Tamara Bushnik, PhD, FACRM
|Past President, ACRM Board of Governors|
Director of Research
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine
Rusk Rehabilitation, NYU Langone Medical Center
New York, NY, USA
Tamara Bushnik, PhD, FACRM, is Past President of ACRM, having served from October 2011 until November 2013. She has been the director of rehabilitation research at the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine at New York University Langone School of Medicine since August 2009. Dr. Bushnik held the same position at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC; San Jose, CA) from February 1999 through her move to New York City.
Her research focus is firmly in the realm of post-acute recovery following acquired brain injury with a particular emphasis on the underlying mechanisms creating the common debilitating sequelae of fatigue, sleep problems, and decreased community participation. Although Dr. Bushnik began her career in rehabilitation research with a focus on spinal cord injury, she rapidly changed direction when she went to work at SCVMC and met Dr. Jeffrey Englander, one of the principal investigators on the first cycle of Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems of Care (TBIMS) grants in 1987.
Within two months of beginning the position at SCVMC, Dr. Bushnik was introduced on a conference call to Mitchell Rosenthal, PhD, ABPP, who was lead of the TBIMS Dissemination Committee. Looking back through the 20/20 lens of hindsight, she recognizes how Dr. Rosenthal quietly mentored her over the ensuing years to become chair of the TBIMS Dissemination Committee, Program chair of the ACRM Annual Conference (2006-2009), an ACRM Board member, and, finally, president of this wonderful organization.
While she was not part of the Early Career Networking Group now established at ACRM, she benefited immensely from her interaction with a more senior ACRM member and rehabilitation researcher/clinician, who took an interest in her career, and helped to develop and direct her energies toward ACRM. Dr. Bushnik proudly wears the Canadian flag in her heart, which has helped to reinforce the current drive to expand the influence of ACRM beyond the United States.