• Stroke
  • Stroke


    Stroke ISIG Brochure

    Click to View Stroke ISIG Brochure

    Stroke remains one of the world’s leading causes of disability. What are you doing to promote best treatment and assessment for stroke?

    The mission of the STROKE ISIG is to be a leader in interdisciplinary stroke rehabilitation—both in clinical practice and research—by promoting high standards of rehabilitation practice, education, and research among professionals with common interests in stroke.



    • Review and recommend research directions and priorities to the ACRM Board of Governors
    • Advocate for stroke rehabilitation within ACRM and other relevant organizations, as well as funding agencies
    • Disseminate research information
    • Contribute the Stroke ISIG Annual presentation:  Hot Topics in Stroke
    • Make recommendations to the Board regarding official endorsements on behalf of ACRM
    • Attend the Mid-Year Meeting annually




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    STROKE ISIG Twitter @ACRMStroke




    This semi-annual newsletter of the ACRM STROKE-ISIG, reports the news, updates, progress, and opportunities that spring from the group's many task forces and dedicated members.


    “Internationally, the Stroke ISIG offers a venue unlike any other Chris MacDonellin the world. It brings together leaders in stroke rehabilitation and research in a collegial, collaborative, and interdisciplinary manner where exchanging ideas brings tremendous value to all who attend. This is an opportunity not to miss!”

    Chris MacDonell, FACRM
    Managing Director of Medical Rehabilitation
    CARF International



    Stroke ISIG Opportunities at the 2017 Annual Conference


    The Program Committee invites proposals focused on research evidence and its translation into clinical practice for presentation at the ACRM 2017 Annual Conference in Atlanta. To propose stroke rehab topics or lead a presentation team, please contact the Stroke ISIG Chair, Pamela Roberts.



    Click to Learn More About Submitting a Proposal      CLICK to See Call for Proposals Guidelines & SUBMIT


    Heather Tanksley, MOT, OTR/L, interviewed clinician colleagues who participated in educational sessions at past ACRM conferences to share insights about their experiences. You might be surprised by their answers!

    Marjorie Nicholas

    Marjorie Nicholas

    Respondent:  ACRM Presenter, Marjorie Nicholas, PhD, CCC-SLP, MGH
    Institute of Health Professionals

    Q: What did you enjoy most about presenting at the ACRM conference this year?

    A: It was refreshing to present as an SLP to a wider range of professionals than we usually get to interact with. The questions people had were more interesting as a result.

    > Read More >>>



    ACRM Stroke Rehab Workshop

    Moving research evidence into stroke rehabilitation practice: Interprofessional workshop on knowledge translation

    Anita Menon

    Dr. Anita Menon

    FRI 28 APR // 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

    On Friday, 28 April during the ACRM Mid-Year Meeting in Atlanta, clinicians working in stroke rehabilitation are invited to participate in a full-day knowledge translation workshop led by Anita Menon, PhD, OT(c), erg.

    This hands-on workshop is designed for front-line clinicians who want to learn methods for designing effective, evidence-based interventions in stroke rehabilitation.

    as low as $159




    It's new, it's fun, it's informative — Join us!

    Virtual Happy Hours are webinars held on WebEx featuring expert speakers in all areas of stroke rehabilitation. This is an opportunity to learn from and interact with the best in our field!

    Join us on the third Thursday of each month from 5:00 - 6:00 PM ET.


    Suzanne Burns

    Suzanne Burns


    16 MARCH 2017 // 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM EST

    Guest speaker, Suzanne Burns, PhD, OTR/L, will present The Multiple Errands Test Home Version (MET-Home): An Ecologically Valid Approach to Understanding the Impact of Post-Stroke Executive Dysfunction in the Community.



    Click here to join us via WebEx or
    Join WebEx by phone at +1.855.797.9485 (US Toll free)
    Use Access Code: 648 640 270 #
    Password: ACRM


    Follow the Stroke ISIG on twitter @ACRMStroke for more details and reminders about this exciting event!


    How to Participate in the STROKE ISIG

    1. ATTEND the ACRM Conference — with the MOST STROKE rehab programming in the WORLD
    2. Join STROKE ISIG meetings at the conference
    3. Participate in the STROKE ISIG task forces (easiest to do at the ACRM Conference)

    The work of the STROKE ISIG is accomplished through its task forces and the ACRM Annual Conference events.

    Participation in four very active task forces is open to all members of the STROKE ISIG and new members are welcome.

    All ACRM members and others thinking about joining the STROKE ISIG for the first time should contact any of the executive committee members or task force chairs (listed below) to make a meaningful difference in the field of Stroke rehabilitation. Membership is growing – don’t be left behind!


    Member Benefits

    • Participation in STROKE ISIG task forces
    • Receive STROKE MATTERS semi-annual newsletter
    • Opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration
    • Grow your professional network of colleagues, mentors, and funders
    • Gain recognition for your contributions to the field and to ACRM
    • Boost your CV with opportunities to take leadership roles in ACRM
    • Continuing education opportunities
    • Opportunity to plan educational courses for the ACRM Annual Conference
    • Collaborative research opportunities
    • Networking and engaging with STROKE rehabilitation colleagues who share your passion and challenges
    • Increase opportunities to publish your work
    • Meet pioneers in the field, mentors, and potential research collaborators
    • Advance the field by helping to translate and disseminate cutting-edge research into clinical guidelines and practice
    • Experience outstanding peer-to-peer learning
    • Advance evidence-based clinical practices for improved outcomes


    2017 Cognitive Rehabilitation Training

    Based on the ACRM Cognitive Rehabilitation Manual: Translating Evidence-Based Recommendations into Practice, this introductory course teaches step-by-step procedures for all evidence-based interventions for cognitive impairments. Manual included ($150 value).


    ACRM Cognitive Rehabilitation Training


    ACRM / National Stroke Association Award for Excellence in Post-Acute Stroke

    Stroke Award

    Leora Cherney

    Co-sponsored by ACRM and the National Stroke Association, the Excellence in Post Acute Stroke Award is the only one of its kind in the field. Read More >

    The 2017 award recognizes the outstanding work of Leora R. Cherney, PhD, BC-ANCDS, CCC-SLP.

    Dr. Cherney will present an award lecture at the ACRM 2017 Annual Conference in Atlanta on her current research focus on innovative treatment approaches for aphasia. Dr. Cherney is professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine and a senior research scientist at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. She is also founder and director of the Center for Aphasia Research and Treatment at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.



    2016 Poster Awards for Stroke

    Congratulations to the following winners of the 2016 STROKE ISIG poster awards. These posters were presented at the ACRM 93rd Annual Conference in Chicago.


    Presented at the Poster Grand Rounds, Wed, 2 Nov.
    Predictors of Engagement in Inpatient Rehabilitation Following Stroke
    First Author: Emily Kringle



    The effectiveness of Verbal-Gestural Treatment on Verb Naming in Acure Inpatient Rehabilitation
    First Author: Michelle Armour



    Effects of Gait Training With a Hybrid Assistive Limb in Stroke Patients: a Randomized Controlled Study With a 2-Month Follow-Up
    First Author: Hiroki Watanabe


    “How does ACRM Help the Stroke Community?"

    Philip Morse, PhD, FACRM
    ABI Rehabilitation New Zealand



    Chair: Pamela Roberts, PhD, OTR/L, SCFES, FACRM, FAOTA, CPHQ, FNAP
    Chair-Elect: TBD
    Past Chair: Stephen Page, PhD, MS, OTR/L, FAHA, FACRM
    Advisor: Phil Morse, PhD, FACRM
    Secretary: Jaclyn Schwartz, PhD, OTR/L
    Membership Officer: Marc Kovic, PhD
    Communications Officer: Heather Tanksley, MOT, OTR/L
    Early Career Officer:
    Member-at-Large: Marlene Vega, PsyD
    Member-at-Large: Kristen L. Mauk, PhD, DNP, RN, CRRN, GCNS-BC, GNP-BC, FAAN
    International Networking Group Liaison (Ex-Officio): Katharina Sunnerhagen, MD, PHD
    ACRM Staff Liaison: Terri Compos



    • Strengthen task forces with at least 1 - 2 products per task force
    • Prepare proposals to present submissons for 2017 Annual Conference in Atlanta, Georgia
    • Virtual Happy Hour


    One of the most valuable benefits of ACRM membership is the opportunity to participate in the many interdisciplinary special interest groups and networking groups. Not sure ACRM membership is right for you? Consider an ISIG Only membership.


    Print an ISIG ONLY Membership Application


    Task Forces

    The work of the STROKE ISIG is carried out by its task forces. Collaboration among task force members is accomplished throughout the year with regular conference calls and two face-to-face meetings per year. These are held during the ACRM Mid-Year Meeting in the spring and the ACRM Annual Conference in the fall.

    All of the task forces have made impressive strides in the past two years in preparing and publishing papers. Read on to learn about the specific projects undertaken by each group.



    CO-CHAIR: Marsha Neville, PhD, OT
    CO-CHAIR: Susan Lin, OTR/L FAOTA

    The Movement Interventions Task Force is a dynamic group of neurorehabilitation researchers and clinicians representing a variety of disciplines from across the United States and Canada. A common interest among all members and the theme of this task force is movement after stroke.

    Movement-related deficits are the most common impairments exhibited after stroke, and in many cases, the most disabling. Yet, there remain few therapies that effectively target stroke motor impairments. Moreover, the therapeutic ingredients that most impact motor changes after stroke, and the ways in which movement-related variables change after stroke (i.e. speed, precision, strength, pacing), each remain poorly understood.

    We are a product-oriented group focusing on developing new knowledge about movement after stroke through development of presentations, papers, and other educational materials for patients, care partners, and professionals.


    1. Recruit and engage new members who represent the various disciplines within rehabilitation
      • Recruited several new members after the ACRM conference last fall – Active members who regularly engage in planning and producing products numbers at about 10 persons.
      • Task force is represented by occupational and physical therapy, and psychology.
    2. Recruit a new co-chair for a 3-year position
      • Susan Lin became the co-chair in fall 2015, and will serve with Marsha Neville until 2017
    3. Explore mechanisms for task force members to engage in research discussions and/or form collaborations outside of business meetings
      • After hosting the first "Virtual Happy Hour“ on April 7, 2015, we hosted another one May 17, 2016 with Janice Eng, BSR (PT/OT), MSc, PhD. She presented and discussed the research on the GRASP program.
      • Starting a group in LinkedIn for discussion/networking
      • Created a shared folder in Dropbox for project management
    4. Prepare and submit products on behalf of the task force
      • Symposia – Speakers: Lin, Langan, Bosch, Fasoli, & Rowe presenting on survey as product of task force.
      • Products in process:
        • 2 papers
        • 1 IEP

    PLANS FOR CY 2017:

    • Submit at least 1 conference proposal
    • Present at least one session/poster for conference
    • Submit one article and one IEP for publication
    • Build comprehensive roster of task force members
    • Host one Virtual Happy Hour
    • Continue to collaborate with other Stroke ISIG Task Forces to identify potential collaborative opportunities
    • Discuss best times and meeting formats with members; Use online resources to stimulate discussion and support project management.


    • A recent publication suggesting appropriate operational definitions for intensity, duration, and frequency of stroke rehabilitation (Arch Phys Med Rehabil, 2012;93:1395-9).
    • Another manuscript is being drafted to provide clinicians with current evidence and guidelines for use of neuroprosthetic walking devices.
    • The group is preparing a conference symposium for the 2013 ACRM Annual Conference that will emphasize the importance of using standardized clinical assessments and assist clinicians in putting such tools to use in their settings.
    • Other planned products include fact sheets on post-stroke complementary and alternative medicine and secondary stroke prevention.

    For more information about the Movement Interventions Task Force contact Marsha Neville.



    CO-CHAIR: John Ross Rizzo, MD
    CO-CHAIR: Kimberly Hreha, EdD, MS, OTR/L

    The visual system is one of our most important senses. It enables us to gather and process information and determines how we will interact with our dynamic environment. Neurological diseases or insults can leave patients with some degree of visual, perceptual, and/or cognitive dysfunction. A neglected component in therapies to improve function is a clear understanding of eye-hand coordination even though harmonization between eye and hand movement is required for all functional activities.

    The mission of this task force is to understand how vision, visual motor, and visual perceptual training can be generalized to limb training to improve coordination and functional performance and develop the field of functional vision rehabilitation. Further, our task force will investigate the role of eye movements in eye-hand coordination and in the recovery of motor control in patients with stroke. We hope to stimulate research that will build a logical foundation to integrate the principles of eye-hand coordination into clinical practice to improve functional ability.

    The Vision Task Force is a group comprised of clinicians and researchers who are dedicated to elucidating these serious concerns. Aside from the development of functional vision rehabilitation for ocular ailments, our secondary goals involve promulgating information regarding the importance of visual deficits and the clinical situations where they may be prevalent, in addition to advocating for public policy to take a stronger stance on assisting those with vision impediments and allocating healthcare resources appropriately.


    1. Finish our second paper
      • Reviewed the information that was completed prior to this year for the paper, in box.net. Completed  new draft of paper, up to results section.
    2. Continue to work on editing the Conceptual Model Paper
      • Pending publication Sept/Oct 2016.
    3. Prepare and submit products on behalf of the task force
      • Kimberly Hreha gave the July "Virtual Happy Hour." She presented and discussed her dissertation research  project on prism treatment for stroke survivors with multiple strokes, spatial neglect and motor dysfunction.
      • RehabMeasures.org will be publishing online a review that was completed on the Kessler Foundation Neglect Assessment Process.
      • At ACRM a few of our members are presenting (e.g., JR Rizzo, Pam Roberts)
      • AOTA Accepted oral presentation for Vision Conceptual Model for March/April 2017

    PLANS for CY 2017:

    • Submit at least 1 conference proposal
    • Present at least one session/poster for conference
    • Present Vision Conceptual Model at AOTA Annual conference in March/April 2017
    • Submit one article for publication
    • Recruit and engage at least 2 new members


    One of the first projects that the Vision Task Force has focused on is developing a conceptual framework for vision. Colenbrander (2009) distinguishes between visual function and functional vision. The task force has taken these two concepts and built a conceptual framework for vision-centric healthcare. As our field progresses within the domains of ophthalmology, optometry, rehabilitation medicine, neurology, and neurosurgery, it behooves us to combine this burgeoning field of evidence-based medicine into reliable and valid diagnostic and treatment algorithms that can be utilized across clinical specialties.



    CO-CHAIR: Jacklyn Schwartz, PhD, OTR/L
    CO-CHAIR: Suzanne Perea Burns, PhD, OTR/L

    Health management and maintenance is an important instrumental activity of daily living following stroke. Survivors must learn how to manage their condition and actively prevent future stroke or other disease. The goal of this group is to engage in activities promoting the health and wellbeing of persons after stroke. Topics of interest include, nutrition, physical activity, adherence, medication management, and mental health.


    1. Engagement of members to participate in task force activities
      • Active participation in multiple papers and annual conference
    2. Instructional course at on interdisciplinary evaluation and treatment of persons with mild stroke
      • Instructional course at annual conference-Oct 2016
    3. Development of 3 white papers on the treatment of mild stroke in regards to participation, health, and cognition
      • In process
    4. Development of 1 paper regarding the definition of mild stroke
      • In process

    PLANS FOR CY 2017

    • Goal: Identify new targeted area of contribution (e.g.. mild stroke)
    • Goal: Submission of one presentation for ACRM conference
    • Goal: Submission of one peer-reviewed paper
    • Goal: Host one virtual happy hour


    For the 2016 ACRM Annual Conference, the Health and Wellness Task Force is submitting an instructional course on rehabilitation for persons with mild stroke. Many people do not receive rehabilitation after mild stroke, but the literature demonstrates that people in this population do experience deficits upon returning to the community, particularly in complex instrumental activities of daily living. The purpose of this instructional course is to describe best practices for persons with mild stroke in the areas of cognitive function, nutrition, physical activity, medication adherence, driving, return to work, and mental health.



    CO-CHAIR: Michell Camicia, MSN, CRRN, CCM, FAHA

    The purpose of this group of nursing scholars and clinicians is to perform activities that support ACRM’s mission of enhancing the lives of individuals with disabilities through interdisciplinary rehabilitation research.


    1. Increase participation of nurses actively involved in ACRM
      • 2 full day Instructional Courses at ACRM Annual meeting in 2015
    2. Increase attendance of nurses at the ACRM annual meeting
      • Increase in papers/posters by nurses

    PLANS for CY 2017

    • White Paper development/summary with interprofessional work group



    CO-CHAIR: Christina M. del Toro, PhD, CCC-SLP
    Assistant Professor, Speech-Language Pathology Program
    Midwestern University

    CO-CHAIR: Michelle Armour, MS, CCC-SLP
    Speech-Language Pathologist
    Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital part of Northwestern Medicine

    Aphasia is a language disorder resulting from damage to the left-hemisphere of the brain. Aphasia most commonly occurs following a stroke and results in long-term disability of communication. Individuals with aphasia have difficulty speaking, reading, writing, and understanding spoken language. However, individuals with aphasia are otherwise intelligent with preserved memory and attention systems.  As such, aphasia is a frustrating disorder in which an individual is unable to express his or her thoughts fully and accurately or understand the thoughts of others.

    Oftentimes individuals with aphasia have lingering medical needs following the stroke and/or physical and occupational impairments as a result of the stroke. Additionally, depression commonly occurs in individuals with aphasia. Therefore, individuals with aphasia are typically under the care of multiple health care professionals.  However, not all healthcare professionals receive specific education or training on aphasia.

    The goals of this task force is to increase aphasia education in the medical professionals that treat these individuals and support interdisciplinary research on the care of individuals with aphasia.  Specifically, this task force aims to improve the communication between rehabilitation professionals and their patient’s with aphasia in order to improve the care and quality of life of these individuals.

    Plans for CY 2017

    • Build active membership
    • Increase attendance of speech-language pathologists at the ACRM Annual Conference
    • Identify the knowledge of aphasia within ACRM members
    • Host one Virtual Happy Hour



    Developing Stroke-Related Program Content

    A major focus of the STROKE ISIG is to promote more stroke-related content in the ACRM annual conference program. The 2012 Vancouver conference was a tremendous success in this area. We began the meeting with two great half-day pre-conference instructional courses, Innovations in Stroke Rehabilitation – Part 1 (Catherine Lang, Arlene Schmid, Robert Teasell, Lara Boyd) and Part 2 (Sarah Wallace, Deirdre Dawson, Pamela Roberts, Richard Riggs JR Rizzo).

    We also sponsored the inaugural Stroke Special Topics Session titled, “Translating Research into Clinical Practice,” featuring Janice Eng and colleagues discussing their GRASP program. This symposium is now an annual event dedicated to the presentation and discussion of integrated efforts to implementing research findings in real-world clinical practice.

    An extra bonus for the STROKE ISIG during the Vancouver conference was the Deborah L. Wilkerson Early Career Award Winner presentation by Elizabeth Skidmore (“Closing the Gap: Early Intervention for Cognitive Disability after Stroke”).

    To learn more about membership and activities of the STROKE ISIG, contact the chair, Stephen Page, PhD, OTR/L FAHA, FACRM.

    Stroke ISIG Resources

    • The Member Guide to Product Development describes ACRM products, i.e., fact sheets, journal articles, manuals, and the procedure used by ACRM groups and committees to develop them. The guide includes a Product Development Worksheet and how to request a Product Review.