About the Subject Matter Experts

Adam Anicich

Adam Anicich is the deputy director of the Congressional Liaison Service for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). In this role, he is responsible for the Senate liaison office and is collocated with the Senate in the Russell Senate Office Building. Anicich, a disabled combat veteran of the US Army, and his team communicate the department's initiatives to members of Congress, provide information on all programs and services VA provides, annually receive and resolve more than 21,000 Congressional inquiries dealing from casework to policy, and act as on-site liaisons between 541 members of Congress and VA. Anicich also serves on the executive committee of VA's PolyTrauma/Blast-related Injury Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI). Prior to his appointment with VA, Anicich worked in leadership positions for the Department of Commerce, Missile Defense Agency, and spent six years in the private sector at a number of Southern California banks. Anicich received a B.A. and M.B.A. from Saint Leo University, and is currently finishing a Doctorate in Management at the University of Maryland. As a former army sergeant and polytrauma veteran, Anicich is uniquely qualified to identify and communicate the needs of TBI survivors and veterans to Congress.

Cynthia Boyd

Cynthia Boyd, Ph.D., has been involved in clinical and educational efforts at DVBIC, Naval Medical Center San Diego for the past nine years. She has focused not only on TBI, but also the overlap of TBI and PTSD affecting physical, cognitive and behavioral issues. She is a subject matter expert on violence associated with these disorders. She has been actively involved in the legal/forensic arena, specifically regarding TBI and legal issues in returning troops. Since 2008, she has participated with the legal community to establish a Veteran's Court in San Diego. Under California Penal Code 1170.9, the law allows for judges to offer treatment as alternative sentencing to veterans diagnosed with TBI, PTSD, substance abuse, and other qualifying conditions associated with combat exposure. As a representative of DVBIC, she has been invited to provide TBI and PTSD educational trainings to members of law enforcement, district attorneys, public defenders, Navy JAG and California superior court judges. Dr. Boyd also has an independent practice in forensic neuropsychology specializing in forensic evaluations of TBI, PTSD and violent offenders. She has been retained as an expert witness in capital cases involving veterans with TBI and PTSD.

Alison Cernich

Alison Cernich, Ph.D., is a board certified Neuropsychologist, who serves as the acting deputy director, for the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and TBI (DCoE). She also is the VA Senior Liaison for TBI to DCoE, representing Rehabilitation and Prosthetics Service. She received her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2002. She completed a pre-doctoral research fellowship at the Kessler Medical Rehabilitation Research & Education Corp., funded by the National Institutes of Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) and a post-doctoral fellowship in cognitive neurosciences at the National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) in Washington, D.C. She was previously the director of Neuropsychology and director of the Polytrauma Support Clinical Team at the VA Maryland Health Care System. She is an assistant professor of neurology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She is the lead or contributing author on multiple peer-reviewed articles and conference presentations, with a specific emphasis on TBI and computerized neuropsychological assessment.

Helen C. Coronel

Helen C. Coronel, MSN, BC, earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in May 1988 from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Texas. She earned a Master of Science in Nursing from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., in August 1997 and is expecting to complete her doctoral degree there in summer 2013. As the wife of an Army officer, she has a passion for caring for our nation's military. Coronel began her career as a neonatal nurse at Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple, Texas, before moving toward the prevention side of nursing. She was a staff nurse in several primary care clinics at Fort Hood, Texas, and Virginia Mason Clinic in Seattle. Coronel continued to work as a primary care provider at Fort Campbell, Ky.; Fort Hood; Fort Belvoir, Va.; and Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala. In 2007 Coronel joined the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) to work directly with service members and veterans with head injuries sustained during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. In her position as a neuroscience clinician and subject matter expert with the Office of Clinical Initiatives at DVBIC, she has helped develop clinical practice guidelines and participated in the creation of screening tools, such as the Military Acute Concussion Evaluation (MACE). Coronel also has spoken frequently about mTBI in the military for the Red Cross, Centers for Deployment Psychology and Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.

Capt. J. L. Hancock

Capt. J.L. Hancock, M.D., currently serves as the director of Medical Services, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth and serves as the Navy's specialty leader for emergency medicine. In February, 2009, Capt. J.L. Hancock was named to be the Navy and Marine Corps representative on the Chairman's of the Joint Chief Of Staff, Gray Team tasked to evaluate and advise the Chairman on all facets of traumatic brain injury treatment. Subsequently, he deployed back to Iraq and Afghanistan in efforts to optimize treatment of traumatic brain injury. Capt. J.L. Hancock continues to serve in this capacity and was a primary author of the directive type memorandum currently used in OIF and OEF. He serves as Navy's research representative in matters of advance trauma resuscitation and TBI to Army's Marine Corps Mobilization Command (MCMC), Defense Centers of Excellence (DCoE), and the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC). His academic appointments include assistant professor of Military/Emergency medicine and assistant professor of Neurology at USUHS. Capt. J.L. Hancock's personal decorations include the Legion of Merit (Combat Award), Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Joint Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two awards), and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (three awards).

Karl Hursey

Karl G. Hursey, Ph.D., received his doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Ohio University and completed training at the Brown University Program in Medicine Clinical Psychology Internship Program. Dr. Hursey served on the faculty of the Department of Psychology and the Faculty of Neuroscience at Texas A&M University. Subsequently, he entered the private sector and became Program Director for General Rehabilitation Services and Director of Pain Services and then Program Coordinator for the Community Re-entry Brain Injury Program at various rehabilitation hospitals. Currently Dr. Hursey is the Rehabilitation Psychologist at the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center in Johnstown, PA (DVBIC-Johnstown) and Associate Professor of Rehabilitation Technology (Adjunct) at the University of Pittsburgh. He also provides consultation and speaker services related to psychological aspects of rehabilitation following severe injury and chronic illness.

John Rigg

John L. Rigg, M.D., FAAPMR, is the Traumatic Brain Injury Program Director for the Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center at Fort Gordon, Ga. He received his Doctor of Medicine from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and did his residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation/University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He completed his fellowship in Traumatic Brain Injury at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center where he also served as an instructor for the University of Pittsburgh Medical School. Dr. Rigg is a member of the Central Nervous System Rehabilitation Council of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Rigg is actively involved in research and his current projects include investigating the effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen to improve function after brain injury, developing a method of obtaining objective sleep data, and the use of omega-3 fatty acids to accelerate and improve recovery. He also has published on the use of nutritional supplementation and nutriceuticals to improve brain function. Recent publications include an article on concussion issues specific to military personnel in the journal of the American Academy of PM&R and a book chapter on mTBI and PTSD in War Trauma and Its Wake: Expanding the Circle of Healing recently released by Routledge Publishing.

Joel Scholten

Joel Scholten, M.D., received his medical degree at the University of South Dakota and completed his residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Eastern Virginia Graduate School of Medicine. Dr. Scholten joined the VA in 1998 as the medical director of the Brain Injury Rehabilitation program at the Tampa VA before transferring to the Washington DC VA Medical Center to assume the role of associate chief of staff for Rehab Services. Dr. Scholten also works in VA Central Office within the PM&R Program Office as the national director of Special Projects. His research interests include traumatic brain injury, polytrauma, and pain. Dr. Scholten is an associate clinical professor of Rehabilitation Medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine. He is also the clinical coordinator of the VA's Polytrauma/Blast Related Injury QUERI.

Katie Stout

Katharine "Katie" Stout, P.T., D.P.T, M.S. CBS, is the Tele-Rehab Chief for the Army's Northern Region Department of Telemedicine. She graduated from Northeastern University in 2005 with a bachelor's degree in Rehabilitation Science and earned a master's degree in physical therapy in 2006. She also received a transitional doctorate in physical therapy in 2010. In August, she completed her master's degree in Business Administration with a focus in Healthcare Administration from the University of Scranton. She has primarily worked with the military and brain-injured populations since 2006. From 2006 to 2009 she worked at the National Naval Medical Center. From 2009 to 2010, she worked at the National Institutes of Health, and then with the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center from 2010 to 2011. In her spare time she is on the board of directors for Thomas Jerome House, a nonprofit organization that is trying to solve long-term living challenges for troops with brain injuries.