Tony L. Strickland, MS, PhD Chairman & CEO
Aaron McMurtray, MD, PhD Sports and General Neurologist
Hayley B. Kristinsson, Psy. D.Clinical Neuropsychology Postdoctoral Fellow
Colonel Ashley Benjamin, MD Consulting Psychiatrist
Paul Longobardi, MA, PhD Staff Clinical Psychologist
Neda Pourfathi Medical Office Coordinator & Executive Assistant to the CEO
Tony L. Strickland, MS, PhD
Chairman & CEO
Dr. Strickland is a board-certified clinical neuropsychologist with considerable experience in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of concussion and related disorders.
He is an Associate Clinical Professor of Neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology (Behavioral Medicine) at the University of Georgia. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship and research practicum in psychopharmacology at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center; and a postdoctoral fellowship in clinical neuropsychology at the Semel Neuropsychiatric Institute, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
He is a fellow of the National Academy of Neuropsychology, the American Psychological Association Division 50 (Addictions), and the American College of Professional Neuropsychology.
Dr. Strickland is a Diplomate of the American Board of Professional Neuropsychology. He is a member of the pop Warner Medical Advisory Board, and he consults on Concussion Management Programs for hundreds of club, high school, collegiate, and professional organizations. Dr. Strickland’s research seeks to better characterize traumatic brain injury, dementia, and related neurobehavioral disorders across the life span.
Dr. Strickland utilizes multi-project investigations that employ brain imaging, neuropsychological, and other neurobehavioral assessments to pursue two overarching research themes:
• the understanding of potential differential expression of neurobehavioral disorders among underserved populations across the life span.
• the identification of effective assessment and diagnosis, and potentially promising treatment interventions to be explored in future clinical service and research.
An underlying focus of his work is the development of a research program consisting of experienced and committed professionals conducting innovative clinical neuroscience investigations that attract scientists from regional, national, and international communities.
He has been the principal investigator of a number of National Institute of Health supported research investigations, and has managed a large number of other projects primarily related to clinical neuroscience. He is the author of numerous research articles and has presented nationally and internationally.
Aaron McMurtray, MD, PhD
Sports and General Neurologist
Dr. McMurtray is a board-certified neurologist with a sub-specialty in Behavioral Neurology.
Dr. McMurtray earned his medical degree in 2000 at Vanderbilt University. His neurology residency training at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center was followed by a Behavioral Neurology fellowship at UCLA/West LA VA Medical Center.
After completing fellowship training, Dr. McMurtray joined the faculty at the University of Hawaii as an assistant professor where he taught medical students, worked on several federally funded population based epidemiologic studies, conducted brain imaging research funded by the American Academy of Neurology, was awarded an American Academy of Neurology Clinical Research Training Fellowship, and completed a Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Sciences. In 2009, Dr. McMurtray was recruited to join the Ventura County Medical Center where he set up and directed the multispecialty Traumatic Brain Injury clinic and also served on the board of the Ventura County Brain Injury Center.
In 2012, Dr. McMurtray rejoined Harbor-UCLA Medical Center as director of the Behavioral Neurology clinic and the Neuro-HIV clinic, where he instructs Neurology residents and conducts clinical research studies. In 2013, Dr. McMurtray along with several of his colleagues founded Neurosearch-Torrance, which is part of a multi-site clinical trials company based in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. Neurosearch-Torrance plays a crucial role in providing access to clinical research for people living in the South Bay area of Los Angeles who otherwise would not have the opportunity to participate in clinical trials and research studies.
Dr. McMurtray’s primary areas of expertise include: traumatic brain injury, neuro-infectious diseases, and behavioral neurology. He is a member of the American Neurological Association, and the American Academy of Neurology’s Behavioral Neurology and Neuro-infectious Diseases Sections, an investigator at the Los Angeles BioMedical Research Institute, and an assistant clinical professor in the David Geffen School of Medicine’s Neurology Department. He directs an active clinical research program at the Los Angeles BioMedical Research Institute and his publications include recent studies on memory problems and headache as complications of traumatic brain injury.
Hayley B. Kristinsson Psy. D.
Clinical Neuropsychology Postdoctoral Fellow
Dr. Hayley Kristinsson is postdoctoral fellow in clinical neuropsychology at the Sports Concussion Institute in Los Angeles, CA. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Dr. Kristinsson completed her doctorate in clinical psychology at the Wright State University School of Professional Psychology in Dayton, Ohio. She completed her predoctoral internship in neuropsychology at the Wallace-Kettering Neuroscience Institute. Dr. Kristinsson’s dissertation, “Predicting Premorbid Ability in African American Elders Using Demographic and Performance Variables,” focused on using ecologically valid methods of predicting premorbid functioning in elderly African American adults. Dr. Kristinsson also completed an honor’s thesis, entitled “Ecologically Valid Prediction of Life Skills Functioning in Patients with Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders: Traditional Problem Solving, Psychiatric Symptomatology, and Everyday Problem Solving.” Her other publications include studies examining memory functioning in schizophrenia and looking at in field methods for determining level of brain injury in military populations. Her ongoing research interests include examining ecologically valid methods of ascertaining premorbid levels of functioning in elderly minority adults and studying the neuropsychological correlates of a variety of major medical disorders.
Dr. Kristinsson is passionate about working with individuals who suffer from a wide variety of neurobehavioral disorders, but is particularly interested in and experienced with working with older adults, caregivers, and their families. She has spent over a decade doing volunteer work with older adults, individuals with psychological disorders, and adults with neurological injuries. She also currently volunteers weekly, spending time with older adults who are receiving hospice care. Dr. Kristinsson brings her clinical experience with diverse populations to help meet the needs of all of SCI’s patients.
Colonel Ashley Benjamin, MD
Dr. Benjamin is a board certified psychiatrist currently working for Ventura County Behavioral health where he specializes in consulting with primary care providers. Dr. Benjamin graduated valedictorian from the University of Kansas’ highly esteemed William Allen White School of Journalism and went on achieve to a MA in exercise science from The Ohio State University. Dr. Benjamin obtained his medical degree from the University of Kansas and completed his residency at Wright State University. Dr. Benjamin has worked in numerous settings as an adult psychiatrist, but connects most deeply with his 8 years of active and 13 years of reserve Air Force military service where he achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. While serving in this capacity, as well as serving as medical director for a VA Iraq/Afghanistan return program, Dr. Benjamin began seeing the not so apparent connection between various degrees of traumatic brain injuries and concomitant mental health symptoms. In addition to his 30 plus publications in various areas of mental and non-mental health topics, Dr. Benjamin is the lead co-author of the book, The Student Athlete’s College Recruitment Guide, which addresses how high school athletes can find the best ethical, academic, and athletic fit at the college level.
Paul Longobardi, MA, PhD
Staff Clinical Psychologist
Dr. Longobardi is a licensed psychologist with decades of experience in the assessment and treatment of concussion and a wide range of related disorders.
He is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He completed his internship at the Silas B. Hays Army Hospital at Ford Ord, California. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in clinical neuropsychology at the Behavioral Neuroscience Research Center, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, and a postdoctoral respecialization program in geropsychology at the University of Southern California (USC).
While serving overseas as a military psychologist, Dr. Longobardi treated personnel with stress related disorders and also served as an organizational effectiveness consultant, assisting officers to improve unit cohesion, effectiveness, and productivity. After leaving the military, he worked as a consultant to private sector companies on team and leader development while coaching executives on improving their leadership/managerial skills. He then worked as a psychologist with the County of Los Angeles for over 33 years where he served as Chief Psychologist in the Department of Health Services, establishing a psychology training program and implementing a neuropsychology service. He is a sought after speaker recognized in his field, speaking to psychology professional groups and private businesses. He was affiliated with the Memory Disorders Clinic, Charles Drew University’s satellite clinic of UCLA’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center as well as with the Behavioral Neuroscience Research Center, a multiproject research group. Dr. Longobardi conducted studies on the topic of aging financially supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). His research has been published in scientific publications on the topics of neuropsychological functioning in older adults. He also has published papers on the topics of psychotherapy and organization development.
Dr. Longobardi brings a wide range of expertise accumulated over decades of experience and training to serve the needs of the SCI population.
As the Medical Office Coordinator and Executive Assistant to the CEO of Sports Concussion Institute Global (SCIG), Neda Pourfathi is responsible for the many daily workings of the office. She handles everything including but not limited to: providing administrative support for the institute director and office staff, scheduling and registering patients, preparing necessary patient evaluation forms, training and supervising other support staff, and assisting with special events.
Prior to working at SCIG, Ms. Pourfathi received her Bachelors Degree in Mathematics from San Jose State University. She then went on to work as an office administrator and executive assistant for several companies including McIntosh Capital Advisors, Inc. – a financial planning and investment advisory firm based in Los Angeles. There she helped to create comprehensive financial plans as well as manage client investment accounts. In addition to her Bachelors Degree in Mathematics, Ms. Pourfathi also holds a Certificate in Personal Financial Planning from UCLA Extension. Finally, outside of work and school, Ms. Pourfathi’s interests include hiking, playing guitar, learning new languages, and painting.