Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance
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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 - Thursday Schedule

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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 GetSchooledOnConcussions.com, 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.

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 GetSchooledOnConcussions.com curriculum, Dr. McAvoy will discuss how a school can be as prepared for RTL as they are for RTP.

  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.

  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.

  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.

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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

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.


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Directions and AccommodationsOnline Registration -->
Continuing Education Unit InformationCancellation Policy

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2277 Highway 36 West, Suite 200 | Roseville, MN 55113-3830 | Phone: 763-553-0088