Biographical Information for Promoting Successful Community Reintegration After Trauma

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 

Josie Badger

Josie Badger, Ph.D.

President, J Badger Consulting Inc. President

Dr. Badger received her Bachelor’s degree from Geneva College in Disability Law and Advocacy, a Master’s from the University of Pittsburgh in Rehabilitation Counseling, and a Doctorate from Duquesne University in Healthcare Ethics.  In 2014 Josie founded J Badger Consulting Inc. where she provides consulting services for organizations including the PEAL Center, on transition and leadership development.  She is the Co-Director of the national RSA- Parent Training and Information Center technical assistance center (RAISE). She is also the campaign manager of the #IWantToWork Campaign, to improve the employment of people with disabilities.  She serves as a board member of the United Way of Southwestern PA and FISA. In 2012, Dr. Badger was crowned Ms. Wheelchair America.  Previously, she was an author for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention for the book Launching into Adulthood and she served as president of the National Youth Leadership Network and the Pennsylvania Youth Leadership Network (PYLN).

Dan Standage

Dan Standage, M.A. COMS

Director of Disability in Education

Student Veterans of America

Dan Standage is the national authority on Disability in the student veteran space.  His experience as a Marine, Chapter leader, student veteran resource center director, and project coordinator for congressionally-directed research on veteran reintegration, provides a level of expertise that is both unique and valuable.  As Director of Disability in Education at Student Veterans of America, and co-chair for the AHEAD-Veterans special interest group at Association on Higher Education and Disability, he is working to change the landscape of disability design in higher education.  His strategic plan focuses on effective, veteran-inclusive communication, using servant leadership to change the veteran culture around disability, and connecting employment in a more meaningful way.  In addition, he is collecting data and conducting primary-source research in this exclusive field and demographic.  He holds a BS in Rehabilitation and a MA in Peripatology from The University of Arizona.  Connect with him on LinkedIn and contact him by email.

Kenneth O. Preston

Kenneth O. Preston

Sergeant Major of the Army (Retired)

Association of the United States Army


Sergeant Major of the Army Kenneth O. Preston served as the 13th Sergeant Major of the Army from January 15, 2004 to March 1, 2011.  He retired as the longest serving Sergeant Major of the Army with more than seven years in the position.  He continues to support soldiers and their families as the Director of Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier Programs at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA).  As Sergeant Major of the Army, Preston served as the Army Chief of Staff's personal adviser on all Soldier and Family related matters, particularly areas affecting Soldier training and quality of life. He devoted the majority of his time in this position to traveling throughout the Army serving as a force provider for leaders at all levels of responsibility, overseeing Soldier and unit training, manning and equipping challenges, and talking to Soldiers and their Families to understand their needs, personal hardships and challenges serving a Nation at war.

He continues to support military service members and their families through his volunteer work serving on the Board of Directors for the United Services Organization (USO); Homes for Our Troops, a national non-profit organization assisting severely injured Veterans and their families by raising money, building materials and professional labor, and by coordinating the process of building a home at no cost to the Veterans and their families; the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University, the Armed Forces Benefit Association, the General Electric Military Advisory Board, the Army Historical Foundation, and the Armor and Cavalry Historical Foundation.  He serves as co-chair for the Chief of Staff of the Army’s Retiree Council, member of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS) and is a member of the Army and Air Force Exchange Retiree Council.  

Amy Lane

Amy Lane

Clinical Instructor

Department of Rehabilitation Science & Technology

University of Pittsburgh

Amy Lane is a Clinical Instructor in the Department of Rehabilitation Science & Technology at the University of Pittsburgh.  She manages and operates the Adaptive Driving Program, a comprehensive driver rehabilitation program located in the Center for Assistive Technology. She has more than 30 years of clinical experience, practicing as an Occupational Therapist in the physical rehabilitation field.  In 2000, she earned a specialty certification as a Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist. She has presented regionally, nationally and internationally on the topic of driver rehabilitation and community mobility.  She is an active participant in the Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists (ADED), an international driver rehabilitation organization, recently completing two presidential terms on the board of directors. She is currently chair of ADED’s leadership development committee, former chair of the publications committee and former editor of the organization’s quarterly publication. She has collaborated with NHTSA, the American Occupational Therapy Association and ADED on special projects and panel related to fitness to drive, driver rehabilitation, and defining the spectrum of driver rehabilitation programs.

Douglas A. Etter

Douglas A. Etter, CH (COL)

Division Chaplain

Manager, Public and Community Relations

Lebanon VA Medical Center

CH (COL) Douglas A. Etter currently serves as Division Chaplain for the 28th Infantry Division, responsible for 12,000 soldiers and managing 27 Unit Ministry Teams.  He is also the manager of the Public and Community Relations department at the Lebanon VA Medical Center in Lebanon, PA.  He is a Veteran of Two Combat Tours of Operation Iraqi Freedom 2005-2006 and 2008-2009, and the recipient of the Combat Action Badge, Two Bronze Star Medals and Twenty Other Military decorations.  CH (LTC-P) Etter is a graduate of Chaplain Officer Basic Course, Chaplain Advanced Course, Chaplain Lieutenant Colonel Course, Command and General Staff College and the US Army War College.  CH(LTC-P) Etter received the Bachelor of Arts in History and Religion from Grove City College, Grove City, PA, in 1982, graduating Cum Laude.  He furthered his education at Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 1987 with a Masters Degree in Divinity.

CH(COL) Etter is also an ordained Presbyterian minister and a state certified Paramedic.  His hobbies include high altitude mountaineering, rock climbing and backpacking.  Mr. Etter has published several articles and book chapters.  He is currently the co-editor of a book, Warrior Reintegration, published in November 2014.



Joshua Marino

Joshua Marino, SGT(ret) 

Veteran Mentor

Human Engineering Research Laboratories

Joshua Marino is an 8+ year Veteran of the US Army, with both domestic and combat experience. He was wounded in action during a mortar attack in Baghdad, Iraq, in 2007 and was medically discharged under honorable circumstances in 2009. He has earned his Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences and his Masters Degree in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling through the University of Pittsburgh, and currently serves as an education and outreach coordinator with the Human Engineering Research Laboratories. Josh has established good relations with numerous organizations across the greater Pittsburgh area, including the University of Pittsburgh’s Office of Veteran Services and PittVets, Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania, the VA Vocational Rehabilitation offices and staff, Operation Valor Arts, and Operation StrongVet. Josh also volunteers with Three Rivers Adaptive Sports throughout the year, and serves as a mobile mechanic cyclist on the Hand Cycle Assistance Team for various marathons throughout Pittsburgh. 

Nancy B. Adams

Nancy B. Adams, M.S., CRC

U.S. Army Warrior Care and Transition Directorate

Ms. Nancy B. Adams serves the Warrior Care and Transition Program as the Division Chief for Career and Education Readiness. In that capacity she coordinates the CER Division’s efforts in developing policy, program initiatives and offerings to Soldiers supported by WCTP and AW2 career and education programs.  Prior to working for the Army Warrior Care and Transition Program, Ms. Adams worked as the Branch Chief, Military Training for the Defense Contract Management Agency in Springfield, Virginia from 2005-2010. In this joint assignment she coordinated acquisition training and professional military education for all military personnel assigned to DCMA.  Ms. Adams has served as an Army Education Services Specialist at Fort Belvoir, VA; Ft. Myer, VA; and at Patton Barracks, Heidelberg, Germany. She also managed the Army Career and Alumni Program offices in Heidelberg and Mannheim, Germany from 1999-2000.  Ms. Adams has held counseling positions at San Diego State University, San Diego Community College, Northern Virginia Community College and the Arlington Employment Center in Arlington, VA. Her degrees include a Bachelor of Arts in European History from the University of Virginia, and a Master of Science degree in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling from San Diego State University. Ms. Adams is a graduate of the USDA Executive Potential Program for senior level federal employees, and a recipient of the Exceptional Civilian Service Award, Commander's Award for Civilian Service and the Superior Civilian Service Award for her work with Wounded Warriors. Ms. Adams is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. (Current as of July 2017) she was inducted into the Order of Military Medical Merit, which honored her distinguished service.

SgtMaj Michael T. Mack

SgtMaj Michael T. Mack

United States Marine Corps

SgtMaj Michael T. Mack enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1986 and attended recruit training at 3rd Recruit Training Battalion Parris Island, SC.  After a long and successfully career serving in various locations, duties assignments of increasing responsibly, Sergeant Major Mack was selected to the rank of Sergeant Major in October 2008. In May 2011, SgtMaj Mack reported for duty at Recruiting Station Orange County, 12th Marine Corps District.  May 2013, SgtMaj Mack reported for duty of the Wounded Warrior Regiment. February 2016.  SgtMaj Mack had his relief and appointment/retirement ceremony and was officially retired from the United States Marine Corps on 01 July 2016 after 30 years of faithful service.  After retirement in March of 2016 Mr. Mack began a career with Warriors4Wireless as the National Director for Employment Programs.  In this capacity Mr. Mack was responsible for collaborating with Veteran Service Organizations, Transition Offices of all branches of the military and several Institutions of higher learning.  Currently, Mr. Mack is the Founder and CEO of Mack Strategic Solutions which is a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business. Mack Strategic Solutions employs service disabled veterans for careers in the General Administrative, Information Technology and Procurement careers.  Mr. Mack also serves as the Program Manager for the U.S. Ability One Commission Veteran Employment Initiatives.  In this capacity Mr. Mack works with several DOD, Veteran Service Organizations, Veterans Affairs, Profit and Non Profit organizations to employ Veterans of the Wounded, Ill and Injured community. SgtMaj Mack’s personal awards include; Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal in lieu of 2nd Award, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal in lieu of fifth award, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal in lieu of second award, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal in lieu of eighth award, National Defense Medal in lieu of second award, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon in lieu of third award, Iraqi Campaign, Afghanistan Campaign, NATO ISAF Afghanistan, and the Drill Instructor ribbon.

Karen Ferguson Malebranche

Karen Ferguson Malebranche

Executive Director, VA/DoD Health Affairs

Ms. Karen Ferguson Malebranche, RN, MSN, CNS, is the Executive Director for VA/DoD Health Affairs. She was formerly the Deputy and Acting Chief Officer for the Office of Legislative, Regulatory and Intergovernmental Affairs, the Executive Director for the Operation Enduring Freedom/ Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) from September 2007 to January 2009.  Col. (Ret.) Malebranche served 31 Years in the U.S. Army as an active duty soldier, nurse, senior health systems analyst and program manager in various clinical and administrative roles. Ms. Malebranche served on the Department of Defense Recovering Warrior Task Force as the Veterans Affairs representative from 2011 to 2014.  She also served on the President’s Task Force for Returning Global War on Terror Heroes in 2007. She currently serves on the Federal Health Care Center (FHCC) Advisory Board.  She co-chairs the Interagency Care Coordination Committee’s Policy and Oversight subgroup that serves both Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs in coordinating the care for the wounded, ill, and injured.  Ms. Malebranche received her undergraduate degree in nursing from the University of Portland, OR and her graduate degree from Vanderbilt University in Tennessee.

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.   


CME Accreditation and Designation Statement 

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of 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 6.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. 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) which are equal to 6.5 contact hours.


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, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences or the Department of Defense.  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.