Skip to main content

Press Release

Ryan Shazier fund for Spinal Rehabilitation welcomes 4 new board members for 2022

PITTSBURGH (January 31, 2022) — As the Ryan Shazier Fund for Spinal Rehabilitation continues to grow in its second fiscal year, the nonprofit is welcoming four new members to its board of directors — Amy Bernstein, Prashant Dubey, Dr. Tony G. Farah and Leon Ford. The new members come from a range of career backgrounds in areas of medicine, social justice and disability advocacy work.

The members are joining the board at an exciting time, as the fund is preparing to roll out several new initiatives this year, including its Golden Window Program and Family and Caregiver Program, which will help individuals with spinal cord injuries maximize their independence and provide resources for the families and caregivers, respectively.

“We’re looking forward to bringing on more talent and expertise as we continue our mission of supporting individuals and families impacted by spinal cord injuries,” said Ryan Shazier, the fund’s president and founder. “Our new programs have the power to change these patients’ lives for the better, and these new board members are dedicated to making sure those initiatives meet that goal.”

“With our board growing, we’re hoping to develop even more connections with community members and organizations whose experiences and values align with our work,” said Caroline Boyce, the fund’s executive director.

About the new board members: Amy Bernstein

Bernstein currently works as a senior professional staff nurse on the in-patient medical surgical oncology floor at UPMC Magee Women’s Hospital. She also serves as a board member and volunteers for One Day to Remember, an organization that creates no-cost, curated experiences and memories for families dealing with life-limiting illnesses. Bernstein earned her B.A. in political science and journalism from Syracuse University and later became a registered nurse in 2018.

volunteer for One Day to Remember, an organization that creates no-cost, curated experiences and memories for families dealing with life-limiting illnesses. Bernstein earned her B.A. in political science and journalism from Syracuse University and later became a registered nurse in 2018.

Prashant Dubey

Dubey is chair of Elevate’s Disability Inclusion Employee Working Group and leverages this platform to advocate for inclusion of people with disabilities in the legal compliance industry. Prashant has served in various board roles throughout his career, most recently as a member of Oregon Health & Science University’s Board of Directors. Dubey earned his B.A. in economics and MBA in strategy, marketing and finance from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Tony G. Farah, MD

Dr. Farah is executive vice president and chief medical and clinical transformation officer at Highmark Health, where he leads the redesign of care delivery in various settings, advancing models to optimize patient health and healthcare delivery. He was at the forefront of the formation of Highmark Health’s provider company, Allegheny Health Network (AHN). In 2019, Dr. Farah was named by Modern Healthcare magazine as one of the nation’s 50 Most Influential Clinical Executives. He serves on a number of nonprofit healthcare boards and is affiliated with several professional organizations in his field, two of which include the American College of Cardiology and the American Medical Association. Dr. Farah earned his B.S. in biochemistry and M.D. from the American University of Beirut.

Leon Ford

In his role as CEO of Leon Ford Speaks, Ford travels around the U.S. to educate others about police brutality and his experience living with paralysis. He recently began working with a California-based venture capital firm, and continues to advocate for vulnerable populations in Pittsburgh, particularly in the city’s East End neighborhood. Ford shared his personal story in a TEDx Pittsburgh talk in 2018.

About the Board

The four new members will be joining an established board of 11 professionals working across fields of healthcare, education, social advocacy, nonprofit management and athletics. The other board members include:

  • Ryan D. Shazier, president
  • William E. Kassling, chair
  • Kate R. Dewey, secretary
  • Joshua Pollard, treasurer
  • Will Allen
  • Cindy Citrone
  • David Morehouse
  • David O. Okonkwo, MD, PhD
  • Art Rooney II
  • Vernon J. Shazier, M.Div.
  • Michael P. Tomlin

About the Ryan Shazier Fund for Spinal Rehabilitation

When doctors told former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier that he had a 20 percent chance of walking again, his life changed. Today, the Ryan Shazier Fund for Spinal Rehabilitation has one mission: to give those with spinal cord injuries and their caregivers the support, resources and funding they need to live independent and meaningful lives. To learn more, visit

See all 2022 Press Releases

Search our Newsroom

Contact us for more information or to arrange an interview:

Lynn Seay
Highmark Health
Email Lynn

Rachel Borowski
Highmark Health
Email Rachel


Highmark blog

Highmark Health, a Pittsburgh, PA-based enterprise that employs more than 35,000 people who serve millions of Americans across the country, is the parent company of Highmark Inc., a hospital system, and other businesses. Highmark Inc. and its subsidiaries and affiliates provide health insurance to more than 6 million members in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware and western/northeastern New York, as well as dental insurance, and related health products through a national network of diversified businesses. Allegheny Health Network is an integrated delivery network comprised of thirteen hospitals, more than 2,500 affiliated physicians, ambulatory surgery centers, an employed physician organization, home and community-based health services, a research institute, a group purchasing organization, and health and wellness pavilions in western Pennsylvania. HM Health Solutions is focused on meeting the information technology platform and other business needs of the Highmark Health enterprise as well as unaffiliated health insurance plans by providing proven business processes, expert knowledge, and integrated cloud-based platforms. To learn more, visit

Press Kit

Media Coverage

Media Coverage

Fact Sheets & Reports

Fact Sheets & Reports

Leadership Team & Bios

Leadership Team & Bios

Historical Timeline

Historical Timeline

Highmark Health Digital Magazine

Highmark Health Digital Magazine

About Us

About Us