The Sabrina Cohen Foundation leadership and management team is a combination of passionate and determined professionals. They have vision, think outside-of-the-box, are well-connected and resourceful. Their expertise in their respected fields help SCF operate at optimum levels.

SABRINA COHEN

Founder / President

Sabrina is the voice and face of the Foundation. A C5 quadriplegic, as the result of a spinal cord injury from a car accident in 1992, she has been a health advocate for research and rehabilitation since 2004. Sabrina established the Sabrina Cohen Foundation in 2006 to raise funds for research and eventually expanded her mission to include quality of life fitness initiatives for the disabled community. Sabrina continuously travels tirelessly and extensively — from schools and universities to scientific conferences — to be a spokesperson for this cause.

CHARLOTTE LIBOV

Communications Director
305.333.8844

Medical writer/ author at Newsmax Health. Charlotte Libov has written about medical and health care topics for more than 15 years. Since becoming a health book author in 1993, she has written or co-written five books, including The Woman’s Heart Book, which was adapted by PBS for a documentary, and received a book award from the American Medical Writers Association. Before becoming a medical author and freelancer, she was a New York Times contributor and has written health articles for Ladies’ Home Journal, Neurology Now, and Arthritis Today. She is also a professional speaker on women’s health issues and has appeared on radio and television health shows. Libov has a bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of Connecticut and a master’s degree in mental health counseling from the University of Oregon.

Board of Directors

JASPER NELISSEN

Director

A seasoned leader and consultant with global experience, Jasper is the founder and owner of the Nelissen Consulting Group (NCG), a Miami-based consulting practice that focuses on the intersection of brand strategy, transformation and organizational development. Jasper has worked with companies of all sizes – from multinationals to local start-ups – and across multiple industries, including FMCG, Insurance, Finance, Retail, Tourism, Creative Services, Real Estate & Architecture, and Media & Content.

Before founding NCG, Jasper implemented purpose driven programs for organizational, leadership and people development as a change leader and Account Director at global advertising network Saatchi & Saatchi, and was the General Manager and agency leader at advertising agency Conill Saatchi & Saatchi Miami. Under his leadership, the agency generated best in  class creative solutions for clients, earning multiple industry awards.

Jasper has an MBA from Cambridge University with a focus on Brand Strategy and Change, an MSC from Delft University of Technology, and is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Miami, teaching courses in Advertising Strategy Development.

ANGEL PARDO

Director

Angel Pardo is the President of Doctors Medical Rentals, DMR Corporation, an Assistive Technology provider specializing in meeting the needs of clients ranging from Neo-Natal to Bariatric, with experience caring for those with ALS, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy and Spinal Cord Injury.  DMR’s state-of-the-art facility is located in South Florida, with an evaluation area and full diagnostic capabilities for repair with a large inventory of parts – all of which is fully accessible.  DMR has been a proud sponsor of the Sabrina Cohen Foundation since its inception.

ARYAN RASHED

Director

With a strong passion for the fitness and wellness industry, Aryan is the co owner of JetSet Pilates also known as JetSet Miami.  Aryan’s clients range from beginners to professional athletes and celebrities.  JetSet fuses principles of Pilates, balance, flexibility, strength, core, circuit, and strength training.   Aryan created her own JetSet adaptive fitness program currently taught at Jackson Memorial Hospital and the Miami VA and is looking forward to working with Sabrina Cohen Foundation to continue to implement training for paralysis community and beyond.  Aryan is also an attorney, barred in Florida and Washington DC, received her Master’s from Stanford University, earned her BA from UC Berkeley, worked at the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard University, has been a featured expert on various fitness and wellness forums, and currently serves as an ambassador for Lululemon South Miami.

BERNIE SIEGEL

Director

Bernard Siegel, J.D., is the founder and Executive Director of Genetics Policy Institute (GPI), a nonprofit organization with offices in Palm Beach, Florida; Silicon Valley, California and Washington, D.C. He founded and co-chairs the annual World Stem Cell Summit, founded and serves editor-in-chief of the peer-reviewed World Stem Cell Report and is the editor of the 360 Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine weekly newsletter. He founded and is the spokesperson for the Stem Cell Action Coalition, a 100+ member international alliance of nonprofits and research institutions leading the global “Pro-Cures Movement.”

Adaptive Beach Advisory Panel & Experts

Walter D. Javier

Fire Lieutenant / Lifeguard and Training Instructor, Family Fitness & Wellness Inc.

Since 1994, Walter has been a Lifeguard and Training Instructor for Miami Dade Ocean Rescue. From 2000 to 2003 he was a Firefighter for the Hialeah Fire Department and Rescue. Since 2003, Walter has competed in most regional, state and international ocean rescue competitions, consistently placing 1,2 or 3. He was part of junior lifeguard program and was in charge of training new ocean rescue recruits, has traveled the world in the roughest oceans surfing and skin diving for over 20 years, cross trains Firefighters regularly in ocean rescue skills and techniques and works with special needs kids for summer surf camp.

Cathy Garcia Herring

Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, Jackson Memorial Hospital

Cathy has been a Recreation therapist for 33 years, working at Jackson Memorial Hospital (JMH) for 24 years, with Dade parks & recreation, Sunrise Community residential group homes with the developmental population, and for Dade county adult daycare (for a total of 9 years). In 2013, she was a winner of the Florida hospital Association with a “Caregiver of the Year” award, and in 2012, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce announced her a winner of the “Health care Hero” award.  In July 2013, JMH gave her an achievement award.

Karly Streisfeld

Occupational Therapist, Jackson Memorial Hospital

Karly is an Occupational Therapist at Jackson Memorial Hospital where she provides occupational therapy within an inpatient and acute care setting specializing in spinal cord injury and neurological rehabilitation. She holds a Master of Arts in Occupational Therapy from University of Southern California and a B. S. in Exercise and Sports Sciences, English minor from Tulane University.

Carla Ruhl

Physical Therapist, Miami Physical Therapy

Carla graduated from Florida International University in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy. She has been at Miami Physical Therapy Associates since 1994. She is a current member of the American Physical Therapy Association and a member of the Neurology and Orthopedic Sections. Carla has an expertise in the areas of evaluation and treatment of various neurological conditions including spinal cord injury, geriatric populations and orthopedic spine for both pre- and post-op rehabilitation. She has a variety of techniques including trunk/core stabilization, proprioceptive neurofaciliation techniques, Kinesio Taping Methods, balance re-education and body weight supported ambulation in her training. She also provides osteoporosis education and postural training exercises based on the Sara Meeks Method. She is an expert in seating evaluations and makes appropriate wheelchair and seating recommendations. Carla plays an active role in clinical education. She is the Center Coordinator of Clinical Education.