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Thank you to our 34th Annual Conference Partners:

Minnesota Department of Health
Minnesota Stroke Association

Thank you to our Diamond Sponsors:
Allina Health

Hennepin Healthcare

Regions Hospital Rehabilitation Institute

Thank you to our Silver Sponsors:
MBW Company/Gleseners Assisted Living
Mom's Meals Nourish Care
REM Minnesota
Vinland National Center

Thank you to our Bronze Sponsors:
Essentia Health
Handi Home Living Solutions
Mary T Inc
Noran Neurological Clinic
Restart Inc.
True Friends

Sponsorships are available for our upcoming 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 - Presentations

Presentations and DownloadsKeynotesThursday ScheduleFriday Schedule
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Presentation Links

This page contains presentation handouts and/or slide shows that will be presented in each session and have been submitted to the Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance by the presenter(s). Each link will open the document in a new window. While a majority of the links are PowerPoints, some may be Word, Acrobat or other file formats. File format and size are posted following the links.

Thursday Conference Schedule

8 - 9 a.m. - Registration and Exhibits Open

Exhibits are open daily 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

8:45 - 9 a.m. - Opening Remarks

9 - 10:30 a.m. - Keynote Address

Using the Building Blocks of Neuro-Typical Development to Understand How Neurological Insult or Injury can Derail Learning, Executive Functioning and BehaviorKaren 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.

File: pdf - 9.1 MB

10:30 - 11 a.m. - Break and Exhibits Open

11 a.m. - 12 p.m. - Breakout Sessions I

  1. Concussion Management: Are Your Schools Prepared for Return to Learn As Well As They Are Prepared for Return to Play?
    Dr. Karen McAvoy, PsyD, Concussion and Neurological Health Center with Berkana Rehabilitation Institute
    Return to Play (RTP) legislation has helped to make returning to sport safer for students following a concussion. But what has been the impact of RTP legislation on Return to Learn (RTL)? This session, presented by Dr. Karen McAvoy the co-lead author of the RTL consensus paper, will review the essential elements of RTL. Using the curriculum, Dr. McAvoy will discuss how a school can be as prepared for RTL as they are for RTP.

    File: pdf - 4.9 MB

  2. Potential Applications of RFID and NFC Tags to Improve iADL Completion for Individuals with Memory Impairment
    Brian Fay, PhD, ATP/SMS, RET, Director, Assistive Technology Program; John Ferguson, PhD, Health Science Specialist, Minneapolis VA Health Care System
    Structured routines are often used to improve completion of instrumental activities of daily living (iADL), such as doing laundry on "Tuesdays at 10 a.m." Daily life, however, can require flexibility in these routines, and typical reminder systems can struggle to account for this need. This session will discuss how automated smart phone reminders that activate at the start of a task may allow for greater flexibility and improved iADL completion.

  3. Inter-Professional Collaboration to Address TBI Resulting from Domestic Violence
    Sarah Monahan, Speech Language Pathologist, Aegis Therapies
    Following TBI, domestic abuse survivors must have their needs identified and addressed to recover and move forward. Multiple agencies and disciplines play critical roles in increasing access to services through coordination of stakeholders and interdisciplinary collaboration. This session illustrates a path toward increased identification and referral for this population.

    File: pdf - 721 k

  4. Public Policy Updates
    Jeff Nachbar, Public Policy Director, Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance
    Legislative activities can be difficult to track but can greatly impact the brain injury community. Join this session for a political update on current policy efforts at both the State and National level. The status of the 2018 Legislative Session and current issues in the US Congress will be discussed as they pertain to the priorities of the Alliance's advocacy efforts.

  5. GA and MSA: Two Programs You Should Know More About
    John Petroskas, GA/MSA Policy Lead, Minnesota Department of Human Services
    Receiving funds from General Assistance (GA) and Minnesota Supplemental Aid (MSA) programs can be highly beneficial for people with low incomes. Come learn more about GA and MSA and get tips on how to help your clients use these programs effectively.

    File: pdf - 597 k

  6. Vision! How its Processing Changes After Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
    Dr. Amy Chang, Developmental Optometrist, Hennepin County Medical Center; Nicole St. John, Occupational Therapist, Hennepin County Medical Center
    This session will provide attendees with information on the visual system, normal visual function, and functional implications of deficits following a mild-moderate traumatic brain injury. Attendees will learn about common visual symptoms/diagnoses, specialized treatment approaches and tools for individuals who are experiencing visual dysfunction following an mTBI.

    File: pdf - 528 k

12 - 1 p.m. - Lunch

1 - 2 p.m. - Breakout Session II

  1. Prospective Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injuries by Vagus Nerve Stimulation
    Hannah Casey and Tessneem Abdallah, Neurosurgery Research Assistant-Trainees, Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation
    As featured in the September 2017 publication of National Geographic, pilot studies of Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) have yielded promising results for several conditions. In this session, we will discuss a current VNS trial conducted at Hennepin County Medical Center with an emphasis on patients with moderate-grade traumatic brain injuries.

    File: pdf - 1.9 MB

  2. Training Proprioception (Body Awareness) in Stroke
    Dr. Ann Van de Winckel, PhD, MS, PT, Assistant Professor, Division of Physical Therapy, Division of Rehabilitation Science, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Medical School, University of Minnesota
    Intricate interplay within and between our brain, our body, and the environment must occur for us to physically navigate the world, and injury can alter this complex ability. This session will explore how cognitive multisensory rehabilitation can improve body awareness and sensorimotor function post-stroke. In this therapy, for example, individuals participate in sensorimotor exercises such as exploring the differences between objects' textures and shapes to improve the interactions between the hand and brain and between the body and environment.

    File: pdf - 5 MB

  3. Substance Use Disorders and Cognitive Deficits
    Thomas G. Beckers, Clinical Services Manager, Vinland Center
    Substance use disorders and cognitive deficits commonly co-occur after brain injury, and this challenging intersection requires special attention in treatment. This session will discuss how to work with populations experiencing both cognitive deficits and substance use disorders. Through anecdotes, best practices, and experiential activities, attendees will establish a base knowledge of how to engage and work with adults to increase skillful behavior around managing their co-occurring disorders.

    File: pdf - 740 k

  4. You Got Me on My Feet Layla
    Holly Kostrzewski, MPH; Diana Kostrzewski, PhD, RN, Hope, Humor, and Inspiration
    Holly and Diana will share how, as a team, they negotiated life after Holly's brain injury. Diana will offer frank advice gained from her experience as a parent of a teenager/young adult with a TBI. Holly will describe her experience living with a seizure disorder, embracing a positive attitude, and managing life with a TBI.

  5. Hope and Healing: How the Brain Injury Registry and Resource Facilitation Create Successful Outcomes
    Christina Kollman, LSW, Resource Facilitation Manager, Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance; Mark Kinde, MPH, Health Program Manager
    This presentation will discuss Minnesota's history of supporting individuals with brain injury through the proactive support program Resource Facilitation. We will share how the TBI Registry and collaboration amongst key community partners has been critical. A brief comparison of the national perspective will be provided as well as best practices and successful outcomes.

    File: pdf - 790 k

  6. Addressing Grief and Loss After Acquired Brain Injury
    Robert L. Karol, Ph.D., LP, ABPP-RP, CBIST, President, Karol Neuropsychological Services and Consulting
    Grief and loss are often deeply intertwined with the experience of brain injury. This session will explore the differences between grief and other conditions and then describe why grief is hard to deal with after acquired brain injury. Dr. Karol will then discuss a non-stage model for understanding and addressing grief.

    File: pdf - 790 k

2 - 2:30 p.m. - Break and Exhibits Open

2:30 - 3:45 p.m. - Plenary Session

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.

File: pdf - 1.91 MB

Friday Conference Schedule

8 - 9 a.m. - Registration and Exhibits Open

Exhibits are open daily 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

8:45 - 9 a.m. - Opening Remarks

9 - 10:30 a.m. - Keynote Address

Scientific Advances in TBI: Toward Realizing a Neurobiopsychosocial Model of Injury and RecoveryMichael 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.

File: pdf - 44.8 MB

10:30 - 11 a.m. - Break and Exhibits Open

11 a.m. - 12 p.m. - Breakout Session I

  1. Scientific Advances in Sport-related Concussion: Taking the Guesswork out of Clinical Management
    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
    This breakout session will focus on major advances in the understanding of sport-related concussion (SRC) over the past 20 years. We will review recent research on the diagnosis, assessment and management of SRC, with emphasis on clinical translation.

  2. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): How to Identify It- History, Signs, and Symptoms
    Robert L. Karol, Ph.D., LP, ABPP-RP, CBIST, President, Karol Neuropsychological Services and Consulting
    How can a provider identify that an individual may be struggling with PTSD? When might an individual need additional support? In this session, Dr. Karol will address these questions and more. This session will also highlight the types of histories that should flag the provider to inquire about PTSD and explain the signs and symptoms that can indicate the need for further evaluation and treatment.

    File: pdf - 676 k

  3. Living with the Invisible
    Mary E. Jaeger, DNP, APRN-CNS, CWOCN-AP
    When caring for a patient whose TBI is invisible, it is easy to miss issues that are significant in the patient's daily struggles. In this session, an advanced practice health care professional who sustained a life-changing TBI will address the challenges faced and provide suggestions that can make a difference.

    File: pdf - 334 k

  4. TBI and the Non-Athlete Population
    Kristen Ton, PT, DPT, Senior Physical Therapist Hennepin County Medical Center
    This session will cover physical therapy (PT) for dizziness, fatigue, and pain to help non-athletes get back to living, working and playing. Attendees will understand the importance of an individualized team approach to TBI recovery and rehabilitation; how TBI effects energy levels and the ability to return to life/work/play; and the importance of PT guidance with return to activity. They also will receive a description of the pain/dysfunction cycle and the impact of early PT intervention.

    File: pdf - 693 k

  5. Improving Quality of Life after Concussion with Audiology Care
    Heidi Hill, AuD, Clinical Audiologist, Hearing Health Clinic
    Making sense out of sound is one of the hardest tasks for the brain. Sixty percent of individuals with concussions report auditory processing problems which can impact work, relationships and mental health. This session is designed to focus on this need, testing and ways to help individuals improve their quality of life.

  6. NeuroLens: A Tool to Treat Post-TBI Visual Hypersensitivity
    David H. Biberdorf, OD, FCOVD, Optometrist, Advanced Neuro-Vision Systems
    Many patients who have suffered a brain injury have persistent visual hypersensitivity resulting photophobia, motion sensitivity, balance issues, aversion to striped patterns, and reading problems. A case study of a patient who experienced significant relief wearing NeuroLenses will be discussed and the possible therapeutic mechanisms behind them will be explored.

    File: pdf - 1.6 MB

12 - 1 p.m. - Lunch

1 - 2 p.m. - Breakout Session II

  1. Stroke: Prevention is the Best Medicine
    Donna Lindsay, MN, RN, CNS-BC, SCRN, Neuroscience Clinical Nurse Specialist/Stroke Program Coordinator, Hennepin County Medical Center
    While much of stroke care is focused on emergent and rehabilitation therapy to reduce disability, it is believed that with aggressive screening and prevention measures, the incidence of stroke could be reduced by approximately 80 percent. This session will review both medical and dietary recommendations for reducing the risk of initial and recurrent stroke. Many of these recommendations also aid in the prevention of heart attack and other vascular disease.

    File: pdf - 1.1 MB

  2. Integrating Music into Standard Care for Clients with TBI/Cognitive Disabilities
    Mark T. Collins, LADC, Case Manager, Vinland National Center
    This session will demonstrate how to use music vibrations, rhythm, and drumming to assist healing in those with cognitive disabilities and mental health issues. Attendees will explore how music affects feelings and emotions; how life beats to a universal rhythm; and how the integration of music in the recovery of cognitive, mental health and substance use issues assists in healing. They also will participate in real-time exercises they can use with their clients.

    File: pdf - 287 k

  3. Brain Injury Caused by Body Trauma: An Unrecognized Impact
    Tabitha Chettupally, Research Assistant Trainee, Brain Injury Research Lab; Kriti Prasad, Research Volunteer, Brain Injury Research Lab; Gurjinder Sidhu, Research Volunteer, Brain Injury Research Lab, Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation
    While it is known that increased thoraco/abdominal pressure leads to increased ICP, this has not been shown in crush injury. Two such patients were eye-tracked to assess ocular motility dysfunction seen with elevated ICP in TBI. The data suggests that crush patients display similar dysfunction to those with typical TBIs.

    File: pdf - 5.6 MB

  4. Disability Hub MN: Your Best Life, Your Way
    Andrea Werlinger, Disability Hub MN Lead, Department of Human Services
    Disability Hub MN is a free statewide resource network that helps solve problems, navigate the system, and plan for the future. You may have known us as the Disability Linkage Line. We've changed our name, and our service is only getting stronger. Come to learn more about our new website, the Virtual Insight Panel, how you can get the word out through your work, and how you can access and/or refer people to our services.

    File: pdf - 1.9 MB

  5. Nutrition Following Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): Evidence-Based Recommendations for Education and Interventions
    Diane Mortimer, MD, MSN, FAAPMR, Physiatrist and Medical Director, Outpatient TBI/Polytrauma Program, Minneapolis VA Health Care System; Deborah Huddleston, MD, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Resident, University of Minnesota Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation; Jessica Gottenborg, MS RD LD, Dietician, TBI/Polytrauma Inpatient Rehabilitation Program; Kelli Hall, PharmD, BCPS. Pharmacist, TBI/Polytrauma Inpatient Rehabilitation Team, Minneapolis VA Health Care System
    This session will review recent literature and available guidelines regarding the crucial role that nutrition, through food and supplements, can play in recovery from TBI. It is vital to assess and treat deficiencies in these areas. Further, proactive and evidence-based ongoing nutrition plans can help optimize brain health over time.

    File: pdf - 2.3 MB

  6. Hmong and Latino Cultures and their Perspective of Brain Injury
    Mai Lee, BSW; Paula St John, CBIS, MA, Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance
    In this session participants will learn about the Hmong and Latino cultures and their view on brain injury. Participants will also learn strategies to provide continuity of care to their patients/consumers.

    File: pdf - 1.5 MB

2 - 2:30 p.m. - Break and Exhibits Open

2:30 - 3:45 p.m. - Plenary Session

Survive and Thrive with Humor and LaughterLois McElravy
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.

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