Meet the uSPEQ® Development Team


Photo of Di ShenDi Shen, Ph.D., chief research officer for CARF International, spearheads CARF's Research and Quality Improvement (RQI) performance indicator work and has oversight responsibility for CARF's internal performance improvement systems and research data infrastructure. He completed his doctorial degree in psychology at The University of Arizona with a specialty in cognitive psychology and cognitive sciences.

Dr. Shen has also served as the executive director of research and planning for Pima Community College and worked as a senior researcher for CARF. He has taught courses in psychological measurements and statistics, research methods, and cognitive psychology at the University of Arizona. Prior to coming to the United States, Dr. Shen was a faculty member at Yangzhou University in China. He also has published in the areas of performance indicators for rehabilitation programs, psychological measurement and testing, psycholinguistics, linguistics and applied linguistics, and teaching methodology.

Photo of David BrownDavid Brown served as a senior research associate in the RQI department of CARF, where he was responsible for designing and conducting research within the framework of CARF's quality and accountability initiative as well as CARF survey and accreditation research. He served as the team leader for the development of performance indicators for rehabilitation and CARF's crosscutting consumer experience questionnaire, uSPEQ.

Prior to joining CARF in 2002, Mr. Brown was a consultant for seven years. During this time, he worked with the survey and analysis branch of The Center for Mental Health Services and with other trade associations, states, and territories on various projects. His specialty areas include health outcomes, performance measurement, statistical methods, and health services research. He published and co-authored on topics such as health disparities, accountability, outcomes, and performance improvement. He served as a guest editor for the International Journal of Mental Health and was a graduate student at The University of Arizona at the time of his death in 2012.

Photo of Deborah WilkersonDeborah L. Wilkerson, M.A., FACRM, was a researcher, administrator, and national leader in outcomes measurement, healthcare quality, postacute payment policy, and independent living issues. Formerly the chief research and education officer for CARF International, she led the outcomes measurement and performance indicator programs at CARF and spearheaded the research and development for uSPEQ. With a distinguished career in publishing and teaching on rehabilitation outcomes and outcomes management information systems, she served as president of American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) and received distinction as a Fellow of the ACRM.

Before joining CARF in 1996, Ms. Wilkerson was director of program evaluation and outcome studies at the National Rehabilitation Hospital and NRH Research Center in Washington, D.C. Ms. Wilkerson earlier served as administrator in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle and worked with the Washington State Division of Vocational Rehabilitation to develop an outcomes system for the state's independent living centers.

Ms. Wilkerson earned a master's degree in anthropology from Wake Forest University and was a Ph.D. candidate in medical anthropology and public administration/public policy at the University of Arizona at the time of her death in November 2005.

Photo of Allen HeinemannAllen W. Heinemann, Ph.D., completed his doctoral degree in clinical psychology at the University of Kansas with a specialty focus in rehabilitation. Since 1985, he has worked at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), where he directs the Center for Rehabilitation Outcomes Research, a rehabilitation-focused health services research unit. He is also associate director of research at RIC and professor at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University.

The author of more than 120 articles in peer-reviewed publications and editor of Substance Abuse and Physical Disability, Dr. Heinemann also serves as the congress editor for the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and on the editorial boards of NeuroRehabilitation, International Journal of Rehabilitation and Health, Journal of Applied Measurement, The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, and Rehabilitation Psychology. His research interests focus on health services research; psychosocial aspects of rehabilitation, including substance abuse; and measurement issues in rehabilitation.

Dr. Heinemann is a fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and a diplomat for Rehabilitation Psychology. He has served as president of the American Congress of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the APA's Rehabilitation Psychology division. He is the recipient of the APA's Roger Barker Distinguished Career Award.