Shannon Bursick, Emma’s Mom
Joseph Bursick, Emma’s Dad
Jan Boyd, Emma’s Grandma
Dr. Miya Asato is a child neurologist and neurodevelopmental specialist. She completed her medical studies at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia PA. She trained in pediatrics and completed a fellowship in child neurology at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. Upon finishing her clinical training, she did a post doctoral research fellowship in neurocognitive development and has done research studies of cognitive issues in children with epilepsy. Her current project is focused on the development of computerized assessment tools that can be utilized in the clinical setting to guide epilepsy management. In addition to serving on the EBMF, she is a member of the Medical Advisory Board for the Epilepsy Foundation of Western Central PA and also for the national Epilepsy Foundation. She also serves on subcommittees for the American Epilepsy Society to address psychiatric issues in epilepsy. She is a passionate advocate for training professionals about epilepsy and serves in several education administration roles at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh as Program Director for the Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Fellowship and by being co-Director of the LEND Program.Close
Dr. Susan Deakin is in group practice in Gibsonia, PA in General Internal Medicine where she is the Lead Physician (Pine Richland Medical Associates,
a part of the Allegheny Health Network). She completed her medical degree at the Pennsylvania College of Osteopathic Medicine where she
also did a rotating Internship. She completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA and then
served as Chief Medical Resident for a year.
In addition to serving on the EBMF, she also serves on the local Board of Directors of the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. She serves on several hospital committees and is active in her Church.
Susan is married to Jack Kabazie, also a physician and they have one son William, who is best of friends with Avery Bursick. She is honored to serve on the EBMF Advisory Board and is blessed by her friendship with the Bursick Family.
Sherry Sullivan has been involved in the Emma Bursick Memorial Fund for the past 6 years, working as both member of the Advisory Panel and
volunteer for the annual Fair Play event.
Her connection to the Bursick family began many years ago when Sherry worked with Shannon at Shaler Area School District. Sherry has a back ground in elementary education and special education and is the parent of a child with epilepsy. She also took many classes for parents of children with epilepsy so that she could understand what her child was going through and how to handle the different phases of her life.
She was a past president of the Easter Seals Auxiliary for Allegheny County and held a position on the Board of Directors of Easter Seals. She participated in the approval and implementation of several different programs for children with special needs. She also helped in the development of the celebration of Easters Seals 25th Anniversary.
Being a parent of a child with epilepsy, Sherry has learned first hand the many challenges her daughter faces in her life – toileting, education and now living as an adult with multiple needs. Sherry’s daughter, Jennifer, started her journey with epilepsy at 6 months of age when she had her first seizure. Jennifer’s life has provided her family with education, but most of all she has taught them to appreciate life.
Now, Sherry is trying to help with educating families that live with epilepsy about SUDEP - while she too learns all she needs to know to help her daughter live a healthy, happy life with epilepsy.
Johnny is Joe’s first cousin and has battled epilepsy since the age of 12. He feels he is able to provide two valuable perspectives to the mission of EBMF as he lives with epilepsy and has witnessed the ongoing heartache his family has endured since Emma's passing. He is passionate about finding out the 'why's and how's' and making sure that the research is being done so that other people can have access to more information than was available to Joe and Shannon. So much has already been done and the awareness is increasing each and every day! It has been a bitter sweet challenge, but Johnny is grateful to be part of this important journey in Emma's memory.Close
Jan Boyd is Emma’s grandmother, and has worked in partnership with her daughter, Shannon Bursick, to support and assist in the development and implementation of the mission and activities of the Emma Bursick Memorial Fund (EBMF) since it's inception. Jan is one of the founding members of the EBMF Advisory Committee, and serves as Chairperson for Corporate Sponsorship for the Fund's annual fundraising event, Fair Play. Professionally, Jan is a retired registered nurse with clinical specialties in serious and chronic adult mental illness, Critical Incident Stress Debriefing, Disaster Response, and street medicine for unsheltered homeless.Close
For the past 22 years, Chris Benec has been in the financial services industry serving in a number of roles. Upon graduation from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA with a degree in Managerial Economics in 1993, he started his career selling institutional mutual funds in the Midwest for Federated Investors, a mutual fund company based in Pittsburgh, PA. After that three year period, he moved on to focus on the distribution and positioning of investments that individual investors could use for their own financial planning goals. The next 12 years would have him representing a number of national mutual fund, insurance and financial investment firms that distribute various investment products such as insurance, variable annuities, retirement plans, long term care insurance and real estate investment trusts.
Since 2008, Chris has been with Ameriprise Financial Services. Ameriprise is the leading financial planning firm in the country. He is a member of Hooman & Associates, a private wealth advisory practice, and has two offices in Western Pennsylvania: one in Sewickley and the other in Johnstown. His focus is on determining with the client what their goals are for their financial future and putting a plan in place to help them get there. This holistic approach has served him and his clients well. Chris is series 6, 7, 63 and 65 licensed, life and health insurance licensed in Pennsylvania and holds a CRPC designation.
When he is not servicing his clients he values his time with his wife Loretta and four children: Caroline, Ella, Paul and Kate. Their home is in the Point Breeze neighborhood of the city of Pittsburgh and their lives are spent running from activity to activity (wouldn’t change it for anything!).