Speakers

The Brain Injury Association of Michigan’s Annual Fall Conference, held in conjunction with the Michigan Brain Injury Provider Council, welcomes an amazing group of speakers that are leading experts in their fields. Please view the biographies below about their backgrounds and expertise.

Session Information

Business/Administrative Track

The Journey To Excellence: Using a Quality Operating System to Drive and Enhance Performance

Mark Mac Aleese MBA, MS, FACHE Chief Quality Officer, Special Tree Rehabilitation System
Mark Mac Aleese has been with Special Tree for 19 years. Starting out as the Therapy Clinical Manager and progressing to Director, Therapy Services. In 2017 Mark was promoted to Chief Quality Officer and charged with implementing a Quality Operating System throughout Special Tree services and programming. Mark earned his Bachelor’s degree in Sports Medicine at Marietta College, a Master’s of Science from Syracuse University, and an MBA from the University of Findlay. He is currently a Fellow in the American College of Health Care Executives and previously served as a Baldrige Examiner at both the state and national levels.

 

 

Nicole Curzydlo CTRS, CBIS, ATRIC, 2019 Baldrige
Examiner Quality Program Manager, Special Tree
Rehabilitation System
Nicole Curzydlo graduated from Central Michigan University, with a degree in Recreational Therapy. She has been a member of the Special Tree team for 10 years, fulfilling a variety of roles. Nicole became a Baldrige Examiner within the Michigan Performance Excellence program first in 2014 and served on the National Board of Examiners in 2018 and 2019. Within her current role, as the Quality Program Manager, Nicole facilitates the internal Baldrige process, assists with data collection and analysis, and implements process improvements across the organization. Nicole is currently pursuing an MBA at Walsh College.

 

 

Geri Markley, BBA, MBA, Ph Executive Director of Michigan Performance Excellence
Geri Markley is Executive Director of Michigan Performance Excellence, leading the non-profit that identifies Michigan’s highest award for quality. Before joining MIPEx, Markley spent more than 25 years in business and education leading efforts to make processes more effective and efficient. Markley was appointed to a three-year term as Judge for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 2012, and has served on the Board of Examiners since 1995. She
has earned several ASQ certifications and other professional designations.
Markley earned a Masters degree in Business Administration from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor degree in Business Administration from Eastern Michigan University. 

Colorado Funding Structures for TBI Treatment
Creating a Workplace that is Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive

Glenn McIntosh

The career of Glenn McIntosh is filled with pioneering experiences. He currently holds the dual role of senior vice president for student affairs and chief diversity officer at Oakland University (Rochester, Michigan). This position appointment made him the first person at a major university to hold such a unique role. He provides visionary strategic leadership for one of the largest divisions on campus with more 23 departments. He also serves as the co-chair of the Oakland University and City of Pontiac Partnership Initiative. He has successfully led many campus capital projects including the construction of two residence halls, an outdoor recreation and athletic facility, and a major renovation and expansion of the student union. Additionally, he led the establishment of the Gender and Sexuality Center and the Veterans Support Services Office.

Previously, McIntosh worked as the assistant vice president and dean of student life. He was the founding director of the Academic Advising Resource Center. He also served as the founding director of the Center for Multicultural Initiatives (formerly the Office of Equity) and established the national award-winning Trustee Academic Success Scholarship program. The program consistently yields one of the highest underrepresented minority student retention and graduation rates in the country.

Before joining Oakland, McIntosh held a number of administrative positions at Wayne State University, Eastern Michigan University, and Bowling Green State University.

McIntosh shares his time and leadership skills as an active member of many professional and community-based organizations including the Metro Detroit Youth Clubs Board of Trustees, Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program (DAPCEP) Board of Directors, Renaissance Unity Spiritual Center Ministerial Team, Southeast Michigan Omega Foundation Incorporated Board of Directors, and Sacred Heart of Michigan Board Member.

He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Michigan Chronicle’s Man of Excellence Award; the Novell-Levitz Student Retention Excellence Award; the OU Administrative Professional of the Year Award; the Diversity Excellence Award; the Outstanding Professionals of America Award; the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Man of the Year Award; and the NAACP Community Leadership Award. An avid bodybuilder, he has won multiple bodybuilding contests among them Mr. Michigan and Mr. Ironman.

A native Detroiter, McIntosh earned his master’s degree in Community and Agency Counseling from Wayne State University and bachelor’s degrees in Sociology and Business Administration from Central Michigan University. He recently completed the prestigious American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ Millennium Leadership Institute training program for senior level higher education administrators. He is a licensed professional mental health counselor, minister, and certified strength and conditioning trainer. He lives locally with his wife, Lia.

Clinical Track

Humor and Resiliency Within Brain Injury Rehabilitation

Karley Brouwer CTRS, CDP, CBIS Recreational Therapist; Origami Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center
Karley graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Therapeutic Recreation at Grand Valley State University in 2017. She currently works at Origami Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center as the Recreational Therapist. She loves having the opportunity to positively impact the lives of individuals through their personal leisure and recreation pursuits, goals, and new interests. Helping pave the way to the ability and independence for each client to enjoy their hobbies and interests unfolds an amazing journey. Returning happiness and enjoyment, feelings of empowerment and success, further increasing their quality of life, impacting the individual, friends and families. Karley is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS), Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP), Certified Clinical LoveYourBrain Yoga Instructor, and a Certified Brain Injury Specialist (CBIS).

Kendall Seiler CTRS Life Enrichment Director; Willows East Lansing
Kendall graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Therapeutic Recreation at Grand Valley State University in 2019. She currently works at Willows East Lansing as the Life Enrichment Director. She enjoys providing individuals with the opportunity to engage in activities they love and assisting them in exploring new leisure pursuits to address their current needs and goals. She admires the opportunity she has as a recreational therapist with using an individual’s leisure lifestyle to aide them in becoming more independent and empowered. Kendall is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS).

Brain Injury 101 and beyond

Mary Newton PhD, LMSW Director of Clinical Services, Paradigm / Catastrophic Care Management
Dr. Newton has worked in the healthcare field in a variety of settings, for over 20 years. She provided clinical and management services (including case management, psychological and behavioral services, as well as operational/leadership rolls) to a vast array of patients. She began her career as a case manager and mental health therapist and spent 15 years at Rainbow Rehabilitation Centers. In addition to her clinical work, she was an adjunct professor of psychology at Baker College of Michigan for 8 years. Before securing a position with Paradigm, she served as a CEO of Serenity Home Care and Rehab Services specializing in helping people stay in their homes and maintain their independence.
As Director of Clinical Services, at Paradigm, Dr. Mary Newton oversees the performance of Paradigm management contracts, using data analysis to develop case-specific management plans and ensure their successful clinical and financial outcomes.

Get Your Groove On: Music Therapy Interventions for the Brain and Beyond

Bernadette Skodack MM, CBIS, MT-BC Music Therapist, Eisenhower Center
Bernadette Skodack, MM, CBIS, MT-BC is the music therapist at Eisenhower Center in Ann Arbor, MI, where she started the program in 2011. She has presented on music therapy and brain injury at the state and regional levels for various organizations. Ms. Skodack is currently the co-chair of the MI Music Therapy Task Force, Continuing Education Committee co-chair for the Great Lakes Region of AMTA, and Alpha A Province Officer for Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity. She holds degrees from Furman University, Eastern Michigan University, and Western Michigan University.

Kellee Hansen MS, MT-BC Executive Director and Clinical Supervisor, CODA Music Therapy Services
Kellee Coviak Hansen, MS, MT­BC is the Executive Director and Clinical Supervisor of CODA Music Therapy Services, LLC in Lansing, MI. She maintains certifications in both music therapy and music education and provides services to individuals of all ages from premature infants through older adults. Ms. Hansen has presented at the state, regional, and national levels and is involved in leadership of numerous professional organizations, including currently serving as the Vice-President Elect of the Great Lakes Region of AMTA; Past President of the Michigan Music Therapists; and co-chair of the MI Music Therapy Task Force.

Buffalo Concussion Treadmill Test Uses in Acute Concussion and Post Concussion Syndrome

Karley Glashauser DPT, CBIS, CCI, SCCE, CF-L1 Physical Therapist at The Lighthouse Neurological Rehabilitation Center
Karley attended Central Michigan University for both undergraduate and graduate school. In 2009, Karley graduated with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. She has a passion for sports and working with clients with neurological disorders and thus combined those two passions and assisted in implementing a concussion program at the Caro location of the Lighthouse. Karley is also a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer and enjoys working alongside athletes in return to sport.

 

 

Emily Wolf Doctorate of Physical Therapy Physical Therapist at
The Lighthouse Neurological Rehabilitation Center

Emily attended Central Michigan University to receive a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience in 2014. In 2017 she graduated with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Arcadia University in Philadelphia. While in graduate school she completed a six month rotation specializing in vestibular disorders and concussion rehab. Since starting at the Lighthouse she has helped initiate a concussion program at the Traverse City location providing baseline testing and rehab post injury. She also enjoys working with patients with Parkinson’s disease and is LSVT certified.

University of Michigan Adaptive and Inclusive Sports Experience(UMAISE) for Brain Injury

Percival Pangilinan MD Associate Professor, Michigan Medicine, Dept. of PM&R
Dr. Pangilinan is a PM&R physician at the University of Michigan. He also runs the TBI/Polytrauma service in the VA-Ann Arbor. He graduated medical school from Wayne State University and completed his residency at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. He is board certified in PM&R and in Brain Injury Medicine.

 

Rebecca McVey Certified Therapeutic Recreation Therapist Supervisor, Michigan Medicine
Rebecca McVey is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Therapist and has been working at Michigan Medicine for 19 years. She is currently on the board of directors for the UMAISE program which is University of Michigan’s Adaptive and Inclusive Sports Experience. Rebecca is also part of the pediatric chronic pain program and the Supervisor for the inpatient Recreational Therapy department.

Physical Aggression, Sexual Aggression, TBI & the “Me Too” Movement: Should Treatment Programs Support Staff Pressing Charges Against Clients Who Offend?

Colin King Ph.D/LP Vice President for Behavioral Health-Rainbow Rehabilitation Centers., Inc
Colin King is a graduate of Wayne State University with over 20 years of experience in traumatic brain injury, substance use disorder, and forensic work. He is a fully Licensed Psychologist, Certified Forensic Psychologist, Certified Advanced Adiction Counselor, and Sentence Mitigation Specialist. He has written a number of papers and presented at several conferences in the Caribbean, South America, South Africa, North America and Europe. Dr. King has lectured at Wayne State University, Eastern Michigan University, and the University of Detroit Mercy teaching courses in Testing and Assessment, and Adult Psychopathology. Dr. King currently serves as the Vice President for Behavioral Health at Rainbow Rehabilitation Centers Inc.

Stephanie M Huhn MA, LLP, CBIS, CAADC CCM, Admissions Manager, Rainbow Rehabilitation Centers, Inc. Stephanie is the Admissions Manager and involved in marketing and program development at Rainbow Rehabilitation Centers, a distinguished brain injury rehabilitation program in southeast Michigan. Stephanie holds a Master of Arts in clinical psychology and is a Limited Licensed Psychologist (LLP) in the state of Michigan. She is a Certified Brain Injury Specialist (CBIS), a Certified Case Manager (CCM) and a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CAADC). She has a special interest in understanding, sequalae and treatment of complex and developmental trauma and has researched, presented and written on these topics. She has worked in outpatient and inpatient settings, in private practice, in community mental health and under contracts through the Michigan Department of Corrections. She has served as assistant clinical director of a brain injury program, provided individual and group psychotherapy, held clinical roles in intake/assessment, admissions and marketing and has lectured on a variety mental health and co-occurring topics.

Utilizing Neurofeedback Therapy to Treat Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury in Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence

Dessie Clark PhD Michigan State University
Dessie Clark is a recent graduate of Michigan State University where she earned her PhD in Community Sustainability. Upon receiving her Masters of Education from Vanderbilt University’s Community Development and Action program, Dr. Clark moved to pursue her PhD at Michigan State University. Dr. Clark’s research interests are broadly related to increasing quality of life for survivors of sexual and domestic violence. More specifically, Dr. Clark is interested in exploring the use of neurofeedback therapy in survivors who have experienced a traumatic brain injury. .

 

Sidney Brandhorst

Sidney Brandhorst completed her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies and Sustainability at Michigan State University where she was involved in both food systems and neurofeedback research. Her research experience and undergraduate education lead her to her current position as a doctoral student in the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University. She is interested in researching the relationship between environmental shocks and conflict events, particularly in the Global South.

Return to Work after a TBI: The Who, What, Why & How

Steven R. Mandley, PT, MPT, CBIS, Lead Therapist and Clinical Coordinator, Rehab Without Walls

Steven has specialized in the field of brain injury rehabilitation since 1997, in acute care, inpatient rehab, home care, and community integration settings. He received his masters in physical therapy at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. Steven was appointed to the Michigan Board of Physical therapy in 2002 and served as Chairman in 2006. As a program Surveyor with CARF International, Steven consults with programs in the US and internationally that specialize in Brain Injury rehabilitation. He has lectured on the emphasis of transference of skills in the community to healthcare professionals and students in the United States and Germany.

 

Bethany Hutchison, LPC, CRC, CTRS, Lead Therapist and Clinical Coordinator, Rehab Without Walls

Bethany has worked in the field of brain injury rehabilitation since 2006. She received her masters in Rehabilitation Counseling at Michigan State University. Bethany was on the board of the Michigan Rehabilitation Association for one year. She co-created a community-based return to work program for Worker’s Comp referrals in 2018/19.

 

Review of the REAP Manual

Karen McAvoy PsyD

Karen McAvoy, PsyD is dually credentialed as a clinical and school psychologist. She
practiced as a Pediatric Psychologist at Seattle and Denver Children’s Hospitals and
as the Director of the Center for Concussion with Rocky Mountain Hospital for
Children. She also practiced as a School Psychologist for 20 years serving as
Coordinator of Mental Health, Coordinator of Manifestation Determinations and
Coordinator of the Brain Injury Team at Cherry Creek School District. After 20 years
on the frontlines in a school district, Dr McAvoy then served as a consultant for an
additional 10 years to the Colorado Department of Education – providing trainings
to multi-disciplinary school teams across the state of Colorado on the impact of
brain injury and neuro-diversity on learning and behavior.

Dr McAvoy is the author of REAP (Remove/Reduce* Educate*Adjust/Accommodate
and Pace) – a community-based inter-disciplinary team approach to concussion
management customized in 12+ states: www.REAPconcussion.com. She is also the
co-founder/owner of www.GetSchooledOnConcussions.com a website and training
curriculum empowering educators to oversee and direct Return to Learn efforts for
students with concussion as they return to school.
Dr McAvoy continues to keep a foot each in the world of medicine and education:
half-time she provides assessments, treatment and consultation to adults and
children suffering from mild/moderate/severe brain injury at the Aasha Brain Clinic
in Ft Collins, CO. The other half of her time is spent routinely traveling the country
providing training to schools on Return to Learn following brain injury.

 

Impulsive Behavior in Youths with Traumatic Brain Injury

Brooke Luckhardt MS, CBIS
Brooke Luckhardt, MS, CBIS is a Masters Level Forensic Psychologist currently working on her dissertation to obtain a Ph.D in Criminology. She has been a Certified Brain Injury Specialist through the Brain Injury Association of America for the last fifteen years. She is a member of the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Concussion Committee in Ann Arbor, Michigan and is cofounder of the Ann Arbor Concussion Clinic. Brooke is a member of the Society for Police and Criminal Psychology, the National Society of Leadership and Success, and the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. She is an expert trainer for the American Institute for the Advancement of Forensic Studies. She also serves as an advisory board member for the Forensic Behavioral Health Program at Concordia University in St Paul Minnesota. She has co-authored multiple peer-reviewed articles and lectured nationally relating to Traumatic Brain Injury.

Qualifying Students With A TBI For Services In The Schools: Looking Beyond Numbers

Megan Remenap M.S. CCC-SLP CBIS Rainbow Rehabilitation Centers
Megan Remenap has 17 years of pediatric clinical experience and is a Certified Brain Injury Specialist. She has worked in various settings and spent the last 12 years working with kids with traumatic brain injuries. In addition to evaluating, diagnosing, and treating children, Ms. Remenap provides clinical supervision to SLP students interested in the field of TBI, is a Brain Injury Fundamentals instructor, and a mentor to new SLPs. Ms. Remenap received her Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders from Central Michigan University and her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Bowling Green State University

Concussion's Impact on Learning: Return-to-Learn Protocols for Hospital and School Collaboration

Anne Crylen PhD IB Coordinator at Grand Rapids Public Schools
Anne E. Crylen, PhD is a Fulbright Fellow and global educational leader with a TBI. Her work has taken her to lead an international school in Shanghai, China, fieldwork on Autism in Cambodia, many years in Chicago Public Schools. Dr. Crylen has published her research on school re-entry and the Return-to-Learn process for students following Traumatic Brain Injuries. As a champion for students with disabilities, she continues her work on education equity through inquiry-based learning and teaching emphasizing student voice and ownership. She currently works in Grand Rapids Public Schools, growing the International Baccalaureate in West Michigan.

The Role of Exercise in Improving Depression Symptoms in Those with TBI

James Dolbow D.O. (also M.S., B.S., B.A.)
James Dolbow is a neurology intern at Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. His research concentrates on neurological trauma rehabilitation, specifically traumatic brain injury.

Falling Through the Cracks: Addressing Aphasia and Mood Disorder Collaboratively

Allison Mezo MA, CCC-SLP, CBIS Hope Network Neuro Rehabilitation
Allison Mezo, M.A., CCC-SLP, CBIS, is a Speech-Language Pathologist at Hope Network Neuro Rehabilitation in Kalamazoo, Michigan, with clinical experience in various settings including post-acute, transitional, and long-term care. Allison developed an interest and passion for working with persons with acquired brain injury early in her career, and follows an interdisciplinary and WHO-ICF model for treatment of all patients. Allison has a B.A. in Communication Disorders and Sciences from San Jose State University, and a M.A. in Speech Pathology from Western Michigan University. She is licensed through the state of Michigan, certified through the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association, and is a Certified Brain Injury Specialist.

 

Katie Strong Ph.D, CCC-SLP Central Michigan University
Katie Strong, Ph.D., CCC-SLP is an Assistant Professor at Central Michigan University’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. Her research explores how therapists can support people with aphasia rebuild identity by co-constructing stories about who they are. Katie is a Tavistock Distinguished Aphasia Scholar. She has degrees from Washington State University, Kansas State University and Western Michigan University. Katie has 25 years of clinical experience as a speech-language pathologist and 20 years of experience teaching. Katie’s professional activities include Lansing Area Aphasia Support Group Founding Member, Owner Strong Speech Consulting, Inc., Aphasia Task Force for the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine Member, and Aphasia Access Conversations Podcast Host.

 

Kimberly McGowan, MA, LLP, CBIS Limited License Psychologist

Kim McGowan has over 15 years of experience in the mental health field, she is a Psychologist for Hope Network Neuro Rehabilitation where she treats individuals with traumatic brain injuries and mood and thought disorders. She provides individual and group therapy for adults and adolescents, psychoeducation and crisis management. Kim earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Michigan State University and a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Western Michigan University.

 

Jenna Randolph, M.A., CF-SLP

Jenna Randolph, M.A. is a student at Central Michigan University graduating with a Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology in May 2020. She is a former Graduate Assistant of Dr. Katie Strong’s research lab. Jenna completed a Master’s thesis exploring the perspectives of mental health professionals addressing the psychosocial needs of persons impacted by aphasia.

 

Working with Common Frontal Lobe Injury Challenges

Evan Cohen, Ph.D.; NIH Post-doctoral Fellowship; LP; CBIS Evan H. Cohen, Ph.D.; Private Practice; ret’d from St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Ann Arbor

Dr. Cohen’s 26 year career in brain injury rehabilitation was preceded by 18 years in public mental health – which culminated in directing Michigan’s demonstration project for the homeless mentally ill. He shifted into brain injury rehabilitation through an NIH Post-doctoral Fellowship at U of MI Medical Center. He followed this with 3 years at Rainbow Rehabilitation Centers and 18 years as the only inpatient neuropsychologist at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Ann Arbor. Since retiring from St. Joe, he has continued to study frontal lobe injury through his private practice. Dr. Cohen credits much of his learning to a 25 year treatment relationship with the same uniquely challenging survivor, who -sadly – passed away in April 2019.

Treatment of Problem-Solving Deficits after TBI

Whitney Neal Ph.D., CCC-SLP Speech-Language Pathologist, Special Tree Rehabilitation System
Whitney has been a speech-language pathologist for 7 years. She earned her Ph.D. in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Wayne State University in 2019, where she researched self-awareness deficits in individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Her other research interests include investigating treatment practices in the field of speech-language pathology and cognitive-linguistic impairments in individuals with TBI. She works contingently as a speech-language pathologist at Special Tree Rehabilitation System.

 

 

 

Sarah Kapelczak CCC-SLP, CBIS Speech-Language Pathologist, Special Tree Rehabilitation System
Sarah has been a Speech-Language Pathologist for 9 years. She received her B.A. from Wayne State University and her M.A. from The University of Toledo. She has worked at Special Tree Rehabilitation since January of 2012 and became a certified brain injury specialist (CBIS) in 2014. Sarah works with a variety of ages and severities of injuries and is passionate about making a difference in other people’s lives.

Working with Challenging Clients: Improvement of Treatment Outcomes and Decreasing Treatment Team Burnout

Valerie Evans MA, LPC, CBIS Recovery Counseling
Valerie Evans is a mental health clinician who has been working in the field of rehabilitation specializing in the treatment of those with traumatic brain injury since 1992. She has worked in the hospital setting, day treatment centers, residential treatment facility and in private practice. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor who earned her master’s degree from Oakland University. She is the owner of Recovery Counseling in Troy, MI and works with brain injury rehabilitation patients and their treatment teams to obtain improved treatment outcomes. Valerie specializes in working with clients with the co-occurring comorbidities of TBI, mental illness and substance abuse.

Rational Detachment - The Importance of Managing Our Own Emotions as Professionals

Margaret Browning Juris Doctorate – Law Degree from Wayne State University Professional Guardian and Conservator, Browning & Associates P.C.
Margaret Browning has been an attorney for over 25 years. She graduated from Wayne State University Law School in 1994. Her legal career started as a defense attorney handling primarily auto accident cases. After 5 years, she became a personal injury attorney representing people who had been injured in auto accidents. In 2012, Ms. Browning began serving as a Professional Guardian and Conservator for people with traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. She is a Board Member of the Michigan Brain Injury Providers Council. She is a member of the Brain Injury Association of Michigan, the Michigan Association for Justice, and the Michigan Guardianship Association. Ms. Browning is the founder of Browning & Associates P.C. which is a 8 person company serving the needs of people with disabilities.

Colin King Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist Vice President of Behavioral Health, Rainbow Rehabilitation
Colin King is a graduate of Wayne State University with over 20 years of experience in traumatic brain injury, substance use disorder, and forensic work. He is a fully Licensed Psychologist, Certified Forensic Psychologist, Certified Advanced Adiction Counselor, and Sentence Mitigation Specialist. He has written a number of papers and presented at several conferences in the Caribbean, South America, South Africa, North America and Europe. Dr. King has lectured at Wayne State University, Eastern Michigan University, and the University of Detroit Mercy teaching courses in Testing and Assessment, and Adult Psychopathology. Dr. King currently serves as the Vice President for Behavioral Health at Rainbow Rehabilitation Centers Inc.

The Eyes are the Window to the (Concussed) Brain

Nathan Keiser DC, DACNB, FABBIR, Chiropractic Neurologist
Dr. Keiser is a board-certified chiropractic neurologist who operates a private facility in Chelsea, MI.
His clinical interest is in helping people with concussion, dysautonomia, traumatic brain injury and movement disorders improve their brain function and therefore their symptoms.
He is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology for the Carrick Institute where they provide Post-Graduate instruction for doctors of all disciplines in the fields of clinical and functional neurology.

Disorders of Consciousness- What We Know Now

Lynn Brouwers MS CRC CBIST Director of Program Development at Rainbow Rehabilitation
Lynn started her work as a leader in brain injury rehabilitation in 1982. She has managed rehabilitation programs in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, residential rehabilitation programs, outpatient programs, and in the home/community. Lynn led one of the first CARF accredited Comprehensive Integrated Interdisciplinary Rehab Units in the country for people with Disorders of Consciousness. Lynn is a Certified Rehab Counselor by training, a CARF surveyor, and a Certified Brain Injury Specialist Trainer. Lynn is a Director at Rainbow Rehabilitation Centers, now semi-retired. 

 

 

Janice White Ph.D., CCC-SLP, CBIST VP of Clinical Operations at Rainbow Rehabilitation Centers
Janice is the Chief Clinical Officer at Rainbow Rehabilitation Centers. She holds a PhD in Communication Sciences and Disorders, and a Masters in Speech/Language Pathology. For over 30 years, Janice has held leadership positions in rehabilitation hospitals, subacute rehabilitation, skilled nursing, outpatient, and residential settings. She is a CARF surveyor and a Certified Brain Injury Specialist Trainer.

Cannabis and Marijuana Use in Healthcare

Rob Leffler Registered Pharmacist Vice President of Clincial Services
Rob Leffler is the Vice President of Clinical Services for PCA Pharmacy, a pharmacy that serves over 33,000 residents. Rob graduated with a BS in Pharmacy from Butler University and has spent the majority of his career consultant pharmacist, running pharmacies and leading clinical teams in the care of residents. As a pharmacist, he has spoken for a variety of healthcare organizations at their live meetings and through webinars. He also has been a member of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists for many years and served on several committees of their organization.

Sleep as a Method for Improving Brain Health

Robert Spencer PhD Michigan Medicine, Spencer Neuropsychology, and VA Ann Arbor Healthcare VA Ann Arbor Healthcare; Mental Health (116c)
Dr. Spencer graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and completed internship and fellowship training at the VA Ann Arbor. He is the Chief of Neuropsychology at the Ann Arbor VA, Clinical Assistant Professor at Michigan Medicine, and has a private practice, Spencer Neuropsychology. He is involved in research and clinical care of individuals who have experienced TBI, and individuals experiencing insomnia.

Percival Pangilinan M.D. Clinical Associate Professor Michigan Medicine
Dr. Pangilinan was born and raised in southeast Michigan. He attended the University of Michigan for undergrad and Wayne State University School of Medicine. After completing his PM&R residency at the Rehab Institute of Chicago, he joined the faculty at UM in 2003. He is also the director of the TBI/Polytrauma Clinic at the VA-Ann Arbor.

Locked in Syndrome: Epidemiology, Anatomy, Medical Management and Rehabilitation

Richard L. Harvey MD Clinical Chair of the Brain Innovation Center, Shirley Ryan AbilityLab
Dr. Harvey is the Clinical Chair of the Brain Innovation Center at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, and the Wesley and Suzanne Dixon Stroke Chair of Stroke Rehabilitation Research. He is a Professor for Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in both the department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation as well as Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences. His research has focused on methods for neuromodulation of the central nervous system to promote neuro-recovery. He developed along with an interdisciplinary team the Locked In Program at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab and has personally cared for over 50 patients with this diagnosis.

Bladder/Bowel Dysfunction After TBI and Advances in Management

Ayman Tarabishy MD Enhance Center for Interventional Spine and Sports 
Dr. Tarabishy is the Medical Director of Enhance Center for Interventional Spine & Sports Medicine in Livonia, Michigan. Dr. Tarabishy earned his medical degree from the Jordan University of Science and Technology. He completed his residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Wayne State University, and anesthesia based ACGME accredited pain fellowship with Henry Ford Health System. He has board certifications in physical medicine and rehabilitation as well as interventional pain management and sitting for the brain injury medicine boards in 9/2020 to become triple board certified. Dr. Tarabishy extensively trained and experienced in neurological diseases, brain, and spinal cord injuries. He focuses on nonpharmacological treatment solutions and neuromodulation.
He regularly treats and manages patients with traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries. Dr. Tarabishy is involved with the resident’s education and training with Beaumont Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation residency program and is regularly involved in community outreach and education programs.

 

Legal Track

The Realities of Litigating Medical Malpractice Cases
 

Steffani E. Chocron J.D.

As Steffani Chocron’s successful results for her clients show, being a good lawyer isn’t just about being prepared for the unexpected; it also takes an innate talent and years of experience to assess a complex situation and determine the best course of legal action.

Since completing her undergraduate studies in 1988 at the University of Michigan and getting her J.D. from Wayne State University in 1991, Steffani has crafted a client-centered approach to handling a wide range of motor vehicle accident and medical malpractice cases. By putting her clients first, Steffani is able to figure out the most effective and rational way to approach their predicament.

Since joining Lipton Law in 2012, Steffani has thrived on helping her clients not only recover financially, but also emotionally. To her, what matters most is giving a person closure so that they can heal on several levels and put the challenges that brought them to her in the first place behind them. Being a major factor in an individual’s personal evolution of facing a difficult problem, finding a solution, and overcoming it, is what Steffani was born to do.

Recognizing the value and efficiency of teamwork, Steffani believes that approaching law with her fellow colleagues at Lipton Law allows for a successful outcome in that different insight is gathered and each individual’s unique knowledge and skills have something substantial to offer. This solid foundation is how Steffani and the legal team she works with guide and support people through their challenging life situations.

As an attorney who understands the balance of knowing when to pause or take a step back, and when to take action or attack, Steffani provides her clients with a well-rounded approach to a complex legal system.

Steffani is a member of the Michigan Association of Justice, the American Association of Justice, and the Women’s Bar Association. Outside of the courtroom, she is active in the community through volunteer work.

BIO

Navigating New PIP Choice and Low Level Limits

Sarah Stempky-Kime J.D., Managing Attorney

Sarah Stempky Kime is a key part of Christensen Law, which has locations in Southfield and Ann Arbor, Michigan. Working alongside head attorney David Christensen since 2010, she is one of the team members who will stand up for you in the courtroom.

Sarah is responsive and compassionate when it comes to her clients. She is a strong litigator with the skills to handle tough court situations. Sarah has far more trial experience than her years in practice would suggest, making her stand out as one of the state’s best young trial attorneys. Sarah says:

“I’ve learned that everyone deserves the same attention. And people who have been hurt are going through the extreme stress of trying to get better, while dealing with the added stress of being in a lawsuit. They’ve been wronged, and they need someone to represent their interests. That’s where I come in.”

A native of Cheboygan, Michigan, Sarah graduated from Alma College in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Her psychological background makes her an effective communicator and helps her empathize with clients who are recovering after traumatic automobile accidents.

Sarah attend Michigan State University College of Law, graduating in 2010 with a certificate in Trial Practice from the Trial Practice Institute.While in law school, Sarah demonstrated very strong advocacy skills. She reached the finals in several national Mock Trial Competitions around the nation. She also captained the Arbitration Team, which won the regional competition in Omaha in 2009.

Fee Scheduling and Utilization Reviews

​Wayne J. Miller
Chief Operating Officer and Chairman of the Board, Miller & Tischler, P.C.

Miller is a graduate of the University of Michigan (1976) and Wayne State University School of Law (1979). Licensed to practice law in Michigan since 1980, Wayne has specialized in the legal issues relating to the victims of motor vehicle accidents. Wayne and the firm specialize in cases involving catastrophic injury, including the rights of the injured, their families, and their professional service providers. Wayne has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Wayne Law School, where he has taught the class in Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance law since 1998. The textbook used in the three Michigan law schools that teach no-fault insurance is co-authored by Wayne. Wayne has been included in the “Best Lawyers in America” since 2005, and was named the “Most Respected Advocate” by the Michigan Defense Trial Counsel in 2007. Wayne has been honored by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as a 2015 “Leader in the Law”. Wayne is Chief Operating Officer and Chairman of the Board of Miller & Tischler, P.C. and a member of its Management Committee.

 

Cannabis and Marijuana Legality

Mike Komorn, J.D.

Attorney Michael Komorn has built The Komorn Law firm for over 25 years through experiencing the vast complexities of the criminal justice system and how to navigate through it as prosecutors throw everything at you to see what sticks.

 

BIO

Quality of Life Track

Adding Life to Days- Quality of Life from a Recreational Therapist's Perspective

Heidi Nadobny CTRS, CBIS Recreational Therapist, Special Tree Rehabilitation System
Heidi works full-time at Special Tree Rehabilitation System in the Mid-Michigan Neuroskills Center, serving as both an outpatient Recreational Therapist and Vocational Specialist. She primarily works with client with a diagnosis of traumatic brain injury and/or spinal cord injury. She lives nearby in Auburn and stays active in the community, participating in various adaptive sporting events as a volunteer to assist athletes with any needs they may have. Heidi believes first and foremost in quality of life and treats her clients with that philosophy first in mind. In her spare time, Heidi enjoys spending time with her Daughter, traveling around the United States, spending time with her 25 nieces and nephews, being a spectator at most sporting events as well as attending live music. She has a passion for art and painting and in the past sold paintings as well as designed children’s menus for local restaurants. Heidi also enjoys kayaking, nature walks as well as visiting local parks.

Courtney Remy CTRS Recreational Therapist, Special Tree Rehabilitation System
Courtney lives in Midland where she works as a contingent Recreation Therapist in PM+R, but her current full-time job is homeschooling her 5 children plus caring for a new baby. She continues to share her love of Recreation Therapy with them by volunteering for community adaptive sports events together and advocating for people with disabilities. She specifically loves aquatic therapy and helping people with traumatic injuries return to and maintain physical fitness. Courtney loves biking, rollerblading on Midland’s amazing rail trail, and stopping at Cottage Creamery for ice cream along the way. She also enjoys quiet time reading at coffee shops as a change from her chaotic house.

How Music Affects the Plasticity of the Injured Brain

Grant Anderson, B.A.
Grant Anderson, a severe TBI survivor (2007), holds a B.A. in Music from Wayne State University (2014). He’s owned a thriving music studio; teaching, composing and performing, given presentations in eight states and Canada including: “How Music Affects the Brain…” as his college B.A. project and at the 2014 MI OT Conference with positive comments on evaluations. He’s a well-received disability awareness speaker in addition to performing at the Disabled Athletes Hall of Fame and the Thunder In The Valley Disabled Games. He credits faith, family and music with assisting his recovery and propelling him forward both personally and professionally.

Kris Stevens M.A., CCC-SLP Clinical Director, Therapeutic Rehabilitation Center – Troy
Kris Stevens has worked with Therapeutic Rehabilitation for 27 years. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Speech-Language Pathology from Indiana University. Currently, she is the Clinical Director at the Troy location of Therapeutic Rehabilitation Centers of Michigan. Kris has always taken an interest in addressing communication and cognitive concerns with her clients, focusing on highly functional individual and group therapies through skill remediation and personalized compensatory strategy development and implementation. She collaborated with two colleagues to write Mild Traumatic Brain Injury – A Therapy and Resource Manual in 1997 to address the unique needs of this population and treating therapists everywhere.

What Do I Need to Know About Requesting an Accommodation at Work?

Toya Williams MSA, MPA, SHRM-CP EEO Officer/Michigan Department of Corrections
Toya Williams has been an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Officer for 13 years. Her experience consists of educating, preventing and investigating Discriminatory Harassment complaints and enforcement and implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Title I and Title II. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice, Master’s Degree in Human Resource Administration, Master’s Degree in Public Administration, SHRM-CP and an ADA Certification. She spends a considerable amount of time advising and educating supervisors/ managers on Discriminatory Harassment and ADA topics due to the employer’s obligation, responsibility and liability.

Healthy Eating on a Budget

Renee Chodkowski

Renee has been teaching highly entertaining enrichment cooking classes for over 32 years through various local school districts including Brighton, Howell, Pinckney, Novi and Dexter, as well as making entertaining guest speaking engagements for corporations, businesses and conventions. Renee caught the cooking bug in her grandmother’s diner when she was just a toddler attached to Grandma’s hip. The diner is no longer there, but Renee’s passion for making ‘Great Gourmet’ into ‘Deliciously Doable’ continues to grow. She is hoping to help others conquer mealtimes through teaching the ins and outs of cooking and not just sharing recipes. In her classes you will learn little known tips and tricks for ingredients, techniques and using everyday cooking utensils to make your time in the kitchen efficient, affordable and delicious. Most of Renee’s recipes are originals, developed and designed to be recreated in your kitchen and from ingredients found in your favorite grocery store. Fortunately she always has a large group of friends and neighbors willing to help out with the research and development of new recipes! It’s Renee’s belief that ‘A recipe a day keeps the McTaco Fried ChickKing away’!

Eisenhower Center
Special Tree
Community Connections
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Lightouse Neurological Rehabilitation Center