Research & Clinical Trials


Institute Leadership

Randie M. Black-Schaffer, M.D.,M.A., is Director of the Stroke Program  at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.  She is Director of the Spaulding Stroke Research and Recovery Institute  and Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Black-Schaffer received her BA degree at Swarthmore College, MA (History)  at Indiana University – Bloomington,  and MD at Indiana University School of Medicine. She has lectured and published widely on topics related to rehabilitation after stroke.  Her particular area of interest and expertise is stroke in young adults.  She started the first inpatient rehabilitation program for young adults with stroke in 1984, and founded Spaulding’s Young Adult Stroke Service in 2003.

Lynne C. Brady Wagner, MA, CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist and is the Associate Director of the Spaulding Stroke Research and Recovery Institute.  She is currently the Director of the Stroke Program, Chair of the Ethics Advisory Committee and Director of the Clinical Scholars Program at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.  Lynne earned a graduate certificate in Healthcare Ethics from Rush University Medical School and was a Disability Ethics Fellow at Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago.  Lynne is a former member of ASHA’s Board of Ethics, was the Ethics Column editor for the Special Interest Group for Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders Perspectives journal and serves on the Group’s Coordinating Committee as the Chair (2014-2016).  She is an adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor and teaches Healthcare Ethics at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute for Health Professions and is a faculty associate of the Harvard Medical School Center for Bioethics.  Lynne has numerous publications in peer reviewed journals and has lectured nationally on the topic of stroke rehabilitation, ethics and disability.  Lynne is also the ethics column editor for the journal, Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation.


Institute Advisory Board

Paolo Bonato, Ph.D., serves as Director of the Motion Analysis Laboratory at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Boston MA.  He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Harvard Medical School, Boston MA, an Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston MA, and an Associate Faculty Member at the Wyss Institute of Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, Boston MA.  His research interest is focused on rehabilitation technology with special emphasis on mobile health technology and rehabilitation robotics.

MaryKate Bluestein has been a teacher and an administrator at Commonwealth School in downtown Boston for 40 years, during which time she established the Office of Student Life, integrating responses to students' emotional needs and learning issues into their academic program.  She received her PhD from Boston College and her BA from Mount Holyoke. She raised two children in downtown Boston and now lives in Brookline with her husband Richard Bluestein, an attorney, whose 2013 stroke introduced the family to Spaulding Rehab Hospital and to the field of stroke recovery.


Michael Fong has 20 years years of experience in the dry cleaning field and worked at Zoot's as a Business Unit Manager of New England.  Prior to that he was  a partner in the Chinatown Restaurant and Chinatown Gardens Restaurant in the Attleboro area.  He now enjoys biking, fishing, and spending time with the children and his wife.  He has been retired since 2011.


Karen Halfon, OTR/L is an Occupational Therapy Clinical Specialist at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital (SRH). She has over twenty five years of experience in adult rehabilitation with a specialization in treating adults/young adults with Stroke. Karen is a graduate of Boston University, Sargent College and has completed training in Neuro-Developmental Theory (NDT). She has presented at numerous conferences, most recently on teaching childcare skills to stroke survivors and integrating function into Upper Extremity motor return. She is currently the Student Fieldwork Coordinator for the Occupational Therapy Department at SRH and mentors students at all levels.  She is a co-founder and current facilitator of the SRH monthly community Stroke Support Group. Karen was the 2011 recipient of the Healthcare Provider Award by the New England region American Heart/Stroke Association for her work in the stroke community.

Patrick Hollenbeck has been closely associated with the BSO for over 30 years. His natural habitat is the percussion section where he has performed and recorded under Boston Pops Conductor Keith Lockhart and Conductor Laureate John Williams. With the BSO he has recorded with conductors Leonard Bernstein, Charles Dutoit, Bernard Haitink, James Levine and Seiji Ozawa.

As an accomplished orchestrator his work has been played by major orchestras throughout the world. Pat has scored numerous arrangements for the Boston Pops over 30 years including the Pops’ Grammy-nominated Celtic Album. His orchestration credits include such diverse artists as Yo-Yo Ma, Bono, Arlo Guthrie, Cyndi Lauper and Aerosmith. He has written theme music for PBS, and even a fanfare for pots and pans, Rhythm Ratatouille, for Julia’s Childs PBS special.   His motion picture orchestrations include Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River, and with John Williams the Imax film, New England Time Capsule, and the Oscar-nominated Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. 

He attended the Eastman School of Music and graduated with honors from the New England Conservatory. His first association with the BSO was as a BUTI student in 1973 and 1974, where he was a Young Artist Concerto Competition winner.  Pat went on to become the recipient of the Tanglewood Music Center Leonard Bernstein Fellowship, as well as the Albert Spaulding Prize, the Center’s top honor for instrumentalists.  Other accolades include the Cambridge (MA) Historical Commission award for outstanding historical building preservation, outstanding alumni award at NEC and a National Endowment of the Arts award.

He is the former Chair of the Jazz Program at NEC, where he was the youngest chair in the history of the school. He also chaired Percussion Studies at Boston Conservatory. In his “spare” time he serves as President of the Boston Musicians’ Association.

In 2009 he suffered a stroke and was treated at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.  He made a full recovery and has returned to his musical career with the Boston Pops.  He has become a steadfast friend of Spaulding and has arranged for members of the Pops to come to the hospital on many occasions to provide music and joy to patients and staff. 

Oswald Mondejar currently serves as the Senior Vice President, Mission and Advocacy for Partners Continuing Care, the non-acute care services division of Partners HealthCare. In this role, Mr. Mondejar touches on many areas from community outreach to work force development as well as implementation of key initiatives including clinician training programs for staff such as Culturally  Competent Care.  Over the course of a twenty five plus year career encompassing a variety of executive level positions, a major focus for Mr. Mondejar has been serving as an impassioned advocate and resource for the community with disabilities. Born with a congenital limb difference to Cuban ex-patriots, Mr. Mondejar has dedicated his life to helping those like himself who faced adversity because of real or perceived disabilities gain opportunities to pursue their life’s goals. A special focus for him has been mentoring young people to learn the skills to pursue both higher education and establish career opportunities.  Mr. Mondejar has been recognized by numerous community and government organizations for his work as an advocate for the community with disabilities. He also serves on several boards and advisory committees such as Partners with Youth for Disabilities and Work without Limits.

Steven A. Patrick is the Vice President of Development for the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network and Partners HealthCare at Home. Steven leads the fundraising efforts of New England’s top rehabilitation hospital and its integrated system by working closely with hospital and Partners’ leadership, clinicians, trustees, and volunteer leaders in cultivating, building, and maintaining a strong philanthropic relationship with a wide variety of constituencies for the institution.  Prior to entering the development field, Steven worked for over ten-years in healthcare administration at Spaulding, Joslin Diabetes Center, Children’s Hospital, and Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Steven holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Biology and Psychology from Tufts University, and has a fellowship from the Emerging Leaders Program of the Center for Collaborative Leadership College of Management, University of Massachusetts.  Steven serves as a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Association of Healthcare Philanthropy, New England Association of Healthcare Philanthropy, and the Association of Multicultural Members of Partners Healthcare. He recently served on the GLAD board until 2009 and now serves as a trustee of Tenacre Country Day School.

Ross Zafonte, D.O. is Earle P. and Ida S. Charlton Professor and Chairman of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School. He also serves as chief of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, as well as Senior Vice President Medical Affairs Research and Education at Spaulding Rehabilitation Network. Dr. Zafonte’s work is presently funded by the NIH, DOD and NIDRR, and he is currently directing several clinical treatment trials. His laboratory work has focused on understanding mechanisms of recovery after Brain and Spinal Cord Injury. He has published extensively on traumatic brain injuries, spasticity, and other neurological disorders, as well as presented on these topics at conferences nationally and internationally. He is the author of more than 300 peer review journal articles, abstracts and book chapters.   Dr. Zafonte  serves on the Board of Governors for the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. In addition, he is on the editorial board of the Journal of Neurotrauma, and NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation. Dr. Zafonte has received numerous awards, including   the 2006 Walter Zeiter award and lectureship by the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and, and the 2008 Association of Academic Physiatrists Distinguished Academician Award.


Clinical Faculty

View a complete list of our Clinical Faculty on the Stroke Institute's Recovery Page.


Research Faculty

View a complete list of our Research Faculty on the Stroke Institute's Research Page.

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Your participation in research will help investigators to advance the science of neurologic recovery and develop better treatments strategies for stroke, traumatic brain injury, and spinal cord injury

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Clinical Trials at Spaulding
RSVP for Health - Clinical Trials at Spaulding

Spaulding is part of Partners HealthCare's Clinical Research Network.  Enrollment opportunities exist across many therapeutic categories.

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