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Burke Rehabilitation Center Honors 2012 Burke Award Winners

Released June 11, 2012

WHITE PLAINS, NY – June 11, 2012 – The Burke Rehabilitation Hospital and Burke Medical Research Institute honored Lauren Manning, Ron Cohen, M.D., and David Carmel with the 2012 Burke Award on June 7 at The Ritz-Carlton, Westchester.

The Burke Award is the highest honor bestowed by Burke and its board of the directors. It is presented to individuals or groups who have demonstrated strength in overcoming a disability, those whose efforts have contributed to helping people with disability gain independence, those who have made significant contributions to science that led to a better understanding of physical disability or for those who have made contributions to the development of rehabilitation.

Along with receiving the 2012 Burke Award, New York State Assemblyman Bob Castelli also presented Carmel, Manning and Dr. Cohen with New York State Official Proclamations, the most significant of non-legal, yet official forms of recognition issued by the Governor. Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino and White Plains Mayor Tom Roach were also at the Burke Award dinner to congratulate the honorees.

“Burke Rehabilitation Hospital is proud to continue its tradition of recognizing those who have made significant contributions to the disabled and those who have inspired us by overcoming great adversity," said Mary Beth Walsh, M.D., Chief Executive Officer, Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, who presented to the more than 350 Burke Award dinner guests.

The Burke Award dinner and reception not only serves to honor those who made a great impact on rehabilitation, but is also the largest fund-raising event for the Burke Rehabilitation Center.

Burke leadership, including Dr. Walsh, Burke Medical Research Institute Executive Director Rajiv Ratan, M.D., Ph.D., Burke Rehabilitation Hospital Board Chairman Don Foley and Burke Medical Research Institute Board Chairman Bob Baldoni, were on hand to meet with supporters and present the awards to the honorees. CNN anchor John Berman entertained the crowd and led the event as the master of ceremonies.

Manning is a 9/11 survivor who completed her rehabilitation at Burke after suffering catastrophic burns on more than 80 percent of her body during the Sept. 11 attacks. The story of her strength and battle for survival has been chronicled in the media by Oprah Winfrey, Katie Couric, among others, and in her New York Times bestselling memoir, Unmeasured Strength, published in September 2011.

Dr. Cohen is the founder, president and CEO of Acorda Therapeutics, Inc., a company dedicated to the development of therapies that could restore neurological function and improve the lives of people with multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries and other neurological damage. Dr. Cohen has received numerous awards for his work including the NeuroInvestment’s CEO of the Year Award, and has been inducted to the National Spinal Cord Injury Association’s Spinal Cord Injury Hall of Fame.

Carmel is co-founder of Carmel Asset Management, a private investment partnership in New York City. Previously, he worked on the California Stem Cell and Cure Initiative that was approved by voters for $3 billion in research funds and he also advised Governors Spitzer and Paterson on the creation of the $600 million Empire State Stem Cell Trust, which supports leading stem cell researchers in New York State. In 2002, Carmel was one of 13 non-partisan White House Fellows appointed by President George W. Bush and was awarded the Secretary’s Honor Award, the Treasury Department’s highest honor.

This year’s winners will join an esteemed group which includes New York Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey, late actor and medical research activist Christopher Reeve and paralympic gold medalist Sarah Will, among other extraordinary individuals.

Burke Rehabilitation Hospital is a private, not-for-profit, acute rehabilitation hospital. Founded in 1915, it is the only hospital in Westchester County dedicated solely to rehabilitation medicine. Burke offers both inpatient and outpatient programs for those who have experienced a disabling illness, traumatic injury or joint replacement surgery. Burke is both an acute rehabilitation hospital and medical research center. Burke’s world renowned doctors and therapists provide state-of-the-art ¬treatment, while research scientists explore the frontiers of neurological and pulmonary medicine. All share the Burke mission to ensure that every patient makes the fullest possible recovery from illness or injury regardless of their ability to pay.

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