SOS 2013

Presenters, Panelists and Respondents

Photo of Denis AnsonMr. Denis Anson, Director of Research and Development
Department Assistive Technology Research Institute Misericordia University
301 Lake St.
Dallas, PA 18612
Phone 570-674-6413
Fax 570-674-8054
Denis Anson graduated from the University of Washington in 1980 with a bachelor's degree of occupational therapy. In 1983, he received a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Washington. He worked in adult physical disabilities for six years, and was a lecturer in the Division of Occupational Therapy at the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington for nine years. In August, 1997, he became an Assistant Professor at College Misericordia in Dallas, Pennsylvania, and in 2005, became the Director of Research and Development of the Assistive Technology Research Institute.
Denis Anson has been actively involved in computer and assistive technology applications for rehabilitation for over two decades. He has international recognition for his expertise in the application of assistive technology to occupational therapy and the process of rehabilitation. He has presented numerous papers at national, regional, and state conferences on assistive technology. He was one of the founding members of the Tech-SIS board, is a past member of the editorial board of the American Journal of Occupational Therapy (AJOT), and for 8 years published a newsletter on the use of computers in Occupational Therapy (The OT's Computer). He is a past-member of the RESNA (Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America) Board of Directors and Meetings Committee, and, for more than two decades has coordinated the Computer Technology Lab at the RESNA annual conference. In addition to his many publications on assistive technology, he is the author of Alternative Computer Access: A Guide to Selection. In 2003, he was honored for his work in the field of assistive technology by being made a RESNA Fellow, the highest honor of that organization. In 2004, he was the Cliff Brubaker Lecturer at University of Pittsburgh, and in 2006, was inducted into the RESNA Hall of Fellows.

Photo of David BrienzaDavid Brienza, PhD is Professor, Director of the rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Telerehabilitation, Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives and Planning, and Interim Director of the MS in Prosthetics and Orthotics Program at the University of Pittsburgh in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (Dept of Rehabilitation Science and Technology), with secondary appointments in the McGowan Institute on Regenerative Medicine, and the School of Engineering (Department of Bioengineering). He also serves as Director of the RERC on Spinal Cord Injury and has a successful and extensive funding history including investigator initiated grants funded by NIH, NIDDR and several private foundations. Dr. Brienza serves on the board of the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP). He is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and RESNA.

Photo of Brad DiciannoBrad Dicianno, MD, is the HERL Associate Medical Director and a staff physician at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center where he evaluates patients with disabilities for assistive technologies such as wheelchairs and addresses the complex assistive technology and rehabilitation needs of individuals with complex disabilities including spina bifida.   His research interests focus on developing and studying interventions targeted to improving health and wellness in individuals with complex disabilities (wheelchairs, adaptive sports, telemedicine, virtual reality, and preventative care programs). He completed an NIH fellowship within the Rehabilitation Medicine Scientist Training Program. Brad graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine after obtaining a BS in Evolutionary Biology and a BA in the History and Philosophy of Science as an undergraduate there.  He completed residency in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center where he served as chief resident.

Photo of Andrea FairmanAndrea Fairman, PhD, is a Co-Investigator on research task R3, Telerehabilitation Enhanced Wellness Program in Spina Bifida. She is trained clinically as an occupational therapist and has almost 20 years of experience working in clinical and community-based settings across a wide variety of diagnosis and age groups.  She earned both her B.S. in Health Sciences and Master's Degree in Occupational Therapy from Duquesne University.  Prior to joining the RERC-TR at the University of Pittsburgh, Andrea formerly served as the Executive Director of the Spina Bifida Association of Western Pennsylvania (SBAWP).  While at SBAWP she wrote numerous grants and secured funding to develop new programs to address the needs of persons with disabilities, including the SBAWP Wellness Program, which has led to the R3 project.   Andrea has also served on the SBAWP Housing Board of Directors and was a leader on the Centers for Disease Control National Working Group on Transition for Spina Bifida. In 2008, Andrea left her role as Executive Director of SBAWP to more intensely pursue a career in research through the University of Pittsburgh, where she recently earned PhD in Rehabilitation Science and Technology.  She also just recently accepted a position at Duquesne University within the Rangos School of Health Sciences, Department of Occupational Therapy as an Assistant Professor where she will pursue tenure.  Andrea's research interests are diverse, but are primarily related to developing innovative clinical strategies for addressing cognitive deficits while incorporating assistive technology and principles of telerehabilitation. 

Photo of Dahlia KairyDahlia Kairy, PhD, obtained her Physical Therapy degree from McGill University, in Montreal, Canada, where she worked as a clinician in the field of neurological rehabilitation. She obtained her doctorate in Public Health from the Université de Montréal where she explored the implementation of a telerehabilitation program between rehabilitation centers in rural and urban settings.  She also published a systematic review documenting clinical outcomes, clinical process, health care utilization and costs associated with telerehabilitation. She has since participated on cost-analyses studies of telerehabilitation and is leading a pilote project using a gamified virtual reality system for upper extremity retraining post stroke. She is currently part of a large multicenter clinical trial in Canada examining the efficacy of telerehabilitation for balance retraining in stroke patients using Tai-Chi. She holds an academic position as Associate Professor at the School of Rehabilitation at the Université de Montréal in Montréal, Québec, Canada, and her main areas of research are in the fields of telerehabilitation, rehabilitation technologies and knowledge translation.

Photo of Allen LewisAllen N. Lewis, Jr., PhD, is an associate professor with tenure in the University of Pittsburgh Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.  Dr. Lewis has a longstanding commitment to working in the health and disability arena for 30 years: six years as a direct service clinician; five years as a state-level program manager and administrator; seven years as a state agency and academic center research manager; and twelve years as an academic researcher, administrator and professor.  His research focuses on the influence of culture on the experience of being disabled AND evaluating the effectiveness of disability services.  Dr. Lewis has published numerous refereed journal articles, book chapters, abstracts, proceedings, encyclopedia entries, and technical reports as well as presented nationally and internationally as an invited speaker.  He has been the PI on several United States Department of Education grants.  He is on the editorial boards for the Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation and the International Scholarly Research Network journal, Rehabilitation.  He has guest edited several special issues of academic journals.  Dr. Lewis is currently the editor of the Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling.

Photo of Clayton LewisClayton Lewis, PhD, is Professor of Computer Science and Fellow of the Institute of Cognitive Science, and Scientist in Residence at the Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities (on leave)  at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he has been based since 1984. He is well known for his research on evaluation methods in user interface design. Two methods to which he and his colleagues have contributed, the thinking aloud method and the cognitive walkthrough, are in regular use in software development organizations around the world. He has also contributed to cognitive assistive technology, to programming language design, to educational technology, and to cognitive theory in causal attribution and learning. He has twice served as Technical Program Chair or Co-chair for the ACM CHI Conferences on Human Factors in Computing Systems, the leading international conference in that field, and serves on the editorial board for Human-Computer Interaction. He was named University of Colorado President’s Teaching Scholar, a life title signifying the University’s highest award for teaching, and served as Computer Science department chair from 1999 to 2003.
Lewis earned an AB in mathematics from Princeton University, an MS from MIT, for interdisciplinary study in mathematics and linguistics, and a PhD from the University of Michigan in experimental psychology. He was elected to the ACM CHI Academy in 2009, recognizing his contributions to the field of human-computer interaction. In 2011 he was further recognized by the ACM CHI Social Impact Award, for his work on technology for people with cognitive, language, and learning disabilities. Lewis is currently on leave from the university, working as a consultant to the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation, part of the US Department of Education, helping to develop an initiative on cloud computing for people with disabilities.

Photo of Michael McCueMichael McCue, PhD., is a Professor and Vice-Chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology at the University of Pittsburgh and is Director of the Rehabilitation Counseling Program. He is Co-Director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Rehabilitation Engineering Center on Telerehabilitation (NIDRR).

Dr. McCue received his PhD in Rehabilitation for the University of Pittsburgh in 1981. He completed his postdoctoral training in clinical neuropsychology at the University of Pittsburgh from 1981 to 1983. He holds a Masters in Education in Rehabilitation Counseling from Kent State University (1978) and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from John Carroll University (1973).

Dr. McCue is the Project Director and Principal Investigator of an Interagency Agreement between the University of Pittsburgh and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Hiram G. Andrews Rehabilitation Center that has existed for over 12 years. Dr. McCue is also a member of the Executive Committee of the UPMC Center for Assistive Technology, having served in that capacity since 2001.

Dr. McCue is a clinical neuropsychologist who has been providing assessment and neuropsychological rehabilitation services to individuals with brain injury and other cognitive disabilities since 1981. Dr. McCue has directed over 20 national research, demonstration and training programs in telerehabilitation, rehabilitation assessment and intervention and has published over 40 articles, chapters and abstracts related to telerehabilitation, neuropsychology and rehabilitation of cognitive disability. He is an RSA Institute on Rehabilitation Issues (IRI) scholar (2002-2003), an elected Fellow of the National Academy of Neuropsychology and Past President of the Pennsylvania Rehabilitation Association.

Photo of Suzanne PaoneDr. Suzanne Paone is the Director of e-Health, Custom Technology Development and Clinical Research analytics at UPMC and adjunct faculty in Health Information Management at the University of Pittsburgh. In that role, she is actively involved in the development of the business and technology strategy for eHealth at UPMC including patient portals, reimbursement for services, contact center technology and integration strategies for health care information systems in both the patient care and research areas. Her health information technology experience includes web development, custom development, EMR acquisition and deployment, eHealth and health data analytics.  She is published with the American Telemedicine Association and currently authoring a book chapter on the ROI for eHealth systems for Springer Publishing.  She is a board member of the University of Pittsburgh RERC for Telerehabilitation and the North American Malignant Hyperthermia Registry, as well as an advisor to Amerinet’s Inquisit Education Organization and Experture industry research group. She is a strategy advisor to Carlow University and the chief technology advisor to a startup company in the area of advanced technology and chronic disease management.  Sue received her bachelor's degree from Carlow College and MBA from the Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh. She currently teaches in MSN, MHA and HIM Programs and recently completed her Doctorate Degree in Health Administration with an emphasis in eHealth research.

Photo of Bambang ParmentoBambang Parmanto, PhD, Bambang Parmanto is Professor of Health Information Management, Biomedical Informatics, and Clinical Translational Science at the University of Pittsburgh. He leads the Health and Rehabilitation Informatics (HARI) research group within the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences that focuses on telehealth and mHealth research. He is the recipient of the 2010 American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)’s Triumph Research Award.  He is the Principal Investigator of an R21 project “iMHere: A Novel mHealth for Enhanced Wellness,” (HD071810-01A1) and lead the telehealth technology development at the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Telerehabilitation. He has successfully led the development of telehealth software, including VISYTER (Versatile and Integrated System for Telerehabilitation), a secure, cost-effective, integrated platform to support remote delivery of assessment and interventions, and to facilitate communication and collaboration among health professionals. He lead the development of a number of mHealth systems, including the iMHere (interactive mobile health & rehabilitation) system that is designed to support self-care for patients with chronic disease and disabilities, and SmartCAT (smartphone-based Child Anxiety Treatment) system that uses ecological momentary assessment and intervention (EMA/EMI).

Photo of Marco RoganteMarco Rogante, since 2003 is a Researcher of the Technology and Health Department at Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome - ISS- ( the Italian National Institute for Health). He received a Master degree in Electronic Engineering from the University “la Sapienza” of Rome in 2002.
Within the ISS working group, his research activities mainly focus on the study, design and implementation of assessment models and methodologies for evaluating rehabilitation services delivered by remote, with special interest in the application of Health Technology Assessment methodology.  He has participated at several projects at National and European level. Currently he is completing the training phase to act as auditor evaluating the compliance of medical devices with the related European Directive. Current activities focus also on the investigation of proper criteria for the qualification and classification of stand alone software, when used in healthcare setting, as a medical device.

Photo of Jamie SchutteJamie L. Schutte, PhD, CRC, received Bachelor’s degrees in psychology and English from Allegheny College (Meadville, PA) in 2005.  She earned a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Science and Technology, concentration in Rehabilitation Counseling, and a Certificate in Assistive Technology, from the University of Pittsburgh in 2008.  In 2012, she received the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Science and Technology, also from the University of Pittsburgh.  Schutte is currently an Instructor in the graduate program in Rehabilitation Counseling at the University of Pittsburgh.  Since 2010, Schutte has been the Cognitive Skills Enhancement Program (CSEP) Tier I Clinical Director/Program Manager, serving as clinical director of CSEP, a pre-vocational training program for adults with cognitive disabilities.  Schutte’s current research interests and activities involve autism spectrum disorders (diagnosis, assessment, and interventions), rehabilitation services for individuals with cognitive disabilities, vocational rehabilitation outcomes, telerehabilitation, and development and testing of community-based assessment and intervention services (program evaluation).

Photo of Richard M. ScheinRichard M. Schein, PhD, MPH, is a Research Health Scientist within the Department of Rehabilitation Science & Technology at the University of Pittsburgh. He received his Bachelor’s of Science degree in Rehabilitation and Disability Studies from Springfield College, a Master’s of Science degree in Rehabilitation Science and Technology, a Master’s of Public Health in Health Policy and Healthcare Management, and his Doctorate of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Science all at the University of Pittsburgh. His research areas include: wheeled mobility and seating, funding and policy, outcome measures, continuing education and telerehabilitation. He is a member of the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America, American Telemedicine Association, and National Registry for Rehabilitation Technology Suppliers.

Photo of Mark ScmelerMark R. Schmeler, Ph.D., OTR/L, ATP, is an Assistant Professor, Graduate Faculty, and Director of the Continuing Education Program in the Department of Rehabilitation Science & Technology at the University of Pittsburgh.  He is the course director for the International Seating Symposium hosted in the USA and directs several other continuing education venues including web-based post- `professional education and training.  He also directs a national contract to develop Assistive Technology Clinics within the Veterans Administration’s four regional Polytrauma Rehabilitation Centers.  He has over 20 years of clinical practice experience and currently practices as an Occupational Therapist and Assistive Technology Professional in the Center for Assistive Technology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center which he helped establish and directed until 2005.  His graduate teaching responsibilities are in the area of assistive technology funding & policy as well as clinical applications of wheelchair seating and mobility applying case-based and evidence based practice.  His area of research is in the development and application of functional outcomes measures, product development, and telerehabilitation.  He also works closely with national organizations as an advocate for appropriate coverage policies related to assistive technology.  He currently serves on the RESNA Board of Directors.

Photo of Katherine SeelmanKatherine D. Seelman, PhD, is Associate Dean of Disability Programs and Professor of Rehabilitation Science and Technology at the University of Pittsburgh.  She is one of two from the U.S.A. who served on the WHO/World Bank 9-member international editorial committee  which developed the first World Report on Disability and served as director of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research under President Clinton.  Dr. Seelman is widely published and the recipient of a number of awards.

Photo of Rich SimsonRichard Simpson, PhD, is a task leader on D2 Development of TR tools for communications technology, R5 Evaluation of remote AAC service delivery, and R6 Evaluation of remote computer access service delivery. He received a BS in Computer Science from Virginia Tech in 1992. At the University of Michigan he earned an MS in Bioengineering in 1994, an MS in Computer Science and Engineering in 1995, and a PhD in Bioengineering in 1997. Dr. Simpson was certified as an Assistive Technology Practitioner in 1997. Dr. Simpson joined the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology (RST) in 2000. His job responsibilities include research, teaching courses and mentoring students and providing clinical computer access services at the Pitt Center for Assistive Technology (CAT).

Photo of Charles VokotichCharles Vukotich, MBE, is a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh in Bioengineering.  He currently works in the Tissue Integrity Management laboratory in the department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology.  He has been a member of the lab as a graduate student researcher for four years.  His research specialties include lymphedema, biomechanics, and computer modeling.


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Sponsored by:

Department of  Rehabilitation Science and Technology | School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences | University of PittsburghDepartment of  Rehabilitation Science and Technology | School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences | University of Pittsburgh,  National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, RERC on Telerehabilitation

Please contact Cheryl Rohall for more information at:
Phone: 412.624.6256  •  E-mail:  •  Fax: 412.624.6501




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TeleWellness: Interactive Mobile Health and Rehabilitation



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