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Burke Announces Honorees For Annual Awards Dinner

Burke's three award winners: Steven Kessler, Barbara Kessler and Michael Reding.
Burke's three award winners: Steven Kessler, Barbara Kessler and Michael Reding. Photo Credit: Contributed

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Burke Rehabilitation Hospital is honoring those who make a difference at its annual Burke Award Dinner.

The dinner will be held June 8 at 6 p.m. at Brae Burn Country Club at 39 Brae Burn Drive, Purchase, NY.

Burke is honoring Barbara Rubin Kessler and Steven Kessler, Scarsdale residents. Barbara experienced a severe ischemic stroke that left her unable to walk or talk and paralyzed on her right side.

After rehabilitation at Burke, Barbara was able to regain function but was diagnosed with aphasia, a communication disorder that results from damage to the parts of the brain that contain language. Today, she is active as a national advocate for brain trauma and stroke patients with aphasia and other challenges and is on the board of the National Aphasia Association.

Her husband, Steven is Barbara's caregiver. He works with her on advocacy for brain trauma, stroke and aphasia patients, and their families. He is also committed to improving medical care for returning U.S. war veterans.

Dr. Michael James Reding, a Yorktown Heights resident, is the former director of the Stroke Rehabilitation Program at Burke and current volunteer clinical researcher at Burke and the Burke Medical Research Institute is also being honored.

Reding was the medical director of the Stroke Rehabilitation Program at Burke from 1980 until 2013 when he assumed emeritus status. He was also one of the founders of Burke’s Neurorehabilitation Fellowship Program. He is currently a full-time volunteer clinical researcher at Burke and the Burke Medical Research Institute.

John Berman, co-anchor of “CNN Newsroom,” is serving as MC for the evening.

“It is a privilege to honor these inspiring individuals, who exemplify the Burke mission and our unparalleled commitment to helping patients recover from life-changing illness, injury, or surgery,” said Jeffrey Menkes, president, and CEO of Burke Rehabilitation Hospital. “Each of these honorees has demonstrated great compassion and dedication to advancing the field of rehabilitation and enabling people to reclaim their lives.”

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