Community Board of Directors
Mrs. Bleeker is the Vice President of Human Resources for Seitlin Insurance and Advisory Services. In 2009, she received the Excellence in Human Resources award from the South Florida Business Journal. She received her MA in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Hofstra University and her BS degree in Psychology from the University of Florida. She now lives in Fort Lauderdale. She has spoken at several professional conferences about creating balance between ones personal and professional life. She also has spoken about women’s issues in the workplace.
Mrs. Bleeker felt immediate connection with the Florida Neonatal Neurologic Network mission as her first child was born six weeks prematurely and spent two weeks in the NICU. She became a community board member to help recruit other hospitals throughout south Florida to join the network.
Burleigh is the head coach for the University of Florida women’s soccer team since 1995. In 1998, she led her team to the NCAA Championship victory. As a coach, she has had a 77.4 career winning percentage and is ranked No. 4 among Division I coaches for career victories. She also has been the Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year in 1996, 2000, 2008 and 2010.
As a former canine officer and founder of J&K Canine Academy, Pepe is well known in the Gainesville area as the expert on dog training. His knowledge and experience has been used in research and development at the University of Florida in training dogs to detect everything from termites to cancer cells. Pepe has written a book and has been featured on many television networks including CNN, FOX, PBS, Animal Planet, Discovery Channel and Dateline.
Tonya has lived in Gainesville since 1977 and is an active member in the community. She loves to run and be outdoors, especially to compete in marathons and triathalons such as IRONMAN Florida. In 1993, she gave birth to a daughter who was 24 weeks and was in the NICU for four months. Tonya has four other children, including an adopted son. She is graduating from nursing school in May 2015 and hopes to work with kids.
Scientific Advisory Panel: Internal Scientific Advisory Panel
Dr. Reynolds is an associate professor in the Department of Neurological Surgery of the University of Florida College of Medicine. In 1994, he discovered the existence of stem cells in the adult central nervous system with Sam Weiss at the University of Calgary. He co-founded NeuroSpheres Ltd. where he also worked as the Vice-President of Research. To date, he holds 16 US patents related to neural stem cells.
Dr. Burchfield is a professor and chief of Neonatology at the University of Florida. He has served as a UF faculty member for 20 years. Dr. Burchfield focuses his research on drug abuse during pregnancy and on Neonatal resuscitation. He served on the original committees for the Neonatal Resuscitation Program and the Pediatric Advanced Life Support Program.
Dr. Steindler is the Joseph J. Bagnor/ Shands Professor of Medical Research in the Department of Neurosurgery. For the past 25 years he has researched the growth and transplantation of stem cells. From 2004 until 2010 he worked as the Executive Director of the McKnight Brain Institute of the University of Florida.
Dr. Borlongan is a professor and vice chair of research for the Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair at the University of South Florida. His research focus is stem cell therapy for brain disorders, strokes, neonatal hypoxic-ischemic injury, traumatic brain injuries and Parkinson’s disease. He also serves as the vice-chairman for Research, Neurosurgery and Brain Repair and as an associate director for the Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair at USF.
Hilton Bernstein, MD, practices pediatric and neonatal-perinatal medicine at Florida Hospital in Orlando, Florida. He is also a courtesy assistant professor in the College of Medicine at the University of Florida. He completed his residency in the Pediatrics unit at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida.
David Auerbach, MD, is a neonatologist at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Children in Orlando, Florida. He is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of Pediatrics-Neonatal/Perinatal. He completed his medical school education at the Albert Einstein Medical center, his residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, and his fellowship at Duke University Medical Center.
Dr. Escoto, who is currently working at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida., specializes in neonatal-perinatal medicine and pediatrics. He received his degree at the University of the Philippines and trained for his residency at the University of Kansas.
Rajan Wadhawan, MD, is the Division Chief of Neonatology at Florida Hospital in Orlando, Florida. He attended and received his M.D. from Guru Nanak Dev University. Afterward, he completed his pediatric residency in the Brown University Program in Providence, Rhode Island. His interests are in neonatal nutrition and neonatal outcomes.
Dr. Sanberg is a distinguished professor of neurosurgery as well as the vice-chairman of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair at the University of South Florida. His research focuses on neonatal hypoxic-ischemic injury, traumatic brain injuries, strokes and Parkinson’s disease. He also serves as the executive director for the USF Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair and is the senior associate vice president of the Office of Research and Innovation.