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 brain injury society
Website: www.BISociety.org
Brain Injury Society Bikur Cholim--Click Here

19 West 34th Street
Suite Penthouse
Between 5th and 6th Avenue
Manhattan, NY

About Us

BI Society Website
Serving Acquired (Includes Traumatic)
Brain Injured Individuals and Their Families

Mailing & Billing Address Only:
1901 Avenue N - Suite 5E
Brooklyn, NY 11230
Clinicial and Administrative Office:
1517 Voorhies Avenue - Suite 1G
Btwn Sheepshead Bay & Q Train Station
Brooklyn, NY 11235
Telephone & Helpline: 718-645-4401

CONTACT INFORMATION: Phone (718) 645-4401
Mailing and Billing address only:
1901 Avenue N -5E
Brooklyn, NY 11230

Clinicial and Administrative Office

1517 Voorhies Avenue - Suite 1G
Brooklyn, NY 11235

Btwn Sheepshead Bay and Q Train Station
Brooklyn, NY 11235

Ocean Avenue/Avenue U Clinical Office opening shortly

19 West 34th Street - Suite Penthouse
Btwn 5th and 6th Avenue

Manhattan, NY, Queens and Staten Island
Peer Resource Support Groups
Focus on: Chronic Fatique Syndrome, FMS, RA and Brain Injury
Issues relating from exceleration, coping stratagies, obtaining new job with being a new person,
living a new life while maintaing my old family, being a loving individual

Click on the name to get details on our board members and executives.
If the name is not highlighted and underlined - the bio is unavailable - check back later!

Founder/Executive President
Executive Chair
Executive Vice Co-Chairs
Executive Secretary
Executive Treasurer

Kayla Menucha Fogel, BS, SDS
Edwin Richter III, MD
Bruce Solitar, MD
Leonard Diller, PhD
Ifeoma Okoronkwo, MD

Webmaster Susan M. Wilson, BA

Rabbinical Board

Rabbi Israel S. Kivelevitz
Rabbi: Abraham Blumenkranz

Advisory Board Members

Paul Berger-Gross, PhD
Ludmilla Bronfin, MD
Leonard Diller, PhD
Phil Gautreau, MPH
Joan Gold, MD
Neera Kapoor, OD, MS
Daniel Luciano, MD
Edwin F. Richter, MD
Mark Segal, MD
Bruce M. Solitar, MD
Mark Ylvisaker, PhD

Corporate Counsel Marcia R. Eisenberg, Esq.

David Litvin, CPA

Conferences, Forums, Symposia, Workshops-- CLICK HERE

Kayla Menucha Fogel
Executive President & Founder
Brain Injury Society
Brooklyn, NY
New York, NY

Menucha Fogel is a single parent of a son and a daughter since 1972. Her background is in finance and education. Her bio speaks of diligence, perseverance and determination on recovery from traumatic brain injury on a dual level.

There is a double take when you hear about Kayla Menucha Fogel, of Brooklyn, New York. Admiration and inspired, is another usual expression a person has. Ms. Fogel, a successful dual returnee from traumatic brain injury, was propelled into assisting individuals and family members of traumatic brain injury. She likes to be called Menucha. "It means, peace, harmony and rest." As she asks you to gargle as you begin to pronounce the last three letters. She smiles and there is sparkle in her eyes. You know her handshake will be warm and her facial expression and voice reassuring. You are standing before a friend and ally. The conversation begins with the question of how she became a dual experienced individual from traumatic brain injury. The answer; as mother in 1989 and herself in 1995. She says, she started Brain Injury Society as to prevent a third incident of brain injury in her immediate family, but there is no prevention. Traumatic brain injury can happen at any time and to anyone. She knows the horror and it's destructiveness. She speaks with authority, sensitivity, and intelligence from the dual experience. Menucha Fogel has made a remarkable a path in solving her son's brain injury, her own and others.

In 1989, Menucha Fogel's son was assaulted by a gang of twenty and sustained a three point fractured skull, severe traumatic brain injury and physical injuries. The physical injuries the least of the problems. After almost a week in the hospital, her son came home. Her diligence, persistence and working with her son at home to bring him to a functioning level with only make shift devices and instinct to guide her, incremental improvements began in her son. After a six-month search for correct outpatient traumatic brain injury rehabilitation, a facility was found. It was 2 1/2 hours by train from their home. It was worth it. In 1989, Menucha Fogel's son was premed student; today he is a successful businessman and married to an aspiring Speech and Language Pathologist. He is a true success, but he is not the son she gave birth to. This is traumatic brain injury.

At the time, there was no networking or referral system to assist her in the search for a rehab program or to understand what TBI was for her daughter and herself. To combat her feeling of loss, she founded Families Against Bias. An organization that assisted brain injury victims of assaults and their families.

In 1995, a van dragged Menucha Fogel two-thirds of a block. She sustained a minor concussion or minor traumatic brain injury. She complained of vision, balance, memory losses, disorientation, and concentration difficulties, but she looked fine and was told by her personal physician that it was stress. After all, she was working and attending college taking four upper level courses.

Accidents at her employment compounded and added new injuries.Menucha Fogel's internal motivation mode went into action. She found therapists that helped her using cognitive remediation, modality techniques and positive motion strategies. She used what she learned from her therapist to cope with daily life. She sought out other TBI individuals and networked with them for various therapies that assisted them with their forward motion. Speech, vision, vestibular and physical therapy, graduating from each within record time with periodic checkups for maintenance.

Advised to drop out of college and to seek vocational training, she graduated January 1998, six months after her original target date before she had her accident, with a degree in Speech and Disability Studies (Communication Disorders, Education and Psychology).

In 1996, Ms Fogel was elected the board of the "state brain injury group" and became an advocate for the traumatic brain injured individuals and their families. Ms. Fogel developed liaisons, support groups and educational forums. During her term, she realized the tremendous need for New York City and downstate was being neglected. She resigned in 1997 to start Brain Injury Society (BISociety).

May 1997, was Brain Injury Society's first forum. Its attendance was 250 participants. It was a full day program with prominent doctors and neuropsychologists from noted New York City hospitals, attorneys, resource people and survivors on primary and secondary levels. Two additional successful forums followed with two set for Spring 1998 on Alternative Methodologies for the TBI and Learning Abilities after Brain Injury in the Adult and Child. There have been thousands of calls to Brain Injury Society Help Line from brain-injured individuals, family members, care providers, medical personal and interested individuals.

Much of what she has experienced and learned, along with the strategies and techniques she is using are being combined in the book and self-help guide she is writing, "The Fire Within." It speaks about the syndrome of Traumatic Brain Injury and the effects it has on the individual and the family. It helps define the various types of therapies that can assist with positive outcomes and results. What you should look for in a TBI rehabilitation program is a checklist and a glossary of medical and rehabilitation terms. Menucha Fogel is often invited to speak to medical and health care providers on subjects such as; motivation, recovery and after care methodologies. Menucha Fogel is an advocate for incentives for individuals who are receiving Social Security Disability. Menucha Fogel coordinates educational seminars on the subject of acquired and traumatic head injuries. She is an inspiring speaker.

Presently, Brain Injury Society has a quarterly newsletter, referral system, support groups and educational forums and several research projects on the long term cognitive effects of TBI. Set to open a Complete Recovery Management (CHM) for Stage Three in 1998 with a database for continual follow-up on each patient's progress. "Hope, healing and recovery, all and part are equal in success in whatever measurements and forms they are given to us. We are here when you need us." Says Menucha Fogel just before saying so long to a caller. She can be reached at: 718 645-4401, or E-mail: [email protected] Brain Injury Society was incorporated under the federal tax law in December 1997 as a Not-for-Profit 501 (c)(3)Corporation.

Needed are volunteers to assist in helping others help themselves. A volunteer organization on a budget shoe string, all the offices have been generously donated, but not the budget for office furniture, supplies and program staff and management. To volunteer, donate equipment and funds call: 718 645-4401, or E-mail:

[email protected]

Paul Berger-Gross, Ph.D.
St. Mary's Hospital for Children
Bayside, NY

I came to New York City in 1977 to join my wife and to study clinical neuropsychology at Queens College. New York was alive with neuroscience and I was able to learn neuropsychology with Barbara Wilson, Lou Costa, Steve Mattis, and Rita Rudel. I did research at Columbia Presbyterian in central auditory dysfunctions in brain injury and psychiatric disorders.

After obtaining my PhD, I joined the Pediatric Neurology Department at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, working with hundreds of children and families with traumatic injuries, inherited neurologic disease, and strokes.

In 1988, I rejoined Columbia Presbyterian as part of a team starting a neuropsychiatry unit under the direction of Jonathan Silver. For a while, we provided a unique combination of neuropsychology, counseling, rehab and medical psychopharmacology to psychiatrically ill adults with neurologic disease or TBI. When St. Mary's Hospital for Children was approved by NYS-DOH to begin a children's brain injury unit, I joined them. Our rehab, nurse, Laraine Dunist, and I have spent the last three years working with a great rehabilitation staff to grow St. Mary's TBI/CR Program. Brain Injury Society has touched my family through my father-in-law's strokes and recent death, renewing my belief in the need for increased treatment, education, and support in all our communities.

Leonard Diller, PhD
Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine
New York University
School of Medicine
Director of Psychology Department
Rusk Institute
New York, NY

Leonard Diller is Professor of Rehabilitation medicine, New York University School of Medicine, Director of the Psychology Department at Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, and Chief of Behavioral Science of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, New York University School of Medicine.

Dr. Diller completed undergraduate work at City College of New York and received Master's and PhD degrees from New York University and received post doctoral fellowships in New York City and Australia. Dr. Diller has been active in neuropsychologic rehabilitation for more than four decades. He directs large-scale outpatient programs in neuropsychological rehabilitation and health psychology. Dr. Diller has been active in professional organizations having served on the executive boards and President of the Division of Rehabilitation Psychology and the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and Chair of the Research Committee of the National Easter Seal Society as well as consultant to government agencies in the USA (nih, dept, education) as well as abroad.

His research has been funded by federal agencies from 1956 thru the present. Dr. Diller has lectured extensively both here and abroad and is the author of 125 papers in peer reviewed journals, book chapters, or monographs. He has been a Member of the Panel on Post Stroke Rehabilitation in developing practice guidelines.

Dr. Leonard Diller has been a member of the Brain Injury Society Medical Advisory Board since 1999 and was available to present at the first symposium of the Brain Injury Society at Maimonides Medical Center in 1997. Dr. Diller accepted the first Brain Injury Society Service Award for his contribution to research, rehabilitation and recovery for the acquired brain injured population in 1998. Dr. Diller has been instrumental in assisting the Brain Injury Society with advice and insight and will be opening the first two-day Brain Injury Society Downstate Brain Injury Society Conference on the second day, May 25, 2000 at Rusk Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine.

Phil Gautreau, MPH
Vice President Network Development
North Shore - Long Island Jewish Health System
New Hyde Park, NY

Phil Gautreau has been Vice President for Network Development at the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System since November, 1998. The Health System is a network of 14 hospitals (2 of which have TBI units - Staten Island University Hospital and Southside Hospital in Suffolk County), 3 long-term care facilities, 5 home care agencies and numerous ambulatory care facilities providing care to patients in Long Island, Queens and Staten Island. Several of the System's hospitals also provide inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services.

Phil graduated in 1988 from Columbia's School of Public Health with a focus in Health Administration. His administrative residency at St. Vincent's Hospital and Medical Center in Manhattan led to a position as Program Director of the New York State Department of Health approved AIDS Treatment Center. He subsequently worked with Staten Island University Hospital for 8 years during which time he had responsibility for several departments including: Network Development, Regulatory Affairs, Quality Management, Case Management, Infection Control, Social Work, Employee Health, Employee Assistance Program, the Pediatrics Department and the AIDS Center program. Phil also lived in Moscow from Summer, 1994 - to Fall, 1995, and worked as the Business Director of a joint venture between Columbia-Presbyterian and Pepsi Cola International to develop and manage a medical office geared toward expatriates.

A substantial portion of Phil's work in Network Development is related to developing relationships between the Health System's hospitals and community-based agencies to ensure continuity of patient care.

Phil is also a member of the American College of Healthcare Administrators, Metropolitan Healthcare Administrators (NYC), and the American Public Health Association.

Phil is a member of the Community Advisory Board Member of Brain Injury Society since 1999 and a Special Advisor on Administrative Matters to the Executive President of Brain Injury Society.

Neera Kapoor, OD, MS
Assistant Clinical Professor, SUNY-State College of Optometry
Director of Unit Operations, Head Trauma Vision Rehabilitation Unit

I moved to New York City in 1990 to study optometry and vision science at the SUNY-State College of Optometry. I graduated with an M.S. in Vision Science in 1993 (thesis topic: Contrast decrement sensitivity across spatial frequencies: relation to accommodation) and O.D. in 1994. I decided earlier on in my academic career that I wanted to maintain an affiliation with a teaching and research facility upon graduation. Therefore, I completed an optometric residency in binocular vision and vision therapy at SUNY-Optometry in 1995.

During my residency training, I became exposed to the acquired brain-injured (including brain injury secondary to trauma and stroke) population in terms of the diagnosis and management of visual disorders. I was fascinated from the very first day that I observed in the Head Trauma Vision Rehabilitation Unit. The patients were (and are) very endearing, interesting, and grateful: all of which make what my colleagues and I do so rewarding.

In 1996, I began to deal more with other health care practitioners (such as physiatrists, neurologists, neuropsychiatrists, physical therapists, vestibular therapists, occupational therapists, vocational therapists, cognitive therapists, and speech therapists). This increased and diverse involvement elevated my level of clinical knowledge regarding associated problems with acquired brain injury as well as the appropriate interdisciplinary referrals.

My academic and clinical affiliations are as follows:



My refereed publications are as follows:

Edwin F. Richter III, MD
Rusk Institute of
Rehabilitation Medicine
Manhattan, NY

Edwin F. Richter III, M.D. is Clinical Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine at New York University School of Medicine. Dr. Richter is a Physiatrist at the Rusk Institute and Tisch Hospital of the Mount Sinai/NYU Health System and attending physician at Bellevue Hospital Center. He is the Medical Director of the Minor Head Injury Program at the Rusk Institute. He is chairman of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine Peer Review Committee. Physiatric Consultant to NYU-Bellevue Program for Survivors of Torture.

Dr. Richter graduated Cum Laude from Harvard College with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology. He is a graduate of New York University School of Medicine. His Residency training was at the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine.

Dr. Richter memberships, to name a few, include: Diplomat of the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Fellow of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, New York Pain Society, and American Academy of Medical Infrared Imaging.

Dr. Richer has had publications on such topics as; Treatment of Head and Gaze Palsy, Changes in Dysphagic Patients after Surgical Procedures, Hand Orthotic Clinical Reasoning in Neurological Disorder, Medical Aspects of Disability - Orthopedic Impairments.

Dr. Richter has presented nationally and regularly lectures for Brain Injury Society symposia on brain injury related issues. He has also lectured on behalf of Brain Injury Society at various city agencies along with other members and the President of Brain Injury Society. He has had been a member of Brain Injury Society and a member of the Medical Advisory Board since 1997. He has the appointment of Chairman of the Medical and Community Advisory Board since 1998. He has been the principle advisor on Brain Injury Society activities to the Founder/President since 1997.

Bruce M. Solitar, MD
Mt. Sinai-NYU Medical Center/Manhattan Veteran's Hospital
New York, NY

Dr. Solitar received his undergraduate education at John's Hopkins University. He attended New York University School of Medicine where he completed his residency, chief residency and fellowship in Rheumatology. Dr. Bruce Solitar graduated Phi Beta Kappa from John Hopkins University and Alpha Omega Alpha from NYU School of Medicine.

Dr. Solitar is a member of the American College of Physicians and Society of Clinical Densitometry. He is currently a practicing Rheumatologist on staff at Tisch Hospital and Hospital for Joint Diseases. Dr. Solitar is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at NYU School of Medicine, Seminar Section Leader in Rheumatology Section of Medicine Course for Second-Year Students at NYU School of Medicine, serving as Director of the Rheumatology Screening Clinic at the Hospital for Joint Diseases and Assistant Chief of Service in Rheumatology at Bellevue Hospital. Dr. Solitar also currently serves as Co-Director at the Manhattan Veteran's Administration Hospital.

He has authored numerous papers and chapters on various forms of Arthritis such as: Seminal Arthritis Rheumatology, Joint Biological Chemistry, Reiter's Syndrome and Reactions of the Protein Kinase. Dr. Bruce Solitar is a favorite, requested lecturer on these topics at major medical institutions.

Dr. Solitar attends to patients with all Rheumatic illnesses and has a particular interest in treating Fibromyalgia. He is actively involved as Medical Advisor with the Fibromyalgia Wellness Group, Manhattan Fibromyalgia Support Group. The group meets at Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine every third Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in Room RR111, 400 East 34th Street, between FDR Drive and First Avenue, Manhattan, NY.

Special Note: Dr. Solitar has been a member of the Medical Advisory Board of Brain Injury Society since 1999 and a special advisor to the Founder/Executive President of Brain Injury Society on joint diseases and brain injury. He is an active presenter at Brain Injury Society symposia on joint diseases and their relationship from brain injury traumas, an often misunderstood phenomenon.

Mark Ylvisaker, PhD
Associate Professor
of Communication Disorders
College of Saint Rose
Albany, NY

Dr. Ylvisaker is Associate Professor of Communication Disorders, College of Saint Rose, Albany, New York

Dr. Ylvisaker has over 20 years of clinical and program development experience with children and young adults with neurogenic cognitive, behavioral, and communication disorders in rehabilitation and special education settings.

Dr. Ylvisaker is author or editor of six books on brain injury rehabilitation, including the recently published Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation: Children and Adolescents and Collaborative Brain Injury Intervention: Positive Everyday Routines. In addition, he is author or co-author of over 60 journal articles and book chapters on the subject. He is actively engaged in the work of several professional organizations, consults to a variety of state, federal and international TBI projects, and presents frequently to national and international audiences on topics related to rehabilitation and education of individuals with cognitive, behavioral, and communication disability. Mark Ylvisaker, PhD has been an advisory board member since 1997 and has lectured at numerous Brain Injury Society Symposia.

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Disclaimer: Medical information is presented on this site to promote better understanding of brain injury. This site does not diagnose or treat patients. All patients should consult appropriate professionals for diagnosis or treatment.They are encouraged to use this site as an educational resource. Accuracy of the information linked from this site are not guaranteed. The use or reproduction of any part of these electronic pages is prohibited, without the express written permission of the Brain Injury Society.

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