Image of Kalie Evans.

Dr Kalie Evans



Image of Lieza Vanden Broeke.

Dr Lieza Vanden Broeke

Research and Knowledge Translation

(PLEx – person with lived experience)


Susan Wadsworth



Management Team

Wider Research Team

Past and Present

Lucy Beams
MNursing, Eastern Institute of Technology, DipHE Nursing, Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College, Cert Health Promotion, Open University UK
Research Interest: Long term management of altered health states, education to improve health outcomes.

Dr Carolyn Beaver
BVSc, Massey GPCertSAP, UK PGCertRehab University of Otago currently enrolled Master of Health Science (Rehab)
Research Interest: Health and wellness during ongoing rehabilitation and life after spinal cord impairment.

Dr Bernadette Cassidy
PhD LMU, PGCRM LMU, BA (Hons) Leeds Polytechnic
Research Interest: The role of information technology and libraries in assisting people with disabilities to lead independent lives.

Tracey Croot
MHealSc (Rehab), PGDip Rehab  (with distinction), BPhty University of Otago
Research Interest: The utility and feasibility of implementing a spinal cord impairment registry in New Zealand.

Dr Richard Smaill
PhD University of Otago
Research Interest: Aging with Spinal cord impairment

Associate Professor Debbie Snell
MSc PhD University of Otago
Research Interest: Injury rehabilitation, health and surgical outcomes for people living with chronic conditions, patient reported outcomes and
psychological models of health and wellness.

Research Assistant  Matt Aldridge
Bachelor of Health Science, Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (Otago School of Medicine)   
Research Interest: Interested in research that could make an impact and instigate a change in many lives.

Research Assistant Suzanne Reiser
Bachelor of Political Science (University of Canterbury), Graduate Diploma in early Childhood teaching (University of Canterbury), Post Graduate diploma in Japanese Interpreting (University of Hawai’i USA)  
Research Interest: Interested in studding the histories of people with spinal cord injury,  exploring the interrelationships of body, self and society for people with SCI and how these have shaped life chances, life choices and subjectivity. 



Dr Martin Sullivan has taught Disability Studies and Social Policy at Massey University for the last two decades. In 2008 he was made a Companion to the Queen’s Service Order for services to people with disabilities.

Over the years he has been active in the Disabled Person’s Assembly and served on various groups including the Expert Panel of People with Disabilities for the Health Research Council (2002-05), the National Ethics Advisory Committee (2001-07), New Zealand Guidelines Group (2008-11), the NZDS 2016-26 Reference Group and is currently involved in the DSS System Transformation (Enabling Good Lives) in MidCentral Health DHB region.


Professor William Levack is the Academic Head of the Rehabilitation Teaching and Research Unit(RTRU)in the Department of Medicine, and also works as the Associate Dean (Research) for the University’s Wellington campus.His work focuses on patient experiences of rehabilitation, goal setting processes, and interventions to increase patient engagement in rehabilitation activities – particularly in the areas of neurological and respiratory rehabilitation.


Gerben DeJong, PhD, FACRM is a Senior Fellow for Health Policy & Post-acute Care (emeritus) at the MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH). Dr. DeJong serves as Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at the Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, DC. Prior to rejoining MedStar NRH in late 2004, Dr. DeJong served a 2-year stint with the University of Florida as a professor in the Department of Health Services Research, Management & Policy. Previously until 2001, Dr. DeJong served for 16 years (1985-2001) as MedStar NRH’s founding Director of Research. Dr. DeJong has conducted several large multi-center clinical and health outcome studies. He is the author or co-author of more than 250 papers on health policy, health care financing, post-acute care, and health outcomes. For more than 30 years, Dr. DeJong has tracked American post-acute health care system and its publicly traded companies, especially their growth, development, and consolidation. In 2006-07, Dr. DeJong served as President of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. He is the recipient of many awards and is a frequently invited speaker both in the United States and abroad. In 1984, he was a Fulbright Scholar in the Netherlands. In 2013, Dr. DeJong was a William Evans Visiting Fellow with BAIL and the University of Otago’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery & Musculoskeletal Medicine in Christchurch, NZ.

Prof Gerben DeJong, PhD
Senior Fellow & Director
Center for Post-acute Innovation & Research
MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital & MedStar Health Research Institute Washington, DC