Today, May 8th, 2014, we are pleased to recognize the following amazing people, from journalists to clinicians to brain injury survivors and their family members, with the Annual Sarah Jane Brain Foundation Angel Awards. These prestigious awards are named after the leading experts in the world dealing with brain injury (the number one cause of death and disability for children and young adults up to age 25 in the U.S.), and are being given to some of the most prominent and accomplished members of the Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury (PABI) community, in recognition for their hard work and dedication to furthering the field.
This year’s Angel Awards:
The Dr. Sanjay Gupta Angel Award is presented to a journalist who has demonstrated leadership in advancing the knowledge of the brain as well as an understanding of the impact of brain injury and other brain-based disorders
- Angel Award Recipient: Bob Woodruff, is a journalist who sustained a serious brain injury in Iraq on January 29, 2006, while reporting on U.S. and Iraqi forces for ABC’s “World News Tonight.” 13 months after his injury he returned to ABC News and has continued to report from around the globe for the network. Bob and his wife, Lee, published an account of their lives after his injury, In an Instant: A Family’s Journey of Love and Healing. In addition, they started the Bob Woodruff Foundation, the non-profit dedicated to ensuring that post‑9/11 injured service members, veterans and their families thrive long after they return home. To date, the Bob Woodruff Foundation has invested more than $20 million in finding, funding and shaping innovative solutions across the country, reaching more than 1 million service members, support personnel, veterans and their families.
- About Sanjay Gupta: Dr. Gupta is the multiple Emmy-award winning chief medical correspondent for CNN, reporting on health and medical news for New Day, Anderson Cooper 360°, CNN documentaries and anchors the weekend medical affairs program, Sanjay Gupta, MD. He is a practicing neurosurgeon and an assistant professor of neurosurgery at Emory University Hospital and Grady Memorial Hospital, where he serves as associate chief of neurosurgery.
The Diane Gooch Angel Award is presented to a brain injury professional who advances the link between brain injury and other co-morbidities such as substance abuse or mental illness through their research
- Angel Award Recipient: John D. Corrigan, PhD, ABPP is the Director of the Division of Rehabilitation Psychology and a Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Ohio State University; Director of the Ohio Valley Center for Brain Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation; Project Director for the Ohio Regional Traumatic Brain Injury Model System, a multi-center, longitudinal research program funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research; Chair of the Executive Committee of the TBI Model Systems Project Directors; and he is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation.
- About Diane Gooch: Diane is the Co-Host of a weekly radio program, Radio LifeBoat, with her son, Mickey Gooch who is an aspiring young actor, comedian and writer recovering from the turmoil of years of life-threatening addiction to alcohol and drugs; Diane is a former New Jersey newspaper publisher and currently a principal in the Washington, DC-based Talk Radio News Service.
The Col. Jack H. Jacobs Angel Award is presented to a veteran who sustained a traumatic brain injury during war while they were under 25 years of age and who upon their return home continues to show leadership and courage
- Angel Award Recipient: Sergeant First Class (SFC) Cory Remsburg was severely injured on October 1, 2009, while serving his 10th combat rotation in Afghanistan deployed with US Special Operations Command, 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment and spent 3 ½ years at numerous hospitals recovering; he has received numerous medals and awards including the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal with Valor and President Obama recognized his leadership and courage during the 2014 State of the Union Address to Congress where he sat next to First Lady Michelle Obama
- About Jack Jacobs: Colonel Jacobs is a retired U.S. Army officer who was awarded a Medal of Honor for his historic actions during the Vietnam War and currently serves as a military analyst for MSNBC and Vice Chairman of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation.
The Dr. David Hovda Angel Award is presented to a clinician who exemplifies compassion and commitment for pediatric acquired brain injured children, young adults and their families
- Angel Award Recipient: Gerard Gioia, Ph.D., Chief, Division of Pediatric Neuropsychology and Director, Safe Concussion Outcome, Recovery & Education (SCORE) Program at Children’s National Health System; Professor, Departments of Pediatrics and Psychiatry, George Washington University School of Medicine
- About Dr. David Hovda: Dr. Hovda is the Director of the UCLA Brain Injury Research Center and immediate past-President of the International Nuerotrauma Society; he is also an advisor to the Pentagon on brain injuries.
The Dr. Kristjan Ragnarsson Angel Award is presented to a leading researcher who is advancing the field of pediatric acquired brain injury
- Angel Award Recipient: Peter D. Patrick, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Neuropsychology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Virginia Medical School; Professor, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
- About Dr. Kristjan Ragnarsson: Dr. Ragnarsson is a Professor and Chair of Rehabilitative Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and among many professional activities, he was Chairman of the NIH consensus Conference on Rehabilitation of Persons with Traumatic Brain Injury.
The Marilyn Spivack Angel Award is presented to a leading brain injury professional who has dedicated their career to supporting families who have a child with an acquired brain injury
- Angel Award Recipient: Barbara Geiger-Parker, President and CEO, Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey; Co-Founder and Chairman of Board, United States Brain Injury Alliance
- About Marilyn Spivack: Marilyn is the Neurotrauma Outreach Coordinator at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and Founder of The Brain Injury Association of America. The award is in honor of her daughter, Deborah, who sustained a brain injury due to a motor vehicle crash in 1975 when she was just 15-years old.
The Cynthia Gibbs Angel Award is presented to a parent or caregiver of a child or young adult with a PABI who has significantly advanced the field of PABI through their advocacy
- Angel Award Recipient: Teresa Morros; is the mother of 21-year-old Josh Morros who suffered a severe brain injury as the youngest professional motocross rider when he was 16 years-old; Josh set up an organization, Because I Can, and he bicycled across the country (2788 miles) with his mother and father riding behind him to raise awareness of brain injury; she is currently the President of the Head Injury Association of Northern Nevada
- About Cynthia Gibbs: Cynthia was shaken and killed by her baby-sitter when she was just eight months old; her legacy lives on in the daily advocacy her father, Darryl, has provided to hundreds of families across the country.
The Zachery Lystedt Angel Award is presented to a professional who advances the prevention, identification and treatment of brain injury in youth athletes and other at-risk groups
- Angel Award Recipient: Christopher C. Giza, M.D., Professor of Pediatric Neurology and Neurosurgery, UCLA Brain Injury Research Center, UCLA BrainSPORT: Sports Concussion – Mild TBI Program, Interdepartmental Programs for Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Mattel Children’s Hospital — UCLA
- About Zachery Lystedt: Zach is a remarkably brave 19-year old from Washington State who sustained a debilitating brain injury playing football in 2006 after returning to play too quickly following a concussion; and through his and his parents’ efforts they have inspired a national movement to prevent, identify and treat youth sports-related brain injuries
The Sarah Jane Donohue Angel Award is presented to a child or young adult suffering from a PABI who has strived to advance the field of PABI since sustaining their injury
- Angel Award Recipient: Bryan Steinhauer, CPA suffered a life-threatening brain injury after he was brutally attacked at Binghamton University when he was a senior honors student in 2008; he has set up an organization, Minds Over Matter to support young people with traumatic brain injury and while he was not expected to ever walk again after his brain injury, he ran in the 2013 NYC Marathon and currently works as a CPA at KPMG
- About Sarah Jane Donohue: Sarah Jane is an eight-year-old who suffers from an acquired brain injury due to abusive head trauma when she was just five days old; she is a student at The International Academy of HOPE (iHOPE) and she is eponymous with The Sarah Jane Brain Foundation.
To Learn More:
- Website of the Sarah Jane Brain Project
- Live webcast from the Award Ceremony Here (requires registration)
- Interview with Patrick Donohue: Reinventing Brain Care Through Policy, Standards, Tech, Neuroinformatics
- Lee Woodruff: the Bob Woodruff Foundation, and You, can help Traumatic Brain Injury survivors