Long-Term Impact of Military-Relevant Brain Injury Consortium Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium

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Site 03 Tampa Staff Bio

Risa Nakase-Richardson, PhD

LIMBIC-CENC Co- Investigator

Risa Nakase-Richardson Ph.D., is the Associate Chief of Staff for Research and Development at the Tampa VA.  She has a dual appointment at the University of South Florida where she is a Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine in the Morsani College of Medicine, Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine Division. Dr. Richardson has worked in neurorehabilitation in both clinical and research capacities since 1998. She is a Fellow of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and National Academy of Neuropsychology.

Dr. Shannon Miles

LIMBIC-CENC Principal Investigator

Dr. Miles is a clinical psychologist at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neurosciences, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL. Her research and clinical work focus on the interplay between mental and physical health after polytrauma (i.e. injury to more than one organ system). She assists Veterans and Service Members in their recovery after traumatic brain injury (TBI). She specializes in the treatment and study of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and challenging comorbidities such as emotion dysregulation and aggression after TBI. She has been principal investigator (PI) or Site-PI on 5 Veterans Affairs and 1 Department of Defense grants.

Valerie Larson

LIMBIC-CENC Project Manager

Valerie Larson, MA, CCRC is an Air Force Veteran with a strong project management background. She has been with the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital for over 17 years. Ms. Larson started with the VA working on research projects examining methods to allow elderly Veterans with dementia to stay in their homes safely and has worked on a variety of Veteran health-based projects since then. Ms. Larson was one of the original LIMBIC-CENC team members, when the study was known as the CENC Study 1: Observational Study on Late Neurologic Effects of OEF/OIF/OND Combat. She currently works as a primary site project manager on LIMBIC-CENC studies examining the long-term effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injuries. Valerie is also a member of the James A Haley Integrated Ethic Committee.

Jennifer Boyce, LPN, CRC

LIMBIC-CENC Research Assistant

Jennifer Boyce is a nurse and research coordinator who is employed by the Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence (TBICoE). She has been based at James A. Haley VA Hospital, in Tampa, Florida, since 2007. She joined the LIMBIC-CENC team in November 2014, when the study was known as the CENC Study 1: Observational Study on Late Neurologic Effects of OEF/OIF/OND Combat. Her duties include the following: screening and sending recruitment letters to the active-duty service members and veterans who are followed at the hospital’s outpatient TBI clinics; managing and scheduling follow-up visits; processing and routing publications through the LIMBIC-CENC, VA and TBICoE approval committees; tracking participants who have become difficult to contact and performing various study required measures during in-person study visits.

Deveney Ching, MA, CRC

LIMBIC-CENC Research Assistant

Deveney Ching, MA, CRC is a certified rehabilitation counselor and Doctoral Candidate at the University of South Florida who will complete her PhD in Behavioral and Community Science in 2023. She obtained a Master of Arts degree in Rehabilitation and Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL. She has worked on the Long-term Impact of Military-Relevant Brain Injury Consortium-Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium (LIMBIC-CENC) since 2020 but has been a part of Research and Development Service at James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital since 2018. Her research work has centered around community and health outcomes for Veterans with brain and spinal cord injuries and adults with autism spectrum disorder, specifically barriers and facilitators to community reintegration, return to work and employment.

Michelle Gaudet, MS, CCC-SLP

LIMBIC-CENC Research Assistant

Michelle Gaudet, MS, CCC-SLP is an American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) certified, Florida-licensed Speech Language Pathologist. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Florida and Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology from the University of South Florida. She specializes in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of cognitive-communication and swallowing disorders in the adult and geriatric population. She has extensive experience working as a medical speech-language pathologist in acute care settings, with a focus on acquired brain injury rehabilitation.

Illiana A. Suarez, B.A. SLP

LIMBIC-CENC Research Assistant

Illiana A. Suarez, B.A., is a research assistant at the James A. Haley VA Hospital in Tampa, Florida. In May of 2021 she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in Aging Sciences from the University of South Florida. Her experiences as a military dependent have greatly contributed to her passion for serving veterans and their families. It is her ambition to earn a doctorate degree in clinical neuropsychology. Her interests include dementia, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, sleep disorder, caregiver, and post-traumatic stress disorder research.

The U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity, 839 Chandler Street, Fort Detrick MD 21702-5014 is the awarding and administering acquisition office. This work was supported by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs endorsed by the Department of Defense, through the Psychological Health/Traumatic Brain Injury Research Program Long-Term Impact of Military-Relevant Brain Injury Consortium (LIMBIC) Award/W81XWH-18-PH/TBIRP-LIMBIC under Awards No. W81XWH1920067 and W81XWH-13-2-0095, and by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Awards No. I01 CX002097, I01 CX002096, I01 HX003155, I01 RX003444, I01 RX003443, I01 RX003442, I01 CX001135, I01 CX001246, I01 RX001774, I01 RX 001135, I01 RX 002076, I01 RX 001880, I01 RX 002172, I01 RX 002173, I01 RX 002171, I01 RX 002174, and I01 RX 002170. Opinions, interpretations, conclusions and recommendations are those of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by the Department of Defense. / Created by VCU University Relations

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