STAFF EXPERTS & ADVOCATES

Knowledgeable & committed experts working for you.

MISSION

Paralyzed Veterans of America is the only Congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated solely for the benefit and representation of veterans with spinal cord injury or disease. Learn more about Our Mission.

You can find our experts in the nation’s capital, in the field, and across the country, providing services, research and resources to catastrophically disabled veterans, their caregivers, and their families.

Each staff member's expertise is noted below. You can download individual expert pages by selecting the person's name.

Executive Office

Sherman Gillums, Jr.
Executive Director
Veterans Benefits • Veterans Health Care • Prosthetics • Veterans Spouses’ and Caregivers’ Career Assistance • Spinal Cord Injury

General Counsel

Linda Blahut 
Deputy General Counsel
Veterans Law • Veterans Benefits • U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims • Paralyzed Veterans of America Corporate Governance • Paralyzed Veterans of America Research Foundation • Paralyzed Veterans of America Education Foundation

Government Relations

Carl Blake 
Associate Executive Director
Veterans Health Care • Veterans Service Organizations • Veterans Benefits • The Independent Budget • Federal Budget • Congressional Relations • Disability Civil Rights

Veterans Benefits

Peter Gaytan 
Associate Executive Director
Veterans Benefits • Veterans Budget Appropriations • Gulf War Illness • Veterans Homeless Issues

Joseph Badzmierowski
Director of Field Services

Advocacy

Lee Page 
Senior Associate Director
ADA Compliance • Transportation Accessibility • Long-Term Care in Medicare/Medicaid • Voting Accessibility

Susan Prokop 
Senior Associate Director
Social Security • Fair Housing • Housing Accessibility • State Workforce Development • State Vocational Rehabilitation • Disability Work Incentives

Medical Services

Lana McKenzie  
Associate Executive Director
Veterans Health Care • Spinal Cord Injury Research & Education

Accessibility

Mark Lichter  
Architecture Program • Director of Architecture & Facilities 
Accessibility • Design & Construction • ADA Compliance

Adaptive Sports and Recreation

Ernie Butler  
Director, Sports and Recreation
Adaptive Sports and Recreation • Emergency Medical Procedures •
Spinal Cord Injury • Multiple Sclerosis (MS) • Traumatic Brain Injury

Appellate Services

Jim Fischl 
Senior Appellate Services Operations Manager
Veterans Benefits • Veterans Services • Regulatory Compliance

Employment

Shelly D. Stewart 
Director, PAVE Program
Veterans Employment Issues • Human Resources • Diversity
Recruiting • Business Administration • Operation Management

Prosthetics

Fred Downs, Jr.  
Prosthetics Consultant
Prosthetics • Sensory Aids • Spinal Cord Injury • Vietnam War • Veterans Affairs Material Management • Orthotics • POW/MIA Affairs • Veteran Affairs Data Management • Medical/Surgical Standardization

Vocational Rehabilitation

Joan Haskins 
Senior Rehabilitation Counselor, PAVE Program
Veterans Benefits • Vocational Employment • Prosthetics • Spinal Cord Injury & Rehabilitation • Family Law