Sarah Jane Brain Foundation Mourns Loss of Devoted Colleague and Friend

For Immediate Release Contact: Erika Langhart
February 17, 2011 (212) 576-1180 or

New York, NY -- The Sarah Jane Brain Foundation and Members of the SJBF Steering Committee mourned the loss of Dr. Jane Gillett who was a Member of the Sarah Jane Brain Foundation's International Advisory Board. Dr. Gillett passed away Wednesday morning after battling a rare and highly aggressive cancer. She was one of the leading experts in the world dealing with pediatric acquired brain injury and was one of the authors of the National Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury Plan (PABI Plan).

"Sarah Jane's world is better off since Dr. Jane Gillett was part of it. It is a sad day today without Dr. Gillett. The world would be a lot better place if there were more Jane Gilletts in it," said Patrick Donohue, father of Sarah Jane Donohue and Founder of the Sarah Jane Brain Foundation.

"Jane began as a speech-language pathologist with a passion for kids and neurology. She went back to school to become a pediatric neurologist and a well spoken advocate for children with neurological disorders, especially ABI (acquired brain injury). Her commitment to community reintegration resulted in the development of a community reentry plan that is now duplicated in many European countries," said Dr. Roberta DePompei, Chair of the SJBF Steering Committee and Professor and Chairman of the Department of Speech-Language Pathology at University of Akron. "She was one of a few individuals who stayed an extra day to assure that the acute portions of the PABI Plan were well written. She was also a friends to everyone she met and most importantly, she could always select a great bottle of wine!"

"We have lost a colleague, a friend and a sister. Most importantly, our kids with brain injuries and their families have lost one of the strongest advocates I have ever met," said Dr. Ronald Savage, a Member of the SJBF Steering Committee and Chairman of the North American Brain Injury Society.

"Jane was a wonderful blend of strong and sensitive who could see the big picture yet always relate warmly to the individual. Her PABICOP 'flower' model showed great respect for the child and family as the center point yet recognized the key importance of the community that surrounds them. She was always willing to see brain injury rehabilitation as a collaborative team process, all coming together to help the child and family," said Dr. Gerry Gioia, Vice-Chair of the SJBF Steering Committee and SJBF National Lead Director for "mild" TBI, as well as Chief of Division of Pediatric Neuropyschology and Director of the SCORE Program at Children's National Medical Center. "Though we will miss her dearly, her legacy will live on and children will be better for it."

"Jane's flower model is, in fact, a living legacy of someone who was a wonderful colleague and an effective advocate. I am sure her family is surrounded by flowers, however none so lovely as the one she crafted for the children of the world," said Dr. Joseph Tepas III, a Member of the SJBF Steering Committee and Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics at University of Florida.

"I am very happy to have had the chance to know Jane and to work with her on a topic which she was so passionate about. From our first meeting in New York City at the Sarah Jane Brain Foundation Advisory Board inception, through the extra work she put in to get the first draft of the PABI Plan completed, to her participation in our Sports Concussion symposium at last fall's Child Neurology Society meeting, it was always a pleasure to talk and work with her," said Dr. Christopher Giza, a Member of the SJBF Steering Committee and Associate Professor of Pediatric Neurology and Neurosurgery at UCLA Brain Injury Research Center. "We've lost a friend and colleague, but the effort she championed for kids with brain injuries goes on!"

"I think the one amazing thing about Jane (among many) is that WETA chose to feature her video comments on school issues on the Brainline Kids site. It is rare that a neurologist would be so well-spoken, knowledgeable and passionate about the need for schools to do their part in supporting children with brain injuries," said Dr. Ann Glang, a Member of the SJBF Steering Committee and SJBF National Lead Director for Reintegration, as well as Senior Fellow and Research Professor at the Teaching Research Institute and Oregon Center for Applied Science.

Dr. Jane Marie Ruth Gillett, MD, FRCP (C) MHSc, BSc. Hon., was an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Dr. Gillett was also focused on resident teaching and she was recently selected to receive the First Annual John V. Basmajian Award for Excellence in Postgraduate Teaching. To see her complete CV please look here:


Craig Sears
The Sarah Jane Brain Foundation
339 5th Avenue - Suite 405 New York, NY 10016
Phone# 212.576.1180 212.576.1180