Post Date: January 1, 2018
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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.

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

Heather Ansley
Acting 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


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

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


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

Adaptive Sports and Recreation

Fabio Villarroel
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



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

Lauren Lobrano
PAVE Director
Vocational Rehabilitation Assessments and Realistic Plan Development  • Job Placement Services  • Accomodations Assistance  • Ergonomic Evaluations / Referrals  • Post – Employment Support