Debra M. Russell, trained and experienced in neuropsychology, psychotraumatology, and neurorehabilitation, has a vast background that began in the field of law enforcement. Her commitment to serving others included not only working as a street cop but also as a volunteer for victims of abuse, trauma, and their families. Helping others has always been her passion and as she expanded her formal education, she sought information about ways to care for individuals and families who experienced significant distress. After years of caring for others, she experienced a severe work injury in 1990 that left her with multiple disabilities; she survived a severe brain injury.
At the time of her injury, little was known about brain injuries and rehabilitation, and prognosis was often poor. However, instead of focusing on her residual deficits, Dr. Russell chose to learn more about her challenges, which led to additional education and commitment to the fields of neuropsychology, neurorehabilitation, and traumatology. She invested an extensive amount of time researching long-term rehabilitation for cognitive restructuring and trauma using a holistic model of treatment. She published registered programs and manuals on the proper methods for treating this population.
As she traveled across the nation, presenting over 40 times, she provided patient care and neurorehabilitation at her facility. She was very involved with the Brain Injury Associations (BIA), receiving several awards for expanding the knowledge of helping individuals with brain disorders. In fact, she started the first outpatient brain injury rehabilitation program in Alaska for long-term services and she was very involved in the development of federal grants that are now used across the nation. She has published and registered many programs, including developing the family section for the American Academy of Certified Brain Injury Specialist (AACBIS); the development of the first Homebased Rehabilitation Program® for neurocognitive restoration; developed the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program®; developed the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Developmental Systems® for treating children with brain disorders; has published many articles and provided distance education for the State of Alaska; was on several CBS television specials, such as the Norma Goodman Show, on this topic; developed special hospital programs for educating families, individuals, and staff about the ramifications of brain disorders and trauma; developed a Web site in 1995 about brain injuries, rehabilitation, trauma, and prevention (www.ubin-forensicsplus.com) to assist both the public and the government, etc. She continues to publish and expand in the forensics fields on these topics to insure that quality care is provided. She has testified many times in court on proper treatments for people with brain impairments and trauma, correcting misdiagnosis and misnomers. Her passion has not faltered and many organizations follow her model of care so proper neurorehabilitation and psychotraumatology, with education, can be provided using consistent standards.