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About the Burn Injury Model System

The Boston-Harvard Burn Injury Model System (BHBIMS) is one of four Burn Model Systems funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) and dedicated to improving the lives of burn survivors. BHBIMS strives to provide the highest level of comprehensive burn care, beginning at the time of injury and extending through rehabilitation and eventual re-entry into community life. BHBIMS is also committed to conducting rigorous research, with a specific focus on the long-term functional and psychosocial outcomes of burn injury. This research serves as a platform for knowledge dissemination and education.

BHBIMS is a collaboration of Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, Shriners Hospitals for Children – Boston, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and the Boston University School of Public Health.

What is a Model System?

Model Systems are networks of hospitals and research institutions across the United States that focus on tracking and improving outcomes of people with one of three types of injuries: burn injury, spinal cord injury, and traumatic brain injury. The Model Systems are funded by the NIDILRR, a component of the Administration for Community Living (ACL) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Model Systems work to:

  • Complete research on selected conditions (burns, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries)

  • Disseminate research findings to the public

  • Educate patients and families

  • Uphold excellence in clinical care

BHBIMS Leadership

Photo of Jeffrey Schneider, MD

Jeffrey Schneider, MD - Program Director

Dr. Schneider is the Medical Director of Burn, Trauma, & Orthopedic Rehabilitation at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Division Chief of Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Associate Chair of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School, and Director of the Rehabilitation Outcomes Group at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. His research focus is on long term effects of burn injury. He has published sentinel manuscripts in the field of burn rehabilitation, including works detailing the barriers to return to work and has authored chapters on burn rehabilitation in authoritative textbooks in the field. As the Program Director of the Boston-Harvard Burn Injury Model System, Dr. Schneider oversees all study activities at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and facilitates all recruitment efforts, data collection, analysis, interpretation of data, manuscript development, and dissemination activities.

Photo of Colleen M. Ryan, MD

Colleen M. Ryan, MD - Director of Clinical Care

Dr. Ryan is a general surgeon with thirty years of clinical experience caring for adults and children following burn injuries. She is the Director of Clinical Care at the Boston-Harvard Burn Injury Model System as well as a Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. In addition to her rich clinical experience, Dr. Ryan is a highly cited author of over 200 scientific publications. Dr. Ryan’s research expertise includes mortality prediction following burns (Ryan Score), patient reported outcome metrics such as the Life Impact Burn Recovery Evaluation (LIBRE) measuring social participation following burn injury, and the age-based Shriners Hospitals for Children/American Burn Association Burn Outcome Questionnaires (BOQs). She has multiple publications addressing burn recovery including social reintegration, employment and pain following burn injury. She has published research into innovative approaches to the treatment of infections following burns and trauma. Dr. Ryan is active in the American Burn Association and leads the Organization and Delivery of Burn Care Committee, developing guidelines for care and fostering national and international efforts for burn disaster preparedness.

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Ross Zafonte, DO - Administrative Director

Dr. Ross D. Zafonte is an internationally recognized expert in rehabilitation after catastrophic injury and is a Co-PI of the Spaulding Hospital-New England Regional Spinal Cord Injury Model System and the Spaulding-Harvard Traumatic Brain Injury Model System. He serves as the chief of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, as well as Senior Vice President Medical Affairs Research and Education at Spaulding Rehabilitation Network. He has published over 300 peer review journal articles, abstracts and book chapters and has received 5 awards for his work in the healthcare community.

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Lewis E. Kazis, ScD - Director of Research

Dr. Kazis is a Professor of Health Policy and Management and Director of the Center for the Assessment of Pharmaceutical Practices (CAPP) at the Boston University School of Public Health. He received his doctoral degree from Harvard University School of Public Health in 1980. For over 25 years, he has been involved in the study of patient reported outcomes (PROs) and quality of life assessments and is a recognized national leader in PROs. Dr. Kazis conducts research projects for the Centers for Disease control (CDC) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) in the areas of quality of care and patient reported outcomes. He has also collaborated with Massachusetts General Hospital and Shriner’s Hospitals for Children on the evaluation and development of the Burn Outcomes Questionnaire and the Young Adult Burn Outcomes Questionnaire.

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Diana Tenney - Co-Director of Dissemination

In 2010, Diana sustained a third degree burn injury to 91% of her body. Since her injury, Diana has devoted her time to supporting and advocating for the burn survivor community at the local and national levels. She is a certified Phoenix Survivors Offering Assistance in Recovery Peer Supporter and has completed over 120 in-person peer visits at MGH, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, and Shriners Hospital for Children-Boston. She co-founded the Diana Tenney Burn Research Fund at MGH to support life-saving burn care research and outreach training programs for emergency teams in the New England Area. Currently, she serves on the Burn Survivors of New England Board of Directors and the Massage and Burn Scar Therapy Burn Foundation Board.

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Mary Slavin, PhD - Co-Director of Dissemination

Dr. Slavin is a physical therapist with more than 30 years of experience in the rehabilitation field as a clinician, educator and researcher. Her interests include promoting evidence-based practice in rehabilitation and use of appropriate measures to assess rehabilitation outcomes. She has contributed significantly to two computer adaptive tests (CAT): the Activity Measure for Post-Acute Care (AM-PAC) and the Spinal Cord Injury Functional Index (SCI-FI). Dr. Slavin is currently the Director of Education and Dissemination at the Health and Disability Research Institute at the Boston University School of Public Health.


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Lauren Shepler - Research Project Manager

Ms. Lauren Shepler is the Research Project Manager for the Boston-Harvard Burn Injury Model System. She received her bachelor’s degree in the Biological Sciences from North Carolina State University in 2012 and continued on to earn her Master in Public Health with a focus on Environmental and Occupational Health from the Drexel University School of Public Health in 2015. Ms. Shepler has several years of project management experience using both quantitative and qualitative research methods in academic and community settings. She is passionate about her work and strives to make a positive impact on all the communities she interacts with.
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Callie Abouzeid - Research Coordinator

Callie Abouzeid graduated from Bates College with a degree in gender and sexuality studies with a concentration in public health. She is currently working on a project in conjunction with three other model system sites funded by NIDILRR to contribute to a national repository of data that will improve care and quality of life for future burn survivors.
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Brian Kelter - Research Coordinator

Brian Kelter graduated from the College of the Holy Cross with a degree in History. He is currently working on the LIBRE Journey study, a project aiming to better understand the social aspects of healing and recovery following burn injury, in coordination with physical and psychological factors. He previously worked as a Research Coordinator in pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital, assisting on multiple early childhood development studies.
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Khushbu Patel - Senior Clinical Research Coordinator

Khushbu recently completed a Masters in Psychology from Boston University and currently works as a Senior Clinical Research Coordinator in Dr. Ryan’s burn recovery outcomes lab at Shriners Hospital for Children. Her previous work experience includes her work in children involving attitudes and stigma related to adult-minor sexual abuse, effects of perceptions of child physical abuse from personal experiences, and using imagery rescripting as an intervention for sub-clinical PTSD patients.
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Kate Surette - Clinical Research Coordinator

Kate Surette graduated from Trinity College with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Political Science. Her previous work experience includes social justice youth education and development at RFK Human Rights in D.C. She is currently working as a Clinical Research Coordinator in Dr. Ryan’s burn recovery outcomes lab on the development of a parent reported computer-adaptive test to measure the physical, psychological, and social recovery of pediatric burn survivors.
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Madeleine McGwin - Clinical Research Coordinator

Madeleine McGwin graduated from Saint Michael’s College with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology. Her previous research experience includes topics in the fields of injury epidemiology, perinatal epidemiology and infectious disease epidemiology with the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she has been completing her Masters of Science in Public Health in Applied Epidemiology. She is currently working as a Clinical Research Coordinator for burn recovery outcomes, aiding in the development of a parent reported computer-adaptive test to measure the physical, psychological, and social recovery of pediatric burn survivors.
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Pengsheng Ni, MD - Statistician

Dr. Ni has extensive training in genetics and a strong mathematical, biostatistical and computer science background. Dr. Ni’s current work involves applying different Item Response Theory (IRT) models to practical health care assessment issues, building Unidimensional and Multidimensional Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT) models, providing statistical consultation and constructing web-based surveys. He has worked in multiple health care outcome assessments development process such as Activity Measure for Post-acute Care (AM-PAC) and Late Life Function and Disability Instrument, etc.).

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Sarah Findeisen

Sarah Findeisen graduated from Boston College with a BA in Applied Psychology and Human Development. She currently works as a Clinical Research Coordinator in Dr. Ryan’s Burn Outcomes Lab at Shriners Hospital for Children which is focused on creating a metric system for burn victims. Her previous work experience includes disseminating research on post-consumer textile waste and its connections with environmental and social justice.
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Cami Rencken

Cami Rencken received her BS in Global Disease Biology from the University of California, Davis, and her ScM in Global Public Health from Brown University. Cami previously worked at the UC Davis Medical Center where she was first introduced to the field of burn injuries. She continued her research with burns during graduate school where she studied barriers to continuation of care and patient-reported outcomes for burn survivors in South Africa. While part of the BHBIMS team, she worked as a Senior Clinical Research Coordinator conducting research to develop and validate computer-adaptive parent-proxy outcome measures of health-related quality of life for pediatric patients with burn injuries.
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Silvanys Rodriguez

Silvanys Rodriguez graduated from Franklin and Marshall College with a Bachelor of Arts in Neuroscience. Silvanys previously led a research project focused on neurodevelopmental mutations observed in families of multiple ethnic backgrounds, including the Mennonite community in Lancaster, PA. While with the BHBIMS team, she worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator on the development and validation of a parent-reported computer-adaptive test to measure the physical, psychological, and social recovery of pediatric burn survivors.
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Audrey Wolfe

Audrey Wolfe received her BS in Exercise Science from the University of South Carolina and her MPH in Maternal and Child Health from Boston University. She is the former Research Project Manager for the Boston-Harvard Burn Injury Model System. Audrey has several years of research experience within a number of settings including local and state health departments, hospitals, and the community. She currently is a Project Manager at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute.
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Olivia Stockly

Olivia Stockly joined BHBIMS as a research coordinator in 2018 after receiving a degree in Chinese from Bates College. She is currently receiving her MBS from Tufts University.
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Gabrielle Grant

Gabrielle Grant graduated from Holy Cross in 2017 with a degree in Biology. She joined BHBIMS as a research coordinator in 2018. She is receiving her BSN/PhD from University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill.
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Emily Ohrtman

Emily Ohrtman joined BHBIMS as a research coordinator after graduating from Smith College with a degree in Anthropology and Neuroscience in 2016. She currently works as a research coordinator at the UCSF Memory and Aging Lab and is going back to school to become a nurse practitioner.
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Laura Simko

Laura Simko graduated from Boston College in 2015 with a degree in Physics. She joined BHBIMS as a Research Coordinator and, in 2016 took on the role of Research Project Manager. She currently attends Stanford Medical School.
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Erin Kinney

Erin Kinney holds a B.A. in Biology from the College of the Holy Cross. Her medical research interests originate from her field research experience while studying abroad in Tanzania and working with the Biology department chair at Holy Cross in her laboratory. While interning with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), she was exposed to the field of public health through her work in the Epidemiology Workforce Branch. She currently works as a Clinical Research Coordinator working to develop a parent-reported computer-adaptive test to measure the physical, psychological, and social recovery of pediatric burn survivors.
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Leda Espinoza

Leda Espinoza joined BHBIMS as a Research Coordinator after graduating from Dartmouth College in 2016 with a degree in Biology. She is currently attending University of North Carolina School of Medicine.
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Vivian Shie

Vivian Shie studied Biology and Health: Science, Society, and Policy at Brandeis University and joined BHBIMS as a Research Coordinator in 2014. She currently attends Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.
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Deborah Nadler, MD

After studying Comparative Literature and Spanish at Smith College, Deborah Nadler joined BHBIMS as a Research Coordinator. She graduated from Georgetown University School of Medicine in 2018 and was an Internal Medicine Resident Physician at Brown University/Rhode Island Hospital. She is currently a cardiology fellow at UMass Memorial Medical Center.

Medical Centers

Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital

Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital offers expert burn care for the full continuum of needs – from inpatient rehabilitation to outpatient follow-up care. At every stage, their goal is to help patients maximize their functional independence, find emotional strength and confidence, and successfully transition back to home, work and the community. Families play an integral role in this process. During hospital stays, families are taught practical skills and therapeutic techniques to assist in the patient’s care after discharge.

Contact Info:

Phone Number:(617) 952-6220
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The Massachusetts General Hospital Burn Service

The Massachusetts General Sumner M. Redstone Burn Center is one of the largest adult burn centers in the Northeast, treating hundreds of patients each year. As an American Burn Association verified burn center, they offer leading-edge therapies for acute thermal injuries, as well as innovative reconstructive procedures and psychiatry services.

Contact Info:

Phone Number: (617) 726-3712
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Shriners Hospital for Children - Boston

Shriners Hospitals for Children is a highly specialized pediatric surgical hospital located in downtown Boston. It is one of the world’s preeminent hospitals for the treatment of children with burns and the only exclusively pediatric, verified burn hospital in New England. Affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital and verified by the American Burn Association and the American College of Surgeons, Shriners Hospitals for Children — Boston meets all of the demanding standards for organizational structure, personnel qualifications, facilities resources and medical care services to ensure the best possible outcomes for children.

Contact Info:

Phone Number: (617) 722-3000
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Brigham and Women's Hospital

Brigham and Women’s Hospital is verified as a Burn Center by the American Burn Association and American College of Surgeons through July 2018. The Burn Center, which is one of few burn centers nationwide led by plastic surgeons, provides treatment and follow-up for patients with minor to severe burns, as well as those who have suffered from burn injury and seek a better functional and aesthetic outcome. Burn and plastic surgeons work closely with a strong, multi-disciplinary team including occupational therapists, physical therapists, dietitians, social workers, and skilled wound care staff.

Contact Info:

Phone Number: (617) 732-7715
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American Burn Association (ABA)

Visit the American Burn Association to find other burn centers

Find Other Burn Centers

Other Burn Model Systems


Northwest Regional Burn Model System

Seattle, WA


The North Texas Burn Rehabilitation Model System

Dallas, TX


Pediatric Burn Injury Rehabilitation Model System

Galveston, TX

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