, which led to the production and dissemination of more than 20 newsletters during my tenure. I have also been an active member of the Early Career Development Course since 2010.

I am an Assistant Professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Clinical Research Associate at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana (RHI), and Director of the Indiana University Interactive and Functional Assessment of Communication and Emotion Center at RHI. I started my career as a Cognitive Therapist in the mid-90’s, but decided to get my doctorate in Rehabilitation Science. My research passion is fueled by my desire to improve emotional and psychosocial outcomes for people with TBI through evidence-based clinical research. In 2013, I was honored to receive ACRM’s Deborah L. Wilkerson Early Career Award. I have also had the pleasure of serving on the editorial review board for the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation since 2012.

In closing, I am eager to continue working with ACRM to continue advancing rehabilitation outcomes for people with TBI and other disabilities.  Thank you for considering my nomination.


Vishwa RajVishwa Raj, MD
Vice-Chairperson of Clinical Operations for Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Medical Director, Director of Oncology Rehabilitation and Medical Director of Admissions, Carolinas Rehabilitation
Chief of Cancer Rehabilitation, Levine Cancer Institute

THANK YOU for your nomination to run for the Board of Governors. For the past four years, it has been my distinct pleasure serving as co-chair of the Cancer Rehabilitation Networking Group. With the support of the ACRM, the CRNG has made tremendous progress (with 4 continuous tracks at last year’s annual conference, and membership greater than 400), and is well positioned to have an impact on all aspects of oncology rehabilitation, including clinical care, education, and research.

As the landscape of medicine evolves, so too does the role of rehabilitation in healthcare. Now more than ever, it is important to advocate for the value proposition of rehabilitation medicine. I have been fortunate to hold leadership positions throughout my system, including the current positions of Associate Professor, Medical Director for Carolinas Rehabilitation, Director of Oncology Rehabilitation for Carolinas Rehabilitation, Chief of Cancer Rehabilitation for the Levine Cancer Institute, and Vice-Chair of the Department of PM&R at Carolinas HealthCare System. The ability to traverse administrative, clinical, and research domains has been particularly important to the success of our rehabilitation program, and has offered me a unique perspective in understanding how to integrate rehabilitation into the spectrum of care as it relates to quality reporting and healthcare expenditures.

The ACRM is fortunate to have a diversified multidisciplinary membership, who can provide expertise when attempting to navigate the intricacies of the current healthcare environment. If given the opportunity to serve on the Board of Governors, I would like to help the ACRM develop strategies for advocacy, programming, and research that show this value throughout the healthcare continuum.

With the growth and development of these initiatives, we will be well poised to support our clinical, academic, and research missions consistent with the current regulatory and legislative environment. Thanks so much for your consideration!



Brad KurowskiBrad G. Kurowski, MD, MS
Director, Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program
Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Department of Pediatrics and Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
Cincinnati, OH

It is a tremendous honor to be nominated to serve the ACRM as a Member-at-Large on the Board of Governors. I am a rehabilitation physician with subspecialty certification in pediatric rehabilitation and brain injury medicine. The culture of ACRM aligns highly with my passion for developing interdisciplinary clinical and research programs.

I have participated in ACRM in various capacities: organizer and/or speaker for numerous instructional courses and symposia; co-founder of the Physicians and Clinicians Networking Group (PCNG); and member of the Brain Injury SIG and various task force and networking groups within ACRM, including the Early Career (ECNG) and Pediatric Rehabilitation (PRNG) Networking Groups. As an active member who led and participated in these groups, I have gained an understanding of the inner workings of ACRM. If elected, these experiences will help me to be effective as a Member-at-Large on the Board of Governors.

At my institution, my clinical and research work has focused on traumatic brain injury. I have helped to build interdisciplinary clinical and research programs focused on improving recovery and function of youth and young adults after brain injury. My research has focused on: (1) characterizing a biopsychosocial model of recovery through understanding individual, injury-related, and socio-environmental factors associated with recovery and (2) optimizing management through understanding the influence of medical and rehabilitation treatments on recovery. My teaching, program development, and research experiences will enable me to provide these perspectives to the Board of Governors as a Member-at-Large.

I am extremely excited for this opportunity. If elected, I plan to use the knowledge and expertise gained from my prior career experiences and work within ACRM to promote the mission and values of the organization. I will do my best to continue to add value to this already very strong organization. Thank you for your consideration.


Brooks WingoBrooks C. Wingo, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Occupational Therapy
University of Alabama at Birmingham

I am honored to be nominated for Early Career Member at Large of the ACRM Board of Governors. I am an assistant professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Department of Occupational Therapy. My research focuses on understanding the role of dietary patterns on the cardiometabolic health of individuals with mobility disabilities, developing lifestyle interventions tailored for this group, and establishing valid measures of body composition in adults with mobility disabilities. I received my PhD in 2010 and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Comparative Effectiveness Research in the UAB Center for Outcomes and Effectiveness Research and Education (COERE) and the Department of Nutrition Science.

I joined ACRM in 2013, and joined the Early Career Networking Group (ECNG) the same year. I have been a member of the Early Career Development Course task force since 2014. In 2015, I co-founded the Early Career Mentoring Task Force. Since developing this task force, we have successfully launched a number of programs including the Mentoring Lunch within the Early Career Development Course, the Ask the Mentor column in the ECNG newsletter, and the ECNG Outstanding Mentor Award. We are now working to expand the mentoring programming to include a mentor-matching program. I am now Chair-Elect of the ECNG. In this position, my goals are to continue the outstanding growth of the ECNG seen over the last few years and to continue to grow opportunities for mentoring and career development for early career members.

By serving as the Early Career Member at Large of the ACRM Board of Governors, I hope to be a voice for early career members to the broader ACRM leadership. I feel my past experiences within ACRM make me an excellent candidate for this position, and I look forward to the opportunity to serve in this role.



Jennifer BognerJennifer Bogner, PhD, ABPP, FACRM
Professor and Vice-Chair of Research and Academic Affairs
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Ohio State University

I am a Professor and Vice-Chair of Research and Academic Affairs in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Ohio State University.  I am also the Director of Rehabilitation Psychology.  As a board-certified rehabilitation psychologist, I have worked in the field of rehabilitation for 25 years.   I am an Associate Editor for the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation.   I have led or co-led multiple investigations primarily focused on behavioral and emotional regulation, community participation, and the effects of a lifetime history of traumatic brain injury.

As the current Secretary for ACRM, I have participated on the Executive and Finance Committee, which involves attention to and decision-making in regard to key issues facing ACRM.  I have also maintained and updated the ACRM Policies and Procedures Manual and Bylaws, and assisted with tracking progress toward the achievement of ACRM initiatives.  These documents are used to guide the everyday work of the organization and help maintain focus on ACRM’s goals and mission.

ACRM represents all that I value in the rehabilitation field—collaboration between professionals from a range of disciplines, countries, and stages of career to accomplish the goal of discovering and implementing the best rehabilitation practices to optimize outcomes for persons with disabling conditions.
If elected to continue as Secretary, I believe that I can help further the purpose and mission of the ACRM.