APS Leadership

The American Paraplegia Society (APS) was founded after World War II America by a group of dedicated Veterans Administration (VA) physicians and scientists.  Caring for wounded veterans made these professionals acutely aware of the need for a concerted effort to understand the implications of spinal cord injury (SCI).  To meet this need, they founded the APS in 1954.  The history of its first 50 years mirrors the development of spinal cord medicine, now a subspecialty of the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (ABPMR).


The organization took root in the 1970’s when it was incorporated as an independent entity.  Since that time, the APS has flourished, as demonstrated by the proliferation of research, educational and professional activity under its auspices.


For decades, APS members have joined professionals in nursing, psychology, social work and therapy disciplines in hosting an annual meeting that showcases comprehensive clinical care and research in the field. In October of 2009, the American Paraplegia Society officially merged with the ASCIN, PSW and TLC organizations forming the Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals. Sixty years after the founding of APS, the need for specialists to care for patients with SCI is greater than ever. The APS section now sustains the rich legacy of physician and doctoral level spinal cord injury specialists who are committed to interdisciplinary patient care, research and education.


Founders (1956):

Loyal Davis, MD

Paul Budd Magnuson, MD

Donald Munro, MD

Ernest H.Bors, MD

Estin Comarr

George P.Denny MD

Arthur S. Abramson MD


Postincorporation Presidents:

1955-1957  Estin Comar

1957-1961  Estin Comar

1961-1965  Alfred Ebel

1965-1969  Jorge Leal

1969-1973  Emilio Ejercito

1973-1977  Robert D. Brewer

1977-1979  Ahmed Z. El Ghatit, MD

1979-1981  Emanuele Mannarino, MD

1981-1983  Ibrahim M. Eltorai, MD

1983-1985  Robert W. Hussey, MD

1985-1987  John George, MD

1987-1989  Inder Perkash, MD

1989-1991  Joel A. DeLisa, MD

1991-1993  N.D. Vaziri, MD

1993-1995  Donald Bodner MD

1995-1997 Jay V. Subbarao MD

1997-1999  Robert R. Young, MD

1999-2001  Catherine W. Britell, MD

2001-2003  Mario T. Balmaseda, Jr., MD

2003-2005  Todd A. Linsenmeyer, MD

2005-2007  Indira Lanig, MD

2007-2009  Lawrence Vogel, MD

2009-2011  William Bockenek, MD

2011-2013  Steven Kirshblum, MD

2013-2015  Frederick Frost, MD 2015-Present Michael Kennelly, MD