Our leadership

Richard T. Bendon, MD/PhD
Director – CFPDC Wellness Center

Dr. Benson attended Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. After working one year as a biochemist at Case Western Reserve Medical School, he attended Meharry Medical College where he received an MD and a PhD in Neurophysiology. His research thesis dealt with "Excessive Methylation in Parkinsonism." At Meharry, Dr. Benson received numerous research honors and was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) National Medical Honor Society. Subsequently, he completed a Neurology residency at the Harvard-Longwood Neurology Program in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Benson then completed a two-year Stroke Fellowship in the Neurological Institute at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York, while completing a Master's degree in Epidemiology. He has worked previously at Long Island Jewish Medical Center; St. Luke's/Roosevelt Hospitals; Alexandria-Fairfax Neurology, PC; and Inova Alexandria/Fairfax Hospitals.

Throughout his career, Dr. Benson has worked in academia, the public, and the private sectors. Most notably he was a program director in the Office of Minority Health and Research at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). During his tenure at the NINDS, he was the lead program director tasked with developing and implementing programs to address the NIH’s Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) goals related to minority health and health disparities in neurological disorders. In addition to managing a large portfolio of grants, some of which were related to stroke, Dr. Benson assisted in the organization, review, and funding of several large co-operative agreements related to minority health and health disparities. He has completed courses in program management, contracting, and program development at the NIH.

Dr. Benson is currently the Director of Stroke Community Education, Stroke Graduate Medical Education, and Associate Medical Director of the Stroke Program at Medstar Washington Hospital Center. He is also an Associate Professor of Clinical Neurology at Georgetown University Medical Center. Because of his passion to decrease and/or eliminate the impact of cardiovascular disease, he is very active with the largest and oldest volunteer organization in the United States, the American Heart Association (AHA). He is currently a member of the AHA board of directors for the Greater Washington Region (GWR) and chair of the Missions’ Committee. As Missions Committee chair, he was responsible for enrolling over 900 community members in the AHA sponsored Heart 360 “Check it, Change it” blood pressure self-management program. His areas of interest include: health disparities, minority and community health, issues related to stroke and/or cerebrovascular disease, and translational research related to various neurological diseases.