Biographical Information for Lessons Learned in Medical Rehabilitation and Re-Integration: An International Perspective

Course Directors

Dr. Rory A. Cooper

Distinguished Professor, FISA/PVA Chair, Department of Rehabilitation and Technology, University of Pittsburgh 
Director, Human Engineering Research Laboratories
VA Rehabilitation Research and Development Center of Excellence fore Wheelchairs and Associated Rehabilitation Engineering
Pittsburgh, PA

Contact Information
Human Engineering Research Laboratories
VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System
6425 Penn Avenue, Suite 400
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
(412) 822-3700 

Rory A. Cooper, PhD received the BS and MEng degrees in electrical engineering for California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in 1985 and 1986, respectively. He received the Ph.D. degree in electrical and computer engineering with a concentration in bioengineering from University of California at Santa Barbara in 1989. He is FISA & Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) Chair and Distinguished Professor of the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, and professor of Bioengineering, Mechanical Engineering, Physical Medicine & Rehab, and Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Cooper is Founding Director and VA Senior Research Career Scientist of the VA Rehabilitation Research and Development Center of Excellence in Pittsburgh. He is also the Co-Director of the NSF Quality of Life Technology Engineering Research Center, a joint effort between the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University.

He is the Editor of the journal Assistive Technology and the AT Research Book Series of IOS Press. Dr. Cooper serves or has served on the editorial boards of several prominent peer-reviewed journals in the fields of rehabilitation and bioengineering. He has received multiple prestigious awards to include the Olin Teague Award, Paul Magnuson Award, U.S. Army Outstanding Civilian Service Medal, James Peters Award, Maxwell J. Schleifer Award,DaVinci Lifetime Achievement Award, Veteran’s Leadership Program Veteran of the Year, and a member of the inaugural class of the Spinal Cord Injury Hall of Fame. Dr. Cooper has authored or co-authored over 200 peer-reviewed journal publications. He has ten patents awarded or pending. Dr. Cooper is the author of two books: Rehabilitation Engineering Applied to Mobility and Manipulation and Wheelchair Selection and Configuration, and co-editor of An Introduction to Rehabilitation Engineering, Care of the Combat Amputee, and the Warrior Transition Leader Medical Rehabilitation Handbook. Dr. Cooper is an elected Fellow of the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), and the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES). Dr. Cooper has been an invited lecturer at many institutions around the world, for example the National Academies of Sciences Distinctive Voices Lecture, and was awarded Honorary Professor at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Xi’an Jiatong University. He has also been elected to Eta Kappa Nu, Tau Beta Pi, and Sigma Xi honorary societies.   

Dr. Cooper is a former President of RESNA, and a member of the RESNA/ANSI and ISO Wheelchair Standards Committees, and IEEE-EMBS Medical Device Standards Committee. In 1988, he was a bronze medalist in the Paralympic Games, Seoul, Republic of Korea. He was on the steering committee for the 1996 Paralympic Scientific Congress held in Atlanta, GA, and the Sports Scientist for the 2008 U.S. Paralympic Team in Beijing, China. In 2009, Dr. Cooper was featured on a Cheerios cereal box for his many achievements. He has been a member of the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services – Medicare Advisory Committee, Steering Committee of the Academy of PM&R on Research Capacity Building. and Chair of the National Advisory Board on Medical Rehabilitation Research, National Institute of Child Health & Human Development, and National Academy of Sciences Keck Foundation Initiative on Human Health Span Steering Committee. Dr. Cooper is a U.S. Army veteran with a spinal cord injury and a Director of the Paralyzed Veterans of America Research Foundation. He currently serves as a member of the U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Prosthetics & Special Disability Programs Advisory Committee, U.S. Department of Defense Health Board Subcommittee on Amputation and Orthopedics, and the Board of Directors of Easter Seals. Dr. Cooper has actively collaborated with the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre on increasing access to quality services and devices for people with disabilities in India and throughout developing countries.

COL Paul F. Pasquina


Colonel (RET), U.S. Army Medical Corps
Residency Director and Chair, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation  
Director, Center for Rehabilitation Sciences Research
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

Contact Information
Center for Rehabilitation Sciences Research
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
8901 Wisconsin Ave.
Bethesda, MD 20889


Paul F. Pasquina, M.D. is the Residency Director and Chair, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Director of the Center for Rehabilitation Sciences Research at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.  Dr. Pasquina retired from the United States Army Medical Corps in 2012 as Chief of the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and the Director of the Center for Rehabilitation Sciences Research (CRSR) at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS).   He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and USUHS.  In addition to being board certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R), he is also board certified in Electrodiagnostic Medicine and Pain Medicine.  He completed a fellowship in sports medicine and remains interested in all aspects of musculoskeletal medicine especially as it applies to individuals with disabilities. 

He is the specialty consultant to the Army Surgeon General for Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and a Secretarial appointee on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Advisory Committee for Prosthetics and Special Disabilities Programs.  Dr. Pasquina has authored multiple book chapters, journal articles and policy papers.  He has served as the PM&R Residency Program Director and Medical Advisor to the North Atlantic Regional Medical Command for quality healthcare. He has received multiple military awards, as well as awards for teaching and mentorship, including the U.S. Army’s “A” Proficiency Designation for academic excellence, the Order of Military Medical Merit, and Honorary Fellow of the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA).

Guest Faculty and Presenters 

LCol Markus Besemann, MD

LCol Markus Besemann, MD

Dip Med Sport (CASEM) 

Canadian Forces Physical Rehabilitation Program


LCol Markus Besemann received his medical training at the University of Ottawa graduating in 1988.  He was a General Duty Medical Officer with the Canadian Forces Health Services from 1989-1993, serving at CFB Valcartier (Quebec City), in Cyprus, at National Defense Medical Center and at National Defense Headquarters in Ottawa.  He completed his residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in 1996.   He re-enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces in 2008 to create and lead the CF Physical Rehabilitation Program.  His primary areas of interest are sports medicine, pain management and wilderness medicine.  He is actively involved in high level rehabilitation activities for injured and ill CAF personnel through Soldier-ON and the True Patriot Love foundation, including the climbing of Island Peak in Nepal (2012), the Magnetic North Pole expedition (2014) and Mount Vinson, Antarctica (2016).  In 2012, he led the first Nijmegen-Marches (160km) team composed of ill and injured CAF service members including two amputees. In 2014 he was awarded the AMSUS rehabilitation award.

Dr. Michael Crouzat

Dr. Michael Crouzat

Canadian Special Operations Regiment (CSOR)



Dr. Michael Crouzat graduated medical school at the University of Western Ontario, in 1997.  He completed Family Medicine Residency at the University of Ottawa, in 1999.  Dr. Crouzat worked in Northern Ontario with First Nations communities form 1999 to 2000.  He began working as CFB Petwawa in November 2000, as civilian Medical Officer. Dr. Crouzat became a qualified flight surgeon in 2002 and Advanced Dive Medical Officer in 2005.  He obtained his diploma in Sport Medicine in 2009. Dr. Crouzat began working with Canadian Special Operations Regiment (CSOR) in 2010. He is an avid outdoors enthusiast, Stand up Paddle boarder and marathon canoe racer.

Dr. (COL) Alan Mistlin

Dr. (COL) Alan Mistlin

Rehabilitation Medicine, Rheumatology

Frimley Park Hospital, United Kingdom



Dr. Alan Mistlin is a consultant in Rheumatology and Rehabilitation Medicine specializing in inflammatory joint disease and musculoskeletal pain, injuries and Sport and Exercise Medicine. He also has an interest in mild traumatic brain injury (concussion). His areas of interest also include Rheumatology, Rehabilitation, Sports injuries, Intra-articular and soft tissue injections, as well as Concussion.  Dr. Mistlin has studied at FRCP Royal College of Physicians in 2011, MSc (Sports and Exercise Medicine) in London University 2001 and FFSEM Royal College Surgeons at Edinburgh, 2008.  

Col (Ret.) Agali Mert, MD, PhD, MHSc

Col (Ret.) Agali Mert, MD, PhD, MHSc


Royal Netherlands Airforce



Col (Ret.) Agali Mert, MD, PhD, MHSc is a retired Colonel of the Royal Netherlands Airforce and has worked as a flight-surgeon and physiatrist at the National Military Rehabilitation Center in The Netherlands. He’s been deployed to Iraq and Kyrgyzstan. His field of work encompasses a.o. orthopaedic and pain rehabilitation. He’s an expert in developing and implementing VR, E-health and Serious Game solutions in Health Care (e.g. PTSD treatment for veterans). His new field of interest is social robotics. He’s a founding member of the Quality Label Serious Health Games in The Netherlands. He has authored and co-authored publications in the field of military medicine, Virtual Reality/Serious Gaming and rehabilitation. He’s an author of a popular science book on using gaming principles in real life. 

Robyn Collins

Robyn Collins

State Manager

Western Australia




Robyn Collins was appointed the first ever Head of RSL DefenceCare in August 2012. She joined RSL DefenceCare to professionalize its services and implement a best-practice, client-focused service model. The organization has a team of qualified professionals including social workers, counsellors, mediators and advocates and works closely with the Australian Defense Force, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, health providers and other organizations to help Defense families in times of injury, illness and crisis. RSL DefenceCare’s professional approach is unique in the ex-service community in Australia and demand for its services continues to increase. In 2015, the organization responded to just under 5,000 calls for assistance and provided services on a number of Defense bases. In 2016, RSL DefenceCare expanded to a second state in Australia and has recently been approached to take over the operations of another major veteran’s charity. Dr. Collins’ background includes both commercial and not-for-profit sectors in Australia, with nearly 15 years in the financial sector and an equivalent time in a not-for-profit charity specializing in children and family services.  Whilst she has formal qualifications in economics and journalism, her specialty is leading organizations through transformational change. On a personal level, Dr. Collins is passionate about helping the Defense community.  Her father and mother both served in Australia’s Defense Force in WWII. Her sister was an Army Reservist, and almost all her uncles served in WWII and cousins, in Vietnam.

Faculty Disclosure

No members of the planning committee, speakers, presenters, authors, content reviewers and/or anyone else in a position to control the content of this education activity have relevant financial relationships with any proprietary entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services, used on, or consumed by, patients to disclose.

No significant financial relationships with commercial entities were disclosed by:

No relevant financial relationships with commercial entities were disclosed by:

COL (Ret.) Paul F. Pasquina, MD, Course Director

Dr. Robyn Collins                                           Col(Ret) Agali Mert

LCol Markus Besemann                                 Vice Admiral Raquel C. Bono

Dr. Rory A. Cooper                                        Dr. Michael Crouzat              

COL Alan Mistlin                                           Amy Donovan, Course Coordinator


The following information was disclosed:

Rory Cooper, PhD, Course Director.   Patent Agreements: AT Sciences; Three Rivers Holdings.

CME Accreditation and Designation Statement 

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and Policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine and the Center for Rehabilitation Science Research at the Uniformed Services University for the Health Science.  The University Of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The University Of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of hours. AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Other health care professionals are awarded 0.6 continuing education units (CEU's).


Disclaimer Statement

The information presented at this CME program represents the views and opinions of the individual presenters, and does not constitute the opinion or endorsement of, or promotion by, the UPMC Center for Continuing Education in the Health Sciences, UPMC/University of Pittsburgh Medical Center or Affiliates and University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Reasonable efforts have been taken intending for educational subject matter to be presented in a balanced, unbiased fashion and in compliance with regulatory requirements. However, each program attendee must always use his/her own personal and professional judgment when considering further application of this information, particularly as it may relate to patient diagnostic or treatment decisions including, without limitation, FDA-approved uses and any off-label uses.