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NABIS Mourns Passing of Robert D. Voogt, PhD, CRC


The North American Brain Injury Society mourns the passing of it’s founder, Robert (Bob) Voogt, PhD, who passed away on February 13, 2018, in Virginia Beach, Virginia, surrounded by those who loved him. 


Bob was a true pioneer in the brain injury field.  Recognizing the need for an organization devoted specifically to addressing the needs of multidisciplinary brain injury professionals,  Bob was the driving force behind NABIS during its formative years and served as its first Chairperson.  He believed that whether in the area of clinical care, research, policy or litigation, the organization he founded should stand behind the premise that advances in science and practices based on application of the scientific evidence would ultimately provide the best outcomes for those with brain injuries and their families.  


In addition to serving as Chairperson of NABIS, he also served the brain injury community as Chairperson of both the International Brain Injury Association and the Brain Injury Association of America.  He was an internationally renowned advocate for persons with brain injury, lecturing and testifying at the federal and state level, and was honored to have been invited to an audience with the Pope in Vatican City.  In addition to his advocacy efforts, he built and managed residential neurological rehabilitation facilities in Louisiana and in Virginia. 


To honor his tremendous contribution to the field of brain injury, the NABIS board of directors is establishing the “Robert D. Voogt Founders Award” which shall be announced at the Society’s annual meeting scheduled to take place in March 2018, in Houston, Texas.


Tributes in remembrance of Robert Voogt are listed below.  To include your remembrance of Bob on this page, please email



Bob was a pioneer.  He will be sorely missed by all.
Kenneth I. Kolpan

Bob Voogt was irreplaceable. His contributions to the field of brain injury are undeniable. It isn’t that he started NABIS, it is that he was not just an expert on the science of TBI, he was an expert on the brain injured. Since he retired there has been no voice that could so clearly articulate why rehabilitation is necessary not for six months, but for a lifetime.  

The most challenging part of my job today is to help others  understand the basic lessons Bob taught as to the importance of a life care plan. It is not about cumulating the cost of future medical bills, it is about describing the deficits and offering solutions to ensure the highest quality of life for the survivor. I don’t know if Bob coined the term the human prosthesis but when he explained it, others understood. When Bob talked about life care needs, I listened. I try to repeat those lessons so that the next generation of advocates can get the benefit of his decades of experience with rehabilitation, lawyers and juries. 

Bob was a special expert because he opined about economic damages that addressed the full spectrum of the need. Survivors have the right to the best quality of life they can have. The risk of our clients winding up homeless, in jail or a suicide should drive you to do your best to assure this level of compensation.
Gordon Johnson

Bob’s many accomplishments and successes were truly remarkable. His leadership in the brain injury community was extraordinary, including serving as the Founder, Chair, Board member, and philanthropist for NABIS, IBIA, and BIAA. Legacy stuff for sure. Often described as compassionate, driven, generous, and, my favorite, “pugnacious”, Bob took on anything and anyone. Just ask the many attorneys he worked with on med-legal cases. However, in my eyes, Bob was happiest when he was in his programs helping people and their families. He listened and he emphasized, but, most importantly, Bob helped them regain their sense of self, find meaning in their lives again, and actively participate in the world around them. I’ll miss you, Buddy.
Ronald Savage



To make a donation in Dr. Voogt's name, click here.