Deborah M. Benson, PhD, ABPP is the founder and director of Common Ground Alliance, president of the board of directors, and current volunteer. Dr. Benson is a New York & Florida State Licensed Psychologist specializing in rehabilitation neuropsychology, who has been working with individuals with brain injury and their families for over 30 years. She earned her PhD in Clinical Neuropsychology in 1992 from the City University of NY-Queens College, and is Board Certified in Rehabilitation Psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). She is a member of the American Psychological Association and National Academy of Neuropsychology.
Dr. Benson served as the Director of Transitions of Long Island, a post-acute neuro-rehabilitation program of the Northwell Health System from 1998-2008, and is currently employed as Vice President of Clinical Solutions at Paradigm, a national catastrophic care management company. Dr. Benson also offers care planning/resource facilitation consultations for persons with neurological injuries/illnesses and their families.
Dr. Benson has served on the board of directors of the Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANYS), and was the recipient of that organization’s Consumer Advocacy award in 2006 and Champion of Hope award in 2009. She also served on the New York State Traumatic Brain Injury Services Coordinating Council from 2005-2008 and was on the advisory board of the Coma Recovery Association. Dr. Benson received the BIANYS Founder’s Award in 2011 and was inducted into the Long Island Volunteer Center’s Hall of Fame that same year, in recognition for establishing Common Ground Alliance as a local resource for brain injury survivors and families. She has served on the board of directors of Kid’s Chance of New York, a charitable organization that provides need-based college/vocational scholarships to children of injured workers. Dr. Benson co-edited the textbook Acquired Brain Injury: An Integrative Team Approach (Springer, 2007), and was co-author of the cognitive rehabilitation workbook Functional Memory Manual. She has presented on numerous topics related to recovery, rehabilitation and long-term wellness after brain injury at regional and national conferences.
Reby Rosenfeld, MPA, MSC holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Psychology, and a Masters Degree in Public Administration. She also has a Minister in Spiritual Counseling degree from the New Seminary Interfaith Ministry and is an ordained Interfaith Minister. Reby’s primary work is as a pharmaceutical research consultant. She has also been a Yoga and Aikido practitioner for over 20 years, and is certified as a Therapeutic Yoga Facilitator from the Integral Yoga Teacher Training Institute in New York City. In addition to being a Board member, Reby leads periodic Yoga, Stretching and Meditation groups, and coordinates the Guest Speaker program at CGA.
Jean Kirk, PhD is a clinical psychologist who worked at the International Center for the Disabled in NYC for many years before joining Paradigm in 2013. Dr. Kirk is also an adjunct professor at Adelphi University in Garden City, NY. Jean leads the ever popular Game Night at Common Ground.
Paul Livanos is a multi-instrumentalist with a background in classical guitar and composition. He plays a variety of instruments including guitar, mandolin, ukulele, sitar, bass guitar, harmonica, piano, and drums. Paul co-leads the Music Group with Nick Kellar. Together they have a blast working with members to open up their minds by listening to new artists and various genres of music. Occasionally they break out the instruments and everyone joins in for a group jam. If you are interested in learning more about the world of music then this is the group for you.
Wendell D. Miller, MSW, LPTA, CBIST is a New York State Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant with over 15 years experience working with individuals and families with neurological injuries. In addition to his physical therapy background, Wendell has a Bachelor’s degree in Health Care Management from Empire State College and a Masters Degree in Social Work from Stony Brook University. He is a certified Brain Injury Specialist, and the Administrative Manager of Neurological Services at Paragon Management, working with three subacute neurorehabilitation programs in Nassau (Emerge), Suffolk (Quantum) and Westchester (North Westchester) county.
Deborah M. Benson, President
Rebecca Rosenfeld, Vice President, Treasurer
Patricia Kearney, Secretary