University of Alabama at Birmingham, Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital
United States of America
Dr. Marcalee Sipski Alexander is a physiatrist that has spent much of her career studying sexuality and spinal cord injury. In conjunction with her collaborators Craig Alexander and Raymond Rosen she has conducted many laboratory based studies on women and men with SCIs to increase our knowledge about the impact of various SCIs on sexual arousal and orgasm. With a goal of making more practical use of her research, Dr. Alexander was instrumental in the development of the International Standards to Document Autonomic Function after Spinal Cord Injury and the International Male and Female Sexual Function Data Sets. Dr. Alexander edited the textbook Sexual Function in Disability and Chronic Illness and produced the video Sexuality Reborn. She is a past president of ASIA and chair of the ISCOS publications committee. She is also Editor-In-Chief of the journal Spinal Cord Series and Cases. Dr. Alexander is a Clinical Professor of Physical Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In addition she runs a Telemedicine Sexuality Clinic at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and is a Research Associate at Harvard Medical School.
John Walsh Centre for Rehabilitation Research
Professor Middleton is a Consultant Physician in Rehabilitation Medicine with 25 years of clinical and research experience in the field of spinal cord injury (SCI) medicine and rehabilitation. James is Director of the NSW State Spinal Cord Injury Service and also holds an academic appointment at the John Walsh Centre for Rehabilitation Research, The University of Sydney, making original contributions to the field through applied clinical research, knowledge translation, service delivery and innovation. He undertakes collaborative interdisciplinary research with local, national and international partners in areas broadly covering acute management, rehabilitation, outcome evaluation, psychosocial function, health maintenance, morbidity and mortality, life expectancy, pain management, work participation, knowledge translation, service development and utilisation. James has received over AUS$10M funding support for research over his career. He has authored or co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and 11 book chapters. James is a past President of the Australian and New Zealand Spinal Cord Society and actively involved in the International Spinal Cord Society as Chair of the External Relations Committee.
Dr. Vanessa Noonan is currently is the Director of Research and Best Practice Implementation at the Rick Hansen Institute. The focus of her research and clinical practice as a physical therapist has been in the area of spinal cord injury (SCI). She obtained her PhD from the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia. Her research examines processes and outcomes of care following SCI rehabilitation, with the goal of moving research into practice and creating standards of care. She has been actively involved with the Rick Hansen Spinal Cord Injury Registry, both nationally and internationally. As a representative from the RHI, she assisted with developing Accreditation Canada’s SCI Acute and Rehabilitation Standards and is one of the lead’s on RHI’s Access to Care and Timing (ACT) project which examines models of SCI care. In addition, she is part of the International SCI Data Set Committee, which has overseen the development of 20 data sets and has assisted with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Common Data Elements project for SCI.
John spent over 20 years as a Partner in the actuarial practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he worked mainly in system design and funding models for accident compensation, disability and health, and other areas of social welfare. In 2010 he was appointed to the Productivity Commission investigation which recommended the National Disability Insurance Scheme when it reported in July 2011. John is currently a Board member of the National Disability Insurance Agency, and also of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. He has an appointment as an Adjunct Professor to the University of Sydney.
Rick Acland has worked in spinal cord medicine in NZ for almost 20 years; having previously been an anaesthetist. He has witnessed many changes in the world of pain relief during his anaesthesia and rehabilitation career; he continues to work in neuromodulation. He has a keen interest in pharmacology and for many years was involved in the registration of new medicines in NZ. He has always been interested in the challenge of opioids in non malignant pain, the use of pharmacological agents to improve function, and spinal cord impaired persons use of marijuana. He is now 'semiretired'.
Bruckner Chase is an internationally recognized ocean advocate and professional waterman whose athletic career spans the world in the most challenging adventures on water and land through some of the harshest conditions imaginable. Bruckner’s athletic pursuits and innovative, evidence based initiatives provide opportunities to positively impact how we feel, think and act towards our oceans. In his capacity as an ocean sport and safety expert he works to develop professional events and educational initiatives for organizations from Red Bull to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service. As a former corporate executive who traded a traditional office for the ebb and flow of an aquatic-based career he understands that mutually beneficial partnerships with measurable positive impacts are the foundation for sustainable initiatives that benefit our oceans and our communities. He has designed, developed and implemented innovative and empowering ocean and community focused programs around the world from American Samoa to Poland. His Legion of Ocean Heroes Surf lifesaving Festival and Unified Team training program combine surf lifesaving sports training and athletes with spinal cord injuries to bring together communities in their local areas of New Jersey while also inspiring similar programs around the world.
Jo is a Senior Lecturer in postgraduate rehabilitation and Deputy Director of the Centre for Person Centred Research at Auckland University of Technology in Auckland, New Zealand. Jo came to research from a clinical background in vocational rehabilitation. Her current research focuses on work-(dis)ability, vocational rehabilitation and experiences of recovery and adaptation. Jo has a particular interest in analysing and addressing the relational nature of ability and disability - the powerful community and societal influences that shape how dis/ability occurs and what is possible for people experiencing disability, especially with regard to meaningful work and employment.
Tim Geraghty is a Rehabilitation Medicine Physician, Medical Chair of the Division of Rehabilitation, and Senior Staff Specialist, Queensland Spinal Cord Injuries Service (QSCIS), Princess Alexandra Hospital, Metro South Health. He is also Co-Chair of the Queensland Statewide Rehabilitation Clinical Network and has a keen interest in strategic planning and service development in rehabilitation medicine and rehabilitation services with the ultimate aim of improving services for people with a disability. He is the current Chair of the Policy and Advocacy Committee and President-Elect, Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine (AFRM, RACP). Dr Geraghty undertakes research in a range of areas related to spinal cord injury and rehabilitation medicine and has been a co-investigator on national and international spinal cord injury research projects. He is Professor of Rehabilitation, Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University and Deputy-Director of The (recently established) Hopkins Centre: Research for Rehabilitation and Resilience.
Peter Mactaggart is a Urologist at Princess Alexandra and QEII Hospitals in Brisbane, focusing on Neurourology and Urodynamics. Dr Mactaggart has visited the Spinal Injuries Unit at the Princess Alexandra Hospital for 20 years, assisting in the management of patients with urinary tract consequences of their injuries.
United Spinal Association
United States of America
James Weisman is President & CEO of United Spinal Association. He joined United Spinal (then called Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association) as an attorney in 1979. Eleven years before the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Weisman sued NYC's transit system and won bus access, key subway and rail station access and the creation of a paratransit program to supplement mass transit for those whose disabilities prevent them from using bus and rail systems. He also sued Philadelphia's transit system yielding similar results by 1988. Weisman was a key negotiator with members of Congress promoting the passage of the ADA, and the Act’s transportation provisions applied the agreements in NYC and Philadelphia to the whole country. He's a founding board member of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). His suit against NYC for curb ramps has resulted in a $243 million expenditure to date. United Spinal, led by Weisman, is active in the disability rights movement and was successful in getting NYC's yellow cabs to be 50% accessible by 2020. He is routinely consulted by advocates, attorneys, employers, real estate developers and others seeking to include people with disabilities in their workforce, programs and customer bases. He is a 1977 graduate of Seton Hall University Law School.