Foundation for Life Care Planning Research
Board Members

Foundation Board of Directors

Susan Riddick-Grisham, RN - Chair
Christine Reid, Ph.D. - Vice-chair & Treasurer
Debra Berens, Ph.D.
Paul M. Deutsch, Ph.D.
Paul Kornberg, MD
James Krause, MD
Ruth Rimmer, Ph.D.

Board of Directors - Emeritus and Founders

Roger Weed, Ph.D.


Susan Riddick-Grisham, RN,CCM,CLCP

Susan Riddick-Grisham has greater than 20 years of experience working with patients, families and clinical teams. Known for her skills as a catastrophic injury nurse case manager, Susan is also a nationally respected figure in the Life Care Planning community.

In 1992, she participated in the development of the first comprehensive national training program for life care planners. Her passion for assisting individuals with chronic disabling health conditions continues to drive the development of innovative educational programs. These programs enable Ms. Riddick-Grisham’s colleagues to better serve their clients and families. In addition, she is a frequently requested life care planner, consultant, speaker, author, and mentor.

Ms. Riddick-Grisham is the Founder of The Care Planner Network, an online community which is dedicated to improving the reliability and validity of the life care planning process by narrowing the variance in practice patterns, and by providing resources and networking opportunities to all practicing life care planners. She is also President of Life Care Manager, LLC which provides care manager and life care planning services on a national level.

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Christine Reid, Ph.D., CRC, CLCP

Dr. Reid is the Chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Counseling at Virginia Commonwealth University where she teaches courses related to life care planning, career development, vocational evaluation, and research for the Rehabilitation Counseling master’s and Rehabilitation Leadership Ph.D. programs. Dr. Reid’s doctorate from the Illinois Institute of Technology is in Rehabilitation Psychology, with a minor in Psychometric Methodology.

Dr. Reid has over 15 years of experience as a Rehabilitation Counseling educator, researcher and service provider. She has developed and implemented service delivery systems including a university-based rehabilitation counseling clinic and an office of disability resources. She has also served as a vocational evaluator, counselor, and impartial hearing officer for a state vocational rehabilitation agency. Dr. Reid has written over 30 professional publications (primarily journal articles and book chapters) and has made more than 75 rehabilitation-related presentations to regional, national, and international audiences. Dr. Reid has served on the editorial boards of Rehabilitation Education and the Journal of Counseling and Development, and on the Board of Directors for several professional organizations and accrediting or certifying bodies. Dr. Reid is past President and Fellow of the National Rehabilitation Counseling Association.

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Debra E. Berens, Ph.D., CRC, CCM, CLCP

Dr. Berens is a certified rehabilitation counselor, certified case manager, and certified life care planner with a nationwide consulting practice based out of Atlanta, Georgia. Her practice specializes in disability and rehabilitation consulting, care coordination, and assessment, research, and development of life care plans for adults and children with catastrophic injuries and disabilities. She also is an instructor in the graduate Rehabilitation Counseling program at Georgia State University and served a five year term as Commissioner to the national Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) which included appointments to the Ethics Committee and Chair of the Standards and Credentials committee. She is a member of the International Academy of Life Care Planners and served on a five person task force responsible for revising the Code of Ethics, Standards of Practice, and Competencies for the International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals (IARP). Dr. Berens has been honored with industry awards including Outstanding Practitioner award from Chi Sigma Iota Counseling Professional Honor Society International (2006), Outstanding Life Care Planning Educator award (2010), Faculty Excellence Award from College of Education at Georgia State University (2010), and Lifetime Achievement Award in Life Care Planning (2013).

Dr. Berens' level of commitment and service to the rehabilitation community is reflected in over 50 contributions to writings, publications, trainings, and presentations to professionals and service providers. Her research activities include participation in research related to assessing the reliability of life care plans as well as ongoing and current research into long-term community support programs for individuals with traumatic or acquired brain injuries and other neurological disorders. She has served as moderator of the annual International Symposium on Life Care Planning for the past 10 years and has actively participated in the planning and/or facilitation of the biennial Life Care Planning Summits since the original Summit in 1997. She is one of the developers of the on-line life care planning certificate program offered by Kaplan College and served on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Life Care Planning from its inception in 2001 until 2011, including serving 5 years as Editor.

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Paul M. Deutsch, Ph.D., CRC, CCM, CLCP, FIALCP

Dr. Deutsch is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with a Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Counseling and Counseling Psychology. He has been in practice for more 35 years and specializes in catastrophic disability, resulting from either a birth or traumatic onset. Dr. Deutsch is best known for having developed the basic tenets, methodologies and processes of Life Care Planning. He first published on life care planning as a fundamental tool of case management in his 1981 text, (Damages in Tort Actions, Deutsch & Raffa). This was followed by the 1985 work, (A Guide to Rehabilitation, Deutsch & Sawyer) and the 1986 text, (Innovations in Head in Rehabilitation, Deutsch & Fralish). Dr. Deutsch has contributed 12 volumes and more than 85 peer reviewed journal articles and chapter contributions. He is president of the Foundation for Life Care Planning Research and courtesy faculty at the department of Rehabilitation Counseling at the University of Florida, lead faculty in Kaplan Universities Life Care Planning program and holds an appointment as a Clinical Professor of Rehabilitation at the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University. He currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Life Care Planning and is a reviewer for the Journal of Brain Injury. He along with his co-authors and many other leading Life Care Planners formed the Foundation for Life Care Planning to initiate and support research in reliability and validity of the Life Care Planning process. In addition to leading the development of the Kaplan University Life Care Planning curriculum he has lead the development of their Case Management and Elder Care Management Curriculum. He teaches in Kaplan's Life Care Planning Program. Dr. Deutsch has also acted as lead curriculum developer for the University of Florida’s Life Care Planning Certificate Program.

Dr. Deutsch is the recipient of the 1993 International Association Of Rehabilitation Professionals Rehabilitation Educator of the Year Award.

In 2003 Dr. Deutsch was presented with a: Life Time Achievement Award- "In recognition of your dedication and countless contributions to the field of Life Care Planning."- Presented by the International Conference of Life Care Planners; The International Academy of Life Care Planners; The University of Florida; Virginia Commonwealth University; Kaplan University; The American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants; and The National Rehabilitation Association - October 11, 2003.

In 2007 he received a Life Time Achievement Award in Rehabilitation from the International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals.

He has twice been name the Alumnus of the Year, (1988 and 2006) for the University of Florida’s College of Public Health and Health Professions.

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Paul Kornberg, MD

Dr. Kornberg is a practicing physician and member of the Board of Directors of Rehabilitation and Electrodiagnostics, a single specialty, physician group with three locations in Tampa, Florida. He joined Rehabilitation and Electrodiagnostics in 2002. Previously he served as Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Pediatrics at Eastern Virginia Medical School, Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters, Norfolk, VA.

Dr. Kornberg earned his medical degree at the University of the Miami School of Medicine and completed a dual residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. He is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Dr. Kornberg's practice focuses on Pediatric Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and he is one of only a handful of physicians in Florida with this specialty. Since 2002 he has headed the pediatric rehabilitation program at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital of Tampa. In 2006, to present, he serves as both the Medical Director of Adult and Pediatric Rehabilitation at St. Joseph's Hospital. In addition, he serves as the Medical Director of Pediatric Rehabilitation at Tampa General Hospital since 2006.

Dr. Kornberg has been a member of the Brain & Spinal Cord Injury Advisory Council for the Florida Department of Health since 2009, a Program Surveyor for the State of Florida Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Program since 2006 and an Affiliate Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University Of South Florida School Of Medicine since 2004.

He is active in numerous professional organizations, and is a frequent speaker at local, state and national meetings.

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James Krause, MD

Dr. Krause is an expert on long-term outcomes among people with neurologic injuries, who has provided training and consultation in several areas relevant to life care planning including employment, secondary health conditions, and life expectancy. He has published extensively in these areas, as well as in the areas of aging, depression, and quality of life. Dr. Krause has authored over 150 articles in peer-reviewed journals (over 100 as first author). He has been a presenter or co-presenter at over 200 presentations at national and international professional conferences. Dr. Krause also served as co-author on the book Spinal Cord Injury Desk Reference: Guidelines for Life Care Planning and Case Management (Blackwell, Krause, Winkler, & Stiens, 2001, Demos Medical Publishing).

Dr. Krause currently holds the rank of Professor and Associate Dean for Research in the College of Health Professions and serves as the Director of the Center for Rehabilitation Research in Neurologic Conditions at the Medical University of South Carolina. He has served as the Scientific Director of the South Carolina Spinal Cord Injury Research Fund since 2002. Dr. Krause also serves as Director and Principal Investigator on three federally funded centers including the Center on Health Outcomes Research and Capacity Building for Underserved Populations with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) and Traumatic Brain Injury, a Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Secondary Conditions in Individuals with SCI, and a Disability Rehabilitation Research Project entitled Successful Employment and Quality work Life after Severe Disability due to SCI. He is Principal Investigator of a 40-year longitudinal study of aging after SCI.

Dr. Krause has received nine prestigious awards since 2007, including the Patricia McCollom Memorial Research Award from the Foundation for Life Care Planning (2008, first-time awarded) and five research awards for outstanding manuscripts published in the previous year. These include the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) Research Award (2007), two National Association of Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers (NARRTC) Research Awards (2008, 2011), the Apple Award from ASIA (2009), and the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association Research Award (2010). Other career awards include the 2012 NARRTC Distinguished Service Award (previously awarded to Sen. Thomas Harkin and Sen. Bob Dole). Dr. Krause also was inducted into the SCI Hall of Fame by the stakeholder-based National SCI Association for his research in quality of life. In 2011, he received the National Medtronic Courage Award, the first time it has been awarded to someone in biomedical or rehabilitation research. Previous awardees include Sen. Bob Dole, Sen. Max Cleland, former Attorney General Janet Reno, Christopher Reeves, and Stephen Hawking.

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Ruth Brubaker Rimmer, PhD, CLCP

Dr. Rimmer is the Director of Psycho/Social and Prevention Research at the Arizona Burn Center and President of Care Plans for Life, LLC. Ruth and has been working in the field of burn care for the past 20 years and serves as editorial reviewer for the Journal of Burn Care and Rehabilitation, Burns, and the Society for the Study of Emerging Adulthood. Dr. Rimmer authored the burn injury-related chapters in the Life Care Planning and Case Management and Pediatric Life Care Planning and Case Management Handbooks, and has lectured many times on the facets of life care planning for electrical and burn-injured pediatric and adult patients. Rimmer received her PhD in Life Span Developmental Psychology from Arizona State University and is an Associate Professor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix and Northern Arizona University where she teaches graduate classes in Adolescent Psychology, Adult-Aging Psychology, and Grief and Trauma, and also mentors students in clinical research. She has specialized in research associated with the psycho/social, pain management and rehabilitation needs of the burn patient and has presented her findings, multiple times, both nationally and internationally. She is dedicated to burn prevention and community health promotion and has been honored many times for her work in this arena, and has also been honored as an outstanding alumnus by both the University of Arizona and Arizona State University. Dr. Rimmer is published children's author and fluent in Spanish.

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Roger Weed, Ph.D., LPC, CLCP, CRC, CDMS, CCM, FNRCA, FIALCP (2007)

Roger O. Weed, Professor and graduate Rehabilitation Counseling Coordinator at Georgia State University, is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Life Care Planner, Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, Certified Disability Management Specialist, Certified Case Manager, Fellow of International Academy of Life Care Planners, and Fellow of the National Rehabilitation Counseling Association. He has authored or co-authored approximately 100 books, articles and book chapters. Dr. Weed has been honored with several awards including the 1997 and 1991 Outstanding Educator award by the International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals, the 1993 National Professional Services Award from the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association, and the 2003 Research Excellence Award from the College of Education at Georgia State University. In addition, he is listed in several Who’s Who publications including the 2002 edition of Who’s Who in the World.

Dr. Weed is the Ethics Chair for the International Academy of Life Care Planners and Associate Editor of the Journal of Life Care Planning. He is one of the five founders of a national training program leading to life care planning certification. He is also past Chair of the Georgia State Licensing Board for professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, and social workers, as well as past President of the International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals (previously known as the National Association of Rehabilitation Professionals in the Private Sector).

Dr. Weed maintains a nation-wide private consulting practice specializing in catastrophic rehabilitation and rehabilitation professional training. In addition, he holds adjunct faculty status with the Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access at the Georgia Institute of Technology and courtesy faculty status at the University of Florida.

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Resource Links

Reliability and Validity for Life Care Planners - Why are we, as clinical practitioners, interested in research aimed at validating the process of life care planning?

Reading and Interpreting Life Care Planning Literature - The professional should be prepared to critically evaluate a study reported in the literature and apply that new knowledge to their professional practice and future investigative endeavors.

Ethics in Research - As practitioners and researchers, we have a responsibility to protect the research subject from potential harms . . .

Introduction to Evidence-based Practice - The practice of evidence-based medicine means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research.

Locating Practice Guidelines - When seeking clinical practice guidelines specific to the patient with whom you are working, you may begin your search in the following ways:

Sources of Research Information - There are numerous resources available to life care planners, but professionas need to know where information exists . . .