VisionLink, Philadelphia’s leading resource for adults with vision loss, expands its Board of Directors with two new members, Stephanie Markunas MSN, RN, OCN, administrative fellow and interim assistant director of Cancer Program Integration at the University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS), and Regina Mullen, a former school psychologist who recently published a children’s book on disability and differences.
“We are so fortunate that Stephanie and Regina have joined the VisionLink Board of Directors,” said VisionLink Chief Executive Officer Karla S. McCaney. “Stephanie brings her perspective as an experienced healthcare provider, and Regina brings hers as an educator and as someone who has lived with vision loss for decades. Both are incredibly valuable to our Board and to VisionLink, overall, as we continue to implement new ways of connecting people with resources, providers, services and education in their communities and work to improve accessibility for people with vision loss in the city and region.”
Markunas is as an awarded healthcare leader with a focus on enhancing clinical operations and patient experience. As an interim assistant director at UPHS, she provides leadership and oversight to the core strategic services growth and development for the Cancer System. She also serves as an administrative fellow for UPHS, managing the administrative project planning efforts for the 2023-2028 strategic planning process of UPHS and the Perelman School of Medicine.
Markunas is a registered nurse in Pennsylvania and earned a Master of Science in nursing administration and leadership from Capella University in Minnesota. In 2021, she was the recipient of the Exemplary Professional Practice Award from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
“I am so proud to have been selected to serve on the Board of Directors for VisionLink,” said Markunas. “The mission and vision of the organization hits home with me, as I’ve witnessed my grandfather’s journey from full-sight to living as a senior citizen with vision loss. His experience, like many others, highlights the pressing need for VisionLink’s resources for the community, especially with the growing number of aging individuals in Philadelphia. VisionLink offers our aging population resources to assist them in maneuvering the changes in their vision with confidence. The wealth of resources available can significantly enhance the care we provide in Philadelphia, and I believe healthcare providers should make VisionLink their go-to partner when caring for patients facing vision loss.”
Mullen, who will join VisionLink’s Curriculum Advisory Committee and Development Committee, has more than a decade of experience working as a school psychologist in the Pennsylvania public school system. During that time, she served children from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade in Springfield School District, Southeast Delco School District, and Radnor Township School District, as well as Springfield Psychology. She recently published her first children’s book My Sixth Sense. The book shares anecdotal stories derived from Mullen’s own experience with vision loss, due to Stargardt disease, and encourages children to explore disability and differences through the viewpoint of a peer.
Mullen earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Temple University and a master’s degree and an educational specialist’s degree in school psychology from Florida State University.
“As someone who was diagnosed with Stargardt disease and began experiencing gradual vision loss from a young age, I understand firsthand the crucial role VisionLink plays for those within the vision loss community,” said Mullen. “Reflecting on my own experiences, I know that the journey from diagnosis and beyond can be filled with ups and downs. This is why I take great pride in joining this Board, to ensure VisionLink’s direct Vision Rehabilitation Therapy services, vast array of community resource connections, and programs for peer support are able to reach those who need it most.”
VisionLink is the largest provider of services to those experiencing vision loss in Greater Philadelphia. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to assisting all who are living with vision loss to achieve greater independence through excellence in education and wrap-around support services that advance necessary skills and establish meaningful community connections. VisionLink is committed to collaborating with local, regional and national partners to broaden access to resources and opportunities that enable those with vision loss to live their lives to the fullest. For more information, visit www.VisionLinkPHL.org.
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