The parents of 3 grown children, the youngest of whom is a 24-year old young man with autism, Drs. Paul and Lori Abend recognized early on the lack of advanced medical care available for children with medically complex autism.
Dr. Paul Abend developed a preceptorship program at the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, New Brunswick, NJ, for second-year family medicine residents to help sensitize them to the needs of children and adults with autism and maintains a medical practice in musculoskeletal and pain medicine and is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Dept. of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Kessler Institute, Dept. of Medicine and Family Medicine at the Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. He is the Medical Director of Inpatient and Outpatient Services at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital. Dr. Paul Abend launched the Autism Think Tank, NJ, a unique medical videoconferencing solution that brings together world-renowned medical experts to guide families and their physicians in addressing the medical complexities of autism.
Dr. Abend is the past President of the New Jersey Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation as well as the New Jersey Society of Medical Specialties. He has also received some of the highest honors including the 2011 Governor’s Jefferson Award for NJ and the Governor’s Citizen Award in 2008 at the NJ Disability Association Meeting for his work with sports clinics for children with special needs.
Lori Brand Abend, MD. is a graduate of Rutgers – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. She completed a Diagnostic Radiology Residency and Fellowship in Cross-Sectional Imaging at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. Lori spent the first 20 years of her medical career as a diagnostic Radiologist. She became increasingly interested in integrative and complementary medicine as means to alleviate her son’s suffering and her own caregiver stress and decided to make a career pivot into the field, completing a Fellowship in Integrative Medicine at The University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine under the direction of the renowned Dr. Andrew Weil. Dr. Brand Abend maintains a private Integrative Medicine practice in Bernardsville, N.J., where she specializes in Mind Body Medicine, with particular interests in the role of stress and trauma in disease, and the role of the place, space and the built environment on wellbeing.
Dismayed by the lack of advanced medical care available locally for her son and other individuals with medically complex autism, Lori researched and consulted with multiple leading experts in the fields of autism and gastroenterology, neurology, and chronic pain in the pursuit of diagnosing, treating, and stabilizing her son. Recognizing that her family was not alone in their pursuit, she and her husband, Paul, co-founded Autism Escapes, a nonprofit network of private jet owners used to fly patients with autism to specialists and specialized clinics around the country at no cost to the patient’s families.
Dr. Brand Abend served as a consultant on the design and décor for the Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services community building. She will be integrally involved in all design details and programming at Rise at Warren, ensuring the creation of a calming environment and intentional programming designed to optimize the health and wellbeing of Rise at Warren’s residents.