Part of our mission statement is the commitment to supporting medical research that explores the potentially beneficial aspects of SCUBA diving on persons with disabilities. To accomplish this goal, we have a team of medical doctors who are collaborating in developing research protocols.

The current objectives of our medical research program include, establishing guidelines to optimize the safety of SCUBA diving for persons with disabilities, accurately describing the risks of SCUBA diving for persons with disabilities to ensure they are not inappropriately restricted, and determining the physiologic and psychological benefits of SCUBA diving for persons with disabilities.

Using spirometers, we have investigated the effects of SCUBA diving on the pulmonary function of our divers. We have also recorded the dive profiles of many Stay-Focused divers using dive monitors. And, all first-time divers complete Divers Alert Network (DAN) Project Dive Exploration Data Forms, and Daily Dive Logs. This information is being utilized to develop and refine dive protocols to maximize safety and enjoyment.

If you have questions about our medical research agenda or the opportunity for a person with a disability to participate in our program, please send an email to: physicians@stay-focused.org


Our Medical Team

JenFu Cheng

JENFU CHENG

“I feel so fortunate to have been involved with Stay-Focused from the beginning. As a pediatric rehabilitation medicine physician and an avid SCUBA diver, being able to introduce young adults with disabilities to this amazing sport and beautiful environment has provided me some of the most rewarding experiences of my life. It is an honor to be part of an organization that contributes so much to the quality of life of its participants, and its volunteers alike.”

Mark Lombardo

MARK LOMBARDO

“Jacques Cousteau said, ‘From birth, man carries the weight of gravity on his shoulders.  He needs only to slip beneath the surface and he is free.’  Individuals with disabilities battle gravity every day.  Through scuba diving and leadership development, Stay-Focused gives teenagers with disabilities the confidence to overcome their limitations in all aspects of their lives.  I have been a proud member of the Stay-Focused team since 2008, and each summer I look forward to helping the participants stay happy, healthy, and safe!”

Mitul Kapadia

MITUL KAPADIA

“I am a pediatric rehabilitation doctor and have been involved with Stay-Focused since 2014. During my first trip, the role I assigned to myself was to ‘keep it on the boat’ – meaning, keep the kids’ wheelchairs, crutches, and braces on the boat while they freely explored the wonders of the ocean.  As a physician supporting this amazing experience, my goal is to help manage the medical and disability-related issues, and to ‘keep in the background’, so the kids can ‘stay focused’ on learning, exploring, and growing throughout their scuba experience.”

Casey O’Donnell

CASEY O’DONNELL

“I am honored to be part of such a fabulous program and to help ensure the safety of our participants. It is inspiring to see how well these young adults have overcome their disabilities to participate in a sport that is challenging even for able-bodied individuals. Having been involved with Stay-Focused since the early days, I can attest to the leadership skills, self-confidence, and friendships each diver has developed. Stay-Focused has created many role models, demonstrating there are no limits to what determined individuals can do, regardless of their disabilities.”

adam

ADAM BARTLETT

“As a pediatric physiatrist, my job is to help kids with special needs overcome barriers to maximize mobility and function. The Stay-Focused program, by taking teens with physical disabilities through a PADI SCUBA Diver certification program, epitomizes this philosophy, and I am honored to be a part of it. By combining resources from our growing team of talented physicians, resources/education from Divers Alert Network (DAN), and local Caymanian medical facilities, we are able to provide a safe, healthy environment for all our participants.”