SpinalColumn - Shepherd Center

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The Magazine of Shepherd Center: Providing Medical Treatment, Research and Rehabilitation | spinalcolumn.org
A Reach that
the Globe
Shepherd Center
extends its
successful brand of
injury rehabilitation
to an international
on an
Shepherd Center staff and former patients spread
the word on how to prevent catastrophic injuries on
the road, off the road and in the water.
Doctors as
Doctors gain new
insight as patients.
Device helps drivers
with brain injuries.
Former patient now a
Shepherd nurse.
Residents learn from
Shepherd physicians.
Summer 2010
The Magazine of Shepherd Center
Summer 2010
Photo by Gary Meek
Letter from James Shepherd
Dear Friends,
Shepherd Center has world-class facilities that are unmatched by any other rehabilitation
hospital specializing in spinal cord and brain injuries. While we are blessed to have
these facilities – thanks to our generous donors – we are most proud of our staff's
accomplishments. Their efforts drive the excellent patient care and outcomes we deliver.
Our staff has fully embraced the values and standards of excellence that my parents and
I – along with Drs. David Apple, Herndon Murray and Allen McDonald – established early
on in our vision for Shepherd Center. Together – and under the leadership of CEO Gary
Ulicny – we have a passion for innovation. It gives us a clinical edge, which translates to
rehabilitation care that exceeds expectations and sets the bar above our peers elsewhere.
Here are some examples of the excellence and commitment of our staff:
•Shepherd Center nurses pursue advanced certifications through professional
organizations, including: Association of Rehabilitation Nursing; American Association
of Critical Care Nurses; International Association of Multiple Sclerosis Nurses; and the
Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society.
•Shepherd Center therapists do the same through the American Physical Therapy
Association; American Society of Hand Therapists; American Occupational Therapy
Association; Consortium of MS Centers; and the Rehabilitation Engineering and
Assistive Technology Society of North America.
•Our case managers pursue these certifications through the Case Management
Society of America, National Association of Social Workers and the American Case
Management Association.
•Our case managers recently received a national “Case in Point” Platinum Award for
Excellence in Case Management for Rehabilitation Programs.
•Our nursing staff was recognized in 2009 by the American Nurses Association with the NDNQI Award for Outstanding Nursing Quality™ in the category of
Rehabilitation Hospitals.
Also, Shepherd Center has helped thousands of people return to an active and productive
lifestyle through therapeutic recreation. Some former patients even participate in
competitive adaptive sports through one or more of the 12 sports team we sponsor. And we
have some star athletes, such as Curtis Lovejoy, who have earned medals at the Paralympic
Games, as well as in national and world championship competitions.
These accomplishments provide evidence that Shepherd's staff is dedicated to
delivering excellent care. Our visitors see it in the smiles and determination on the faces
of our patients and staff. Like proud parents, we couldn’t be more pleased.
Shepherd Center
2020 Peachtree Road, NW
Atlanta, Georgia 30309
[email protected]
Jane M. Sanders
Soloflight Design
Contributing Writers
Lauren Angelo, Sara Baxter, Larry
Bowie, Amanda Crowe, Kayla Eubanks,
Dean Melcher, Ivy Oxendine, Anne
Pearce, Cara Puckett, Bill Sanders,
Midge Tracy
Contributing Photographers
Leita Cowart, Neil Dent, Louie Favorite,
Kristen Bartlett Grace, Beth N. Gillem,
Billy Howard, Gary Meek
Board of Directors
James H. Shepherd, Jr., Chairman
Gary Ulicny, Ph.D., President and CEO
Emory A. Schwall, Vice President
William C. Fowler, Treasurer
Stephen B. Goot, Corporate Secretary
Alana Shepherd, Recording Secretary
Fred V. Alias, Gregory P. Anderson,
David F. Apple, Jr., M.D., Brock
Bowman, M.D.*, Wilma Bunch*, James
M. Caswell, Jr., Sara S. Chapman,
Clark Dean, John S. Dryman, Mitchell
J. Fillhaber*, David H. Flint, Stephen B.
Holleman*, Michael L. Jones, Ph.D.*,
Tammy King*, Donald Peck Leslie, M.D.,
Bernie Marcus, Joseph R. Moderow,
Julian B. Mohr, Charles T. Nunnally III,
Sally D. Nunnally, Clyde Shepherd III,
J. Harold Shepherd, Scott H. Sikes*,
James E. Stephenson, James D.
Thompson, Goodloe H. Yancey III†
Ex Officio
Spinal Column is published quarterly by
Shepherd Center, a private, not-for-profit
hospital specializing in the treatment
of people with spinal cord injury and
disease, acquired brain injury, multiple
sclerosis and other neuromuscular
disorders, and urological problems.
E-mail change of address information or
request to be removed from our mailing
list to [email protected], or
by mail to Shepherd Center, Attn: Spinal
Column Mailing List, 2020 Peachtree
Road, NW, Atlanta, Georgia, 30309.
Please include mailing label. Spinal
Column accepts no advertising. Spinal
Column is a registered trademark of
Shepherd Center.
About the Cover: Former spinal
Warm regards,
James H. Shepherd, Jr.
Chairman of the Board
cord injury patient Natalie Shinn of
Rockledge, Fla., is an advocate for
driving without distractions.
Photo by Kristen Bartlett Grace
Now offering video,
podcasts and blogs
See Page 2
The Magazine of Shepherd Center: Providing Medical Treatment, Research and Rehabilitation | spinalcolumn.org
A Reach that
the Globe
Shepherd Center
extends its
successful brand of
injury rehabilitation
to an international
Doctors as
Doctors gain new
insight as patients.
Device helps drivers
with brain injuries.
Former patient now a
Shepherd nurse.
Residents learn from
Shepherd physicians.
Summer 2010
DAY 2010
New venue is a hit with the
Derby Day crowd.
The Magazine of Shepherd Center
Summer 2010
Photo by Gary Meek
Letter from James Shepherd
Dear Friends,
Shepherd Center has world-class facilities that are unmatched by any other rehabilitation
hospital specializing in spinal cord and brain injuries. While we are blessed to have
these facilities – thanks to our generous donors – we are most proud of our staff's
accomplishments. Their efforts drive the excellent patient care and outcomes we deliver.
Our staff has fully embraced the values and standards of excellence that my parents and
I – along with Drs. David Apple, Herndon Murray and Allen McDonald – established early
on in our vision for Shepherd Center. Together – and under the leadership of CEO Gary
Ulicny – we have a passion for innovation. It gives us a clinical edge, which translates to
rehabilitation care that exceeds expectations and sets the bar above our peers elsewhere.
Here are some examples of the excellence and commitment of our staff:
•Shepherd Center nurses pursue advanced certifications through professional
organizations, including: Association of Rehabilitation Nursing; American Association
of Critical Care Nurses; International Association of Multiple Sclerosis Nurses; and the
Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society.
•Shepherd Center therapists do the same through the American Physical Therapy
Association; American Society of Hand Therapists; American Occupational Therapy
Association; Consortium of MS Centers; and the Rehabilitation Engineering and
Assistive Technology Society of North America.
•Our case managers pursue these certifications through the Case Management
Society of America, National Association of Social Workers and the American Case
Management Association.
•Our case managers recently received a national “Case in Point” Platinum Award for
Excellence in Case Management for Rehabilitation Programs.
•Our nursing staff was recognized in 2009 by the American Nurses Association with the NDNQI Award for Outstanding Nursing Quality™ in the category of
Rehabilitation Hospitals.
Also, Shepherd Center has helped thousands of people return to an active and productive
lifestyle through therapeutic recreation. Some former patients even participate in
competitive adaptive sports through one or more of the 12 sports team we sponsor. And we
have some star athletes, such as Curtis Lovejoy, who have earned medals at the Paralympic
Games, as well as in national and world championship competitions.
These accomplishments provide evidence that Shepherd's staff is dedicated to
delivering excellent care. Our visitors see it in the smiles and determination on the faces
of our patients and staff. Like proud parents, we couldn’t be more pleased.
Shepherd Center
2020 Peachtree Road, NW
Atlanta, Georgia 30309
[email protected]
Jane M. Sanders
Soloflight Design
Contributing Writers
Lauren Angelo, Sara Baxter, Larry
Bowie, Amanda Crowe, Kayla Eubanks,
Dean Melcher, Ivy Oxendine, Anne
Pearce, Cara Puckett, Bill Sanders,
Midge Tracy
Contributing Photographers
Leita Cowart, Neil Dent, Louie Favorite,
Kristen Bartlett Grace, Beth N. Gillem,
Billy Howard, Gary Meek
Board of Directors
James H. Shepherd, Jr., Chairman
Gary Ulicny, Ph.D., President and CEO
Emory A. Schwall, Vice President
William C. Fowler, Treasurer
Stephen B. Goot, Corporate Secretary
Alana Shepherd, Recording Secretary
Fred V. Alias, Gregory P. Anderson,
David F. Apple, Jr., M.D., Brock
Bowman, M.D.*, Wilma Bunch*, James
M. Caswell, Jr., Sara S. Chapman,
Clark Dean, John S. Dryman, Mitchell
J. Fillhaber*, David H. Flint, Stephen B.
Holleman*, Michael L. Jones, Ph.D.*,
Tammy King*, Donald Peck Leslie, M.D.,
Bernie Marcus, Joseph R. Moderow,
Julian B. Mohr, Charles T. Nunnally III,
Sally D. Nunnally, Clyde Shepherd III,
J. Harold Shepherd, Scott H. Sikes*,
James E. Stephenson, James D.
Thompson, Goodloe H. Yancey III†
Ex Officio
Spinal Column is published quarterly by
Shepherd Center, a private, not-for-profit
hospital specializing in the treatment
of people with spinal cord injury and
disease, acquired brain injury, multiple
sclerosis and other neuromuscular
disorders, and urological problems.
E-mail change of address information or
request to be removed from our mailing
list to [email protected], or
by mail to Shepherd Center, Attn: Spinal
Column Mailing List, 2020 Peachtree
Road, NW, Atlanta, Georgia, 30309.
Please include mailing label. Spinal
Column accepts no advertising. Spinal
Column is a registered trademark of
Shepherd Center.
About the Cover: Shepherd Center's
Warm regards,
James H. Shepherd, Jr.
Chairman of the Board
annual Derby Day fundraising event
attracts guests from throughout
metro Atlanta for a day of fun,
games and eye-catching hats.
Photo by Jim Fitts
The Magazine of Shepherd Center:
Providing Medical Treatment, Research and Rehabilitation
A Renewed View of Recovery:
Physicians who were once under Shepherd's care gain a unique perspective
as patients.
Photo by Louie Favorite
Around the Globe:
Shepherd Center extends its successful
brand of rehabilitation to an international
Injury Prevention
Shepherd Center spreads the
word on how to prevent brain and
spinal cord injuries on the road,
off the road and in the water.
Photo by Gary Meek
Electronic Driving Coach:
Device under development at Shepherd
Center and Georgia Tech could help drivers
with brain injuries.
An Experience Like No Other:
Emory University medical residents learn
from Shepherd Center physicians.
2 Short Takes
22 Research: Pharmaceutical Paradox
24 Patient Profile: Kristie Summers
26 Managed Care Corner
27 Medical Staff Profile: Darryl Kaelin, M.D.
28 Shepherd Alums
30 Foundation Features
42 Tributes
If you would like to make a gift to support the work
you have read about, please contact Scott H. Sikes
at the Shepherd Center Foundation at 404-350-7305
or visit shepherd.org.
Shepherd Snapshots: A Look at News and Other Notes
Shepherd Center’s
online video site,
ShepherdTV.org, has
been enhanced to
allow visitors even more
interactive options for
learning about Shepherd
Center. In addition to HD
video, ShepherdTV now
includes weekly podcasts featuring interviews
with Shepherd’s medical experts on topics
related to spinal cord
and brain injury. Visitors can also catch up
on the latest blogs from
former patients, who
write about their lives
following rehabilitation at
Shepherd Center. To get
started, visit ShepherdTV
at shepherdTV.org.
Shepherd Center Launches New
Online Retail “Shepherd Store”
Shepherd Center has launched an online retail
store for Shepherd Center apparel and accessories
at shepherdstore.org.
Shepherd teamed up with Champion Apparel
and Promotions Inc. to create the merchandise
and retail site.
Below: Paralympic gold medalist Curtis Lovejoy
models a new Shepherd Center T-shirt.
Photo by Billy Howard
ShepherdTV Site
Features New
Video, Podcasts and
Patient Blogs
To visit the Shepherd Store, go to
shepherdstore.org or shepherd.org.
The online store, called the “Shepherd Store,”
carries T-shirts, hats, polo shirts and tote bags
in a variety of colors, sizes and styles – all
imprinted with the Shepherd Center logo.
In addition, a special T-shirt commemorating
the 35th anniversary of Shepherd’s founding
will be available while supplies last this summer.
“After they’ve returned home, we often
hear from patients and their families who
grow somewhat nostalgic about their time at
Shepherd and want to know how they can
purchase a Shepherd shirt, hat or some other
item from our gift shop,” says Larry Bowie,
director of public relations. “Now, it can all be
ordered online and shipped anywhere in the
United States or overseas.”
Shirts at the Shepherd Store are available
in men’s and women’s styles, small to extra
large. There are also a variety of men’s and
women’s styles, including a slimmer cut option
for women. Hats are also available in several
sizes and colors. The Shepherd Store will offer
seasonal items, as well, such as cotton hoodies,
fleece jackets and pants in the winter.
Bulk orders are also available for
communities planning fundraisers for
Shepherd Center’s Case Managers Honored with National Award
Shepherd Center’s case managers were
honored on April 20 with a national Case
in Point Platinum Award for Excellence
in Case Management for Rehabilitation
Programs and an honorable mention for
Overall Case Management Program from
the Commission for Case Management
The awards recognize the leading
medical management programs that
serve patients across the care continuum.
Shepherd case managers Cheryl Smith
and Marilyn Taylor accepted the awards
on behalf of the Shepherd staff at an
event in Washington, D.C, honoring
29 winners and more than 100
honorable mentions. The event featured
best-in-class initiatives and industryleading personnel.
“This is a tremendous accomplishment
by Shepherd Center’s case management
staff,” says Gary Ulicny, Ph.D., president
and CEO of Shepherd Center. “The
awards are a much-deserved recognition
of their contributions.”
Shepherd’s case managers were
nominated for the awards by: Tammy
King, Shepherd's chief nurse executive;
Sarah Morrison, spinal cord injury
program director; and Susan Johnson,
acquired brain injury program director.
The nomination highlighted Shepherd’s
case management services from the
time of admission to post-acute care to
post-discharge follow-up care. It included
outcomes that case managers oversee,
return-to-the-community statistics,
return-to-work and return-to-school rates,
and information on case managers’ work
in managing Shepherd patients in the
community through the Independent Care
Waiver Program.
The nomination also highlighted
some of Shepherd’s unique specialty case
management processes, including those
for military service members receiving
treatment in Shepherd’s SHARE Initiative;
patients in Shepherd's wellness program,
Beyond Therapy®; and spinal cord injury
patients participating in therapy through the
NeuroRecovery Network at Shepherd.
You can view the Platinum Award winners and honorable mentions at: www.dorlandhealth.com/platinum-awards-finalists.html.
And read capsules on the award-winning programs at: www.dorlandhealth.com/cip-platinum-awards-winners.html.
2 Spinal Column
w w w. s p i n a l c o l u m n . o r g
Neurorehabilitation Conference to be Held
at Shepherd Center
Shepherd Center will co-host and serve as the conference site for the
2010 North American Neurorehabilitation Symposium organized with
Hocoma, a Swiss medical technology company that specializes in robotic
rehabilitation therapy for neurological movement disorders. Its products
include Lokomat®, Armeo® and Erigo®.
The event will be held at Shepherd Center on Aug. 27-28, 2010. Topics
include new information in neurorehabilitation, motor learning and motor
control, robotic technology in rehabilitation, and motivating patients with
virtual environments, as well as research in spinal cord injury, stroke,
traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy and other pathologies.
The conference is expected to bring together scientists and engineers
from highly recognized institutions worldwide and clinical users of
innovative therapeutic methods and technologies.
The event is intended to offer clinicians and scientists a valuable
platform to discuss trends, share expertise, exchange ideas and gain
knowledge to assess and use new technologies and therapy concepts in
their daily practice. — Larry Bowie
For more information about
the North American Neurorehabilitation
Symposium 2010, visit nanrs2010.com.
Shepherd Center and SkiMore Tours Offer
Annual Adaptive Skiing Trip
Shepherd Center and SkiMore Tours have planned a trip to Aspen, Colo.,
in winter 2011 for adaptive snow skiing for beginners to advanced skiers with
physical disabilities.
The trip, scheduled for Feb. 11-16, 2011, includes private and group
adaptive skiing lessons, lift tickets, equipment, hotel accommodations,
transportation from the airport to the hotel and two group dinners.
People of all abilities are welcome, as well as their families and friends.
Advance registration is required. For more information, contact Shepherd
Center therapeutic recreation therapist Katie Murphy at 404-350-7465 or
[email protected] Or, go to www.skimoretours.com.
Above: Shepherd Center Therapeutic Recreation Department staff lead an
annual group of former patients, their families and friends on an annual ski
trip to Colorado.
We are the Champions!
Shepherd Center’s sports teams have been
racking up some impressive wins lately. Here
are some highlights:
•Skier Bill Furbish competed at the 2009 World
Disabled Water Ski Championship in Vichy,
France, where Team USA won the gold medal.
Bill captured a gold medal in slalom and a
second-place finish in trick skiing.
•The Shepherd Stealers wheelchair basketball
team placed second at the National Wheelchair
Basketball Association championship
tournament. Paul Schulte was selected to the
All Tournament Team, and Nick Ford was
selected to the second All Tournament Team.
• The Shepherd Smash quad rugby team finished
seventh in Division I — the team’s best-ever
finish since the establishment of the current
playoff system.
•Shepherd swimmer Curtis Lovejoy has been
selected to participate in the World Swimming
Championships in the Netherlands
in August.
Left: The Shepherd Stealers wheelchair
basketball team plays in tournaments
around the nation.
For more information on the 12 sports
teams that Shepherd sponsors, see
Register now! All Sports Camp
Scheduled for This Fall
Shepherd Center’s annual All Sports Camp is
scheduled for Sept. 30 through Oct. 3 at Roosevelt
Sports Training Complex in Warm Springs, Ga.
The camp is designed for people ages 16 and up with
spinal cord injury or disease, multiple sclerosis, spina
bifida, post-polio syndrome, amputation, GuillainBarré syndrome, transverse myelitis or amyotrophic
lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Participants will get hands-on training in nine
sports: track and field, basketball, rugby, tennis, golf,
handcycling, football, canoeing/kayaking and fencing.
Instructors include some of the world’s top coaches
and nationally ranked athletes, including Shepherd
Center alumnus and Paralympic gold medalist Curtis
Lovejoy and national record-setting, wheelchair racer
Rafael Ibarra.
For more information, contact Matt Edens at
404-367-1287 or [email protected]
Summer 2010 3
Shepherd Center staff and
former patients spread the word
on how to prevent catastrophic
injuries on the road, off the
road and in the water.
By Bill Sanders
On an
4 Spinal Column
w w w. s p i n a l c o l u m n . o r g
In this section, six former
patients tell their stories
and deliver powerful injury
prevention messages.
Photo by Gary Meek
Pictured: Josh
Gilbert of Athens,
Ga., sustained a
traumatic brain
injury in 2006
when he has
without a helmet.
Typically, Josh Gilbert wore a
helmet and knee and elbow
pads when skateboarding.
But on Dec. 12, 2006, the
buckle on his helmet was
broken, so he didn’t wear it.
Natalie Shinn was sending
a short text message while
driving on July 6, 2009. She
knew it was dangerous, but
she’d done it before with no
serious consequences.
Kevin Raysor knew he
could break a bone while
skimboarding in shallow
water. But bones heal in time,
and most of his close friends
were into the sport.
In these cases and so many
others, the results were brain
and/or spinal cord injuries.
Every year, Shepherd Center
admits dozens of patients
whose catastrophic injuries
could have been avoided had
they taken a minute to think
through their actions.
“I hate seeing patients,
especially adolescents, with
these types of preventable
injuries,” says Shepherd
Center physical therapist
Cathi Dugger. “Adolescents
often think they’re invincible.
The adolescent brain is not
fully developed, and thus they
often can’t fully reason the
potential consequences of
their choices.”
That’s why Shepherd
Center continues to
emphasize the injury
prevention aspect of its
mission – particularly at
this time of year when
people tend to spend more
time swimming, diving,
skating, four-wheeling and
traveling by car.
“I see it all the time,” says
Pete Collman, community
relations coordinator for
Shepherd’s YiPES!! and
ThinkFirst injury prevention
programs. “People say they
never thought this would
happen to them, and I want
to bang my head against
a wall when I hear that. If I
had a nickel for every time
I tell people, ‘Yes, it could
happen to you,’ I’d be rich.
Driving distracted, diving,
skateboarding or riding
an ATV without a helmet –
eventually, those things will
catch up to you in some form
or fashion.”
Spearheaded by Herndon
Murray, M.D., medical
director of Shepherd’s Spinal
Cord Injury Program, YiPES!!
(Youth and Injury Prevention
Education at Shepherd) was
launched in 2009 to expand
the hospital’s 20-yearold commitment to injury
prevention. In partnership
with the ThinkFirst National
Injury Prevention Foundation,
Collman, Dugger and other
Shepherd staff members
make presentations to
school and civic groups.
YiPES!! uses online social
networking and multimedia
to reach a larger audience
of young people with the
hospital’s injury prevention
messages, which come
straight from people
who have experienced
preventable injuries
first hand.
“Kids are influenced by
their peers – in both bad
and good ways,” Dr. Murray
says. “When it comes to
injury prevention, we believe
that adolescents and young
people who have sustained
spinal cord or brain injuries
can be most effective in
convincing their peers to
think before they act.”
Summer 2010 5
the dangers
of water
Photos Courtesy of
Serivce Dogs of Virginia
This is the time of year when
people, especially young men,
mindlessly and carelessly dive
head first into a body of water
without first checking the depth
and conditions.
At the very least, Shepherd
preaches the Think First mantra:
Feet First the First Time. But
Collman says that’s really not
taking it far enough.
“Last year 16 young people,
none over age 26, came to
Shepherd and may never walk or
use their hands again because
they dove into a body of water
they shouldn’t have,” he says.
“Some dove into rivers, some
into oceans with a sandbar, some
into lakes, and some even dove
into shallow pools. People just
have a false confidence that they
are not going to hit something
“‘Feet First the First Time’ is a
good start, but I say don’t take
that chance. Period. I don’t care
Luke Morris
6 Spinal Column
how many times you did it last year;
you should never do it again. Cross
it off the list,” Collman says.
When he preaches this message
at schools or civic clubs, he knows
he has the audience’s attention
because he is a paraplegic – due to
a spinal condition called transverse
myelitis – and uses a wheelchair.
“I can tell them, ‘Folks, it’s not
just because I said so.’ Teens
need to know why. If you dive in,
get knocked unconscious and
someone gets you out, that’ll do
damage to you. When I tell them,
‘Here’s what life is like after the
injury,’ they get it. I call it ‘shock and
awe’ to get their attention.”
Luke Morris, 22, of Standardsville,
Va., sustained an incomplete C-5
spinal cord injury (SCI) in July 2008
when he dove into a river he’d dove
into a hundred times before. Luke’s
experience shows that “Feet First”
isn’t always enough. He had every
reason to think the river, less than
a mile from his house, was deep
enough and void of any dangerous
rocks on the riverbed.
“I hit a rock,” he recalls. “I felt like
I was on fire. My friends helped me
get out. I remember everything that
happened and I instructed them on
what to do after they got me to the
edge of the river. My friends thought
I was just in shock, but I knew it
was something more. Now, there’s
nothing I can do about it, so I don’t
look back and get mad at myself.
That wouldn’t do any good. But I will
say this: Now, I don’t see the point
of diving into rivers or pools. You’re
taking a big risk that you don’t need
to take. It’s pointless.”
Luke is paralyzed from the chest
down. He has no movement in his
fingers or hands, but can lift his
wrists using his wrist flexor muscles.
But he has found ways to continue
doing the things he loves, like
hunting and mud bogging in his
four-wheel drive truck.
Earlier this year, Luke received
an assistance dog named Polar
from Service Dogs of Virginia, and
it has made all the difference in the
world, he says. Polar helps Luke
in many ways, including opening
and closing doors, taking off his
sweatshirt and socks, and picking
things up he drops.
The service dog and the family
training Luke and his mother, Linda
Morris, received from Shepherd
Center have been two positives to
come from Luke’s accident.
“Shepherd was the best place
we could have gone,” Linda says.
“We learned so much there. I
didn’t know anything about SCI.
Without Shepherd, I don’t know
where we’d be. It was a long
way from home, but it was well
worth it and definitely the right
decision. There was so much to
learn, and their knowledge and
patience was unbelievable.”
Luke is still a bit reluctant to
preach too hard about not diving.
Linda, on the hand, looks for every
opportunity to tell Luke’s story.
“I’d love to preach it from
soapbox,” she says. “What
happened to Luke was not a
fluke. I saw too many people at
Shepherd and have met many
since we came home who have had
diving accidents. I don’t consider
it a fluke accident at all because
it is completely preventable. I
admit, I had never thought about
it before this. I’d thought about
car accidents, or dying, but never
thought about an SCI. I’m sure a lot
of people don’t think about it. I now
take any opportunity I can, at the
Top Left: Luke Morris of Standardsville, Va., recently received an assistance
dog named Polar from Service Dogs of Virginia. Bottom Left: Luke advises
everyone to avoid diving because that's how he sustained a spinal cord injury
that left him paralyzed.
w w w. s p i n a l c o l u m n . o r g
Photo Courtesy of Kevin Raysor
to it, and my parents are glad,”
Kevin says. Before the accident,
Kevin competed in skimboarding.
In fact, he was preparing for a
competition the week before
the accident.
“Skimboarding is a really
athletic sport,” Kevin says.
“You can do some things with
skimboarding that you can’t
do when you’re surfing or
skateboarding. But if you don’t
know what you’re doing, you
can get hurt, and it can happen
even if you do know what you’re
doing. People fall and break
bones. I broke my ankle a while
back. I know one or two others
who broke their necks while
skimboarding. They were also
patients at Shepherd.
“All my friends I used to
skimboard with wish I would
come back to the sport, but I’m
not going to,” Kevin says. “I still
keep in touch with them, though.
They respect my decision to
not return.”
Kevin advises people who
skimboard to avoid doing
flips. If they do, flip in deep
water just in case. Don’t
go straight into a wave, but
skimboard parallel with the
shore. Also, he says to watch
out for people around you
because can get injured badly
by another board.
“My decision to go to
Shepherd made it possible for
me to become what I am today,”
Kevin says. “I probably would
have died otherwise; I lost so
much weight. I was able to get
back into the environment and
the community through the
outings we went on at Shepherd.
Also, I learned that I was not
the only person in this situation.
I was around people with a
similar experience, and it was
inspiring and made me more
kevin raysor
Left: After
therapy at
Center, Kevin
Raysor of
Beach, Fla.,
can now
walk. Above:
Kevin sustained a spinal cord injury in a
skimboarding accident in July 2008. He no
longer participates in the sport.
Photo by Perry Ann Williams
bank or the grocery store, wherever,
to tell people not to dive. I think it
should be outlawed. It can happen
in a split second and change your
life forever.”
Although diving is the most
common way people sustain spinal
cord injuries in the water, it is by no
means the only way.
Kevin Raysor, 19, of Jensen
Beach, Fla., was skimboarding
in the ocean when a small wave
knocked him off his feet. He’d
been doing the sport for a couple
of years, and on a rainy July day in
2008, he thought the waves were
perfect for a ride.
The choppy water caused him to
fall, and he landed on his head and
right shoulder. It was like hitting the
bottom of a pool with his head, he
says. Kevin sustained a C-5 to -6
incomplete SCI.
He transferred to Shepherd
Center’s ICU about a month after
the accident and moved to a
regular room a week later.
Kevin was an inpatient for a
little more than a month. Then
he completed Shepherd’s day
program and the NeuroRecovery
Network program, which involved
locomotor training on a treadmill.
By the time he finished therapy,
Kevin had regained almost all the
neurological function he lost in the
accident. He continued therapy
back at home twice a week
through spring 2009. During the
recovery period, Kevin lost 40 to
50 pounds and has only recently
regained that weight. He has
regained most of his strength, too,
though his cardio workouts are not
as good as they were before the
accident, when he was running 13
miles a day, he says. He’s also returned to water
sports – surfing now because it’s
done in much deeper water and is
therefore safer than skimboarding.
“I think skimboarding would be
fun, but I don’t think I will go back
“My decision
to go to
made it
for me to
what I am
— Kevin Raysor
Summer 2010 7
danielle vincent
— Danielle Vincent
Photos by Louie Favorite
Main: Danielle
Vincent of
Ga., is still
recovering from
a brain injury
she sustained
in a 2006 car
accident. Inset
Top: Danielle
advises drivers
to avoid
Inset Bottom:
Danielle has lots
of support from
her mom.
“My message to folks is
this: Think twice. I could
say it in more words. But
that says it all. ”
The Dangers
of Distracted
Danielle Vincent, 22, knew better
than to take her eyes off the road
when driving – even for the second
or two it would take to grab a CD
case from the passenger seat
floor. But on Feb. 21, 2006, despite
sensing she might regret it, she
looked away from the road and
reached for her music.
Taking her eyes off the road
for a few seconds wasn’t an
indication that Danielle was a
habitually careless driver. But
in those few seconds, her life
changed forever.
“It’s very frustrating to look
back on,” says Danielle, who
8 Spinal Column
lives near Douglasville, Ga. “In
retrospect, I can see how arrogant
I was behind the wheel. It’s a
very dangerous attitude to think
you can take your eyes off the
road like that. Life can change
so quickly. Something told me I’d
regret the decision, but I reached
for it anyway. I went into a ditch,
hit a tree and almost died.”
When paramedics found
Danielle, they first thought she was
dead. She was taken by medical
helicopter to Grady Memorial
Hospital in Atlanta, where she
stayed for 16 days with a diffuse
brain injury.
“There were a lot of variables
that we didn’t know,” Danielle
says. “For a while, my life was still
in danger, but I don’t remember
any of that. I don’t remember
being at Grady or any of my time
in a hospital. It was six months
after my hospital stay before my
memory came back. I still don’t
remember my time at college
before the accident, or my high
school graduation, which was a
year before. I’m still working to
overcome memory issues now.”
Today, Danielle takes online
college courses and lives with her
parents. Neither of those things
were what she had planned before
her accident. She says that’s what
makes her want to shout from the
rooftops, “Your life can change
forever in a split second!”
Of course, everyone knows that.
If asked, Danielle would’ve said she
knew it two minutes before reaching
for the CD case. But people often
don’t live like they know it.
w w w. s p i n a l c o l u m n . o r g
Left: Natalie Shinn of Rockledge, Fla., sustained a
spinal cord injury when she wrecked her car while
texting. Today, after a lot of therapy, she is walking
again. Below: Natalie wants to be an occupational
therapist because of her injury experience.
Photos by Kristen Bartlett Grace
Natalie Shinn
“My message to folks is this:
Think twice. I could say it in more
words. But that says it all. Think
twice before you do anything
because life can change and
change forever.”
A distracted driving mistake by
Natalie Shinn of Rockledge, Fla.,
is one that may be even more
common than Danielle’s.
Natalie, 20, was texting while
driving in July 2009 when she
ran her small pickup truck off the
road, overcorrected and went into
the median, hitting a culvert. Her
truck flipped seven times, and
she was ejected from the vehicle
even though she was wearing a
seatbelt. Natalie, who was found
unconscious about 40 feet from
where the truck landed, sustained
a C-5 to -6 incomplete spinal cord
injury (SCI). Natalie does not remember
the accident, even though she’s
told she regained consciousness
shortly after state troopers found
her. She apparently told them she
was texting. Natalie didn’t realize
until two days later how seriously
she was injured.
Soon, Natalie transferred from
Orlando Regional Medical Center to
Shepherd Center for rehabilitation
in Shepherd’s inpatient and day
programs. She continued therapy
for a couple months after returning
home. Today, she is able to walk
unassisted, and she recently started
to run a little. Natalie’s right side was
most affected, and she struggled
to lift with her right arm and use a
pen or pencil. Today, she can do
both normally. She still experiences
some pain, but she’s dealing with
it by putting mind over matter. In
fact, her positive attitude has played
a significant role in her recovery,
Natalie says. She has also returned
to her studies at the University of
Central Florida (UCF) in Orlando.
“It was scary at first, not
knowing what was going to
happen,” Natalie recalls. “I had
hope that I would walk again
because I had some slight
movement after having surgery.”
Natalie regrets texting while
driving and advises her peers not
to do it.
“Texting can be as bad as
drunk driving,” she says. “You
think you’re in control, but
anything can happen. I tell my
story to others and tell them
not to text while driving.”
In part, because of her
experience with spinal cord injury,
Natalie is majoring in health
sciences at UCF and wants to be
an occupational therapist (OT).
She was interested in a career
in physical therapy before her
“I meet a lot of people who
want to be physical therapists,”
Natalie says. “But OT also had a
big impact on me. At Shepherd,
my OTs were Cindy Hartley
and Mandy Gillot, and they
were great.”
Summer 2010 9
the dangers
of Road
Josh gilbert
Josh Gilbert, 27, was training
for a career in professional golf
while working as a bartender at
Wild Wings in Athens, Ga. His
schedule was intense, and on
Dec. 12, 2006, he needed to clear
his head. For him, the best way to
do that was to go skateboarding.
Ever since he was a kid, getting
on a skateboard provided an
adrenaline rush. The bigger the
hill, the better the thrill.
Josh almost always wore a
helmet and knee and elbow pads
when skateboarding. But the
buckle on his helmet was broken,
so he didn’t wear it that day. Fate
caught him. While skateboarding
down a steep hill, he fell off his
board and hit the back of his
head on the pavement. Josh
did not lose consciousness,
but was disoriented, combative
and bleeding from his ear as his
friends called for help.
He spent 11 days at Athens
Regional Medical Center before
transferring to Shepherd Center
for two weeks of inpatient
rehabilitation for a traumatic brain
injury. He continued therapy for
about another two months in
the day program at Shepherd
Josh recalls that rehabilitation
was difficult. His memory was
sketchy, and he was confused
about where he was and how
much time had passed. At one
point, he thought he was the
prisoner of a law enforcement
agency. Finally, his selfproclaimed, goofy sense of humor
returned, and he realized he was
starting to get better, he says.
“I’ve always been very verbose,
but it was worse after my injury,”
Josh says. “I wanted to become
more succinct and get better. And
I did recover relatively quickly. I
had to prove it to myself, but it
was hard to come to terms with
what had happened.”
Josh’s friends were a great
support to him during his recovery,
he says. Playing off Josh’s
nickname, they made “Jaybird
Experience” bracelets, much like
the Livestrong bracelets, to rally
community support. Josh also
credits his treatment team at
Shepherd with his recovery.
“Shepherd Center was
incredible and encouraging,”
Center was
incredible and
I was so lucky
to be there. ”
— Josh Gilbert
Photos by Gary Meek
Right and Below: Josh Gilbert of
Athens, Ga., sustained a traumatic
brain injury in a 2006 skateboarding
accident in which he wasn't wearing
a helmet. Today, he has recovered
and encourages people, especially
children, to wear helmets.
1 0 Spinal Column
w w w. s p i n a l c o l u m n . o r g
he explains. “I should positively
use what I have overcome – use
it to help educate and prevent
others from having to experience it
firsthand. I saw how fragile life can
be. Everything can change so fast.”
Jason Deal, 24, of Montgomery,
Ala., knows how fragile life can
be, too. He had been riding fourwheeled, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs)
for most of his life. Like Josh, he
almost always wore a helmet —
almost always.
On Aug. 12, 2005, he drove
his ATV at a motocross track at
a friend’s house. “I was wearing
a helmet the whole time,” Jason
says. “Then, when we were done,
I took it off, got off the track and
was going down their driveway,
only going maybe 20 miles per
hour. It had just turned dark, and
I’d never been there before. Their
driveway had a sharp, 90-degree
turn, and I didn’t remember it
being there.”
When he suddenly encountered
the curve, he hit a ditch and
was thrown from the ATV. Jason
sustained a C-3 to -4 complete
SCI in the accident.
“I’d been riding four-wheelers
since I was 6 years old and
thought that I’d be able to
anticipate anything I might come
upon,” Jason says. “Since nothing
had ever happened to me, I wasn’t
fearful enough. A helmet probably
would have helped because
doctors said I had a compound
fracture, and a helmet would have
absorbed some of the impact.”
Jason was taken to Jackson
Hospital in Montgomery and then
to the University of AlabamaBirmingham Hospital for 38 days
before transferring to Shepherd
for inpatient and day program
Today, Jason works for his
father’s cabinet manufacturing
Below Top: Jason Deal sustained a
spinal cord injury in an ATV accident
in 2005. Today, he's back at work in
his family's business. Below Bottom:
Jason volunteers with a boy's
mission group at his church.
Jason Deal
Photos by Beth N. Gillem
Josh says. “I was so lucky to be
there. When I wanted to leave
therapy before I was really ready
to, my therapists didn’t make any
negative comments. They just
continued to encourage me.”
Josh cites Shepherd Center
Acquired Brain Injury Program
Director Susan Johnson,
whom he and his family knew
before the injury, as a particular
encouragement to him. “She
would tell me that I was looking
better and that I was improving,”
he recalls.
Josh has come a long way
since his rehabilitation. The
injury changed his perspective;
he believes God allowed him to
survive the accident because he
has a purpose for him. “There is
something in my heart now,” Josh
says. “I don’t take things for granted
anymore. My confidence is high.”
Josh is slowly returning to golf
and sees glimmers of hope for
returning to competition. He has
played in several tournaments and
is also learning about sales and
marketing, hoping to start a career
in that field.
Josh still skateboards
occasionally, but with much more
caution and a full assortment of
protective gear. He also enjoys
visiting local skate parks to watch
others skate. When opportunities
arise, he always encourages them
– especially the young kids – to
wear a helmet and pads. Josh
recommends skating only in parks
at lower speeds and forgoing
the “hill-bombing” style he was
pursuing when injured.
His injury experience taught
him a valuable life lesson, Josh
says. “Seeing the struggles of
other patients at Shepherd made
me realize that anything can
happen and that I should not react
negatively to my own struggles,”
business. Before his accident,
Jason did the cabinet construction,
and his dad stayed in the office,
talking to clients. Because Jason is
paralyzed from the chest down, the
two had to switch roles. Jason now
enjoys meeting with customers and
occasionally drawing plans on the
computer for them.
Like so many others, Jason, too,
has an injury prevention message.
“Regardless of whether it would
have helped me, always wear a
helmet,” he says. “My mom can’t
stand it when I say this, but if I
regain some more function, I might
get back on an ATV. But I’d always
wear the helmet and I’d take a lot
more safety precautions.”
To read this story and view
more photographs online, visit
Summer 2010 1 1
Photo by Gary Meek
Electronic Driving Coach
An assistive technology device under development at Shepherd Center and Georgia Tech
could aid drivers with brain injuries and other cognitive deficits.
By Jane M. Sanders
After sustaining a severe brain injury in a motorcycle accident,
Freddie Alexander underwent rehabilitation and eventually
returned to driving a car. But he had a series of minor accidents and received traffic citations that made his car insurance
skyrocket. His wife feared for his safety, and his doctor advised
him to undergo a driving evaluation at Shepherd Center.
Driver rehabilitation specialist Michele Luther-Krug
observed that Freddie’s driving habits improved when she
gave him regular prompts, but without them, he became
inattentive and even dangerous. She planned to tell Freddie
he should not drive independently.
But Luther-Krug collaborated with John Anschutz, the
director of Shepherd’s Assistive Technology Center, and an
idea began to hatch. Knowing how effective Luther-Krug’s
prompts were in helping Freddie’s driving improve, Anschutz
used off-the-shelf components and wrote a software program
to create an automated driving coach system that mimics
Luther-Krug’s feedback. After a training program that
1 2 Spinal Column
included supervised driving by Freddie’s wife, Freddie has been
driving independently for almost a year now with no incidents.
“Sometimes, I forget to do things while I’m driving, and this
system helps remind me of what I should do,” Freddie says.
“It’s like someone sitting beside me. This system has made a
big difference for me, and I commend Shepherd Center for
helping me out.”
The prototype system Freddie is using works like this: It plugs
into the car’s cigarette lighter for power. The driver gets intermittent verbal reminders to check mirrors, speed, and distance
from other vehicles and objects. When the driver completes a
task, such as checking the mirrors, the driver presses a button
positioned on the car seat’s armrest and then gets a brief verbal
message of encouragement. If the system reminds a driver to
complete a task and does not receive a response within three
minutes, the system’s prompts increase in frequency.
“You have to want to be a safe driver for this system to
work,” Anschutz says. “And the driver must recognize that he
w w w. s p i n a l c o l u m n . o r g
Facing Page: Former brain injury patient Freddie Alexander
of Smyrna, Ga., uses an electronic driving coach under
development by Shepherd Center and Georgia Tech.
To read this story and view more photographs online,
visit www.spinalcolumn.org
Shepherd Center Helps Restore
Independence Through Assistive
Giving independence to people with disabilities through assistive
technology – from the acute-care stage to rehabilitation to the
return to home – is the goal that drives Shepherd Center’s Assistive
Technology Center.
Shepherd Center has developed numerous assistive technology
devices for patients with paralysis and other physical and cognitive
impairments. People often use these devices while at Shepherd
and sometimes at home, as well.
One recent example is an integrated sip-and-puff control system
that allows high-level quadriplegics to use a single device to adjust
lights, control a television’s power and channels, make phone
calls and summon for help. “It gives the person control of their
environment, which is empowering and like food for the soul,” says
John Anschutz, director of Shepherd’s Assistive Technology Center.
As donor funds become available, the goal is to get this system
into the hospital rooms of all Shepherd patients who need it, and
then into patients’ homes – perhaps making it work via an iPod.
In another recent effort, rehabilitation engineering technologist
Kevin Grogg devised a sip-and-puff infrared remote control dubbed
a “Weemote.” With a sip, a user can power a TV on or off. With a
puff, the Weemote scans through a user’s pre-programmed 10
favorite TV channels. The device may become available through the
Shepherd Center Apothecary for $200 to $300.
“We try not to make things from scratch,” Anschutz says. “We
look for commercially available options first because they have
better technical support for these products than we can provide for
something we develop.”
Shepherd is always looking for commercial partners to
collaborate with on the development and manufacture of
assistive technology devices. Also, staff members in the Assistive
Technology Center can evaluate acute-care facilities to see if
Shepherd’s sip-and-puff control system, or something similar,
could be feasible for nurse call systems in those settings.
Below: Shepherd Center's Assistive Technology Center
created a sip-and-puff interface so patients with limited
movement can operate an iPod music player.
Photo by Gary Meek
or she has a deficit. To Freddie, it was important to be
able to drive independently, so he was motivated to use
the system.”
Anschutz and Luther-Krug – along with vice president
of technology Mike Jones, Ph.D., and director of brain
injury research, Ron Seel, Ph.D. – have applied for a patent
for the automated driving coach. While they await its approval, the system continues to be refined and improved in
collaboration with researchers at the Georgia Institute of
Technology and an Atlanta-based startup company called
Centrafuse™, which designs automotive software.
At Georgia Tech, researchers led by Bruce Walker, an
associate professor of psychology and interactive computing, are conducting research to determine what speech and
non-speech sounds and cues would be least intrusive and
most helpful to users of the automated driving coach. To
that end, Walker’s graduate students have been gathering
feedback from Shepherd Center patients who have used
the automated driving coach.
“My lab has experience in creating both effective and
user-acceptable auditory interfaces,” Walker says. “It’s
very important to have a combination of cues that are
not intrusive. We don’t want people to turn them off. We
want to help them be better drivers.”
In addition to refining the auditory interfaces,
Anschutz and Walker are consulting with Centrafuse™ on
how to give the automated driving coach more functionality in a vehicle using the company’s software platform,
which can run on a touch-screen dashboard computer.
“The system has a lot of possibilities we’ve not
explored yet,” Anschutz says. “It could be a good fit to
go into a car’s PC. If it was integrated with the car, the
system could do a lot more.”
The automated driving coach differs from anything
on the market from carmakers, such as an alarm system
that notifies drivers when they’ve veered out of their
lane. “The automated driving coach gets at the problem
before this point,” he explains. “It is meant to keep the
driver engaged and active.”
Eventually, the researchers plan to conduct a more
objective evaluation of the automated driving coach
with potential users in both a simulator, as well as a
real vehicle.
In addition to helping people with brain injuries, the
system could help new drivers, people with attention
deficits and/or anxiety, and senior adults, researchers say.
The system could be customized to address the various
skills these groups need for safe driving.
Summer 2010 1 3
who were
once under
A Renewed View
of Recovery
Center’s care
gain a unique
— what it’s
like to be a
By Sara Baxter
1 4 Spinal Column
w w w. s p i n a l c o l u m n . o r g
Photo by Gary Meek
Photo Courtesy of Bill Holloway
spinal cord injury. She awakened from surgery paralyzed at
As a vascular surgeon, Bill Holloway, M.D., would often see
the L-5 to -S-1 level, unable to move her legs and with loss of
patients who required leg amputations because of gangrene.
bowel and bladder control. After she was stabilized at Piedmont
Halfway through his career, he found he could relate directly to
Hospital, they wheeled her through the connecting tunnel to
their plight.
Shepherd, where she began three weeks of inpatient therapy.
In August 1983, Dr. Holloway, of Greenwood, S.C., was
“I had to learn how to walk all over again,” recalls Dr. Crisco,
on his way to the emergency room to see a patient when his
who eventually spent a year in outpatient therapy at Shepherd.
vehicle was hit head-on by another. He sustained multiple
Along the way, she reached several major milestones: regaining
injuries, including a spinal cord injury at the T-5 level, and was
bladder control, walking with the aid of a walker and getting her
hospitalized at Roger Peace Rehabilitation Hospital in Greenville,
right leg strong enough to drive.
S.C., for four weeks.
“I was ecstatic when the occupational therapist determined
Dr. Holloway, who lost the use of his legs and would later
I was able to drive,” she says. “I no longer had to depend on
undergo rehabilitation at Shepherd, returned to work just three
people to drive me to work or therapy – it was an added level
months after the accident. He went on to practice medicine
of independence.”
for nearly 20 years before his retirement in 2002, performing
Today, 12 years later, Dr. Crisco is
thousands of operations from
walking with the assistance of a single
a wheelchair.
Dr. Holloway is among a number of
forearm crutch, though she can walk
“Facing a leg amputation is quite
physicians and other healthcare
short distances unassisted on flat
traumatic for patients,” he says.
professionals who experienced
surfaces. This summer, she plans to
“My situation made it easier for me
events that eventually landed them
compete in her first open-water swim in
talk to them and show them that
in rehabilitation at Shepherd. They
Grand Cayman Island.
life goes on. They would see me
now have the rare perspective of
Those feelings of frustration and
without use of both of my legs and
what it’s like to treat a patient
independence represent a greater
figure they would do OK with the
and be treated as one.
understanding that many physicians like
use of just one.”
Dr. Crisco say they’ve experienced after
Dr. Holloway is among a
being a patient. They learned what it’s like to be on the other side.
number of physicians and other healthcare professionals who
“I definitely have more empathy now for my patients,” says Dr.
experienced events that eventually landed them in rehabilitation
Crisco, who as a diagnostic surgical pathologist spends most
at Shepherd. They now have the rare perspective of what it’s like
of her time peering into a microscope, though she does have
to treat a patient and be treated as one.
some direct contact with patients. One aspect of her job involves
“When you’re injured, as a doctor, at first you have that
performing fine needle aspirations, in which she extracts cells
sense of feeling helpless,” says Carol Crisco, M.D., a
from patients to determine if they have cancer or other diseases.
pathologist at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta, Ga.
“They know that what I’m doing will in many cases determine
Complications during elective surgery left her paralyzed. “You’re
whether they have cancer, and they’re scared,” she says. “I tell
used to being the person in control, and suddenly you’re not in
control anymore.”
Above Left: Bill Holloway, M.D., of Greenwood, S.C., sustained
Dr. Crisco was undergoing a Nissen laparoscopic procedure
a T-5 spinal cord injury half way through his career as a vascular
in 1998 to fix esophageal reflux disease, which was complicated
surgeon. He returned to practice for 20 years after his injury. Above
by an aortic aneurysm. During surgery to correct the aortic
Right: Carol Crisco, M.D., sustained an L-5 to S-1 spinal cord injury
aneurysm, an inadequacy of blood flow caused an ischemic
in 1998. Today, she is a pathologist practicing in Marietta, Ga.
Summer 2010 1 5
Photo Courtesy of Aubrey McElroy
Photo by Gary Meek
them, ‘I know what you’re feeling.’ But before I went through this, I
had little understanding of just how terrified they were.”
Drew Seibert, M.D., a gastroenterologist, can appreciate Dr.
Cisco’s change in awareness. After falling in his bathroom in 2006,
he became a quadriplegic. Although he hasn’t returned to work
since his accident, he believes his experience will help him when
he returns to practice medicine someday.
“Since I have experienced what it is like to be a patient, I will be
more understanding to what the patients are feeling,” Dr. Seibert
says. “Before, I used to do procedures routinely like
they were nothing. But undergoing procedures
myself since the accident has definitely changed
my perspective, giving me a better feel for the
apprehension and fear patients may have.”
Another dimension of doctors becoming
patients involves their medical
knowledge. But having a clearer
time to get my head wrapped around my new reality. I think being
a doctor made it difficult at times. I knew what I needed to do to
improve, but things didn’t always happen at the right time. So I would
get impatient. This experience definitely helped me learn patience.”
Patience is a lesson that Aubrey McElroy, M.D., also had to learn.
He sustained a complete T-12 spinal cord injury in a paragliding
accident in 2000. While receiving initial treatment at a Tennessee
hospital, he questioned everything the doctors were doing.
“I was quite vocal,” Dr. McElroy recalls. “We had different goals.”
Ten days after his accident, he was transferred to Shepherd, where
he was immediately impressed with the level of care he received.
Still, his medical knowledge made him skeptical in some cases. “I
couldn’t see the purpose of some of the things they were doing in
therapy,” he says, “but I tried to accept my role as a patient.”
After five weeks at Shepherd, Dr. McElroy returned home to
Johnson City, Tenn., and was able to resume his private practice in
family medicine three months later. Though initially told he would
never walk again, he actually walked out
of Shepherd with the help of two long leg
“Since I have experienced what it
braces and arm crutches. He now walks
is like to be a patient, I will be more
with only the aid of a forearm crutch.
understanding to what the patients are
Dr. McElroy was so impressed with
feeling. Before, I used to do procedures
the way the Shepherd staff handled
routinely like they were nothing. But undergoing their patients and the families, he later
incorporated aspects of Shepherd care
procedures myself since the accident has
into his own practice.
definitely changed my perspective, giving me
“My Shepherd experience gave me new
a better feel for the apprehension and fear
insight into pain and pain management,”
patients may have.” — Drew siebert, M.D.
he says. “I’m looking at pain and its
treatment in a new way. There are pain
understanding of their condition,
generators that do not show up on imaging studies. I am using
treatment and recovery – they are, after
a more comprehensive approach similar to the way they did it at
all, doctors – can be both an asset and
Shepherd Center. I focus on what patients can do, not what they
a liability.
can’t do. And I’m now taking a more holistic approach.” “I had a little better handle on what I was
That holistic approach applies to other areas, as well. He now
up against,” Dr. Seibert says, “but it took a long
looks at the patient not only from a medical standpoint, but also
1 6 Spinal Column
w w w. s p i n a l c o l u m n . o r g
Photo by Gary Meek
Facing Page Left: Drew Seibert,
M.D., of Atlanta, sustained a C-1
to -3 spinal cord injury in 2006. He
continues his recovery in Beyond
Therapy®. Facing Page Right:
Aubrey McElroy, M.D., of Johnson
City, Tenn., sustained a T-5 spinal
cord injury in 2000. With his wife's
support, he returned to practice as
a family physician several months
later. This Page: John Lin, M.D.,
medical director of Shepherd
Center’s Spinal Cord Injury Day
Program, sustained a T-1 complete
spinal cord injury in 1991 when he
was in college. He then decided to
become a doctor.
from a work, home and family standpoint – something he
learned at Shepherd, Dr. McElroy explains.
“I’ve also learned to mobilize resources before I need
them,” he says. “I proactively start working on nursing home
placement, Social Security disability, hospice and other things
for my patients ahead of time.”
Unlike Drs. Holloway, Crisco, Seibert and McElroy, John Lin,
M.D., was not a physician when he was a patient at Shepherd.
But his experience at Shepherd made him want to become one.
In 1991, Dr. Lin was home from college visiting his parents
in Charleston, S.C., when he experienced an aneurysm-like
event known as an epidural arteriovenous malformation,
which suddenly left him paralyzed. He was at Shepherd for
two months with a T-1 complete spinal cord injury.
The expertise of the doctors and therapists, as well as
the overall positive environment at Shepherd inspired Dr.
Lin to go into medicine. “I was already considering going
to graduate school to study physical chemistry,” he recalls.
“I went to talk to [Shepherd Medical Director] Dr. Donald
Leslie and told him I thought I wanted to be a doctor.” So
he became the first student in a wheelchair to be admitted
to the Medical University of South Carolina. And throughout
his medical training, he says Dr. Leslie’s mentorship was
“I initially thought of physical medicine and rehabilitation
as a specialty, but I didn’t want to be a rehab doctor in a
wheelchair,” he says. “I thought that was too cliché.” So he
elected to do a double residency in internal medicine and
physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM & R). While he
enjoyed the subspecialty of internal medicine, he ultimately
chose PM & R. He worked at Emory University Hospital and
the VA Hospital in Atlanta before joining Shepherd in 2005 as
medical director of post-acute services.
Being in a wheelchair gives Dr. Lin a special understanding
of his patients because he can see their situation from both
sides, he says. But it wasn’t easy at first.
“When I was a medical student, it was hard,” Dr. Lin admits.
“I had to keep reliving the process of becoming paralyzed. I
was more emotional, and it hurt my objectivity.” That emotional
struggle has lessened over time. “It’s easier now to be
objective, which is good for everyone. If you get too immersed,
you are not doing your job. When I see patients as a doctor, I
have to be a doctor.”
Although they were doctors – or considering a career as
one — when they were injured, these physicians were also
regular people who had to adjust to a new way of life. And that
can be difficult no matter who you are.
“I went through all the stages of grief,” says Dr. Crisco,
who found the limits on her athletic activities to be one of
her greatest challenges. “I’m still working on acceptance.”
Sometimes, her fellow hospital employees who drive patients
around in electric carts will see her walking with her crutch and
ask if she needs a ride. “That makes me furious,” she says. “I
take it as a blow to my self-esteem.”
Dr. Seibert credits Shepherd with helping him adjust to life as
a quadriplegic, but he admits it was a difficult adjustment.
“After an injury, nothing is the same – even something like
brushing your teeth,” he says. “Everything I do is funneled
through, ‘How do I do this with my injury?’” Dr. Seibert, who was
recently hired as a medical reviewer at WebMD in Atlanta, hopes
to return to practicing medicine in the near future.
Though he didn’t receive initial treatment at Shepherd, Dr.
Holloway believes his visits to the Shepherd Pain Institute
through the years helped him cultivate a positive attitude.
“Through the years, the influence of the Shepherd philosophy
made me realize that even with a spinal cord injury, anything was
possible,” Dr. Holloway adds.
To read this story and view more photographs online,
visit www.spinalcolumn.org
Summer 2010 1 7
Shepherd Center extends its successful
brand of injury rehabilitation to an
international population. By Bill Sanders
a reach that extends
Around the Globe
Shepherd Center Medical Director Donald Peck Leslie,
M.D., has seen patients from more than 25 foreign countries
come to Shepherd Center for treatment and rehabilitation
during the past decade or so.
But that’s not enough for Dr. Leslie. He is stepping up
outreach efforts to boost the hospital’s international reputation
and involvement in rehabilitation care across the globe.
“I want Shepherd Center to have more of a global
presence, with liaisons around the world and more patients
from across the globe,” Dr. Leslie says. “It’s simply the right
thing to do.”
Last year, he visited India on two occasions to consult with
medical colleagues, examine patients and train two parents
on how to use sophisticated, robotic gait training equipment
they had bought for their paralyzed son.
Earlier this year, he consulted with colleagues from Saudi
Arabia, traveled to post-earthquake Haiti to treat people
with spinal cord injuries and helped form a coalition that has
1 8 Spinal Column
established a clinic to fabricate prosthetics for amputees and
help them learn to walk again.
Meanwhile, at least one foreign patient is also taking on
the role of global ambassador for Shepherd. Josh Clift, who
has a spinal cord injury and is being treated in Shepherd’s
Beyond Therapy® program, is planning a future where
his native Australia will have a facility akin to Shepherd
Center and laws that resemble the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA).
Yeah, mate – Shepherd Center is reaching out “Down
Under,” too, Dr. Leslie says. In fact, there aren’t too many
places in the world beyond the scope of his vision for
Shepherd, which already has been recognized by U.S. News
and World Report as a leading rehabilitation hospital in the
United States and has treated patients from all 50 states.
Word is spreading internationally.
“In the past, in some cases, patients or their families
haven’t been willing to make the trip overseas, and that’s
w w w. s p i n a l c o l u m n . o r g
“It became incredibly exhausting after a couple of
months, but every time I got back from Haiti, I was
so glad we had gone.” — Donald Peck Leslie, M.D.
Photo by Gary Meek
“I want to create more opportunities for people in Sydney,”
Josh says. “I’ve always been civic- and activist-minded. Two
months before my first accident, I organized a large breast
cancer fundraiser because my mother has it. That spirit has
always been a part of me. This has brought out some more
qualities that I didn’t know I have.”
As for the name of the foundation: “It is pretty simple,
what I am chasing is a fairytale, though I’m not after Prince
Charming, but being able to walk again. I would kiss a
thousand frogs to do that. By supporting my foundation in
whatever way people can, they will have kissed a frog and
become part of my fairytale.”
Photo by Louie Favorite
understandable,” Dr. Leslie says. “Some think it’s too far and
complicated. But geography shouldn’t stand in the way of the
best rehabilitation, and because of our new Woodruff Family
Residence Center, families from India and Australia have had
a place to stay while they were here. We belong to a number of
international organizations and we feel like we can partner with a
lot of clinicians worldwide.”
Most recently, efforts have been focused on helping Haiti. Three
Haitians with spinal cord injuries have been treated at Shepherd.
And Dr. Leslie and several physical therapists have made numerous
trips to Haiti as part of the Haitian Amputee Coalition, a group
that includes Atlanta businessman Harold Anderson, himself
an amputee, Ivan Sabel’s Hanger Orthopedics Group and the
Catholic Medical Mission Board office in Port-au-Prince.
“It became incredibly exhausting after a couple of months, but
every time I got back from Haiti, I was so glad we had gone,”
Dr. Leslie says.
Remarkably, Haitians in a clinic that Dr. Leslie and the
Coalition established may have been getting better treatment
than spinal cord injury patients in Australia, where options
are limited.
Josh Clift was injured in Australia and eventually made his
way from his home near Sydney to Shepherd Center to continue
“One of my close friends has a business and family in Atlanta,
and he informed me that I needed to get to Shepherd,” Josh
explains. “Then I spoke to the Australian Paralympic head coach,
and he suggested two places – Shepherd Center or a place in
Switzerland. So, Atlanta it was.”
Josh was injured playing rugby when he fractured his C-4
and -5 vertebrae. The vertebrae were fused together, and after 12
weeks in a neck brace, he regained full function.
Then, a week later, Josh was injured again – this time in a car
crash. He dislocated his C-6 to -7 vertebrae, causing a more
severe injury that left him paralyzed and using a wheelchair –
at least for now.
“In the future, I’d like to be walking, say in five years, and be
out of the chair and back to work,” Josh says. “I also want my
Kiss the Frog Foundation to introduce something similar to
the ADA in Australia and to help set up a rehabilitation facility
there. And I want to be a part of sending someone each year to
Shepherd Center.”
For now, Kiss the Frog Foundation (see www.kissthefrog.org.au)
raises money mostly for Josh to continue his treatment in Beyond
Therapy® and cover his living expenses in Atlanta. But Josh’s vision
for Kiss the Frog is bigger than that.
Top: Atlanta businessman Harold Anderson, left, and
Shepherd Center Medical Director Donald P. Leslie, M.D., right,
helped bring Haitian spinal cord injury patient Kesner Salvent
to Shepherd Center. Bottom: Josh Clift of Australia participates
in Shepherd Center's Beyond Therapy® program. He wants to
create a similar program in his native country.
Summer 2010 1 9
Photo by Gary Meek
Doctors in Emory University’s residency program learn
about physical medicine and rehabilitation through
rotations at Shepherd. By Sara Baxter
like no other
When Matthew Richardson, M.D., started his residency at
Shepherd Center, he was given a tour of the hospital by fellow
resident Jeffrey Grossman, M.D. Little did the two know that
five years later, they would be founding partners of their own
medical practice.
Drs. Grossman and Richardson are just two of the many
physiatrists – rehabilitation physicians who diagnose and
treat pain and restore maximum function lost through injury,
illness or disabling conditions – who have worked at Shepherd
during their residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation
(PM &R) at Emory University.
Residents in the Emory program spend eight months
at Shepherd, usually in two-month increments spread out
over the course of three years. The residents rotate with all
the Shepherd physicians, allowing them to see all aspects of
the Center.
“Shepherd gives them a unique experience that they don’t
see anywhere else in their residency,” says John Lin, M.D.,
Shepherd’s medical director of post-acute services and director
2 0 Spinal Column
of the Shepherd rotation for the Emory program. “They are
exposed to everything – the subspecialty clinic, skin-wound
clinic, urology, orthopedics and upper-extremity clinics.”
Physicians trained at Shepherd are now practicing the
hospital’s successful brand of rehabilitation medicine across
the nation. Here, we provide an update on three physiatrists
who are former Emory residents who completed rotations
at Shepherd.
Dan Marin, M.D., who did rotations at Shepherd from
2005 to 2008, now treats people with acute and chronic
spine disorders at the University of South Florida’s
Comprehensive Spine Care Program in Tampa. Dr.
Marin provides therapy, conducts spinal cord stimulation
and administers a variety of injections, as well as other
interventional procedures.
Above: John Lin, M.D., Shepherd’s medical director of postacute services and director of the Shepherd rotation for the
Emory University medical residency program, reviews X-rays
with residents Ricardo Colberg, M.D., and Wesley Chay, M.D.
w w w. s p i n a l c o l u m n . o r g
Photo Courtesy of Dan Marin
Photo by Gary Meek
He likes the results-oriented nature of physiatry. “The
Dr. Richardson’s time at Shepherd clarified what he wanted to
focus on restoring function is profound,” Dr. Marin says.
do with his own practice. “It helped me set goals and gave me an
“There’s a bar of improvement in how the patients are living
idea of the quality of medicine I should aim for,” he says.
their lives, and it’s a very practical program to me.”
Jeffrey Grossman, M.D., a non-surgical lumbar and cervical
Though his practice doesn’t provide catastrophic care, Dr.
specialist, decided to become a physiatrist because of the
Marin is grateful for the exposure he got at Shepherd, which
specialty’s focus on improving quality of life for the patient.
influences how he practices today.
“It’s one of the fields of medicine in which you not only make
“Shepherd provides the most advanced perspective and
a specific diagnosis, but choose from a multitude of effective
enables you to see what is
treatments,” he says. “You can
possible in terms of high
make a significant difference for a
standards of care,” he says.
patient who is in a time of need.”
“You take a look at how you
Dr. Grossman founded
can help each person’s life
Peachtree Spine Physicians in
individually. My rotation
March 2003, and it has grown
at Shepherd taught me to
from three employees in a
stay optimistic and focused.
single location to six physiatrists
It’s very strenuous, but the
working in seven locations around
number of people you see and
metro Atlanta.
the number you help stay with
He saw Shepherd as a place
you forever.”
where patients and service were
Matthew Richardson,
placed at the highest priority,
M.D., an interventional
and he and Dr. Richardson apply
spine physiatrist at Peachtree
these same principles to their
Spine Physicians in Atlanta,
considered residency
“Shepherd isn’t just another
programs at Cornell,
facility in Atlanta,” he says, “and
Stanford and Harvard
we don’t want to be just another
universities, and elsewhere,
practice – we want to be the best.
“Shepherd isn’t just another facility in
before choosing Emory solely
They set the bar high, and we’re
Atlanta, and we don’t want to be just another living up to that standard. If
because of its involvement
practice — we want to be the best. They set
with Shepherd Center.
your goal as a physician practice
the bar high, and we’re living up to that
“Shepherd blew me away,”
is to deliver the best patient
standard. ” — Jeffrey Grossman, M.D.
he says. “It blended the
service and care, it is essential
academic environment with
that you create an optimal work
the private institution side of
environment for your staff and
medicine, and it seemed to be
the best of both worlds. Everyone at Shepherd is dedicated,
Though none of these doctors is working in catastrophic care, all
well-trained, competent and super compassionate. You can’t
agree their time at Shepherd was invaluable in shaping them into
help but take that with you.”
the doctors they’ve become today. And that is Shepherd’s goal.
After his residency, Dr. Richardson went to Berkeley,
“Shepherd is committed to the residency program and
Calif., for a fellowship in interventional spine and pain
producing competent and well-trained doctors,” Dr. Lin says.
medicine and also spent a year in private practice. He
“Every physician here knows it takes a lot of work to train
returned to Atlanta in 2004 and joined Dr. Grossman at
residents. But everyone – doctors, residents, patients – benefits
Peachtree Spine Physicians.
from this program.”
Above: Physiatrists Matthew Richardson, M.D., left, and Jeffrey Grossman, M.D.,
completed a rotation at Shepherd during their residency at Emory University.
Their practice is Peachtree Spine Physicians, which has seven offices in metro
Atlanta. Left: Dan Marin, M.D., who completed several rotations at Shepherd,
treats patients at the University of South Florida’s Comprehensive Spine Care
Program in Tampa, Fla.
Summer 2010 2 1
Sleep medication raises alertness in some
people who are minimally conscious or in a
vegetative state. By Jane M. Sanders
2 2 Spinal Column
w w w. s p i n a l c o l u m n . o r g
The best two hours of Amanda Drucker’s day are the two that
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. These
follow her daily dose of the sleep medication zolpidem, also
studies will be done without the drug to help researchers underknown as Ambien. Ironically, that is when Amanda, 29, who
stand how the brains of people known to respond to the drug differ
has a severe brain injury, is most active and alert.
from those who do not respond.
“It’s the only time of day we can get her to eat a decent meal,”
Researchers hope this information will further their understandsays Amanda’s father, the Rev. Doug Drucker, of McDonough,
ing of the drug’s paradoxical mechanism of action, and ultimately,
Ga. “She is very withdrawn without the zolpidem.
that will help them predict which patients with DOCs
But after Amanda takes it, she starts talking and
may benefit from the treatment.
walks a little. Her face becomes less distorted, and
Zolpidem is an inhibitory drug that promotes sleep
her body relaxes.”
and may also turn off neural networks that impair conResearchers hope sciousness. When it allows a higher state of consciousAmanda’s experience with zolpidem – is simithis information ness, it’s working like a double negative, explains Dr.
lar to a dozen or so cases reported worldwide in
will further their Kaelin, medical director of Shepherd’s Acquired Brain
medical journals in the past decade. After taking
zolpidem, some people with disorders of conInjury Program.
sciousness (a minimally conscious or vegetative
Researchers also hope to determine the types of
of the drug’s
state stemming from a brain injury) experience
cognitive processes – such as attention, memory and
heightened consciousness for several hours.
functional motor processes – affected by the drug
Shepherd Center physicians Rhonda Taubin,
in people with DOCs. And, they want to pinpoint
of action, and
M.D., Gerald Bilsky, M.D., and Darryl Kaelin,
the location of the affected pathway in the brain, Dr.
M.D., have documented three patients, including
ultimately, that Kaelin adds.
Amanda, who have had this experience. Shepherd
“If we can determine the specific location where a
will help them
physicians discovered the paradoxical effects of
person’s brain is injured, we can better treat the type
predict which
zolpidem by happenstance when they prescribed
of injury they have,” Dr. Kaelin says. “Not all injuries
patients with
it to their patients for sleep problems.
that result in disorders of
disorders of
Now, to formally study zolpidem as a potential
consciousness are the same.
treatment for disorders of consciousness (DOC),
As we understand the
Shepherd Center is participating in a nationwide may benefit from affected pathway, we can
study funded by the National Institute on Disindividualize treatment to be
the treatment.
ability and Rehabilitation Research and led by
more successful in helping
John Whyte, M.D., Ph.D., at Moss Rehabilitapatients.”
tion Research Institute in Pennsylvania.
These answers cannot come too soon
Shepherd expects to enroll about 20 people in the first segfor Amanda Drucker’s family. For now,
ment of the three-phase study over the next year. Participants
she takes zolpidem only once daily bemust be medically stable, at least age 18 and have had a DOC
cause it’s not yet known whether it’s safe
for at least four months.
to take more frequent doses.
“This study provides an opportunity to identify the types of
“I just can’t imagine what it would be
brain injuries in people with disorders of consciousness that may
like if Amanda was alert for maybe six
respond to zolpidem treatment,” says Ron Seel, Ph.D., director of
hours a day,” Amanda’s father says. “It
brain injury research at Shepherd. “We hope that as many as 10
would absolutely make a real difference in
percent of people with DOCs may experience increased alertness
her quality of life.”
Top: Darryl Kaelin, M.D.
and activity for a short time after taking the drug.”
For information on participating
Bottom: Ron Seel,
In Phase 1 of the study, participants will take a sugar pill
in the study, contact Riya Rajan
(placebo) one day and zolpidem on another day. Family memat 215-663-6456 or
bers, who won’t know which pill is given on which day, will rate
[email protected]
whether participants improve while on the drug. Participants
who improve based on family reports will proceed to Phase
2 in which the same protocol will be followed, but
a healthcare professional will assess the patient’s
response using a standardized measurement scale.
In Phase 3, some Phase 2 patients who
experience an improvement in consciousness in
response to zolpidem – as well as some who do
not – will undergo high-resolution structural and
functional-MRI scans and EEG recordings at the
Summer 2010 2 3
Photo by Louie Favorite
to Care for
Former spinal cord injury patient Kristie
Summers returns to Shepherd Center as a
nurse. By Bill Sanders
Kristie Summers is one Shepherd Center nurse who can look a
patient in the eyes and truly understand what they are feeling.
What it’s like to be in a horrible car crash, to wonder if you’d
ever be able to walk again, to undergo physically and emotionally demanding rehabilitation at Shepherd Center– Kristie has
done them all. So when she says, “I know how you feel,” there’s
a genuineness behind those words.
“Going through what I went through absolutely helped
shape me into the nurse I am,” Kristie says. “I was compassion2 4 Spinal Column
ate to begin with; you have to be. But what I experienced
here had a lasting impact. At Shepherd, everyone is so
passionate about their jobs, and they are so empathetic. They
didn’t make me feel as helpless as I felt. They were good at
doing things for me when that’s what I needed and letting
me do things on my own when I needed to.”
In April 2007, Kristie was driving in Nashville, where she
was a nursing student, and she took her eyes off the road for
a split second to grab her cell phone.
w w w. s p i n a l c o l u m n . o r g
“Sometimes, I share my story with patients. Sometimes I just drop
some hints and remind them that they are in the best place they
could be, and I know that for a fact.” — Kristie Summers
“Although she is relatively new to our department, she has
already shown leadership as she has agreed to represent ABI
as a skin care champion,” says unit manager Gail Greene, RN,
BSN, CRRN. “And Kristie has impressed us all with her cheerful
dedication to providing great care, and her willingness to serve in
a peer-support role for others when she's able. I have no doubt
she will touch many lives through her service.”
Kristie shares her story with patients and their family when it’s
appropriate, she says.
“It depends on the situation,” she says. “My results are not
typical, not even remotely. To bounce back like I did, it just
doesn’t happen that often. So I give patients encouragement, but
try not to give false hope. If I know from their records that they
have a complete spinal cord injury, I don’t say, ‘Look, it happened
to me.’ Sometimes, I share my story. Sometimes I just drop some
hints and remind them that they are in the best place they could
be, and I know that for a fact.”
Facing Page: Former spinal cord injury patient Kristie Summers
is now a nurse in Shepherd Center's Acquired Brain Injury Unit.
Below: Kristie enjoys a laugh with Gerald Bilsky, M.D., associate
medical director of the unit.
Photo by Louie Favorite
“There was a fork in the road, and I went down a 50-foot
embankment near my apartment complex,” she recalls.
Kristie sustained a C-6 incomplete spinal cord injury and a
collapsed lung. Vanderbilt University Medical Center surgeons
fused Kristie’s C-5 to C-7 vertebrae, but they weren’t optimistic.
She now knows that doctors there told her mom that if Kristie
was ever able to wean off a ventilator, she’d regain only minimal
function and likely would have severe brain damage for however
long she lived.
But after seeing the tiniest bit of improvement, a slight
movement in her legs, the Vanderbilt doctors recommended
that Kristie go to Shepherd Center. A week after the crash, she
was admitted.
“It was still looking dicey, even after I got here,” Kristie says. “I
don’t think there was much hope then of me getting significantly
better. But fairly rapidly, I started improving and did so for the
next three weeks.”
While an inpatient, Kristie worked tremendously hard,
recalls Shepherd physical therapist Corrie Abegglen. “She and
her mom were dedicated to her recovery and did everything
they could to help her improve,” Corrie says. “Kristie was so
motivated to return to nursing that she did her best every day.
She has such a positive attitude and drive to achieve her goals. I
was not surprised that she was able to make a full recovery and
return to nursing.”
Kristie was only a month away from graduating from nursing
school when she was injured. When it became clear her life was
no longer in danger and she was regaining function, professors at
Tennessee State University in Nashville decided to make it a little
easier – at least logistically– for Kristie to graduate with her class.
“My professor brought the final exam to Atlanta for me, and
I took it and graduated,” Kristie recalls. “Even then, though, I
didn’t think I’d be able to be a nurse out on the floor. I thought I
could do something behind the scenes, but not be on my feet for
a full shift. I wanted to, but I didn’t think I could.”
Within a few months, however, Kristie realized she could
fulfill her career dream. She applied for jobs in Nashville without
even thinking about working at Shepherd. She’d been away from
home for eight months, and she wanted to be back near family
and friends.
She got her first nursing job in Nashville and then moved to
another job in the city. But Nashville’s pull on her began to lose
its grip.
She now works in Shepherd’s Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)
Unit, where her compassion is evident to the staff and families of
her patients.
To read this story and view more photographs online, visit
Summer 2010 2 5
Shepherd Center teams up with managed care
plans for successful outcomes.
By Amanda Crowe, MA, MPH
When it comes to maximizing outcomes for people with spinal cord
injuries (SCI), making sure health
insurers and experts in spinal care and
rehabilitation are on the same page
is integral to quality care. Facilitating
ongoing dialogue between these two
parties is essential, especially as payors
Above: Colleen
(and consumers) increasingly ask for
McCrory is director
effectiveness data about specific SCI
of marketing and
therapies, and clinicians want to be able
managed care.
to deliver the most appropriate and
promising medical and rehabilitative care to patients.
“Benefits are much more complex these days,” says David C.
Epstein, M.D., senior medical director at CIGNA Healthcare.
“The shift to self-insurance coupled with escalating healthcare
costs means that employers – who are now the ones writing
the checks – are demanding greater transparency and accountability of their health care benefit dollars.”
Shepherd Center routinely collects outcomes data to track
the success of certain therapies. But dialogue about the best
course of treatment for SCI must broaden nationally, says
Colleen McCrory, director of marketing and managed care
at Shepherd. Many insurers focus only on rehab facilities or
services in their state, potentially limiting patients’ access to
cutting-edge therapies.
“Why should managed care contracts be limited to certain
states or regions?” asks McCrory, who says one of the best
models to refer to comes from the workers’ compensation
“Because they are managing patients (medically) for a lifetime, they are truly interested in getting patients to the right
facility – and as early as possible,” she explains. “If managed
care companies, which tend to focus only on the state or the
immediate care community they serve, adopted National
Centers of Excellence standards like the worker’s comp
industry, we could see better outcomes.” Dr. Epstein agrees, citing CIGNA customers’ access to a
national network of Centers of Excellence for many complex
illnesses, but is also quick to reinforce the collective need
to contain costs and improve outcomes. “The days of being
2 6 Spinal Column
able to ignore total costs are no more. We don’t have unlimited
resources,” he says. “This also presents an opportunity for payors
to work more closely with Shepherd and others to articulate the
best treatment plan for each patient.” “We are trying to encourage medical directors to look at performance-based reimbursement,” McCrory says. “Managed care companies should request
outcomes data and use Centers of Excellence as benchmarks for
evaluating the ‘gold standard’ in spinal cord care.”
Ultimately, the commitment to collaborate is key. “There are
times we disagree, but we stay at the table to decide what’s best
for the patient and what resources are realistically available,” Dr.
Epstein says.
Doing so can help ensure that responsible and informed treatment decisions are made.
McCrory and Dr. Epstein recommend
that insurers and health providers:
Start talking early. Frank, early discussions about
1] a patient’s plan of care and what is and is not
covered (e.g., transportation, length of stays, levels of
care) under their benefit plan is critical and helps identify
potential hurdles early on. Managed care organizations
should also be educated about the clinical advantages of
specialized facilities.
common ground. When managed care com2] Find
panies and healthcare professionals partner, it can be
a win-win situation, especially when treatment decisions
are based on maximizing post-injury functioning and
restoring quality of life. Getting patients the right care
from the start often means cost-savings later.
solution-oriented and creative. A long reha3] Be
bilitation stay might quickly exhaust a person’s ben-
efits, presenting a major challenge to recovery. To be good
stewards of patient benefits, insurers and care providers
often need to think creatively to help patients get what
they need, McCrory says.
For example, if a patient’s benefits only allow for 45
days of rehabilitation, but the person has 120 days at a
skilled nursing facility, can insurance companies “flex” the
remaining benefits to meet the clinical and medical needs
of the patient? One solution might be to take advantage
of Shepherd’s day program.
Timing is also an issue. Insurers don’t want to exhaust a
patient’s rehabilitation benefits by admitting them to this
level of care if they have acute medical issues that need
to be resolved (e.g., a patient who needs surgery for skin
breakdown). Instead, they might hold rehabilitation days
until the patient can actively participate.
national best practices. Ultimately,
4] Establish
Centers of Excellence would help to provide mea-
surable and comparable data on patient outcomes.
w w w. s p i n a l c o l u m n . o r g
with Darryl Kaelin, M.D., Medical
Director, Acquired Brain Injury Program
Interviewed by Kayla Eubanks
Q:Shepherd Center is known for having one of the best
acquired brain injury (ABI) programs in the country.
What makes Shepherd’s ABI Program distinctive?
A: B
ecause our ABI program and the staff within it specialize
in managing ABIs specifically, it allows a level of expertise
beyond traditional rehabilitation units. It is the reason we can
provide the quality of care we deliver. Additionally, we are one
of the largest ABI programs in the country, which means we
see more patients with severe, complex or rare injuries than
other programs.
Q:You are also the medical director of the brain injury
research program at Shepherd Center. What’s new in
brain injury research?
A: W
e are conducting what we hope will be the largest research
investigation ever completed that looks at medications used
in the inpatient rehabilitation setting. The study compares the
effects of Bromocriptine (used to treat Parkinson’s disease)
and Ritalin versus placebo to see which helps improve
attention and cognition more.
On the outpatient side, we are looking at what determines a
person’s outcome – beyond the physical extent of a person’s
injury. This federally funded study will look at the biological,
social and psychological factors that play into outcomes.
Another study we are conducting is a safety study that we
hope will create a measurement tool for clinicians to use in
determining what level of supervision a person needs. It will
enable them to assess when it is safe to leave the patient
alone and for how long.
About 150 attendees will participate in workshops and lectures
led by international leaders. Two popular topics will be robotic
therapies to improve function and new technologies, such as stem
cell therapy and electrostimulation.
Q:What future innovations do you foresee in ABI rehabilitation?
A:Exciting things are happening in the area of new technologies.
Electrostimulation, for example, is being used to stimulate the brain
shortly after injury to help it recover more fully and fix areas that
were damaged. For some time, doctors have used the Lokomat
robotic device to build strength and coordination in patients with
spinal cord injuries. Now, it is being used for people with brain
injuries for the same purpose. Both of these innovations are
showing great potential.
Q:Are there any stories of hope that stick out in your mind from
the years you’ve been a doctor?
A:I find it particularly rewarding when I help patients return to work,
especially when my patients are fellow doctors or healthcare
professionals. It’s a unique situation to use my passion to aid
another clinician to return to his or hers.
To read this story and view more photographs online,
visit www.spinalcolumn.org
All of these studies should be completed by the end of 2010.
Q:Why did you become a doctor and choose physical
medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) as your specialty?
A: I believe that medicine chose me. At age 5, I knew it was what
I needed to do. It’s always been my passion and dream, and
I feel fortunate to have accomplished that. PM&R is natural
fit coming from my background in playing sports. It is a true
delight to work with a team and help a patient who has a
significant setback regain function and independence.
Q:On Aug. 27-28, Shepherd is hosting the North American
Neurorehabilitation Symposium (NANRS). Tell us about
this conference and its significance.
A: T
his conference will bring together leading thinkers,
researchers and clinicians in neurorehabiltiation. It will set
directives for the field in what needs to be researched,
Photo by Gary Meek
increase collaboration among major centers of care and highlight
the excellent services we provide here at Shepherd.
Darryl Kaelin, M.D
Board Certification:
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
15 years
Random Facts:
• Dr. Kaelin’s wife, Brenna, is a
critical care nurse at Piedmont
Hospital. They have three
children: Audrey, 18, Austin,
15 and Adam, 11.
Medical College of Virginia,
• He loves to travel, especially
in Europe.
Medical School:
• He played baseball at the
University of Louisville
University of Notre Dame, and
Medical School
it’s still his favorite sport.
Summer 2010 2 7
By Kayla Eubanks
Matt Curran of
Boston, Mass.
Nick Calabrese of
Avon Lake, Ohio.
Kate Crews of
Metairie, La.
Karen Jones of
Atlanta, Ga.
After sustaining a brain injury and
T-9 to -10 spinal cord injury (SCI)
in an ATV accident at age 15, Nick
Calabrese of Avon Lake, Ohio, spent
three weeks at Metro Health Hospital
in Cleveland, Ohio, before being flown
to Shepherd Center. He spent five days
in the dual-diagnosis unit and later
transferred to the SCI unit, where he
worked for five weeks on his recovery.
A few years later, he decided to act on a
business idea he had before his accident
– creating a clothing line inspired by
his love for Halloween and all things
nightmarish. Before Nick graduated
2 8 Spinal Column
Former Shepherd Center patients
from across the nation report on their
productive lives post-injury.
from high school, Unlucky Clothing
Company was born. Its array of T-shirts,
long-sleeve shirts, hats, hoodies, buttons
and stickers will be sold on GetUnlucky.
com, which is under construction, and
feature graphic designs of vampires, ghouls
and ghosts. A portion of the proceeds from
his sales will go to charities that support
cancer and paralysis research.
“After high school, I graduated from
college with an associate’s degree in
marketing and another in business
administration,” Nick says. “I am
considering going back to school for a
graphic design degree.”
In addition to his Unlucky Clothing
line, Nick expresses his love of life through
tattoos, covering his arms and chest.
“I can’t pick one favorite, but I really like
the ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ sleeve
on my right arm, ‘Unbreakable’ across my
chest, and a dragon, which is a symbol of
strength,” Nick says. “I always felt that
life was colorful and tried to express my
feelings and personality in everything I did.
To me, tattoos are the best way to do that.”
When Kate Crews of Metairie, La.,
arrived at her local emergency room in
June 2008, doctors didn’t think she would
w w w. s p i n a l c o l u m n . o r g
make it through the night with
such serious injuries. She had
sustained an acquired brain injury
(ABI) after an elevated truck hit
the car she was riding in, striking
her directly in the head.
She was transferred to the
Shepherd Center Intensive Care Unit
for five days and then moved to the
ABI unit. Because she was still in a
coma and unable to participate in
therapy, she was sent home until she
regained consciousness two and a half
months later. She spent two months
as an inpatient and seven months as
an outpatient at Shepherd Pathways.
Now home, Kate continues her
rehabilitation and occupational
therapy and is attending McNeese
State University. The accident
inspired her career choice.
“Shepherd Center not only
miraculously helped me heal and
become the person I am today,
but also inspired me to become an
occupational therapist and help
people like my therapists helped
me,” Kate says. “My therapists Erin
(Mattingly) and Nicole (LoBianco)
helped me awake from my
unconscious state and emerge with
grace. I owe my life to many people,
including them.”
Kate hopes to start driving in
the near future and possibly start a
part-time job with her occupational
therapist. She then plans to finish her
psychology degree before attending
graduate school for an occupational
therapy degree.
“I thank God for His love and
for giving me the courage to keep
trying. Everyone at Shepherd
Center will remain close to my heart
forever,” she says.
Matt Curran of Boston, Mass.,
was 21 when he was injured in an
accident that paralyzed him below
the T-3 to -4 levels on his spinal
column and caused a brain injury. At
Shepherd Center, he spent roughly
three months in rehabilitation and
walked out with crutches and leg
braces. Nine years later, Matt is
walking again and has no noticeable
effects from his brain injury.
He’s earned a bachelor’s degree and
an MBA in finance from Providence
College and a master’s degree in
accounting from Bentley University.
“Finishing my degrees has ‘tested’
my brain and helped me get
comfortable that there’s nothing
wrong up there,” Matt says. “I still
don’t have great balance on my right
side, but I am working on it. I can
swim and golf and hope to return to
the ice someday since I was a college
hockey player before my accident.”
Now a finance manager for
Iron Mountain, Matt’s career
has required international travel.
Traveling with a spinal cord injury
proves challenging at times, but he’s
learned tricks along the way.
“Long flights increase my
spasticity, making my legs, hips
and back even more stiff than they
usually are,” Matt says. “The key is to
stay at a hotel with a pool or a gym.
Swimming and exercise are the best
things I can do to stay loose.”
During and after his time at
Shepherd Center, Matt relied on
his Catholic faith and family for
support. There wasn’t a moment
where one of his parents wasn’t by
his side.
“That support and faith gave me
a sense of hope and ability to trust
in something bigger than X-rays
and CT scans,” Matt says. “This,
combined with extended family at
Catholic Memorial High School
and Providence College, was
instrumental in my recovery —
along with a lot of hard work.”
As a married mother of two daughters
and a fourth grade teacher, Karen
Jones of Atlanta, Ga., is a busy
woman. She is completing a doctorate
in education, specializing in teacher
leadership and writing a parental
involvement guide. Karen also volunteers
as a Girl Scout troop leader, tutor and
conductor of parental involvement
seminars and abstinence education
lectures. No one would know that she
had multiple sclerosis (MS) unless she
told them.
“I was diagnosed with MS in 2002,”
Karen says. “Initially, it did not affect me,
but after about two years, many things
changed. I began to feel more fatigued
and not able to do as much physically.
I tried really hard to do everything as
normal as possible because only my
immediate family knew, and I did not
want anyone else to know. I thought
they would act differently toward me
because of my condition, even though I
looked healthy.”
Karen learned of the Andrew C.
Carlos MS Institute at Shepherd Center
from her home health nurse. The nurse
told Karen that Shepherd is excellent at
treating people with MS. She called the
next day to schedule an appointment.
“Even though it is really hard for me,
I am blessed that I can still work, walk,
talk and do most things,” she says. “It
hurts my heart to see fellow people with
MS in a worse condition than I am.”
In her spare time, Karen enjoys
traveling, music, sewing, arts and
crafts, cooking and shopping with her
What’s New?
We want to stay current on any personal or
professional news in your life. Send us an
update and a photo (we’ll return it to you):
Jane Sanders, Spinal Column Magazine, 2020
Peachtree Rd., N.W., Atlanta, GA, 30309. You can
also e-mail us at [email protected]
Summer 2010 2 9
Photo by Gary Meek
Summer 2010
Bert, along with his wife Dawn and Dive Masters Graham
Wilson and Risa Matthew, have organized an adaptive
scuba trip every year since. Bonaire is always a favorite
destination because of the ideal dive conditions and excellent
accessibility. Volunteers pay their own expenses and dive in
buddy teams with patients. A quadriplegic may need two
buddies to dive with him or her, whereas a paraplegic can
often dive alone after some slight modifications to the way
that he or she enters the water.
“He has contributed countless hours to grow the
program and has made a positive impact on the
individuals who have completed scuba sessions. It
has been our privilege to work with him.”
— Becky Washburn, manager of Shepherd’s
ProMotion/Beyond Therapy® Program
Volunteer Profile
Bert Quist
Dive shop owner teaches scuba to bring fun and
adventure into patients’ lives.
By Lauren Angelo
Thirteen years ago, a Shepherd Center patient rolled into [email protected]
Sea, a dive shop owned by Bert and Dawn Quist, located just down
the road from Shepherd. Then another patient appeared, and though
Bert knew nothing about scuba diving with a disability, his curiosity
had been piqued, and some research led him to the Handicapped
Scuba Association. Shortly thereafter, he approached Shepherd
about offering some lessons in the hospital’s pool, and the rest, as
they say, is history.
Bert began by offering lessons in the pool. They were so popular
that he started offering them at some of Shepherd Center's
adaptive sports camps and clinics, and then began offering full
scuba lessons.
Bert discovered that many people had tried scuba in a pool and
loved it, but had not become certified. When he asked why, the
response was usually, “Why get certified if we’re only going to dive
in the pool?” Bert’s response was a challenge to the patients.
“I laid it out there,” he says. “I told them, ‘You guys get certified,
we practice and get this down, and we will dive somewhere really
cool.’” The patients met his challenge, and that led to the first
adaptive scuba trip in 2001 to Bonaire in the Caribbean.
3 0 Spinal Column
Diving is contagious, and patients’ friends and family
members often join the fun and become certified, as well. The scuba program is evidence of a truly effective
partnership between Shepherd and members of the Atlanta
community. Bert says Shepherd’s staff and resources have
supported him greatly in his efforts to learn more about
“Shepherd, with their world-class expertise, has helped us
learn how to best help their patients,” Bert says. At the same time, Shepherd and its patients benefit, says
Becky Washburn, manager of Shepherd’s ProMotion/Beyond
Therapy® Program. “He has contributed countless hours to
grow the program and has made a positive impact on the
individuals who have completed scuba sessions,” she says. “It
has been our privilege to work with him.”
Bert is incredibly modest about the role he has played in
bringing this program to Shepherd. The most rewarding
aspect for him is the immediate feedback he gets as patients
enjoy themselves in the water.
“After a dive, you see firsthand how pumped up they are,”
Bert says. He finds it particularly meaningful when patients
who sustained an injury during an activity like snowboarding
are able to regain a sense of adventure in their lives.
Bert is also amazed by how supportive Shepherd is of not
only scuba, but activities such as wheelchair rugby, fourwheeler riding and snow-skiing. “This is certainly a different
hospital than the ones I was used to,” Bert says. “In life, you
will always get a million different reasons not to do something,
but at the end of the day you have to ask yourself, ‘why not?’”
Above: Bert Quist, owner of [email protected] in Atlanta, volunteers his
time to teach scuba lessons to Shepherd Center patients. He also
leads an annual scuba trip to the Caribbean for former patients.
w w w. s p i n a l c o l u m n . o r g
Atlanta attorney aids
people with brain and
spinal cord injuries in
the courtroom, as well
as the therapy gym.
Donor profile
Tommy malone
Tommy Malone, a personal injury and litigation lawyer in Atlanta,
most likely didn’t know how involved he would become in the
field of brain and spinal cord injuries when he began practicing law
more than 40 years ago. Since that time, however, he has become a
leading advocate for people affected by brain and spinal cord injuries
and is a longtime donor to Shepherd Center.
Tommy’s professional work is driven by a desire to help people,
especially those harmed by another person’s carelessness. His specific focus on brain injuries increased as he learned more about the
great benefits that rehabilitation therapy offers. “The attention that has been placed on traumatic brain injury has
increased tremendously over the years,” Tommy says. “I always
enjoyed trial work and representing injured people, and as medicine
developed, so did my awareness of what is involved in a brain injury
and what can be accomplished through therapy.”
The cost is significant for the therapy sometimes needed after a
brain or spinal cord injury. Tommy and his law partner and son,
Adam Malone, believe this is where they can make the most difference for others. In the courtroom, they work to prevail in cases
so people with catastrophic injuries may get the funds necessary to
receive the best care and treatment available to them.
Outside the courtroom, Tommy and Adam donate to Shepherd,
in part because the hospital provides the very best treatment to so
many of their clients.
“I have tried to give back in a financial way to help others who
are doing so much hands-on work,” Tommy says. “My time is so
committed to representing people in the courtroom, that I haven’t
had the opportunity to volunteer. I think I do more by looking after
the people who count on me to look after them and by giving back
in a financial way.”
Happily, Tommy has stayed in touch with many of his clients
and witnessed the difference he has made in their lives. His firm
Photo by Leita Cowart
By Lauren Angelo
hosts a birthday party every five years, and clients he has represented return for the celebration. He describes one man who, in videos
of his early days in rehabilitation, could not move in response to a
balloon bouncing off his arm. Videos taken later show him knocking the balloon across the room with a badminton racquet. Thirty
or 40 years ago, doctors might have given up on this patient, but
today, to see someone improve so drastically, convinces you that
there is a great deal of improvement possible with the right care
and treatment, Tommy says.
He believes Shepherd patients receive the highest caliber of
treatment, and Tommy says he’s satisfied knowing that his donations help Shepherd improve the conditions and lives of patients in
the same way that his young client’s ability to react to the balloon
improved. Knowing that his contributions truly make a difference is one of the most rewarding aspects of donating because
he believes that there is no greater joy than making a meaningful
difference in someone else’s life.
“I have tried to give back in a financial way to help
others who are doing so much hands-on work…. I
think I do more by looking after the people who count
on me to look after them and by giving back in a
financial way.”— Tommy Malone
“It’s just rewarding to be considered a part of the Shepherd family of folks who care,” Tommy says. “I make my living representing people who have these conditions that Shepherd does so much
to help. I’m a person who knows the benefit of giving back and the
joy that it brings.” Above: Atlanta attorney and Shepherd Center supporter Tommy
Malone, right, chats with Shepherd Medical Director Donald Peck
Leslie, M.D., in Tommy's office.
Summer 2010 3 1
Personal and professional ties to
Shepherd Center motivate involvement with
The Legendary Party 2010.
By Lauren Angelo
Photo by Gary Meek
Though the event isn’t until this
fall, plans are well under way
for Shepherd Center’s largest
fundraiser – The Legendary Party
– scheduled for Nov. 6 at The Ritz
Carlton, Buckhead. This year, the
chair, the honoree and the floral
designer of the popular black-tie
event all have either personal or
professional ties with Shepherd.
Dorothy Mitchell-Leef, M.D.,
Above: Dorothy
Mitchell-Leef, M.D.,
is the Chairman of the 2010
is the first physician
Legendary Party, which has the
to chair Shepherd's
theme of “The Legend of The Sun
Legendary Party.
King, Reflections of Versailles.”
In 2009, Dr. Mitchell-Leef served as Chairman-elect, and she
also hosted the Patron Party, a sponsor recognition event in
her home a few weeks before the gala to honor the fundraiser’s
sponsors and guests. Her good friend and long-time Shepherd
supporter, Cyndae Arrendale, who chaired the 2009
Legendary Party, asked her to chair the 2010 party.
“I knew I couldn’t say no,” she recalls.
Dr. Mitchell-Leef, a reproductive endocrinologist and
fertility specialist with Reproductive Biology Associates, is
the first physician to chair the ball, which can be a
full-time job in itself.
“Being chair is a huge job,” says Dean Melcher, director of
annual giving at Shepherd. “You drive the whole vision of the
party and solicit sponsorships. She has put a lot of thought into
what the guest will experience, all in support of a good cause.”
The doctor’s ties to Shepherd date back to 1993, when she
began professionally consulting with Shepherd patients who
had infertility issues. As a result, she has helped many male
patients with spinal cord injuries become fathers.
In January, she saw another side of Shepherd that helped
her efforts to raise money for The Legendary Party. After
undergoing knee replacement surgery, she did some of her
rehabilitation at Shepherd.
“This allowed me to see everything that goes on there,” she
says. “I started asking the physical therapists what things cost
Photo by Gary Meek
The Ties
That Bind
and what kinds of equipment they still needed. It was a great
way for me to connect to the needs of Shepherd. It gave me a
different perspective.”
She took this information and used it in her fundraising letters.
“I wanted to impress upon the donors and sponsors the specific
things their money could provide for the care of these patients,”
she says. “As a doctor, I know how important it is to have a great
facility and the proper equipment.”
As planning continues for this year’s big event, Parties to Die
For, a local business headed by Tricky Wolfes and Kathy Rainer,
is developing ideas for designing flower arrangements and decor
for the party. Tricky and her design partner will create floral
arrangements that fit the era of Louis XIV. “It will be grandiose
and colorful,” she promises. “It will be an evening fit for a king.”
Though this is the first time she’s doing the party, Tricky
has had a lot of personal experience with Shepherd. Her son
sustained a brain injury in a car accident in 1995. He has been
a patient at Shepherd, and is currently receiving therapy at
Shepherd Pathways.
“I know first hand all the good things Shepherd does and
how difficult their work can be,” Tricky says. “I am thrilled to
be a part of it all.”
3 2 Spinal Column
“Being chair is a huge job,” says Dean Melcher,
director of annual giving at Shepherd. “You
drive the whole vision of the party…. She has
put a lot of thought into what the guest will
experience, all in support of a good cause.”
The Honorary Chair of The Legendary Party is Eula Carlos,
who, through generous donations, has funded the Eula and
Andrew C. Carlos Endowed Chair for Multiple Sclerosis
Research. She has also been a tireless volunteer through the years.
“She is one of the unsung heroes of philanthropy,” Dean says.
“It touched my heart to be honored this way, but I feel as if I
need to honor Shepherd,” Eula says. “Shepherd helps so many
people in so many ways. I am grateful for what they do.”
Above: Legendary Party Chairman Dorothy Mitchell-Leef, M.D.,
center, discusses party plans with Dean Melcher and Cara Puckett
of the Shepherd Center Foundation.
w w w. s p i n a l c o l u m n . o r g
Photo by Gary Meek
When Duane Morrow was a spinal cord injury patient at Shepherd Center, he was what therapists call a
“super quad” – highly motivated, hard-working and lightning-fast in meeting his therapy goals. He would
even work out in the Shepherd Center fitness center before his daily therapy. Duane, who sustained a
quadriplegic-level spinal cord injury while playing rugby in 2004, underwent inpatient and outpatient
treatment at Shepherd, and was one of the first participants in Shepherd’s Beyond Therapy® program.
Today, with help from medication and an electrical nerve stimulation device, Duane walks with the aid of a
cane. He is also active in adaptive sports and has a busy career and family life.
Now a Trustee of the Shepherd Center Foundation, Duane wanted to help patients who will follow after
him by remembering the Foundation in his estate plans. “I am thankful to have the opportunity to share
the resources I have been blessed with to help other people,” Duane says. He included a bequest in his
recently prepared will, and in so doing became a member of Shepherd’s coveted Bridge Builders Society.
Giving to the Foundation through a will bequest, retirement account, insurance policy, charitable
trust or gift annuity are popular ways of becoming a Bridge Builder. Learn more about charitable
giving by visiting www.shepherd.org/plannedgiving, or by calling Ty Tippett, Senior Director of
Planned Gifts, at 404-350-7308, or Jen Swindall, Planned Giving Associate, at 404-350-7301.
Summer 2010 3 3
2010 DAY
New venue is a hit with
the Derby Day crowd.
By Dean Melcher
Photos by NEIL DENT
In its 28-year history, Shepherd Center’s Junior Committee has put on one
terrific Derby Day after another, and the Saturday, May 1, event was no
exception. This year’s Kentucky Derby-themed fundraiser was held at its new
venue – The Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, Ga., site of the 1996
Olympic Games' equestrian events. More than 1,200 patrons and sponsors were
on hand to enjoy live music, play games, bid on exciting auction items and, of
course, cheer on Super Saver as he won the world-famous horse race.
3 4 Spinal Column
w w w. s p i n a l c o l u m n . o r g
There were so many great things about Derby Day 2010 that it’s
nearly impossible to pick the favorite. So, here are some highlights:
• T he Crowd. From beautiful hats, sundresses, seersucker
suits and khakis to T-shirts and jeans, young
professionals, former Shepherd Center patients and longtime supporters celebrated a fun day in the afternoon sun
and an evening on the dance floor.
• T he Music. The afternoon started with a great mix of
recorded music, which quickly transitioned to a lively set
of favorites from Sun Domingo on the main stage in the
Patron Tent. After the live auction, Atlanta's favorite club
band, Yacht Rock Schooner, took the stage and put on
a fantastic, crowd-pleasing show of ‘70s classics. White
captain’s hats were everywhere as the crowd danced until
“last bus now boarding” was announced.
• The Festivities. There’s so much to do at Derby Day that
it’s hard to fit it into only eight hours. From meeting
new people and mingling with old friends to playing
highly competitive matches of corn hole, lawn games,
joining “high-stakes” casino games, playing the ponies,
and bidding on spectacular live and silent auctions, Derby
Day offered a full day of fun and an evening of partying.
• The Venue. The location was very easy to access from
Atlanta, and the intimate setting made for a more social
and festive atmosphere.
• The Committee. The 232-member Junior Committee,
led by Co-Chairs Miller Jackson and Kirk Martin, and
the Executive Committee worked since August 2009 to
plan and implement this wonderful event. Every detail was
carefully thought out, and the dedicated Junior Committee
volunteers solicited sponsorships and auction items, sold
tickets, T-shirts, commemorative Derby Day ties from
Southern Proper, set up the event, served food and drinks,
staffed the game tables and completed countless other tasks
to ensure the event went smoothly, the crowd had a great
time and the event raised money for Shepherd Center. We
can’t thank them enough for their wonderful efforts!
• The Cause. Derby Day raises money for Shepherd
Center’s internationally acclaimed Therapeutic Recreation
Program (TR). TR is funded entirely with donations, and
Shepherd’s TR specialists work with the Center’s patients
to introduce them to a world of accessible sports, and
leisure and creative activities that improve their physical,
cognitive and social functioning so they can return to
independent, active and healthy lifestyles.
Our heartfelt thanks goes to all the volunteers, sponsors,
patrons, auction donors and other in-kind donors who made
this year’s Derby Day a huge success. For information about
Derby Day or the Junior Committee, please contact Anne
Pearce, Annual Events Manager in the Shepherd Center
Foundation, at [email protected] or
(404) 350-7302.
Left: Derby Day 2010 Co-Chairs Kirk Martin and Miller Jackson relax after leading
232 volunteers in organizing another great Derby Day event. Center: For many,
the highlight of Derby Day is watching the "fastest two mintues in sports." Right:
The Junior Committee Executive Board enjoys the payoff of their hard work.
Bottom row, left to right: Philip Mize, Orin Romain, Kirk Martin. Middle row: Hunter
Ross, Hamilton Bridges, Stuart Griswold, Dan Lenahan, Shannon Shipley, Anne
Pearce, Miller Jackson, Nadine Helal and Wesley Snapp. Back row: Reagan
Michaelis, Scott Tucker, Lauren Tucker, Trey Weatherly and Brenden Harper.
Summer 2010 3 5
Winner’s Circle Sponsors
JLC Southeast, LLC
Resource Real Estate Marketing
Cooper-Atlanta Transportation Services
Triple Crown Sponsors
AirTran Airways
Choate Construction Company
The Coca-Cola Company
Gallagher Electric & Engineering Company
Platinum Sponsors
Bear Claw Condominiums
Bell Capital Mgt.
Janyce and Mark Dawkins
David and Jennifer Kahn Family
Proof of the Pudding
The Ranches at Belt Creek
The Charles and Catherine B.
Rice Foundation
Mary and Jeff Sadler
Gold Cup Sponsors
Amelia Island Plantation
AmWINS Brokerage of Georgia
Bachelor & Kimball
Joan and Robert Berto
Bickers Consulting Group, LLC
Wheeler Bryan – Chappell Bryan
Broyhill Family Foundation
Miles Burdine – Kingsport, Tenn., Chamber of Commerce
Chase Meadow Lane Farm
Neil Dent Photography
Diversified Metal Fabricators
Melissa Thomas Durand, DMD, PC
Angi and Michael Evert
Lora and Geoff Fishman/
Credit Suisse
Genuine Parts Company
Judy and Mike Harhai
Honours Golf
Hooters of America
Carol and Rick Hoskinson
Junior Committee Executive
Board/Parramore & Quinn, Inc.
Mr. and Mrs. John Ryd Bush Long
Mainly Baskets
3 6 Spinal Column
Sherri and Ron Michaelis/
Cadeau Stationary & Gifts
Joe Mueller
Jill and Talbot Nunnally
Anne W. Pearce
Elizabeth R. Pearce
Piedmont Center
ProFloors, LLC
Stacey and Brad Ray
Judi and Jeff Raymond
Donna and Bill Richardson
Nancy and Pete Selleck
The Sembler Company
Shaw Industries Group, Inc.
Alana and Harold Shepherd
Snapper Industrial Products/
The Snapp Family
E. R. Snell Contractor, Inc.
Urban Body Studios
Adelaide C. Ward
Alison and Scott Ward
Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Wood
Silver Cup Sponsors
Michael Alamo
Alpha Capital Management
Anonymous (2)
Jane and David Apple
Atlanta Braves
Atlanta Hawks and Thrashers
Atlanta Kick/Operation
Big Green Egg
Butler, Wooten & Fryhofer, LLP
Jim Calise
Classic Weddings by Louise Hanlon
Dr. Harvey “Chip” Cole and Oculus Skin Care Centre
Scott Correale
CrossFit North Atlanta
Vivian DuBose
Dr. Anna Elmers
Eyeshop Atlanta
Framers on Peachtree
Helen and Charlie Frenette
Friends of Hunter Ross in memory of Nan Ross
Patty and Bob Fryer
The Gables Antiques
Donny Gillis
The Leonard & Jerry
Greenbaum Family
Mr. and Mrs. Geoffrey P. Hall
Hooters of Conyers
Nancy and Andy Isakson
Treva Jackson
Dr. John Lin
Livingston Restaurant + Bar
The Mainland Company
A Masterpiece Remodeling
Cynthia and Jonathan
Dr. Roy A. McDonald
McGriff, Seibels & Williams, Inc.
Elizabeth and Chris Morris
National EMS
Dickey Netherland
Linda and John O’Hara
Payscape Advisors
Perfect Circle Renewable Energy, LLC
Pittman Construction Company
Premier Southeast Sales, Inc. and Snapper Industrial Products
Sandra Ramsey
Erwin Reid
Stephanie and Paul Repp
Neil and Rosemary Richie
The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island
River Street Inn
Rogers Bridge Company, Inc.
Sabot – Shoes, Clothing
& Accessories
Seabrook Family Trust
Seda Vale Foundation
Edyth Shadburn
David Shipley and Jenny
Valerie and Scott Sikes
Elizabeth and Boynton Smith
Charles Smithgall III
Frank Tantillo
That Garrison Girl
Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Whitman
Charity and Michael Whitney
Woodlands Inn
Derby Day Patrons
Betty Buice
Betty and Sean Coy
Charlotte P. Ellithorp
William Espy
Thomas F. Farrell
Cindi and Tim Finnigan
John J. Fleming
The Family of Alexandra Futch
Mary Gilbreath
Aaron Green
Healthcare Georgia Foundation
David Hegg
Richard Hemingway
Doug Hopkins – The
Coca-Cola Company
Benjamin Mize
Modern Properties Group, LLC
Debbie Murphy
Ron Neyhart
June and Michael O’Driscoll
Ann Shipley
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph R.
Jim Staley
Kurt and Frances Swensson
Jeff Taylor
Mr. and Mrs. Tom Usilton
Deborah and Thomas Ward
Maureen and John Webster
Lee Zell
Derby Day Junior Patrons
Sally and Lyman Aldrich
Clare J. Anderson
Lana and Lamar Ball
Elsie Brumby
Ron Burch
Matt Calvert
Sara and Donnie Chapman
Merritt Dyke
Rhonda and Rich Gaffoglio
Linnea Geiss
Nicklaus Hogan
Felicia and Allen Jackson
Darlene and John Kozarek
Kanda and Vernon Martin
Kirk Ossewaarde
Susan and Roger Pitt
Joycelyn Romain Pope
Eric Rose
Springer Mountain Farms
Nancy Bea Staley
Terri Vann
Christine and Mike Vinson
Ann Marie and Joe Ziegler
Above Left: These Derby Day patrons are ready for an afternoon of
good food and drinks, bidding on auction items and watching the
Kentucky Derby. Above Right: The 28th Annual Derby Day, held
at the Georgia International Horse Park, was attended by 1,200
Shepherd Center supporters, many wearing their favorite widebrimmed derby hats.
w w w. s p i n a l c o l u m n . o r g
Derby Day 2010 Committees
Derby Day 2010 Executive Board
Miller Jackson and Kirk Martin – Derby Day Co-Chairs
Stuart Griswold and Shannon Shipley – Membership Co-Chairs
Reagan Michaelis, Lauren Tucker and Philip Mize – Auction Co-Chairs
Hamilton Bridges, Wes Snapp, Orin Romain and Trey Weatherly – Field Operations Committee
Dan Lenahan and Scott Tucker – Sponsorship Co-Chairs
Brenden Harper and Hunter Ross – Beverage Co-Chairs
Nadine Helal – Treasurer
Anne Pearce – Shepherd Center Events Manager
Derby Day 2010 Committee Co-Chairs
Carrie Dunton and Tom Rittle – Food Co-Chairs
Mary Ann Bridges and Amanda Kimbrough – Decorations Co-Chairs
Duvall Brumby and Ashley Coker – Race Day Games Co-Chairs
Jami Hanzman and Bobby Norwood – Games Co-Chairs
Joe Revnes – Band and Entertainment Co-Chair
Katie Mingo and Taylor Ward – Tickets Co-Chairs
Robert Kerr – T-shirts Co-Chair
Kelly Backus and Callie DeVore – Public Relations Co-Chairs
Stephanie Milne – Signage Co-Chair
Above: T-shirt Co-Chair Robert Kerr, third from the left, prepares
volunteers for a fun afternoon of selling Derby Day T-shirts to
event patrons.
2009-2010 Junior Committee
Amy Abbott
Trip Addison
Paul Aglialoro
Morgan Akers
Tori Allen
Sabrina Altenbach
Meredith Anderson
Jordan Atkinson
Kelly Backus
Kelly Baird
Elizabeth Balentine
John Ball
Stewart Barber
William Barlar
Bryan Barton
Lisa Baxter
Victoria Beasley
Emily Beck
Gavin Beck
Jay Beckner
Thomas Benton
Maribeth Bidez
Catherine Bloodworth
Jennifer Bobowski
Dana Bolnick
Bunny Boyd
Blair Brading
Kate Bradley
Alex Branch
Joe Bricker
Hamilton Bridges
Mary Ann Bridges
Demaris Brooks
Duvall Brumby
Leila Brumby
Gena Bryant
Katie Buice
Emily Burch
Laura Burdine
Jarred Bussert
Patrick Butkus
Anne Russell Calvert
Quint Cannon
Kari Carlos
Liz Caskie
Malia Chang
Catherine Chapman
Kate Cheshier
Will Childs
Ashley Coker
Mary Stuart Couch
Elinor Cowan
Jessica Crutchfield
Chad Cunningham
Will Curry
Katie Cyphers
Amanda Dalton
Andrew Daly
Brittany Davidson
Brooke Davis
Danielle DeBorde
Caroline Dennis
Callie DeVore
Carrie Dunton
John Ellithorp
Kelly Emerick
Marianne Estes
Emily Evert
Scott Farmer
Kathleen Farr
Keri Fleming
Lindsay Fraley
Ashley Fransoso
Alexandra Futch
Katie Gaffoglio
Gregory Garmon
Edith Garrett
Jenn Gay
Jackie Gehner
Corinne Gersten
John David Gifford
Laura-Leigh Gillis
Elizabeth Gray
Drew Griswold
Lindsay Griswold
Stuart Griswold
Kelly Grunderman
Louis Gruver
Hank Gurley
Heather Hahn
Bettina Hall
Jami Hanzman
Brenden Harper
John Harrell
Bailey Harvard
Rebekah Hay
Ashley Hayes
Emily Hedrick
Nadine Helal
Caroline Hemingway
Roscoe High
Megan Hinkle
Isabelle Isakson
Allison Jackson
Miller Jackson
Jennifer Jenkins
Austin Johnson
Shannon Johnston
Justin Kanitz
Eric Katz
Caroline Kelley
Rachel Kelley
Mimi Kelly
Joanna Kerr
Robert Kerr
Amanda Kimbrough
William King
Tyler Knight
Travis Koehler
Emily Kozarek
Stephanie Kozol
Libba Kukley
Kelsey Lange
Kristen Leeman
Dan Lenahan
Lauren Leverette
Abigail Linton
Amanda Loggins
Katie Long
Edmund Lord
Michael Lowe
Matt Lundberg
Morgan Machen
Sara Manning
Kate Markesky
Kirk Martin
Mary Eliza Massengill
Joe Mays
Tippa McClure
Sanders McCown
Mackin McKinney
Rod McLeod
Chris McShane
Patrick McShane
Kate McWilliams
Alex Meddock
Laura Menaquale
Reagan Michaelis
Rachel Miles
Stephanie Milne
Katie Mingo
Andy Mitwol
Philip Mize
Katy Mobley
Jay Moody
Maggie Morris
Joe Mulrooney
Kate Murr
Hanna Nation
Tara Nelson
Caroline Norton
Bobby Norwood
Talia Orred
Margaret Oswald
Magan Overcash
Carla Paschke
Ashley Patterson
Christopher Pearce
Jason Perry
Emily Pilcher
Gregory Power
Michael Power
Lauryn Prattes
Michelle Price
Cara Puckett
Marisa Puckett
Evan Purmort
Dustin Ramsey
Michael Ramsey
Katie Redeker
Jordan Redella
Joe Revnes
Tom Rittle
Michael Roberts
Audrey Rogers
Heather Rogers
Orin Romain
Hunter Ross
David Scherer
Michael Schreiner
Lindsey Selleck
Shannon Shipley
Emily Shoemaker
John Simpson
Caroline Sivewright
Amanda Smith
Wesley Snapp
Scott Springfield
Bea Staley
Linsey Star
Laura Strickler
Kate Swensson
Allie Swinford
Lindsey Taylor
Rachel Taylor
Maggie Temple
TeMaya Thompkins
Hagan Thompson
Michelle Thornton
Andrew Tritt
Lauren Tucker
Scott Tucker
Sarah Gray Tullidge
Brandon Tyler
Chris Vaky
Jennifer Varon
Gina von Sternberg
Michael Votta
Daniel Ward
David Ward
Taylor Ward
Trey Weatherly
John Webster
Lee White
Ellen Williams
James Williams
Aaron Wise
Anne Temple Wise
Katherine Young
Sarah Zeeman
Jen Zei
Libba Zukley
Summer 2010 3 7
Independent Shepherd Center
Volunteers Honored
Photo by Meredith Missroon
Shepherd Center’s independent volunteers were
honored on May 6 at the Annual Independent
Volunteer Appreciation Dinner. The event
formally celebrates the importance of these
volunteers and recognizes the year’s volunteer
Scott Sikes, executive director of the Shepherd
Center Foundation kicked off the night in high
spirits. Then guest speaker Wes Varda, a former
brain injury patient and a current volunteer, spoke
of his experience as a patient and the benefits
of volunteering during his recovery. Many
members of Wes’ Shepherd Center treatment
team attended the dinner in celebration of his
incredible progress.
Volunteer Services announced that more than
40 volunteers earned a new milestone award
for the number of hours they have given to
Shepherd Center. James Curtis, a volunteer in
the Foundation, the Noble Learning Resource
Center and the Respiratory Therapy Department,
again won the award for the most volunteer hours
given in the 2010 fiscal year. Meanwhile, spinal
cord injury patient peer supporter Queen Noregia
surpassed 4,500 total volunteer hours! Volunteers were given blue reusable shopping
bags featuring the Shepherd Center logo
and the word “Volunteer” screen-printed in
white. Additionally, a dozen Shepherd Center
departments donated more than $800 worth of
gift certificates in appreciation of the volunteers;
these were distributed as door prizes.
“Shepherd Center is a better place because of
the love and dedication all of our volunteers show
day after day,” says Volunteer Services director
Midge Tracy. — Ivy Oxendine
Above: Volunteer Bud Hene and his wife Patty
take in the view of Buckhead from the 7th floor
terrace at Shepherd Center.
3 8 Spinal Column
Photos by Chris Collins Pho
Shepherd Center Society
Hosts a Successful Casino Night
Shepherd Center Society’s Second Annual Casino Night was a tremendous
success! Held at Ventanas in the Luckie/Marietta district of downtown Atlanta on
March 6, the event attracted 200 guests. They enjoyed delicious fare prepared by
Proof of the Pudding, while listening to the sounds of Chinua Hawk and placing
their bets in the casino – all in the name of helping raise funds for Shepherd Center.
Ventanas sits upon the 14th and 15th floors of the Hilton Garden Inn with twostory, floor-to-ceiling windows and an outdoor patio that created a truly memorable
evening. The casino was busy with guests playing poker, blackjack and craps with
chances to win prizes, including golf lessons, salon and spa gift certificates, and a
luxury package that included a stay at the Four Seasons Atlanta, a helicopter ride
around the city, a gift card to Tiffany’s and more.
The evening’s success was due in large part to the leadership of Casino Night
2010 Co-Chairs Lauren and Mike Imber and Sarah and Jamie Shepherd. We hope
you’ll join us for the Shepherd Center Society’s Third Annual Casino Night in 2011.
Four-of-a-Kind Sponsors
Gleneagles Capital Mgmt.
Harry Norman, Realtors
Jessica and Justin Jones
Rogers Bridge Company, Inc.
Full House Sponsors
Alex Amit
Beard-Shuford Financial Group
Bennett Thrasher
Jim Calise
Chris Collins Photography
Mr. and Mrs. John Davenport
DYE Aviation Facilities
Eon at Lindbergh Apartments
Mr. and Mrs. Danny Fordham
Elise Jacobs
Erin Jernigan and Jessica Toney
Sherry and John Lundeen
Alana and Harold Shepherd
Sarah and Jamie Shepherd
Valerie and Scott Sikes
Three-of-a-Kind Sponsors
Virginia Miller Jackson
Christopher C. Rollins
Cindy Lynn Dunaway Interiors, LLC
Four Seasons Hotel – Atlanta
Mimi and Jason Godwin
Amy and Alex Panos
Anne W. Pearce
Caeser Pruett
Angela Raub – Brightworth
Daryn Schwartz
Miss Julie Shepherd and
Mr. David White
Sunbelt Technologies
Lauren and Scott Tucker
Brittany and Zach Wilson
Wild Card Sponsors
Mr. and Mrs. H.E. “Sonny” Cauthen
Amy Gaines
Georgia and Allen Mikul
George Panos
Ryan Schwartz
Above Left: Left to right, Albie Whitaker and Daryn Schwartz, 2009-2010
SCS Co-Chairs, antipcate the successful night ahead, along with Casino
Night 2010 Co-Chairs Jamie and Sarah Shepherd and Lauren and Mike
Imber. Above Right: Some were lucky, and some were not, but everyone
had a great time helping to raise money for Shepherd Center.
w w w. s p i n a l c o l u m n . o r g
Shepherd Alum Receives Minivan at Annual Joint Meeting of the Boards
Photos by Midge Tracy
patients without insurance, ultimately helping to restore their hope and
rebuild their lives.
New board members also were introduced.They are:
• Shepherd Center Advisory Board: Shaler Alias, Tammie Dunlap,
Carol Goodman, Bob Hagemeyer, Ross Mason, Paul McLaughlin,
Evelyn Mims, Ann Platz, Bill Saling and Suzan Schumacher
• Advisory Board Ex-Officios: Miller Jackson, Kirk Martin, Karen
Mathews, Dorothy Mitchell-Leef, John Rooker, Daryn Schwartz
and Albie Whitaker
• Shepherd Center Foundation Board of Trustees: Jimmy Alston,
David Kahn, Duane Morrow, Juli Owens, Mike Stephens
• Shepherd Center Board of Directors: Clark Dean and
Doug Lindauer
— Ansley Martin and Dean Melcher
Photos by Caroline Hemingway
The life of former spinal cord injury patient Tracy Robinson
has improved dramatically thanks to a gift she received on May
24 from an anonymous donor. At the annual joint meeting
of the Trustees, the hospital Board of Directors and the
Foundation Advisory Board, Tracy received the keys to a fully
loaded, accessible minivan.
“Having your own reliable and flexible transportation is
paramount to a person’s independence,” Tracy says. “Public
transportation like MARTA is limited in both service
and appropriate vehicles, and if you don't live and work
in MARTA’s route, you have to either hire very expensive
transportation, or rely on friends and family.” One year ago, Tracy was diagnosed with a spinal cord
tumor that caused paralysis at the T-5 level. She underwent
rehabilitation therapy in Shepherd Center’s Day Program. Today,
Tracy is high functioning and extremely independent. But she
needed a vehicle to drive herself to work and in the community.
After a few minor alterations, including the installation of hand
controls, the minivan makes it possible for Tracy to drive herself
to work, go grocery shopping, visit friends and travel.
Another highlight of the joint board meeting was the
recognition of Cookie Aftergut and Solon Patterson for their
many years of service and contributions to Shepherd Center. For
example, Cookie and her friends serve the patients of Shepherd
Center a Christmas meal. This allows many staff the opportunity
to celebrate the holiday with their loved ones. Solon and his
wife Marianna started a patient care endowment fund with the
Shepherd Center Foundation. The fund helps meet the needs of
Above: Shepherd Center Foundation Board of Trustees member
Doug Lindauer presents former spinal cord injury patient Tracy
Robinson with the keys to a fully accessible minivan, a gift from
an anonymous donor.
Shepherd Center Auxiliary Celebrates its Fundraising
Season with the Presentation of a Check to Shepherd
The Shepherd Center
Auxiliary celebrated its
2009-2010 fundraising season with the
presentation of a check
for $459,775 to James
Shepherd, Shepherd
Center co-founder and
chairman of the board,
at the Auxiliary’s annual
meeting and luncheon
on April 22 in the hospital’s Callaway Auditorium.The Auxiliary raised
these funds through its efforts with the 2009 Legendary Party, Pecans
on Peachtree and other events.
At the annual meeting and luncheon, 125 Auxiliary members and
their guests also heard an inspirational talk from former spinal cord
injury patient Marat Pashkevich of Marietta, Ga. Marat talked about the
paralysis he experienced because of a diving accident, his long path
toward recovery and his positive experience at Shepherd. His proudest achievement was learning how to skate again, he said. Marat and
his father, Slava, both expressed their gratitude to Auxiliary
members for the fundraising efforts they organize to support
patients and their families.
Auxiliary President Marla Bennett presented service hour awards
to Sydell Harris, Carol Olsen, Peggy Goldberg, Jim Dodgson, Jane
Ulicny, Jeannine Kirkland, Bart Marks, Stephen Lore and Lois Puckett.
Another highlight of the meeting was the presentation of The Peggy
Schwall Spirit of Excellence Award for 2010 to Carol Olsen. Peggy volunteered more than 2,100 hours of service to Shepherd Center and the
Auxiliary from 1982 until her death in 2002. To honor Peggy’s spirit, the
Auxiliary presents this award to a member with at least 500 volunteer
hours of service to Shepherd and who displays extraordinary enthusiasm, passion and service to the Auxiliary. — Midge Tracy
Top: Shepherd Center Auxiliary President Marla Bennett presents
the group's 2009-10 fundraising check to Chairman of the Board
James Shepherd. Bottom Left: Former spinal cord injury patient
Marat Pashkevich, left, prepares to deliver an inspirational
message as the event's guest speaker. Bottom Right: Left to right,
Evis Babo, DMD, Bridgette Morris, Ann Tatum and Linda Morris
enjoy the luncheon.
Summer 2010 3 9
Shepherd Cup Golf Tournament
Play a round for a great cause.
Taking Shepherd Center’s largest
fundraising event to the next level,
thelegendaryparty.com has a host
of features and links designed to both
showcase the event for new attendees, as
well as simplify and streamline sponsorship,
registration and seating for patrons and
The new website provides information
about the event, sponsorship descriptions,
online registration and payment, and RSVP
capability for the Patron Party and The
Legendary Party.
Thelegendaryparty.com also has links
for seating requests and table assignments,
links to purchase tickets to The Legendary
Party and Legendary Late Night events,
and signup for The Ladies & Gentlemen's
Committee. Of course, the website also
features online photo galleries where users
can view and order pictures from last
year’s gala and Patron Party, as well as this
year’s kick-off luncheon, Patron Party and
Legendary Party.
The 2010 Legendary Party, with the theme
of “Legend of The Sun King, Reflections
of Versailles,” will be held Saturday, Nov.
6, at The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead. Dorothy
Mitchell-Leef, M.D., is Chairman, Bill and
Cindy Voyles are Chairmen-elect, and Eula
Carlos is serving as Honorary Chairman.
For information about the event and
sponsorship opportunities, contact
Cara Puckett, Shepherd Center
Foundation Annual Events Manager,
at [email protected] or
404-350-7778. You can also visit
thelegendaryparty.com. — Dean Melcher
4 0 Spinal Column
Photos by Cara Puckett
The Legendary
Party Goes Online
Plans are already in place for this fall’s Shepherd Center Cup
golf tournament and Tee-Off Party! Event Chairman John
Rooker has formed a great committee, and they are already hard
at work securing sponsors and fantastic auction items.
The tournament kicks off with the Tee-Off Party on
Thursday, Oct. 7. Silent and live auctions, cocktails and heavy
hors d’ouevres will be provided. The highlight of the auction
last year was a fantastic trip to play at the birthplace of golf –
St. Andrews, Scotland. Provided by John Boykin of Business
Golf International (www.businessgolfinternational.com), this
once-in-a-lifetime trip featured golf on each of the four courses
accompanied by a pro, dinner and accommodations at an
historic hotel.
The auction committee – led by Amy Solloum, Bronson
Smith, William Stallworth and Winston Wiant – is securing
more remarkable auction items for this year’s event, which is a
must for golfers and non-golfers alike. Tickets for the Tee-Off
Party are provided with tournament sponsorships and also can
be purchased in September.
On Monday, Oct. 11, the event continues at Cherokee
Country Club. Golfers will tee off at 1 p.m. after enjoying a
lunch on the green. Following play, the golfers will enjoy a great
feast and an awards presentation.
In its 26-year history, the golf tournament has raised more
than $1 million to benefit Shepherd Center’s annual fund,
which supports vital patient programs ranging from chaplaincy
to assistive technology and family housing.
For sponsorship information, please contact Cara Puckett at
[email protected] or 404-350-7778. — Cara Puckett
Above, Left: Charles Beard, Jordan Phillips, William Stallworth and
Hamilton Dickey formed a team for the 2009 Shepherd Center Cup.
Above, Right: Golfers, sponsors and guests enjoy the auction at the
2009 Tee Off Party.
w w w. s p i n a l c o l u m n . o r g
Guest Column
on Behalf of Scott H.Sikes
Shepherd Center Foundation Executive Director
By Midge Tracy
Director of Volunteer Services, Shepherd Center
Shepherd Center Auxiliary and Peach Corps
Photo by Leita Co
The Auxiliary/Peach Corps has raised more than
$6.5 million in the past 28 years, and nearly every
department and program at Shepherd has benefited
from their generosity. There is a new floor in the
Livingston Gym, utility vehicles for therapeutic
recreation outings, materials for spinal cord injury
patient graduations and this year, they will fund a
new passenger van for Shepherd Pathways!
by Leit
a Cowa
We’ve all heard the postal carriers’ motto, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor
gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed
rounds.” Well, the same motto can be applied to the Shepherd Center Auxiliary
and Peach Corps service groups.
They number nearly 400 men, women and children who work tirelessly on
behalf of Shepherd patients, their families and Shepherd employees. In fact,
the nurses’ station on the soon-to-be-renovated second floor of the Shepherd
Building is being built with funds raised from the Auxiliary’s activities during
the past fiscal year. Also, two patient rooms on the new fifth floor of the MarcusWoodruff Building were paid for by the Auxiliary.
The Auxiliary is also responsible for building the chapel
and providing support to the Chaplaincy Program on an
annual basis. The Peach Corps “kids” and their parents
are responsible for hosting two cookouts annually in the
Shepherd Center Garden.
Working Overtime for Us
The Auxiliary/Peach Corps thanks you for
supporting their annual Pecans on Peachtree
fundraiser, as well as their jewelry sales, bake sales
and book cart. Every penny earned from these
fundraisers helps us fulfill our mission to provide the best
care possible for our patients.
For additional information about Auxiliary or Peach
Corps membership, contact me at 404-350-7315 or
[email protected] Information is also available at
Right, From Top to Bottom: Shepherd Center Auxiliary and Peach
Corps volunteers help brighten the day for patients by making fall
decorations and delivering them to patient rooms. Volunteers also
assist with bulk mailing projects.
Summer 2010 4 1
Honorees are listed first in bold print followed by the names of
those making gifts in their honor. This list reflects gifts made to
Shepherd Center between Feb. 1, 2010 and April 30, 2010.
Marti Hegg
Mr. and Mrs. Edwin A. Wahlen, Jr.
Emily Purcell
Mr. and Mrs. V. Thomas Purcell
Minna Hong
Mr. and Mrs. Christopher R. Hardage
Barry (Toby) Regal’s Recovery
Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Luttazi
Mr. and Mrs. J. K. Hope
Mr. Clarence D. Williams
Shannon Ridgeway and all involved
in her care at SC in 2002
Mr. and Mrs. Steve Ridgeway
Dr. Richard Hunter
Heritage Sunday School Class
Becky McDowell Arnall’s Recovery
Ms. Joan B. Neal
Jeff and Amy Asher – Love and friendship
Mr. Eugene S. Asher
Allen Blackwell
National Behavioral Consortium
Fred Bleiberg
National Distributing Company/Atlanta Wholesale
Zach Bobowski
Ms. Marye Elizabeth Edenfield
Jack Boyan’s Recovery
Mrs. Lynne Daly
B. B. Brown – “Thanks”
Dr. David F. Apple, Jr.
Raven Campbell – “Always
great help”
Dr. David F. Apple, Jr.
Kathryn Cargile, OT
Mr. and Mrs. Steven H. Dowlen
Eula Carlos
Ms. Theodora Campbell
Mr. and Mrs. John G. Patronis
Laurie Carter – “A fond farewell
to the original ‘biddies’”
Dr. David F. Apple, Jr.
Steve and Jeanette Clarke
Mr. Richard O. Anderson
Ellen Crowe’s Recovery
Ms. Carroll Shipley
Chase Finger
Mr. and Mrs. Mark Dickherber
Fourth Floor Therapists at Shepherd
Center – For Excellent Care
Ms. Donna Kurtz
Mr. and Mrs. Neil Gerald
Mr. and Mrs. Edwin A. Wahlen, Jr.
Bert Glaser’s 60th Birthday
and Recovery
Ms. Ruth E. Classon
Ms. June Manzo
Staff of The National Retina Institute
Mr. William Trageser
Arlene Jacobson’s 65th birthday
Mr. and Mrs. Russell P. Adamson
Ms. Karen C. Cole
Cynthia Johnson – “Always
great help”
Dr. David F. Apple, Jr.
Brenda Jones – “Always
great help”
Dr. David F. Apple, Jr.
Todd Jones – “Thanks for a job well done!”
Dr. David F. Apple, Jr.
Deborah Krotenberg’s Recovery
Dr. and Mrs. Sheldon H. Feldman, M.D.
Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Krotenberg
Cathy Gragg – “A fond farewell
to the original ‘biddies’”
Dr. David F. Apple, Jr.
Trevor J. Lee’s Birthday
Mr. Guy M. Lee, Jr.
Esther Grosswald’s Recovery
Mr. and Mrs. Milton Jacobson
Gary Gruenhage
Mr. and Mrs. Charles S. Frenette
Marsha Hanson – “Congratulations on your promotion!”
Dr. David F. Apple, Jr.
Jami Hanzman
Mr. Jared Davidson
Mr. Benjamin S. Stein
Caroline Hazel’s Birthday
Mr. and Mrs. Charles W. McDaniel
Above: Community member Karen Smith, right, visits with patient
Lisa Jarrett of Cordova, Tenn., at the Shepherd Center peer support
program's "Spring Fling" event.
4 2 Spinal Column
Maurice Jackson – “Always
great help”
Dr. David F. Apple, Jr.
Peggy Goldberg – A Devoted Shepherd Center Volunteer
Mr. and Mrs. Herbert L. Heltzer
Photo byJerry Watkins
Jack Ellenburg’s Recovery
Mrs. Fran I. Ellenburg
Nancy Fendler – “A fond farewell to the original ‘biddies’”
Dr. David F. Apple, Jr.
Douglas Lindauer
Ms. Beverly L. Greenberg
Amanda Loggins
Mr. Aaron Green
Stephen M. Lore
Mr. and Mrs. Steven H. Dowlen
Donna Loupus – “A fond farewell
to the original ‘biddies’”
Dr. David F. Apple, Jr.
Mark Rogers
Ms. Lisa Boone
Jane Sanders – “You make us
look good!”
Dr. David F. Apple, Jr.
Maxy Schube’s Recovery
Mrs. Phyllis Arogeti
Thomas R. Sessions
Mr. Tommy Sessions
Shepherd Center Auxiliary Board Members
Mrs. Marla Bennett
Selma Singer – For a Complete
and Speedy Recovery
Ms. Betty Schaffer
Claire Smith’s 90th Birthday
Dr. and Mrs. David Apple
Donald Peck Leslie, M.D.
Mr. Emory Schwall
Mr. and Mrs. J. Harold Shepherd
Mr. and Mrs. James H. Shepherd, Jr.
Shepherd Center Foundation
Shepherd Center Volunteer Services
Mr. and Mrs. Dell Sikes
Mr. and Mrs. Terry Tracy
Dr. and Mrs. Gary Ulicny
Jeffrey Starr – Belated Merry Christmas
Mr. and Mrs. George Higgins
Dr. Ben Thrower
Ms. Helen Walzer
Ty Tippett
Ms. Celia Anderson
Chelsea and David McDonald’s Wedding
Reverend Alan Roof
U.S. Soldiers
Mr. and Mrs. Al Benton
Michael McGovern’s 11th Birthday
Mrs. Elizabeth McGovern
Chance Veazey’s Recovery
Mr. Richard Hemingway
Philip Mize
Mr. and Mrs. Adair Watters
Molly Welch
Mr. Gerald Welch
John Morawski – “Congratulations on student of the year!”
Dr. David F. Apple, Jr.
Graham Welsh
Mr. Curt B. Jamison
Jake Nicolopulos’ Recovery
Mr. and Mrs. Joe Crudup
Ernie and Beth Wetzler – On the
Birth of Ernest Lee Wetzler III
Mr. and Mrs. James H. Shepherd III
Drew Oswald, PT
Mr. and Mrs. Steven H. Dowlen
Danny Williams
Mr. Clarence D. Williams
Cherry S. Peurifoy
Mr. and Mrs. David T. Bloom
William G. Pritchard
Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Schwarzchild
Craig Williams’ Recovery
Mrs. Emmie M. Williams
Pat Williams
Ms. Laynne Holloway
w w w. s p i n a l c o l u m n . o r g
Karl Michael Anschutz and
Laura Ann Anschutz
Ms. Esther L. Abisamra
Ms. Hope Abisamra
David, Rhonda and Jordan Alfredson
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas A. Anschutz
Dr. David F. Apple, Jr.
Mrs. Sally C. Atwell
Ms. Lois Barron
Ms. Sandra Bauman
Mr. and Mrs. C. Duncan Beard
Ms. Jennith Bernstein
Dr. Gerald S. Bilsky
Mr. and Mrs. Rob Black
Mr. and Mrs. Alan Blackburn
Mr. Jason S. Blumenkrantz and Ms. Sharon E. Sonenblum
Ms. Amy S. Bohn
Dr. Brock Bowman
Ms. Laura J. Brown
Bruno Independent Living Aids
Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Bryant
Ms. Wilma Bunch
Ms. Cindy Byrd
Chrissy and Neal Carson
Ms. Sally Chamberlain
Chancey’s Wrecker Service
Mr. M. Craig Chisholm
Mr. Carson D. Cochran
Ms. Lora Coggins
Ms. Laura Cohen
Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Cole
Ms. Patricia Daviou
Mr. and Mrs. Fred W. Crawford
Mr. Terry D. Dockery
Mr. and Mrs. Dennis M. Drennan
Mr. and Mrs. Peter Dykstra
Ms. Martha V. Ellwanger
Dale L. Evans, D.D.S.
Ms. Ruth T. Fierman
Mr. Julian Fiske
Mr. and Mrs. Henry J. Fowler, Jr.
Friends at Shepherd Center
Mrs. Barbara K. Furbish
Mr. and Mrs. William A. Furbish
Mr. and Mrs. Greg Gersch
Mrs. Roberta Gorham
Mr. and Mrs. Fred W. Greer, Jr.
Mr. Nick Gutwein
Mr. and Mrs. Christopher R. Hardage
Mr. and Mrs. Dale L. Hardy
Mr. and Mrs. Mark P. Hartigan
Mr. and Mrs. Mark C. Hegberg
Ms. Polly Hogue
Ms. Gina Holecek
Ms. Jo Hopper
Mrs. Mary Kay Howard
Mrs. Lesley M. Hudson
Mr. and Mrs. Michael S. Jarrell
Mr. Corliss Johnson and
Ms. Pam Dugan
Ms. Jane A. Johnson
Mr. and Mrs. Mark L. Johnson
Dr. and Mrs. Michael L. Jones
Ursula and Leonard Kaminski
Mr. George H. Kirkland III
Dr. Jill M. Koval
Cathryn A. Lawrence, Ph.D.
Dr. Donald Peck Leslie
Ms. Michele Luther-Krug
Mr. and Mrs. Timothy J. Lynch
Mr. and Mrs. Robert M. Matthews
Ms. Christine L. Maurer
Mr. Jeff McCloud
Ms. Colleen McCrory
Mrs. Donald McDaniel
Ms. Carrie McKee
Mr. Dean Melcher
Methodist Richardson Medical
Center Foundation
Mr. John T. Morris
Mr. and Mrs. Orrin D. Morris
Mr. and Mrs. James L. Mueller
Ms. Carole B. Nation
National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association
Ms. Donna Neff
Ms. Benita Nelson
Mr. and Mrs. Mario S. Ninfo
Mr. and Mrs. Eberhard Reissig
Mrs. Barbara M. Robbins
Rockdale High School Dugout Club
Mr. Marty Sargent
Mr. and Mrs. Rocco Schiavone
Mr. Emory A. Schwall
Dr. and Mrs. Ron Seel
Mr. and Mrs. J. Harold Shepherd
The Shepherd Center Auxiliary
Shoal Creek Elementary School
Mr. and Mrs. Dell B. Sikes
Ms. Dorothy Simpson
Mr. and Mrs. Mike Simpson
Ms. Robin J. Skolsky
Mr. and Mrs. Mark W. Slonaker
Mrs. Cynthia Smith
Mr. and Mrs. Doug Smith
The Braun Corporation
Mr. and Mrs. Scott Thompson
Ms. Evelyn W. Titrud
Mr. and Mrs. Terrence M. Tracy
Dr. and Mrs. Gary R. Ulicny
Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Van Natta
Mr. and Mrs. Heyso Von Kalben
Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Wallace
Mr. James M. Walters
Edie and Alton Wiggers
Brittany and Zach Wilson
Mr. Rodney Wilson
Ms. Barbara K. Yarbrough
Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Yates
Laura A. Anschutz – In Memory
of Laura and in Honor of her Birthday
Mr. and Mrs. Werner Anschutz
Photo by Louie Favorite
Deceased friends of Shepherd Center are listed first in bold
print followed by the names of those making gifts in their
memory. This list reflects gifts made to Shepherd Center
between Feb. 1, 2010 and April 30, 2010.
Above: Former brain injury patient Molly Welch participates
in Shepherd Center's Beyond Therapy® program. Exercise
specialist Ben Cooper guides Molly's training.
Bernice S. Apple
Mrs. Judith Ralston
Ginnie Bailey
Mr. Mike Bailey
Harry Joseph Baldwin
Mr. and Mrs. J. Harold Shepherd
Perry Ballard
Mrs. Charles H. Peterson
Tommy Beard
Dr. and Mrs. John R. Castle
Morris Beton
Phyllis, Ricky, Jeff, Alice and
Tammy Arogeti
Cecil Boatright
Ms. Winona C. Quinn
Louis Palmer Bondurant, Jr.
Mr. and Mrs. William O’Connor
Peter T. Bossert
Mr. and Mrs. Michael Rowe
Ms. Helen Walzer
Mr. Todd Walzer
Stephen Boyce
Mrs. Jane K. Hall
Jimmy Breedlove
Major Benjamin L. Garrett
Jack M. Browdy
Ms. Betty Schaffer
Johnny C. Burnette – “In
Loving Memory of Our Dear Friend”
Phyllis, Ricky, Alice, Jeff and Tammy Arogeti
Margaret H. Busbin
Mr. and Mrs. Robert H. Antonisse
Mr. and Mrs. John Busbin
Mr. and Mrs. James M. Caswell, Jr.
Mrs. Betty W. Dykes and Mr.
Lars Steib
Judge and Mrs. John S. Langford
Mr. and Mrs. J. Harold Shepherd
Dana Carr
Mr. and Mrs. Mark J. Ackley
Dr. Brock Bowman
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph M. Cascio
Mr. Andrew C. Dinsmore
Marcus Jones
Junior League of Greater
Mr. Christopher Kearney
Mr. Michael J. Listas
Laura and Carl Schmidt
Albert S. Cohen
Ms. Deborah Maslia and
Mr. J. Paul Whitehead
Jennifer Coleman – “In Loving Memory”
Mrs. Irene Coleman
Margaret B. “Peggy” Conner
Mr. and Mrs. Donald C. Chapman, Jr.
Mr. and Mrs. John E. Duggan
Summer 2010 4 3
Mr. and Mrs. Theodore M. Forbes, Jr.
Mr. and Mrs. Edgar J. Forio, Jr.
Mrs. Evelyn Powers
Mr. Spencer W. Smith, Sr.
Mrs. Joan Woodall
Stanley Friedman
Mr. and Mrs. Victor L. Cohen
Joseph Cornwell
Ms. Dana Shepherd
Robert Goodrich
Anne and Bill Lippincott, Crispin
and Clayton
Marguerite A. Dewhurst
Mr. William D. Grant
Dollie Donald
Mr. and Mrs. Joel K. Isenberg
Thomas A. Duggan
Ms. Sarah W. Barlow
Ms. Rebecca G. Benton
Mr. Robert Benton II
Matthew S. Ellis, M.D.
Mr. and Mrs. Nathanael A. Fortune
Mr. and Mrs. Robert R. Geers
Dr. and Mrs. Clark J. Godshall
Mrs. Nancy E. Godshall
Ms. Elizabeth L. Gruner
Mrs. Christine A. Magliocco
Mr. and Mrs. Richard Pilon
Mr. and Mrs. Larry Robinson
Barbara Findley
Mr. and Mrs. James W. Mize
Ms. Jane S. Greenberger and
Mr. P. Douglas Wexler
Dale Pomerance Gillett
Ms. Betty Schaffer
Stewart Hammond
Ms. Susan N. Wells
Sylvia Hansell
Mr. and Mrs. Theodore M. Forbes, Jr.
Edward J. Henning
Mr. and Mrs. Milton Kassel
Gloria Ann Herald
Mr. and Mrs. Robert H. Antonisse
William “Bill” Leigh Hix
Mr. and Mrs. James M. Caswell, Jr.
Julie Hudson
Mr. and Mrs. Clyde E. Baker
Mr. and Mrs. Franklin W. Davis
Mr. and Mrs. Greg Davis
Mr. Randy Davis
Mr. and Mrs. Rick Dayton
Mid-State Masonry Contractors, Inc.
Mr. and Mrs. Brad H. Park
Mr. and Mrs. Michael K. Ripley
Mr. and Mrs. James F. Sanderson
Thompson Funeral Home of West Columbia, Inc.
Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence M. Wilund
Patsy Hurst
Mrs. Frank C. Bowen, Jr.
Mr. and Mrs. James M. Caswell, Jr.
Mr. Robert H. Hogg III
Mr. and Mrs. J. Harold Shepherd
Ms. Felicia Buckner
Hugh Jones
Dr. David F. Apple, Jr.
Mrs. Sally C. Atwell
Dr. Brock Bowman
Ms. Ruth T. Fierman
Mr. Mitchell J. Fillhaber
Friends at Shepherd Center
Mrs. Mary Kay Howard
Mrs. Lesley M. Hudson
Dr. Donald Peck Leslie
Mr. and Mrs. Dell B. Sikes
Marcus L. Jones III
Dr. David F. Apple, Jr.
Mrs. Sally C. Atwell
Dr. Brock Bowman
Friends at Shepherd Center
Mrs. Lesley M. Hudson
Dr. Donald Peck Leslie
Mr. and Mrs. Dell B. Sikes
Michele, Matt, John, Ruthie, Erin, Pat,
David, Jennith, Chris and Robin
Irvin Kaelin
Dr. David F. Apple, Jr.
Dr. Gerald S. Bilsky
Mr. and Mrs. J. Harold Shepherd
Mr. and Mrs. Mark W. Slonaker
Mr. and Mrs. Terrence M. Tracy
Lee Kagan
Mr. and Mrs. Milton Jacobson
Judge Arthur Kaplan
Mr. and Mrs. Milton Jacobson
Dr. John Dudley King, Sr.
Mr. and Mrs. O. M. Hawkins
Photo by Louie Favorite
John David Kitchens
Mr. and Mrs. Charles W. Candler, Jr.
Mrs. Patsy London
Mr. and Mrs. Eddie C. Newsome
Ms. Betty Palmer
Jackie D. Sims
Mr. Dean Talkington
Mr. James A. Talkington
Above: Former spinal cord injury patient I.B. Jang participates in
Shepherd Center's Beyond Therapy® program. Exercise specialist
Nic Dietrich guides I.B.'s training.
4 4 Spinal Column
Minnie Kolodkin
Mrs. Phyllis Arogeti
Herbie Lieberman
Phyllis, Ricky, Jeff, Alice and
Tammy Arogeti
Pen Lybrook
Ms. Phyllis Brooks
Nancy McCoy
Anderson Area Touchdown Club
Mr. and Mrs. R. H. Anderson
Mr. and Mrs. Frank W. Breazeale
Mr. and Mrs. Peter A. Cook, Jr.
Ms. Ann F. Croxton
Mr. and Mrs. Joe Crudup
Mr. and Mrs. David Hendricks
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas G. MacLennan
Mr. Joseph J. Mancino, Jr.
Ms. Judy Mancino
Avis J. McCallum
Mr. and Mrs. Stan J. McCallum
Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Parker
Mr. and Mrs. Robert A. Prince
Ms. Mary Jane Pruitt
Mr. and Mrs. Michael Snipes
Mr. and Mrs. J. David Standeffer
Ms. Laura Jo Terry
William H. McKee
Mrs. Patricia C. Williams
Doris M. Mills
Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Holmes
Mr. and Mrs. Jimmie McFarland
Mr. and Mrs. Brooks Royals
Mr. Joe Dale Royals
Mr. and Mrs. Larue Royals
William F. Moore
Dr. David F. Apple, Jr.
Dr. William W. Moore, Jr.
Mr. and Mrs. Kamal Abulsaad
Duggan & Massey, PC
Mrs. Mitchell F. Hall, Jr.
Dr. and Mrs. Griffith Harsh
Ms. Ursula Knaeusel
Lawrence-Arendall-Humphries Real Estate, Inc.
Dr. and Mrs. Clinton E. Massey
Medical Association of Georgia
Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Mellits
Mr. and Mrs. Frank C. Owens, Jr.
Ms. Geraldine F. Sharp
Mr. and Mrs. J. Harold Shepherd
The Episcopal Church of the Epiphany
Ms. Cynthia Tzavaras and Christina
Robert Harlan Moseley
Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Kollme
Beverly Moser
Mrs. Annie Keaton
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Keaton
Pamela W. Murphy
Ms. Deborah L. Murphy
Dean North
Mrs. R. B. Lippincott, Jr.
Robert North
Mr. and Mrs. David L. Bowers
Cardiovascular Epidemiology Group
Steve Owens
Mr. and Mrs. Jarrett L. Davis III
Lawrence F. McArdle
Mrs. Barbara J. McArdle
Arthur Allen Paty III
Mr. and Mrs. Theodore M. Forbes, Jr.
Mr. and Mrs. J. Harold Shepherd
Julian McCamy
Mr. and Mrs. William C. Smith
John Oliver Platz
Ms. Dana Shepherd
w w w. s p i n a l c o l u m n . o r g
Photo Courtesy of Connor Whitesell
Dent Sullivan
Mr. and Mrs. James C. Davis
Ervin Sexton “Tripp” Tate
Ms. Janis Chastain
Ms. Joyce Chastain
Lisa Tunnell
Mrs. Joan Woodall
Ralph Veazey
Sarah and Michael Hall
Mr. and Mrs. Robert H. Hodnett
Patty and Hollis Owens
Sharon and Michael Rawls
Dane and Ronnie Roby
Beverly and Rob Stroud
Angela and Rick Thompson
Donna and Ben Troxler
Christopher Gerard Wetherington
Longhorn Butcher Shop
Cleveland R. “Cleve” Willcoxon
Mr. and Mrs. James M. Caswell, Jr.
Mr. and Mrs. Jarrett L. Davis III
Mr. and Mrs. J. Harold Shepherd
Mrs. Joan Woodall
Charles H. Wills
Mrs. Patricia C. Williams
Above: Former spinal cord injury patient Connor Whitesell of Bluffton, Ind., skis during Shepherd
Center's 2010 Adventure Skills Workshop (ASW). Connor and his parents drove 1,300 miles to attend
ASW for the first time. They said they loved it and plan to return next year.
Karin Rawlins
Mr. and Mrs. Ron Pepper
Irene Reissig
Mr. and Mrs. Bill Klueber
MicroStrategy South Region –
Tess Dean and Eric Franz
Mr. William Smith
Systems Evolution, Inc.
Mr. Korula Varghese
Ms. Cynthia Wagner
Mr. and Mrs. Harry E. Wilson, Jr.
Gloria Richardson
Mr. Spencer W. Smith, Sr.
Sade Safia Richter
Dr. Gerald Bilsky
Dr. Brock Bowman
Dr. Anna Elmers
Dr. Payal Fadia
Dr. Darryl Kaelin
Dr. Donald Peck Leslie
Dr. John Lin
Dr. Ben Thrower
Eli Rishty
Mr. and Mrs. James D. Schloss
Nan Ross
Mr. Jason H. Brantley
Mr. Daniel Brennan
Mr. Brian Earp
Ms. Nadine Helal
Ms. Reagan Michaelis
Mr. Philip Mize
Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Owens
Ms. Anne W. Pearce
Mr. and Mrs. Nick Humphries
Mr. Brad Reed
Mr. Wesley D. Sherer
Mr. and Mrs. Scott Tucker
Dorothy Toohey Schultz
Mr. and Mrs. William T. White
Isabella Scott
Mr. and Mrs. John J. Heichberger
Ms. Jenny Kelly and Cami
Patrick Starr
Mr. and Mrs. Roger K. Bailey
Ms. Elaine Dennis
Mr. Danny Hammond
Ms. Michele Hill
Ms. Kay O’Daniel
Mr. and Mrs. Ray Pace
Dr. William D. Stone
Mrs. Patricia C. Williams
Bengt Stromquist
Mrs. Gloria Landreth
Paul A. Shea
Mr. and Mrs. Robert C. Kennedy
Ms. Heather Pullen
Ms. Loretta B. Silber
Andrew Grant Shepherd
Ms. Mildred I. Shepherd
Susan Atkinson Sherr
Mr. and Mrs. Steven Schaikewitz
Candice R. Smith
Ms. Betty Burgess
Friends and Fellow Realtors at
Fayette County Board of Realtors
Fayette County High
Miss Caroline Harrell
Mrs. Dorothy E. Nix
Mr. and Mrs. Brian Rhoades
Weissman, Nowack, Curry &
Wilco, P.C.
John Dickerson Smith
Mr. and Mrs. James M. Caswell, Jr.
Photo by Jerry Watkins
Alice Pressly
Mr. and Mrs. Theodore M. Forbes, Jr.
Milton H. “Jay” Woodside
Mr. Nicklaus E. Hogan
Mr. and Mrs. Vernon D. Martin
Above: Community members Marlon and Yolanda Martin attend
the Shepherd Center peer support program's Spring Fling event
for patients and their families.
Summer 2010 4 5
Non-Profit Org.
U.S. Postage
Atlanta, GA
Permit No. 1703
Address Service Requested
Photo by Midge Tracy
Read the e at:
Shepherd Center’s
Peach Corps kids
relax after serving
hamburgers, hot
dogs and all the
fixings to 300
patients and family
members at the
group’s annual
Spring Cookout and
Ice Cream Social.
The Peach Corps
is a volunteer
service group of
families with young
children who come
to Shepherd Center
several times a year
to brighten the day
for patients.