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WED 25 OCT // 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Primary Content Focus: Brain Injury

Persisting symptoms afflict 10-20% of patients with concussion. A multidisciplinary approach is essential for patient management. Presenters are experts from an academic multi-disciplinary concussion center. Presenters will exhibit complex sports and non-sports related cases. Attendees will also bring cases which will be reviewed in workgroups and presented to participants. Areas of focus will be physician management, nurse coordination, physical and vestibular therapy, vision therapy, speech language pathology, social work, and neuropsychological management. Following each interactive case presentation, faculty will lead focused, high impact discussions with clinical pearls highlighting evidence based evaluation tips, treatment approaches, and return to function goals.


  1. Apply the critical components of the physician examination
  2. Understand the essential components of a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach to assessment and treatment and how to apply it
  3. Understand the role of the nurse in care management, return to learn, return to play and return to work and how to apply it
  4. Demonstrate practical and creative evaluation and treatment techniques for the complex patient with vestibular, oculomotor, musculoskeletal and speech and language dysfunction and create effective functional goals
  5. Use critical thinking to problem solve complex cases of PCD


Steven Flanagan, MD
Rusk Rehabilitation, NYU Langone Medical Center

Donna Langenbahn, PhD
Rusk Rehabilitation, NYU Langone Medical Center

Geraldine Pagnotta, PT, MPH
Rusk Rehabilitation, NYU Langone Medical Center

Mia Palazzo, PT, DPT, OCS, Cert MDT
Rusk Rehabilitation, NYU Langone Medical Center

Mary Reilly, MS, CCC-SLP
Rusk Rehabilitation, NYU Langone Medical Center

John Rizzo, MD
Rusk Rehabilitation, NYU Langone Medical Center

Mackenzie Root, PT, DPT, NCS
Rusk Rehabilitation, NYU Langone Medical Center

Pamela Singer, MSW, LCSW
Rusk Rehabilitation, NYU Langone Medical Center

Mara Sproul, RN, MPA, CCRN, RN-BC
Rusk Rehabilitation, NYU Langone Medical Center

Margaret Waskiewicz, MS, OTR/L
Rusk Rehabilitation, NYU Langone Medical Center


Steven R. Flanagan, MD, is highly recognized, nationally and internationally, as one of the leading experts in the area of brain injury rehabilitation. Dr. Flanagan joined NYU Langone Medical Center in 2008 as Professor and Chairman of Rehabilitation Medicine and Medical Director of Rusk Rehabilitation after serving as Vice Chairman of Rehabilitation Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine from 2000-2008. While at Mount Sinai, Dr. Flanagan and his colleagues developed a seamless continuum of care for people with brain injury that was unique in New York State. He serves on numerous medical advisory boards, including the India Head Injury Foundation, the Brain Trauma Foundation, and the Brain Injury Association of New York State. He is a peer reviewer for several scientific journals, chaired the Central Nervous System Membership Council of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Medicine, currently chairs the Medical Education Committee and sits on its Board of Governors. He authored numerous chapters and peer-reviewed publications, and participated in both federally and industry sponsored research. He served as Panel Chair for the TBI/Stroke Group for the VA Merit Review from 2007-2013. He received awards from several organizations, including the Brain Injury Association of New York State, Attending Physician of the Year Award from the Department of Nursing, and Teacher of the Year from the residents in Rehabilitation Medicine at Mount Sinai. He has been continually listed as one of America’s Top Doctors by Castle Connolly from since 2010.

Donna Langenbahn

Dr. Donna Langenbahn is Clinical Associate Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine at NYU School of Medicine, and Associate Director of Psychology – Outpatient Services, Rusk Rehabilitation, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, NY. She has worked in the area of acquired brain injury (ABI) assessment and treatment for over 30 years, and has presented nationally and internationally on these topics. From 1991 through 2012, she was a member of an NIH-funded Rusk research team exploring the treatment of deficits in executive functioning and problem-solving following mild traumatic brain injury and other ABI. She is contributing author/co-editor of the Cognitive Rehabilitation Manual: Translating Evidence-based Recommendations into Practice, a resource training guide for professionals. She is co-author on four evidence-based reviews of the effectiveness of cognitive rehabilitation in treating cognitive impairment after TBI, stroke, and other medical conditions that affect cognition. From 2000 to 2006, she was part of an interdisciplinary Rusk team assessing and treating individuals with mild traumatic brain injury, and concussion, and she currently manages Rusk’s neuropsychological assessment and treatment team providing services to adults with concussion.

Dina Pagnotta, PT, MPH is a physical therapist with over 19 years of experience in areas including cardiac, vestibular, inpatient and outpatient rehab, women’s health, and concussion. She is the Director of Strategic Initiatives for Rusk Rehabilitation at NYU Langone Medical Center. She is administrative director for the NYU Langone Concussion Center. She received a Master of Physical Therapy from Hahnemann University and a Master of Public Health from Columbia University. In her role as director of the Rehabilitation Network and Programming, she has worked extensively in programming, creating opportunities for the community to access critical information about concussion, injury prevention, and exercise. She oversees a Network of 75 private rehab practices affiliated with NYULMC with locations throughout the tri-state area in addition to being an integral member of the team in the development and implementation of the NYU Concussion Center. She is responsible for daily operations, policy development, programming and marketing for Center. She has co-directed several professional conferences and has served on the medical team for major sporting events including the NYC Marathon. She is involved in research and has worked with the Concussion Center team in establishing and facilitating the Concussion Center Research Steering Committee and is a member of the Rusk Research Committee. She works with the team at Rusk Rehabilitation and across the medical center on new projects and programs.

Mia Palazzo, PT, DPT, OCS, Cert. MDT, is Program Manager of Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and The Sports Performance Center at the Center for Musculoskeletal Care at NYU Langone Medical Center. Mia is a Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopedics (OCS) through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS). She is also certified by the McKenzie Institute in the Mechanical Diagnosis and Treatment of the Spine (MDT). Mia earned her Master’s in Physical Therapy from Long Island University and went on to receive her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Temple University. Her areas of specialty and interest include concussion related neck pain, mechanical spine disorders and running related injuries. As Program Manager of the Sports Performance Center Mia has been an integral part of the development and implementation of the internationally known Running Lab at NYU Langone Medical Center.

Mary Regina Reilly graduated Sigma Alpha Eta and Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Speech Language Pathology from Saint John’s University. Mary later graduated from Teacher’s College, Columbia University with a Master of Science Degree and won the Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence. Mary has over 20 years of clinical experience in working with patients with brain injury. During clinical experience she has focused on care of the patient in the acute care arena. Prior to joining the Rusk team, Mary managed and guided the development of Speech Language Pathology services across the continuum of care at Montefiore Medical Center. She has served as a member of the Healthcare Leadership Academy to foster the highest level of performance in organizational development. In conjunction with Montefiore Medical Center and Yeshiva University, Mary participated in the development of a Master’s’ of Science program in Speech Language Pathology. She has served as an Adjunct Professor at Mercy College with instruction provided in Adult Communication Disorders. Mary joined Rusk Rehabilitation in September of 2014 and is currently the Director for Speech Language Pathology. Current efforts focus on leading the team to practice at the highest level of practice with development in educational efforts, clinical practice and research.

John-Ross Rizzo, MD, is a physician scientist at NYU Langone Medical Center’s Rusk Rehabilitation, where he is an Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation with a cross-appointment in the Department of Neurology. He leads the newly formed Visuomotor Integration Laboratory (VMIL), where his team focuses on eye-hand coordination, as it relates to acquired brain injury (ABI). He is currently completing a K12 grant through the Rehabilitation Medicine Scientist Training Program (RMSTP), focusing on the temporal coupling of ocular motor to manual motor activity in acquired brain injury. He is also a Co-PI on a multi-disciplinary grant from the NY State Department of Health called the Empire Clinical Research Investigator Program (ECRIP), focusing on afferent and efferent vision in concussion. He has numerous peer-reviewed publications and book chapters, in addition to domestic and international patents filed for his rehabilitation tools.

Mackenzie Root earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Hunter College in New York City. She is a Senior Physical Therapist in the Vestibular Department at Rusk Rehabilitation NYU Langone Medical Center. She is a board certified clinical specialist in Neurologic Rehabilitation through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties, with advanced training and certification in Vestibular Rehabilitation. She has presented at the American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting on topics including the innovative treatment of a patient following acoustic neuroma resection, a patient with bacterial meningitis and cochlear implants, and use of a virtual reality headset following post-concussion syndrome. She is actively involved in ongoing research within the Vestibular Department at Rusk, with special interest in the use of virtual reality training in treatment of visual vertigo.

Pamela Singer has a BA in American Studies and a Masters in Social Work. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in NY state. She has more than 30 years experience as a Clinician in Health Care at NYU Langone Medical Center. Pamela has worked in in-patient acute care, inpatient acute rehabilitation, and outpatient rehabilitation. Her 15 year background in rehabilitation has focused on stroke, brain injury and concussion. Pamela is responsible for identifying and treating the psychosocial needs of our patients through counseling, education and resources. She has experience counseling individuals, couples and families. Pamela has developed and runs several psycho-educational and support groups for our patients and the community. She has spoken extensively at conferences and workshops around the country about numerous topics, including The Role of Social Work in Rehabilitation , and the importance of Groups in both Inpatient and Outpatient Rehabilitation.

Mara F. Sproul, RN, MPA, CRRN, RN-BC, is a registered nurse with 21 years of experience in rehabilitation, pediatrics, geriatrics, cardiology, and nursing administration. She is certified in geriatric and rehabilitation nursing and has a Master’s in Executive Public Administration from New York University, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Mara has a Bachelor of Science from Molloy College of Nursing in New York. In her role as the Concussion Center Program Manager, she manages, coordinates and implements all aspects of patient care, as well assisting with the development of the multidisciplinary Center. Mara is constantly striving to improve creative ways to foster a dynamic learning environment for patients and family members, and to promote the highest quality care and with the goal of continuous improvement. She is a member of the International Nursing Honor Society – Sigma Theta Tau, Association of Rehabilitation Nursing, American Association of Neuroscience Nurses and the American Association of Neurology.

Margaret Waskiewicz, OTR/L, is an occupational therapist with 11 years of experience. She has worked primarily with the neurological population in acute care, inpatient and outpatient settings and is currently the unit supervisor of the adult outpatient unit at NYU Langone Medical Center, Rusk Rehabilitation. At this time, she treats patients with vision deficits as a result of a neurologic injury and concussion patients. She is also an adjunct professor at New York University and Long Island University. Margaret has presented at national conferences including ACRM, AAPM&R and AOTA. She has been published in the special interest section for the American Occupational Therapy Association.


ACRM Annual ConferenceProgress in Rehabilitation Research (PIRR#2017)

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