Online Voting Now Open for 2012 Brain Injury Advocate Award

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Anapol Schwartz Foundation Set to Award $5000 to Non-Profit of Award Winner's Choosing

The Anapol Schwartz Foundation (ASF) is pleased to announce online voting is now open for its Third Annual Anapol Advocate Award at the Anapol Schwartz Foundation site.

Established by law firm Anapol Schwartz, P.C. as a way to assist individuals affected by disabling injuries to lead better, more productive lives, The ASF has donated more than $200,000 in grants to deserving charities over the past four years.

Honoring an inspiring person who has enhanced the lives of individuals affected by brain injuries, Anapol Schwartz will grant a $5,000 award – derived from proceeds of successful cases involving brain injuries – to the selected winner’s choice of a qualified 501(c)(3) public charity serving the brain injury community. This year’s nominees, as determined by The Anapol Schwartz Foundation Award Selection Committee, are:

(1)    Nathaniel Mayer, MD - His conceptual development, vision and research served as the foundation to develop the Drucker Brain Injury Center at MossRehab, which is one of the very first centers devoted to the rehabilitation care of patients with traumatic brain injury, focusing on function, family and community reintegration. His work has served as a model for other national and international programs. During his residence at Temple University/Moss Rehab, Dr. Mayer was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences for the study of biomedical engineering. Dr. Mayer currently is Emeritus Professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Temple University School of Medicine and is Director of the Motor Control Analysis Laboratory at MossRehab.

(2)    Symme Trachtenberg - In 1994, Symme Trachtenberg, MSW, LSW was the Director of Social Work at Children's Seashore House, a pediatric rehabilitation hospital, which is now a part of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). At that time, her daughter Jocelyn was in a car crash, sustaining a Traumatic Brain Injury. She knew that cognitive re-training was critical for her daughter's recovery, but also knew that not all parents in her situation had the benefit of her background and knowledge. Since then, Symme has dedicated her personal and professional life to improving the recovery and quality of life for children with TBI. Symme currently serves as the Ombudsman for the State TBI Health, Resources, and Services Administration federal grant, is the Advisory Board Vice Chair, and the Co-chair for the Children's Task Force.

(3)    Rebecca Ichord, MD – An an expert in brain injury and strokes in children, Rebecca is dedicated to increasing awareness of childhood strokes, minimizing stroke damage, and preventing a second one. Dr. Ichord is Assistant Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and serves as Director of CHOP’s Pediatric Stroke Program, one of the firsts of its kind, providing comprehensive assessment and treatment for children and infants. Dr. Ichord led the development of an outpatient multidisciplinary stroke clinic giving children and their families access to a stroke-oriented neurologist, along with therapists, social workers, education coordinators, and a neuropsychologist.

(4)    Monica Vaccaro - Ms. Vaccaro has spent two decades helping individuals with brain injuries. She has worked as a rehabilitation clinician at MossRehab in both inpatient and community reentry programs, and has coordinated research projects conducted at Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute that have helped validate new treatments for individuals with brain injury. In 2005, she began work for the Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania, organizing support services and advocacy for individuals with TBI living in the community. In her clinical work, she demonstrates enormous insight into the lived experience of her clients, and offers clear goal-directed options to address their problems. In her research, she has helped develop evidence for the impact of stimulant drug treatment on attention problems, and has been involved in studying psychological treatments that can help survivors develop productive activities and manage interpersonal problems. Ms. Vaccaro’s entire work life has been devoted to helping individuals with brain injury and their families maximize their quality of life, through clinical service, research, and advocacy, all carried out with tremendous empathy and intelligence.

(5)    Curry Durborow- Curry is a physical therapist specializing in both inpatient and outpatient therapy. Four years ago, Curry took her job one step further and organized a 5k race to benefit the Brain Injury Association of PA. She continues to organize the race each year, overseeing all of the fundraising, the race details, and advertising for the race. In her role at Bryn Mawr Rehab, Curry has participated in research and education in the area of mild TBI and concussion, and has presented her findings to the APTA. She has also obtained specialized certification in Locomotor training for patients with Brain Injury.

Open voting to determine the winner, begins today, April 26, and will be held through Friday, May 11. The winner will be announced on Monday, May 14.

The ASF assists 501(c)(3) public charities that serve victims and their families and funds research and programs aimed at advancing health and safety. The Anapol Schwartz law firm dedicates funds to the foundation as it wins cases on behalf of consumers and their families. For more information on The ASF, visit

Founded in 1977, Anapol Schwartz, P.C., is a civil justice law firm with more than 25 attorneys and law offices in Philadelphia, Media, Reading and Harrisburg, Pa., as well as Cherry Hill, N.J. and Scottsdale, AZ. The firm has represented consumers in matters ranging from dangerous prescription drugs and medical negligence to unsafe products and hazardous work site cases.

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