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Thank you to our 33rd Annual Conference Partners:

Minnesota Department of Health
Minnesota Stroke Association

Thank you to our Diamond Sponsors:
Allina Health

Hennepin County Medical Center

Regions Hospital Rehabilitation Institute

Thank you to our Gold Sponsors:
Bye Goff Rohde Ltd
Mom's Meals Nourish Care
REM Minnesota

Thank you to our Silver Sponsors:
Gleseners Assisted Living Service
New Challenges
St Lukes Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit

Thank you to our Bronze Sponsors:
Accessible Space
ACR Homes
Disability Specialists
Dose Health
Epilepsy Foundation of MN
Essentia Health
Handi Medical Supply
Lifeway Mobility
Mary T Inc
Minnesota State Quality Council
MN Disability Determination Services
Noran Neurological Clinic
Provide Care Inc
Restart Inc.
Vinland National Center

Sponsorships are available for our upcoming 33rd Annual Conference. Call Jarett at 612-378-2742 or 800-669-6442, or click here to e-mail.

2277 Highway 36 W, Ste 200, Roseville, MN 55113
Phone: 612-378-2742
Toll Free: 1-800-669-6442
Fax: 612-378-2789

2018 Annual Conference - Keynote Presentations

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Both Thursday and Friday sessions of the 2018 Annual Conference for Professionals in Brain Injury will feature Keynote Addresses in the morning, as well as a closing Keynote Address in the afternoon.

Thursday Morning Keynote Presentation:
Using the Building Blocks of Neuro-Typical Development to Understand How Neurological Insult or Injury can Derail Learning, Executive Functioning and Behavior
Karen McAvoy
Dr. Karen McAvoy, PsyD, Concussion and Neurological Health Center with Berkana Rehabilitation Institute

The healthy development of the brain is crucial in the subsequent development of high-achieving, productive citizens. When neurological insults or injuries happen, they commonly manifest as learning concerns and executive dysfunction. More often than not, they are also mis-identified as "willful disobedience". Using the Building Blocks of neuro-typical development, this presentation will help professionals and parents appreciate a different lens when looking at any person with neurological impairment and will give them tools to use when trying to differentiate "can't" versus "won't". Karen McAvoy, PsyD is dually credentialed as a clinical and school psychologist. Her career has spanned positions in Pediatric Psychology (with the Children’s Hospital Colorado and Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children) to positions in School Mental Health (with Cherry Creek School District and the Colorado Department of Education). Dr. McAvoy is the author of REAP (Remove/Reduce* Educate*Adjust/Accommodate and Pace) – a community-based inter-disciplinary team approach to concussion management. She is also the co-founder and owner of, a website and training curriculum empowering educators to direct Return to Learn efforts for students with concussion at school. Currently, Dr. McAvoy continues to serve as a consultant to the Colorado Department of Education where she provides trainings to educators on the impact of neurologically-based disorders on learning and behavior. She also directs the Concussion and Neurological Health Center with Berkana Rehabilitation Institute in Ft Collins, Colorado.

Thursday Afternoon Plenary:
The Benefits of Drum Circles for People with Disabilities Including Brain Injury

Dr. Marilyn K. Clark Silva

The therapeutic benefit of music is a rapidly growing area of study, with incredible short term and long term success rates for patients of all ages and ability levels. Dr. Marilyn Clark Silva's presentation will describe the physical, mental, emotional, social, and practical benefits of playing hand drums in a group setting using the findings from medical research, the holistic practices of native cultures and Dr. Clark Silva's own experience teaching hand drums.

Marilyn K. Clark Silva is a Marimba One Educational Artist and an Arizona Teaching Artist. She is a founding member of Tandem Duo –Tempe Center for the Arts' Resident Artist Group – and faculty member and Operations Manager for the Mt. Blanca Summer Music Conservatory. She presented at the 2015 College Music Society National Convention; was a featured artist for the Interference Series; premiered a new work at the 2016 American Harp Society Conference; spoke at the National Association of State Head Injury Administrators (NASHIA) in Arizona; and writes literature reviews for Percussive Notes.

Friday Morning Keynote Presentation:
Scientific Advances in TBI: Toward Realizing a Neurobiopsychosocial Model of Injury and Recovery
Michael McCrea
Dr. Michael McCrea, PhD, ABPP, Professor & Eminent Scholar, Vice Chair of Research, and Director of Brain Injury Research, Department of Neurosurgery, Medical College of Wisconsin

Applied research over the past 20 years has produced major advances in the basic and clinical science of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and concussion. Preclinical models have provided breakthroughs in our understanding of the basic pathophysiology of concussive injury. In a clinical setting, both basic and applied science drive consensus guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and protocols for return to activity after TBI. Technological advances in functional neuroimaging have created a powerful bridge between the clinical and basic science of TBI in humans. This address will integrate the current scientific literature on pathophysiology of injury, neurophysiological effects and neuropsychological outcome after TBI that informs modern approaches to treatment of TBI by healthcare providers and social service professionals.

Dr. McCrea is Tenured Professor, Eminent Scholar, and Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Neurosurgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He is also the Director of Brain Injury Research, as well as a research neuropsychologist at the Clement Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is ABCN board-certified in clinical neuropsychology and is past President of the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology (AACN). Dr. McCrea serves as a neuropsychology consultant for the Green Bay Packers. He served as a panelist on the 2008 and 2012 Zurich International Consensus Conference on Sports Concussion and currently serves on the scientific committee for the 2016 International Consensus Conference.

Friday Afternoon Plenary:
Survive and Thrive with Humor and Laughter

Lois McElravy, Brain Injury Thriver, Humor Expert

Nothing feels better than a good hearty laugh. But when "life" doesn't feel funny, we lose our ability to see the humor in our circumstances and risk growing terminally serious. Lois knows the debilitating effects of overwhelm, confusion, and frustration; she understands the painful process of accepting change. Through heartfelt and hilarious personal stories, Lois inspires hope and shares the lessons learned from her brain injury journey of the past twenty-eight years. She relates the critical difference that humor and laughter played in overcoming her challenges, achieving her speaker aspirations, and managing the ongoing ripple effects on her health. Be inspired to evaluate your response to challenge and change. Gain tools to release stress and learn how to use humor as a coping skill.

On February 7, 1990, life delivered a crushing blow when a utility truck violently crashed into Lois' car. The resulting brain injury shattered her promising future, but not her spirit. Fifteen years later, Lois founded her motivational speaker business. Drawing on her personal journey of brain injury, Lois motivates, inspires and entertains international audiences with her playful sense of humor and personal stories that impart a heartfelt message of perseverance and hope. She teaches humor as a coping skill and equips people with survivor tools and a thriver attitude so they can cope with the unpredictable, deal with the unacceptable, achieve the unthinkable and feel happy in trying times.

KeynotesThursday ScheduleFriday Schedule
Directions and AccommodationsOnline Registration -->
Continuing Education Unit InformationCancellation Policy