Courage Kenny Research Center Staff

Nilanjana Banerji, PhD, director, clinical research, Courage Kenny Research Center

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Nilanjana Banerji, PhD, is director of clinical research for Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Center and John Nasseff Neuroscience Institute. Her goal is to utilize her experience in research operations to further Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute’s research program in a team-oriented, cross-cultural environment. Her ultimate goal is to lead and catalyze Courage Kenny into a leading research institute in the field that helps the people it serves achieve health and wellness by offering excellent services, innovative programs, and ground-breaking research to maximize the quality of life and health.

Dr. Banerji joined Allina Health in 2007 and has, since then, administered research operations in the areas of oncology, neuroscience, and rehabilitation. Most recently, in her leadership role with Allina Health’s John Nasseff Neuroscience Institute, Dr. Banerji supervised the operational development of the Research Department and established a robust research agenda in neuroscience. Her responsibilities included strategic planning and development of research activities, assisting with research infrastructure advancement, and development of new research and research-related initiatives.

Dr. Banerji is a member of the Allina Health Institutional Review Board (IRB). She has worked in collaboration with the IRB and Office of Sponsored Project Administration to oversee and guide the regulatory research functions to ensure that the Allina Health is compliant with federal and local standards in its research activities. Her research work has been published in numerous journals including Oncotarget, PNAS, Surgical Endoscopy, and Diseases of the Esophagus and she has co-authored a book chapter. She holds a master’s degree in biochemistry with specialization in molecular biology and a doctoral degree in biochemistry. Her post-doctoral training and academic work at the University of Minnesota focused on genetic profiling of pathways related to pathogenesis and progression of soft tissue sarcomas and basal cell carcinomas.

Ginger Carroll, MS, OT/L, research project coordinator, Courage Kenny Research Center

Ginger CarrollGinger Carroll received her Master’s Degree in science from the University of Minnesota. She has worked as an occupational therapist in acute inpatient care to home care settings.

Carroll assists researchers with project coordination from inception to dissemination, including recruitment strategies and implementation; data collection and management; and publication development. 

Nancy Flinn, PhD, senior scientific advisor, Courage Kenny Research Center

Nancy FlinnCourage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute provides a continuum of services for people with disabilities that encompasses acute inpatient rehabilitation to long-term community-based supports. Dr. Flinn’s research focus has been long-term consequences of disability, including demonstrating the benefits of fitness activities for people with disabilities and demonstrating the value of home and community-based services. 

Current research projects are a longitudinal investigation of the benefits of participation in sports and recreation from 4 to 8 years of age, a wait-list control project for activity-based locomotor exercise for people with spinal cord injury, and an investigation of the role of wheelchair speed, maneuverability and endurance on community participation for people who primarily use a manual wheelchair. Dr. Flinn is also involved with the development, implementation and evaluation of clinical practice guidelines in rehabilitation, including gait for people with stroke, incorporation of technology for rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, and upper extremity rehabilitation for people who have had a stroke. 

Kristina Kath, research analyst coordinator, Courage Kenny Research Center

Kristina KathKristina Kath supports and facilitates research activities of senior scientific advisers and other research staff members, primarily in study material preparation and data entry for a multitude of research and quality databases. She has expertise in supporting projects funded by local and national foundations and the Minnesota State Department of Human Services, as well as the Department of Defense and the Federal Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services. She formats the scannable data collection tools, manages data entry and recording for multiple projects, and designs the databases for each project. In addition, she provides assistance to the community services with satisfaction and outcomes data collection. 

Working in tandem with the director of research, Kath facilitates operational aspects of the bi-annual Courage Kenny Foundation research grants for high quality, publishable research studies developed by Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute team members. The goal of the grants is to maximize rehabilitation outcomes, health and quality of life for individuals served by the organization.

Tom Kelley, MA, data analyst, Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute

tom kelleyTom Kelley is a data analyst at Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute. For more than 13 years he has been working on program measurement and outcome analysis, and has provided support in the areas of public policy, research, and quality. 

As this function has grown over the years, Kelley has been key in the operationalization of outcome measurement and management for the organization. In addition to other projects, he currently supports data and outcomes analysis on grants from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Minnesota Department of Human Services.

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Rob Kreiger, PhD, senior scientific advisor

Rob Kreiger, PhD, is a senior scientific advisor for the Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute at Allina Health. He has more than fifteen years of project experience with Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute client populations. Completed work included projects involving statistical analysis, risk adjustment, care delivery system modeling, and program evaluation. 

Dr. Kreiger has also been a principal investigator for a NIH/AHRQ grant evaluating risk adjustment models, and developed the technical foundation for Minnesota’s Health Care Home payment model.  He has extensive experience in outcome analysis, including evaluations of clinical interventions, functional status, quality of life, and cost metrics. 

Another of his interests is promoting clinician-initiated research at Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, particularly knowledge transfer of research analysis and design skills.   

Dr. Kreiger also served as a graduate school course instructor in Public Health Information Systems Analysis and Design at the University of Minnesota.

Stacey Rabusch, BS, CCRC, research project coordinator

Stacey RabuschStacey Rabusch received her bachelor’s degree from Winona State University in Movement Science with a research focus, and is a Certified Clinical Research Coordinator. She provides research project management support to Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute investigators at Abbott Northwestern Hospital and Golden Valley locations. Her primary responsibilities include protocol initiation, regulatory compliance, database maintenance and data entry, and assisting with poster, presentation and publication development.   

Mary Vining Radomski, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, senior scientific advisor, Courage Kenny Research Center

Mary RadomskiMary Vining Radomski is an occupational therapist and senior scientific advisor at the Courage Kenny Research Center. She has her doctorate in educational psychology (focus – learning and cognition) from the University of Minnesota and co-edits the widely-used textbook, Occupational Therapy for Physical Dysfunction with Dr. Catherine Trombly Latham.

Dr. Radomski’s clinical work, research, and writing of the past two decades have centered on cognitive assessment and intervention for adults with mild cognitive impairment. These interests inform her two primary programs of research: cognitive assessment and treatment of soldiers with mild traumatic brain injury and assessment and treatment of people with cognitive dysfunction associated with treatment for cancer. Between 2009 – 2013, she was an ORISE Fellow with the Rehabilitation & Reintegration Division (Health Policy & Services, Army Medical Department - Office of the Surgeon General) and involved in supporting the development and implementation of evidence-based guidance for military occupational and physical therapists specific to soldiers with mild traumatic brain injury.

Dr. Radomski currently has two studies funded by the Army Medical Research Materiel Command. She is co-principal investigator of an interdisciplinary, military-civilian research team that is developing a functional assessment to inform return to duty after concussion and principle investigator of a feasibility study to evaluate the impact of incorporating instruction in implementation intentions into cognitive rehabilitation intervention for soldiers with mild traumatic brain injury. In addition, she is conducting studies to evaluate the feasibility and preliminary outcomes of a brief psycho-educational intervention for “chemobrain” to examine the relationship between self-report and actual performance of women with cognitive issues associated with treatment for breast cancer. 

Emily Shoemaker, MPH, RD, clinical research regulatory specialist, Abbott Northwestern Hospital

shoemaker emilyEmily Shoemaker, MPH, RD, is a clinical research regulatory specialist at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. She provides regulatory support to the Courage Kenny Research Center and the John Nasseff Neuroscience Institute. She helps researchers ensure study compliance with Institutional Review Board (IRB) and governmental agency requirements.

Shoemaker completed her undergraduate degree in economics at Bowdoin College, and she has her master’s degree in public health from the University Of Michigan School Of Public Health. She is also a registered dietitian and has experience working in a range of clinical a community settings. 

Margaret M. (Maggie) Weightman, PT, PhD, senior scientific advisor/physical therapist, Courage Kenny Research Center

Maggie WeightmanDr. Weightman has a BA from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, her physical therapy degree from the Mayo Foundation School of Health-Related Sciences, and her MA and PhD in physical therapy/exercise science from the University of Iowa. Her research interests are in developing return-to-activity assessments and interventions for service members and civilians with concussion/mild traumatic brain injury as well as studying treatments for people who have had a stroke or spinal cord injury.