One month after winning her company back in a bankruptcy auction, Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh resumes control of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD), marking her extraordinary return to the helm of the company she founded in 1990.
Dr. Granpeesheh sold CARD to Blackstone in 2018 with hopes of leveraging the behemoth private equity’s expertise and resources to increase access to applied behavior analysis (ABA) for individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Various challenges had the opposite effect, and CARD exited more than 10 states in 2022 and entered into bankruptcy in June, 2023. Dr. Granpeesheh and her business partner, Sangam Pant, emerged victorious from the bankruptcy auction in late July.
A pioneer in the field of evidence-based autism treatment, Dr. Granpeesheh acknowledged the long road ahead as she resumes ownership of CARD. “The rate of autism prevalence has only increased in these past 5 years, and we will be grappling with an ongoing labor shortage as we work to stabilize and restore access to services for the tens of thousands of families waiting for ABA,” said Dr. Granpeesheh. “I am more committed than ever to CARD, our clinicians, and the families we serve.”
In anticipation of the auction, Dr. Granpeesheh and Mr. Pant formed Pantogran LLC and joined with Audax Private Equity to win the court-supervised auction, nudging out another bidder in a four-day process.
As long as we put families and clinicians first, I have no doubt that we will ultimately create access to ABA for everyone who needs it and that we will enjoy the journey along the way.”— Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh, BCBA-D
Recently named to Forbes’ Self-Made Women list, Dr. Granpeesheh came to the United States as an Iranian refugee and worked odd jobs to pay her tuition at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where a psychology course on behavior modification changed her life. She felt a kinship with the children diagnosed with autism who struggled to communicate, and she became passionate about helping people with autism find their voice and fulfill their potential. By the time she stepped down from CARD, the company she built had opened 260 clinics and helped tens of thousands of people with autism. Acknowledging the smaller footprint of CARD today, Dr. Granpeesheh said, “As long as we put families and clinicians first, I have no doubt that we will ultimately create access to ABA for everyone who needs it and that we will enjoy the journey along the way.”