Pioneering Rehabilitation

2015 Burke Awards

Published July 1, 2015

Each year the board of directors for Burke Rehabilitation Hospital and Burke Medical Research Institute honors the prestigious Burke Award to individuals or groups who have made a significant contribution in the field of rehabilitation through personal achievements, research development or by establishing programs to improve the quality of life for individuals with disabilities.

At the 2015 Burke Awards gala dinner held at The Pierre in New York City on Tuesday, June 16, three exceptional awardees where honored. Hundreds of community and business leaders from the greater New York City area and beyond were in attendance to salute the award recipients.

Burke Awards 2015 Honorees

Burke Award honorees Jessica and Brad Berman, with their children, and Dylan Edwards, Ph.D., PT, Director of the Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation and Human Motor Control Laboratory at Burke Medical Research Institute

At the age of 37, Brad Berman, a father of two and an attorney specializing in tax law at GE, experienced a massive hemorrhagic stroke resulting in a five week long coma. After awaking from his coma, Brad had to relearn how to breathe, talk, and walk. To learn to walk again Brad’s physical therapy involved using Ekso and Anklebot, state-of-the-art robotic exoskeleton devices. Brad’s wife, Jessica started Run 4 Brad and raised more than $600,000 to donate to Burke’s Lower Limb Robotics Program.

David Putrino, Ph.D., PT, Director of Telemedicine and Virtual Rehabilitation at Burke Medical Research Institute and Burke Award honoree Mick Ebleling, founder of Not Impossible Labs

Award-winning film and TV producer, Mick Ebeling, founded Not Impossible Labs, a nonprofit organization that provides health, mobility and communication solutions to individuals who are in need through collaborative projects involving the invention of low-cost health tech devices. Not Impossible Labs mission is to use “Technology for the Sake of Humanity.” Each unique device provides a solution focusing on a single individual's needs that transcends to solutions for many. In November 2013, Ebeling traveled to Sudan and formed a collaborative team to set up most likely the first 3-D printing prosthetic limb project called “Project Daniel.” For under $100 the team created a 3-D printed functional prosthetic arm for, 14 year old, Daniel. The project is now well on it’s way of being able to helping many, as many as 50,000 amputees.


Gino Mangiafridda and Ryan McDonagh

Hockey captain Ryan McDonagh for the New York Rangers became a Burke patient after experiencing significant injuries in an accident. As an advocate for those requiring rehabilitation, Ryan met another Burke patient who played hockey for Pelham High School, Gino Mangiafridda. After a tragic motorcycle accident Gino became wheelchair-bound. Ryan quickly became Gino’s mentor. Ryan brought Gino to New York Rangers games and behind-the-scenes tours of the Rangers’ locker room to lift his spirits during his recovery. Eventually, the two young men formed a friendship that has transcended Gino’s time at Burke.