About Us

Who we are:

The United Spinal Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter (United Spinal Philadelphia for short) is the regional chapter of the United Spinal Association serving the Tri-state area (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware). We are an independent nonprofit organization.


Our mission:

The mission of the United Spinal Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter is to create a network of support for individuals and families who are living with spinal cord injuries/diseases.  The organization’s outreach will improve the lives of its members and others through ongoing advocacy, support, socialization, education and research.


Executive Board:

Meet the 2016-2017 Executive Board of the Greater Philadelphia Chapter:


Randy Duchesneau

shot_1406421160200Randy is a founding member of the Greater Philadelphia Chapter. He is a C5-C6 quadriplegic from a spinal cord injury during gymnastics. Randy has a Masters of Public Health from Yale University and has represented the Philadelphia area at United Spinal Association’s Roll on Capitol Hill 2014. Randy is also an active mentor for individuals living with spinal cord injury at the MossRehab Peer Mentoring Program. In his free time, he enjoys the performing arts especially classical music, designing and engineering wheelchairs adaptive to different terrains including on beaches and parks, cycling, traveling domestically and internationally, practicing his photography skills particularly at national parks and of starry nights, and star gazing with his telescope. Randy was featured in an article written by Moss Rehab which can be found here.



Alysse Einbender

Alysse EinbenderAlysse is a landscape architectural designer with over fifteen years of experience working on projects such as environmental restoration and path development, urban revitalization, city parks, and residential and streetscape design. From a wheelchair since 2004, she practices design that is aesthetically beautiful, barrier-free, inclusive and that promotes social sustainability. She advocates for affordable accessible housing and employment for people with disabilities. She volunteers for the Community Design Collaborative, is a Trustee on the Board of the Inglis House Foundation and the MossRehab Advisory Board, and is project manager for MossRehab’s All About Art show, an international juried art exhibition and sale of works by artists with physical disabilities.


Beth Jacobs

Beth JacobsBeth is a wife, mother of four adult children and an RN working in the field of spinal cord injury medicine for 38 years.  She has a unique perspective as a nurse assisting both hospitalized and community residing SCI individuals navigate the many medical, social and economic challenges faced on a daily basis.  She is a passionate advocate for the disabled and feels blessed to have the opportunity to help others.


Janet Parker


Committee Board Members

Kara Aiello – Journalist 

KaraKara, who lives with a disability from birth and was born with a brittle bone condition called Osteogenesis Imperfecta (brittle bones), is very active in her community. Obtaining a degree in Social Work from Widener University in Chester PA back in 2007 and has her LSW, has spent much of her career working in Geriatrics and at times persons with disabilities and mental health. Kara is active in two PA social work organizations NASW and PSCSW and doing legislative work with the later. Kara is a member and writer for Amnesty International, MobileWOMEN.org for women with disabilities, and is a dancer and writer for American Dance Wheels Foundation in which she has been a member for 3 years. Kara is also a writer and singer for The Academy Chorale and has found a deep passion and love for writing that she started many years back when she freelanced with the Philadelphia Inquirer and wrote articles for them about issues with disabilities. Kara is currently obtaining a Therapeutic Recreation Certificate and will have her CTRS later this year.