The CMHS Alumni Spotlight showcases and recognizes outstanding Cardinal Mooney Alumni for their academic and professional achievements, service to their community, and their continuation of Cardinal Mooney’s tradition of “Sanctity, Scholarship, and Discipline”. With the Alumni Spotlight, we will explore and regularly share the diverse accomplishments of our graduates.
Chrisanne Gordon, MD Class of 1971
Dr. Chrisanne Gordon is a 1971 graduate of Cardinal Mooney High School. As an MD, her specialties include Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine, and Occupational Medicine.
Dr. Gordon was the first medical director of Honda of America in Marysville, OH appointed to the role in 1990 after completing her final training and board certification in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in 1988. Today, her primary interest is in the rehabilitation of patients with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
Focus on the Study and Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Over the past decade, Chrisanne has dedicated her life to our military veterans. It began in 2008 & 2009 when she volunteered at Chalmers P. Wylie Outpatient VA in Columbus, Ohio, in honor of fallen soldier Sgt. Zachary Wade McBride.
In 2010, with mentoring from fellow CMHS alum, Ray Boom Boom Mancini, Dr. Gordon filmed an eye-opening documentary entitled Operation Resurrection, about the TBI epidemic in our returning military veterans.
In 2012 she founded Resurrecting Lives Foundation, one of the only veterans’ non-profit organization specifically dedicated to TBI awareness, diagnosis and treatment.
Dr. Gordon went on to complete the first study to prove the brain pathology experienced with brain injuries from Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), suffered while soldiers and marines served in Iraq and Afghanistan. This study was completed under the direction of Michael Lipton, MD, PHD at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx.
In 2018 Dr. Gordon released her book on TBI recovery “Turn the Lights On!”. Published as a memoir of her personal journey from the darkness of a TBI to the light of consciousness, Dr. Gordon has traveled the country to share her story with others facing similar circumstances.
In continued support of our military veterans, Dr. Gordon has also established telemedicine programs for vets at the University of Akron and Bowling Green State University and this year, Dr. Gordon began groundbreaking work, developing software for TBI rehabilitation through Virtual Reality.
Significant Presentations and Conferences in Support of TBI
In 2012, Dr. Gordon presented to ARMY AMEDD at Ft. Sam Houston regarding the TBI epidemic in the Global War on Terror.
In 2013, she presented her documentary on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, with five (5) veterans suffering from TBI; brave soldiers and marines from the Resurrecting Lives Foundation met to discuss the issue with over 121 Congressional and 27 Senate offices.
In 2014, partnering with Joe Donnelly, D- Indiana, Dr. Gordon presented the Jacob Sexton Suicide Prevention Act, focusing on TBI as cause for suicides in returning troops.
From 2015-2017 Chrisanne continued her presentations at major military bases, Intrepid Centers, national Veterans Service Organizations, and educational institutions. She presented on TBI in a speech entitled Battlefield to Playing Field to physicians meeting at Canton Football Hall of Fame. She co-presented with Harry Carson, (NFL, NY Giants) and Jayne Kennedy Overton, former Miss Ohio and first female NFL sportscaster.
In 2018 she was invited to give a presentation to NATO medical officers in Quebec Canada entitled, “The Evolution of TBI Diagnosis/The Revolution of Treatment.”
Dr. Gordon graduated from Duquesne University in 1974 with a Bachelor of Science and a 4.0 grade point average. She went on to study at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, graduating in 1977 (summa cum laude).
From 1977-79, Dr. Gordon participated in the OSU Internal medicine Program and then the OSU Physical Medicine Program from 1985-1988.
Dr. Gordon’s fondest memories are of her teachers at Cardinal Mooney. They not only guided her in high school but helped to shape her life. These were brilliant and dedicated men and women who could have made more money, reaped better employee benefits; retired earlier, and worked shorter days, but instead decided to utilize their talents in the Catholic School system to shape lives, communities, and a nation. Dr. Gordon recognizes the positive impact of mentors such as James Cooney, Robert Banks, Denny Barrett and Paul Gregory… individuals who would later become dear friends.
Denny Barrett was Chrisanne’s speech coach at CMHS. He gave her a rock-solid foundation in public speaking; building the confidence and skill to be the VOICE for those who had lost theirs. In the past decade she has given over 100 presentations, appeared on TV, radio and in a documentary. Each time she spoke, Dr. Gordon did so with the Holy Spirit guiding her, and Mr. Barrett and Mr. Gregory coaching her!
Looking back, Dr. Gordon is convinced that her years at Mooney were the “boot camp” for the mission she would eventually embrace. Her teachers gently molding her as a hyperactive, hyper-neurotic, at time hypersensitive student… into a listener as well as a talker; a doer as well as an observer. She cherishes them all!
Reflection specifically on Mooney Pillars:
Sanctity – Chrisanne learned the significance of calling upon a higher power; knowing that you would be held accountable for your actions and always wanting to choose the better path, no matter how much harder it may be. She believes these are all second nature to a Mooney alum…. lessons taught and learned by example!
Scholarship – The most important lesson Dr. Gordon learned was from Jim Cooney, in Geometry, when he taught her that scholarship was not earned by being better than anyone else, it was earned by being the best that you could be; a challenge and reward to yourself.
Even in medical school, Dr. Gordon never compared grades nor achievements with anyone else. She wanted to learn the absolute most that she could because her patients would someday be placing their lives in her hands and relying on her knowledge to see them through. Learning is not about self; it was about what your knowledge could do for others.
Discipline – For Dr. Gordon, everything worth accomplishing takes discipline to achieve! The discipline at CMHS provided the perfect learning environment, and has carried Dr. Gordon through difficult years of internships and residencies, sleep deprivation, and even “resurrected” her brain after she suffered a severe concussion in the late 1990’s.
Dr. Gordon resides in Dublin, Ohio. When she is not working and being a champion for our veterans, she enjoys hiking in nature out west – primarily Colorado. She also enjoys Zumba, Pilates and visiting family in Atlanta & Houston.
Chrisanne is the proud aunt to four nieces and one nephew. Her niece Allison Popovich, daughter of Mary Gail Gordon (‘79) will be graduating from the University of Texas Medical School in June 2020!
For more information about Dr. Gordon’s work, please visit Resurrecting Lives Foundation – resurrectinglives.org