About Rehabilitation Specialists
Rehabilitation Specialists has been providing comprehensive community based rehabilitation for individuals with traumatic and acquired brain injuries for over twenty-five years.
Our treatment programs are tailored to meet the cognitive, physical and behavioral needs of each individual in order to ensure successful and optimal rehabilitation and community re-entry. Our philosophy is to provide treatment in the persons served naturalistic environment which can include one or more of the following: our Outpatient Rehabilitation Program, the community, our group homes or supported apartments, and the individual’s home. Further, it is our belief that providing programming in this manner allows the individual to learn skills in real life settings, rather than relying solely on artificial clinical settings.
Each person served receives a comprehensive evaluation that assists the team in meeting his or her particular needs. The team consists of not only our staff, but the person served, their family, and the funding source as well, which enables all parties to work in unison towards the individual’s goals. Members of our team are not only brain injury specialists, but are also active in research and advocacy. We seek to improve treatment protocols, achieve the highest levels of success and satisfaction for persons served, and provide appropriate follow-up to ensure the access to services and supports that the persons served need now and throughout their recovery process.
Find Out About Our Staff
President & CEO
Virgilio earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Ramapo College of New Jersey and dedicated his career to working with individuals with developmental disabilities, mental illness, and brain injury. During his career he has garnered extensive experience in residential care, outpatient treatment and vocational supports.
Virgilio started his career with Rehabilitation Specialists nearly twenty years ago and then sought other experiences within the industry. After his return to Rehabilitation Specialists Virgilio held many positions within the organization, culminating in his current role as President & CEO.
In addition to his role at Rehabilitation Specialists, he serves as a member of Brain Injury Association of New Jersey’s Advocacy and Public Affairs (APA) Committee, chairs the subcommittee on Community Affairs of the APA committee, and has been appointed by Governor Jon S. Corzine to the New Jersey Advisory Council on Traumatic Brain Injury. He has served on the Board of Trustees for the Brain Injury Alliance.
Director of Neuropsychological and Clinical Services
Dr. Gordon earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology and cognitive science at the University of Rochester. He earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Fairleigh Dickenson University and did his internship and fellowship training in pediatric and adult neuropsychology at Cornell Medical College and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Gordon presents regularly at academic conferences including the National Academy of Neuropsychology and the International Neuropsychological Society. He has also published articles within his field. In addition, Dr. Gordon implemented and oversees our Addictive Behaviors Services program for Rehabilitation Specialists.
Dr. Brian Greenwald
Dr. Greenwald is currently the Medical Director of the Center for Head Injuries and the Associate Medical Director of JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute. He is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
He completed his residency training in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at New Jersey Medical School. He was fellowship trained in brain injury rehabilitation at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Prior to joining JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute Dr. Greenwald was the Medical Director of Brain Injury Rehabilitation at the Mount Sinai Hospital’s Rehabilitation Center in New York City and the Medical Director for the New York Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems.
Dr. Greenwald has been serving on the Board of Trustees for the Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey since 2002. In 2012 he received the Kristjan Ragnarsson Angel Award from the Sarah Jane Brain Foundation for leading research advancing the field of pediatric acquired brain injury. He was the recipient of the 2009 Physician of the Year Award at Mount Sinai Medical Center. He is recognized by his peers through the Castle Connolly surveys as one of the Top Doctors in the New York Metro Area. Dr. Greenwald has published multiple articles and book chapters in the areas of brain injury rehabilitation.
Currently he is involved in several research studies to improve the care of brain injury survivors.
George Carnevale, Ph.D.
VP of Clinical Services Development
Dr. Carnevale, a clinical neuropsychologist with over 20 years experience in brain injury rehabilitation, is an Assistant Professor in the Dept of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School. He is also a consulting neuropsychologist at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, Paterson, New Jersey, and at St. Joseph’s Wayne Hospital Acute Rehab Unit. Dr. Carnevale lectures extensively and publishes in the areas of neuropsychological assessment, behavioral approaches to persons with traumatic brain injury, cognitive rehabilitation and forensic neuropsychology. He also functions as a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation and is a past president of the NJ Neuropsychology Society.
In his role at Rehabilitation Specialists, he is responsible for developing area programs and services, marketing activities and increasing collaborative relations with area service providers, payers and researchers in the area of brain injury.
Carol holds a M.S.W. from Ohio State University and a C.S.W. from the State of New York. As the Admissions Director, Carol conducts screenings on all prospective candidates for Rehabilitation Specialists programs, develops proposals and finalizes all needed documents based on individual client needs and coordinates the clients transition with the internal and external case manager. In addition, Carol works with the clinical team on establishing treatment goals, projecting outcomes and discharge plans.
Director Human Resources
As the Director of Human Resources, Nancy is responsible for recruiting and hiring staff, designing and scheduling employee training curriculum and benefits administration.
Sheila Graziano has been working with Rehabilitation Specialists since 1987 in many capacities involving billing, receivables, and information management systems. She is responsible for all of the technical support and computer training, set up, backup, and repair. Sheila is also responsible for the database, its development and maintenance. Sheila Graziano was one of two recipients of the Rehabilitation Specialists Excellence Award in 2005.
Peter P. Yonclas, MD
Dr. Yonclas is an Assistant Professor of Surgery and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey- New Jersey Medical School/Kessler Institute of Rehabilitation. He is also the Director of Trauma Rehabilitation, and is the Director of the Acquired Brain Injury Clinic, for the Department of Surgery at New Jersey Medical School.
Dr. Yonclas has a strong academic interest in agitation and concussion management. He has served as a consulting team physician for athletes with concussions and sports injuries Newark area high schools and colleges. He has been recognized as a Top Doctor in 2007-2008 and again in 2009-2010 for his outstanding clinical work.
Dr. Yonclas attended college at the University of Michigan and received his medical training at the New Jersey Medical School-UMDNJ. He then completed his residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Medicine Residency at UMDNJ-Kessler Institute. Dr. Yonclas is the medical consultant at Rehabilitation Specialists.
Stephanie Blodgett, M.S., OTR/L, CBIS
Occupational Therapist / Supervisor of Clinical Services
Stephanie Blodgett graduated from the University of Vermont with a BS in Elementary Education and a concentration in Special Education and later earned her Masters degree in Occupational Therapy from Tufts University in Boston. Previously she was employed by the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Manchester, NH, as an Occupational Therapist in the Physical Medicine and Rehab department. A former student intern at Rehabilitation Specialists, Stephanie has been employed with Rehabilitation Specialists since 2003 and is responsible for evaluation and treatment of clients, helping them to achieve maximum independence with ADL, IADL, cognitive functioning, and community re-entry skills following brain injury. Additionally, Stephanie directs special projects at the Day Program and supervises the day to day operation within the clinical environment.
Stephanie coordinates the Occupational Therapy student intern program at Rehab Specialists and has served as Fieldwork Educator to numerous Level I and II students throughout her career, supervising student interns from Kean University, NYU, Seton Hall University, Touro College, Tufts University, and University of Scranton. Stephanie is a member of AOTA, NJOTA, BIANJ (Brain Injury Association of New Jersey), and SCR (Society for Cognitive Rehabilitation). She was one of two recipients of the Rehabilitation Specialists Excellence Award in 2005 and earned ACBIS certification as a Brain Injury Specialist, Level I, in 2006. Additionally, Stephanie was nominated twice for Metropolitan Occupational Therapy Education Council of New York and New Jersey’s “Supervisor of the Year,” she was selected as the MOTEC recipient in 2009. In the spring of 2009 Stephanie was selected from a nationwide pool of applicants to serve as a regional instructor for AOTA’s newly established Fieldwork Educators Certificate Program promoting fieldwork excellence. She also collaborated with Dr. Loretto Brickfield in instituting a workplace Health & Wellness initiative, “The Appalachian Trail Pedometer Challenge,” a virtual hike of the Appalachian Trail, during the summer of 2009.
Renee Carandang, M.S., Dipl.Ac (NCCAOM), L.Ac.
Acupuncturist, Senior Case Coordinator, Quality Management Coordinator
Renée Carandang completed her studies and training at the Swedish Institute College of Health Sciences, earning her Master of Science degree in Acupuncture. She is licensed by the State of New Jersey and board-certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. As an acupuncturist, Renee is able to provide an alternative medical approach to clients of Rehabilitation Specialists, as well as to the general public. Renée also maintains positions as Senior Case Coordinator and Quality Management Coordinator. In these roles she supervises the Case Coordinators and is responsible for coordinating the quality management system at Rehabilitation Specialists.
Loretto Brickfield, Ph.D.
Dr. Brickfield earned her bachelor degree from The Catholic University of America and her doctorate in clinical psychology from Adelphi University. Dr. Brickfield completed an internship at the New York Veterans Administration Medical Center in Manhattan and a fellowship in Neuropsychology and Rehabilitation Psychology at the International Center for the Disabled. Dr. Brickfield has twenty years of experience in providing neuropsychological treatments to adults with psychological difficulties due to traumatic brain injuries, strokes and other neurological issues. She has a psychology practice in Roseland, NJ. Previously, Dr. Brickfield was employed at Progressive Health and JKF Medical Center in Edison, NJ. Dr. Brickfield is a member of the State of New Jersey Board of Psychological Examiners where she currently serves as Vice Chairperson.