About Us

Jacob A. Neufeld

Dr. Jacob NeufeldJacob Alan Neufeld, aka “Dr. Jay,” was a nationally recognized pediatric physiatrist, a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) physician who treats a wide variety of often life-altering medical conditions affecting the brain, spinal cord, nerves, bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. His unique scope of expertise and care encompassed both treatment and expanding awareness with specific emphasis on outcomes for children with spina bifida, cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, and other disabling conditions. One highly memorable aspect of his work was his distinctively warm, approachable personality that helped him connect with patients and their families.

Most recently, Dr. Neufeld served as the Medical Director of Pediatric Rehabilitation at St. Luke’s Hospital and Children’s Specialty Center in Idaho. He also was a dedicated educator committed to expanding his sphere of influence and dedication to the field by training residents across the country in the art of pediatric rehabilitation medicine.

As described by friends and colleagues Kevin P. Murphy, MD; Elaine L. Pico MD, MA; Virginia S. Nelson MD, MPH; and Amy J. Houtrow MD, PhD, MPH; “Dr. Neufeld was a visionary for our field. While the depth of loss cannot be measured, his legacy of dedication, action, and advocacy for the good of children with disabilities and their families will never be forgotten.”

Jay’s Legacy

Jay Neufeld with a child in a wheelchair

My husband Jacob A. Neufeld, MD—often referred to as Dr. Jay or Dr. J—was a pediatric physiatrist who took his own life in September of 2017. Not long after his death, I channeled my grief into starting a foundation in his memory that could have the potential to impact the lives of many others. I felt that it was extremely important to do everything possible to help minimize the incidence and impact of the kind of trauma our family, friends, and colleagues endured. The core mission is to educate physicians and other professional healthcare providers about ways to prevent burnout (often referred to now as “moral injury”) while actively supporting pro-physician legislation.

Another key aspect of the foundation’s mission is to support the Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine (JPRM), which Jay founded in 2008. He also served as its Editor-in-Chief for a decade. I am extremely pleased that the journal is now moving forward with a highly respected and compassionate new Editor-in-Chief, Elaine L. Pico, MD, FAAP, FAAPM & R, and a new Managing Editor, Beckett Shea-Shumsky.

As ongoing support for the journal’s objectives will remain a priority, we have streamlined the process for making convenient online donations—now via PayPal through the Donate tab on this site—with additional, off-line options available by contacting us.

It is immensely gratifying to know that there is a journal dedicated to research and sharing expertise that spans the disciplines of care for children with disabilities of this nature—all with its genesis in Dr. Jay’s work that meant so much to him.

—Wendy Saenz Hood Neufeld

Our Mission

Supportive group of medical professionals

The Jacob A. Neufeld Foundation has a threefold mission:

First, we sponsor and support the Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine.

Second, we identify opportunities for outreach that can create action to combat policies adversely impacting healthcare professionals many of which are associated with “medical burnout” or “moral injury” in medical institutions.

Third, we plan to continue Dr. Neufeld’s legacy of care by providing a supportive, online community for professional healthcare workers, which is yet to come.

Foundation Board

The Jacob A. Neufeld Foundation Board of Directors

  • Wendy Saenz Hood Neufeld, Executive Director
  • Janice Habash, Treasurer
  • Dr. Elaine L. Pico
  • Dr. Andrea S. Kuldanek
  • Anne McCune
  • Paul Kirincic
  • Mary Alice Kirincic
  • Dr. Candida Brown
  • Suzanne Frederick
  • Dr. Ryan Kotton
  • Dr. Boyce Fish
  • Scott Griffin