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break the cycle team photo


is the recipient of the 

2013 Martin Luther King Jr Award 

for Community Service

from Emory University Goizueta School of Busines and the Rollins School of Public Health.

ISDD is dedicated to promoting health equity among children living in social and economic disadvantage with or at risk for disability. 

We accomplish our mission by:

Research & Education

Break the Cycle

Support research that reduces health disparities in children.

Train professionals and community partners.

Cultivate future leaders.

Community Service & Support

Project GRANDD and Healthcare Without Walls

Provide programs that reduce the impact of social and economic disadvantage on the health, growth and development of children.

Assist parents, grandparents and caregivers to understand the needs of their children and help them to assure optimal health, development and education.


In 2004, Dr. Leslie Rubin, along with committed friends and colleagues, founded the Institute for the Study of Disadvantage and Disability (ISDD) to address the connection between social and economic disadvantage and the prevalence of developmental disabilities, and to improve access to services for children and families. 


In the fall of 2012, ISDD evaluated our collective programs and identity and emerged in 2013 with a new name, logo and refined program offerings for the communities we serve. ISDD, now Innovative Solutions for Disadvantage & Disability is focused on three core programs: Break the Cycle, Healthcare Without Walls and Project GRANDD. These programs support our vision to help children with disabilities living in socially and economically disadvantaged circumstances to gain access to the medical and support services needed to lead healthier, more fulfilling and productive lives. ISDD embraces a multipronged approach that includes prevention by intervening in strategic areas and improving access to services for children and families from low income, underserved and predominantly minority communities.


Since our founding, we have served more than 500 children and their families from backgrounds of social and economic disadvantage. We have also mentored more than 70 students from universities and colleges around the country through our Break the Cycle program.


In 2013, ISDD received the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award from the Rollins School of Public Health and the Goizueta Business School at Emory University. 

Executive Commitee

I. Leslie Rubin, MD, President

Sylvia B. Caley JD, MBA, RN

Tonya Holoday, MBA, Secretary


Board of Directors

Sylvia B. Caley JD, MBA, RN

Jamie N. Dickey  MSIE, RD

Fozia Khan Eskew

Betsy A. Gard, PhD

Tonya Holoday, MBA

Lilly H. Cheng Immergluck, MD, MSCR, FAAP

Tommy Jones

Nichelle Mitchem, Esq.

Cheryl Rhodes, LMFT

I. Leslie Rubin, MD

Gal Adam Spinrad



Rainie Jueschke CFRE, Executive Director

Laura Wells LCSW, Program Director

Shandra Wilson, LMSW, Family Care Coordinator

Rose Behm, Program Assistant

Felisa Hill, Peer Specialist


Leslie Rubin, MD, President & Founder

Leslie Rubin, MD, is a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Morehouse School of Medicine, Co-Director of the Southeast Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit at Emory University and Medical Director at Development Pediatric Specialists in Atlanta, Georgia. 


Originally from South Africa, Dr. Rubin attended the University of Witwatersrand Medical School, in Johannesburg, where he obtained his medical degree, specializing in Pediatrics. In 1976, he moved to the United States to work at University Hospitals at Case Western University. Later, he spent fourteen years working at Boston Children’s Hospital and the Harvard Medical School. In 1994, he moved to Atlanta to accept a position as Director of Developmental Pediatrics at Emory University and Medical Director of the Marcus Center. Since 1998, he has been involved with the Southeast Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU) at Emory University. In 2004, he joined the faculty at Morehouse School of Medicine and founded ISDD. 


In 2012, Dr. Rubin was awarded the Calvin J. Sia Community Service Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics for his work with Healthcare Without Walls.

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