Our behavioral and rehabilitation psychologists and neuropsychologists—experts in brain functioning—are integral members of our interdisciplinary clinical teams, and are fundamental to the assessment and personalized plan development for each patient. They understand how the structure and function of the brain relates to specific psychological processes, like memory, critical thinking and judgment, and how those processes may affect behavior.

They guide the assessment of progress, making sure each team member keeps the whole person in mind – including his or her interests, profession or work history, and hobbies—and adjusts the treatment plan for individual needs so that the person can thrive in the real world.


Melissa Dillon, Ph.D.

Melissa_DillonDr. Dillon is a licensed psychologist with training and experience in neuropsychology and rehabilitation at our Brinlee Creek Ranch location.  She completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Medical Psychology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1998.  Her focus on neuropsychology and rehabilitation psychology began during her graduate training and has continued since in a variety of clinical settings. Dr. Dillon’s clinical and research interests include neuropsychological assessment, rehabilitation of neurological disorders, behavioral interventions, memory, attention, outcomes, and psychiatric comorbidities.


“I find joy working at Pate Rehabilitation and being a part of helping others regain their lives.”



Mary Ellen Hayden, Ph.D., ABPP (Retired)

Dr. Hayden completed her Ph.D. in Psychology with a specialty in neural substrates of cognition and behavior at the University of Houston in 1976. Dr. Hayden then completed her post-doctoral training with a focus on neuropsychological assessment, planning of rehabilitation of neurologically impaired individuals and research involving hearing impaired and/or language/learning disabled individuals in 1979 at the University of Texas Health Science Center. Dr. Hayden is the founder of Pate Rehabilitation and works with our experienced Pate professionals to continually develop and use up-to-date evidence-based treatment, increase individualization of patient treatments, explore ways to bring family members’ participation in the treatment programs, and use Pate’s extensive database research to continue development of greater effectiveness and efficiency.


“I work at Pate because our staff provides A+ treatment for all our patients—just as I would have required for my son, Ben, had he lived past his brain injury.”


Carlos Marquez de la Plata, Ph.D.

Carlos Marquez de la Plata, Ph.D.

Dr. Marquez is a licensed Psychologist in the state of Texas.  He obtained his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in 2005.  He completed postdoctoral training in Research Neuropsychology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in 2007. He is currently a clinical assistant professor in the UTSW psychiatry department, a member of UTSW’s admissions committee for the Ph.D program in clinical psychology and sits on the research committee in the same department.

Dr. Marquez de la Plata’s research focuses primarily on identifying and ultimately improving neurocognitive and functional impairments related to various brain illnesses such as Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, as a Spanish-speaking neuropsychologist, Dr. Marquez de la Plata is interested in developing neurocognitive measures appropriate for Spanish speakers.


“It is an exciting time to be at Pate!  I  am able to combine my love of interacting with patients and families with my expertise in clinical research, and contribute to the incredible work our therapists do here. As a Spanish-speaking neuropsychologist, I have the pleasure of working with brain injury specialists to provide rehabilitation services to English and Spanish speaking patients.”



Pat Plenger, Ph.D., ABPP

A board-certified clinical neuropsychologist, Dr. Plenger has more than 30 years’ experience in assessments, treatments and directing brain injury rehabilitation programs. He has also presented numerous presentations on brain injury recovery and treatment. Dr. Plenger is currently collaborating on research with other institutions such as University of Texas Arlington, University of Texas Dallas and University of Texas Southwestern. In addition, he is leading research on brain functioning and recovery using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) at Pate.



“Working at Pate Rehabilitation allows me to bring together two of my greatest passions: understanding how the brain functions and helping people who are in need. I have been fortunate to pursue these passions in the brain rehabilitation industry for the past 30 years, 21 of which have been with Pate.”


Dawn Toudouze, Ph.D., ABPP

Dr. Toudouze is a licensed psychologist and Board Certified in Rehabilitation Psychology. She specializes in the practice of Neurorehabilitation Psychology. She completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Seattle Pacific University in 2006, and has been working in post-acute neurorehabilitation ever since. Dr. Toudouze’s clinical and research interests include evidence based cognitive rehabilitation and neuroplasticity.



“My greatest professional joy is watching people accomplish, in rehab,  what they did not think was possible.”