Rancho to honor patients, staff

DOWNEY - Jacquelin Perry, MD, considered the world's leading physician in rehabilitation medicine, heads an impressive list of honorees for the 24st Annual Rancho Los Amigos Foundation Amistad Awards Gala, which will be held Saturday, May 1 at the Westin Long Beach Hotel.Proceeds will benefit patients of Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center with catastrophic disabling illnesses and injuries. The Amistad Gala will be hosted by Los Angeles County Fourth District Supervisor Don Knabe and is co-chaired by Beverly Mathis and Debbie Tomlinson. The Amistad Award is the highest honor bestowed by Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation, a national leader in the treatment of individuals with disabilities. Rancho is the only facility in California to be named one of "America's Best Hospitals" in Rehabilitation Medicine by U.S. News & World Report, an honor it has achieved for 20 consecutive years. This year's Amistad Award honorees include: World-renowned physician Jacquelin Perry, MD, who will receive the Rancho Legend Award. Dr. Perry, who will celebrate her 92nd birthday in May, sees patients in the Rancho outpatient clinic each Friday. She recently released the third edition of her classic book on gait analysis. The February issue of the Physical Therapy Journal was dedicated to her and her groundbreaking work. She is perhaps more responsible for advancing the field of rehabilitation medicine than any other person throughout the word. Dr. Perry, who is truly an American treasure, celebrates 55 years of service to Rancho this year. Inspirational Rancho Occupational Therapist Bobbi Jean Tanberg, BS, COTA/L, ATP, who will receive the Amistad Individual Achievement Award. Bobbi Jean is a co-founder of Rancho's award-winning KnowBarriers program that provides life coaching and many other important services to Rancho patients. She also created the Rancho Computer Lab, which helps patients regain motor and communications skills. Recently, she supervised a renovation of Rancho's Model home, which helps patients and their families adjust to the new realities of living with a disability. Bobbi Jean also serves on the Los Angeles Women's Commission and represented the U.S. as a member of the U.S. women's basketball team at the Paralympic Games. Eminent Rancho Speech Therapist Wendy Burton, MA, CCC-SP, who will receive the Amistad Lifetime Achievement Award. Burton is director of Rancho's Communications Disorders Department. Throughout her distinguished career, she has earned the respect of her colleagues throughout our nation for her patient treatment skills, her mentoring, her research, and her extensive involvement in leadership activities at the local, state and national levels. Burton celebrates her 25th year at Rancho in 2010. The Assistance League of Downey's H.O.M.E. Project, which provides a very low-cost place to stay for Rancho patient families while their loved ones are in the hospital. Over the last 11 years, the Housing Of Medical Emergencies (H.O.M.E.) project has provided very low-cost housing on the Rancho campus for 2,700 families who could not afford to stay in a motel or hotel. The Assistance League of Downey built the H.O.M.E. Project and underwrites all maintenance expenses for this incredibly successful project. Beloved Rancho Los Amigos Graduate Artist Steve Clay. Steve Clay suffered a devastating stroke in 1995 that paralyzed his painting hand. With the help of Rancho therapists, he learned to paint with his other hand while his treatment team was helping him regain most of the function in his right hand. Today, he paints masterpieces with both hands. Steve also creates all the portraits for the world-famous Art of Rancho book each year and serves as an instructor in Rancho's Pediatric Arts Program. The Rancho Los Amigos Foundation invites community members to attend the Amistad Gala on May 1 as we celebrate the contributions of our amazing honorees and raise funds to help our patients with disabling illnesses and injuries realize the power of their dreams. For ticket information, call the Rancho Los Amigos Foundation at (562) 401-7053.

********** Published: April 2, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 50