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Heidi Allison Bender, PhD, ABPP-CN

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Heidi Allison Bender, PhD, ABPP-CN

Dr. Heidi Bender is an award-winning, board-certified neuropsychologist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of patients of all ages with a wide range of neurological and cognitive disorders. She has expertise in evaluating patients to determine if they are candidates for epilepsy surgery, in special procedures such as the intraoperative testing of patients during awake craniotomies, and in cognitive remediation therapies appropriate for patients with a wide variety of cognitive challenges (i.e., after neurological surgery, cerebrovascular accidents, and other events). Dr. Bender has a special interest in the neuropsychological needs of non-native English speakers and patients born outside of the United States, and is active in professional groups working to reduce disparities in healthcare. To facilitate this, Dr. Bender holds a leadership roles in multiple neuropsychological organizations committed to equity for all, including the New York Neuropsychology Group’s Bilingual Task Force (co-Chair) and the Hispanic Neuropsychological Society (Member-At-Large). As Director of Neuropsychological Services at the Weill Cornell Medicine Brain and Spine Center, Dr. Bender and her colleagues are pleased to provide a full spectrum of care to patients before, during, and after neurosurgical treatment.

Shortly before joining our faculty, Dr. Bender spoke with Dr. Stieg about pediatric epilepsy for his podcast, This Is Your Brain With Dr. Phil Stieg. Listen to that episode here:

TRAINING
Dr. Bender earned her undergraduate and master’s degrees in psychology from New York University, then received two additional master’s degrees and her doctorate from the neuropsychology subprogram at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Dr. Bender then completed a clinical internship at the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine at NYU Medical Center, followed by three years of advanced training and research the NYU School of Medicine’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center. The latter training experience was funded by the prestigious National Research Service Award for Individual Fellows (F32) which enabled Dr. Bender to develop a programmatic line of research aimed at  evaluating the test biases limiting accurate and reliable pre-operative neuropsychological evaluations in non-U.S.-born, non-native English speaking candidates for neurosurgery.

RESEARCH
Dr. Bender is widely published in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters, and is frequently called upon to deliver talks both nationally and internationally. Her research has focused on epilepsy, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and cross-cultural neuropsychology, and on patients with highly individualized neurocognitive and neuropsychiatric presentations (i.e., breast cancer, urea cycle disorders, and World Trade Center first responders, to name a few). Dr. Bender’s overarching research perspective centers around the need for close collaboration across multiple disciplines in order to yield meaningful, translatable data tailored to the unique biopsychosocial perspectives and needs of patient populations. To this end, she has been a PI and co-investigator on multiple federally and foundationally funded studies aimed at facilitating early intervention, accurate assessment, and successful treatment of populations at risk for poor functional outcomes