The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation announces two key staff appointments to its National Paralysis Resource Center (NPRC): Regina Blye will serve as Chief Program and Policy Officer, providing leadership and oversight; and Jamil Paden joins as the Foundation’s first Racial and Health Equity Manager. Both appointments are effective immediately.
Blye is a dynamic leader committed to high system change to improve the quality of life for people living with disabilities. She fights to remove the barriers to education, employment, healthcare, transportation, and housing to provide an equal opportunity for all.
“Regina brings to the Foundation and our National Paralysis Resource Center both professional acumen and lived experience that will greatly benefit the paralysis and disability communities,” says Maggie Goldberg, President & CEO, Reeve Foundation. “Through her dedication and leadership in the policy arena, the Reeve Foundation will substantially grow our services and help elevate the voices of the paralysis community.”
The NPRC – funded by an $8.7 million federal cooperative agreement from the Administration for Community Living (ACL), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – provides comprehensive information, resources, and referral services to individuals impacted by paralysis. Since its opening in 2002, more than 112,000 people have received one-on-one assistance from the NPRC, accessing vast resources and free personalized support and information for people living with paralysis – from SCI, multiple sclerosis, stroke, ALS, traumatic brain injury, and other causes – and their caregivers.
Since 2016, Blye has worked at ACL overseeing the Independent Living Services program, managing a $25 million annual budget and 155 disability-related grantees while monitoring their compliance with the Rehabilitation Act.
Blye sustained a C6-C7 spinal cord injury at the age of 10, which pushed her to learn how to advocate for herself and others early on. The perseverance of her advocacy work led to her being appointed by President Barrack Obama to serve on the United States Access Board for 6 years in charge of accessibility guidelines and standards for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which set the stage for her work at the ACL.
“Working with the Reeve Foundation, I have the opportunity to see firsthand the individual impact of the critical services and resources provided by the Foundation through the National Paralysis Resource Center to help people build healthy, independent lives,” Blye says. “It is my honor and privilege to be working here.”
As a Social Scientist specializing in Sociology and Social Justice, Jamil Paden has worked in the nonprofit sector for over a decade as a diversity, equity & inclusion leader developing and implementing innovative programs and activities or overseeing dynamic staff training and development. In his new role, Paden will collaborate with program leads across the Foundation to develop strategic plans related to race, health, and disability equity and implement these plans and actions into existing programs and outreach, such as the Foundation’s Quality of Life grants and Peer & Family Support Program.
“Racial and health equity are critical pillars of inclusivity. With Jamil’s leadership, the Reeve Foundation will advance innovative, data-driven approaches to addressing issues of diversity that will enhance and grow our life-altering work on behalf of all those living with or impacted by spinal cord injury and paralysis,” Goldberg adds.
[Source(s): Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, PR Newswire]