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BI-ISIG Moving Ahead Newsletter


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






BI-ISIG 2020 Election

Voting members of the Brain Injury Interdisciplinary Special Interest Group (BI-ISIG) will receive an email invitation the first week in March to participate in the BI-ISIG Election. BI-ISIG leadership positions opening in 2020 include chair-elect, secretary, awards officer, Program Committee liaison, communications officer, early career officer, and treasurer. Please follow the link below to review the slate of candidates and show your support by casting your vote.

If you believe you are a BI-ISIG member in good standing and do not receive an invitation to the election ballot by Monday, 9 March, please contact Cindy Robinson for assistance. Read More >>


Lance Trexler receives Senator Pat Miller Award for his pioneering work

Lance TrexlerCongratulations to Dr. Lance Trexler, Past Chair of the ACRM Brain Injury Interdisciplinary Special Interest Group (BI-ISIG), for receiving the Senator Pat Miller Award. He was recognized by the RHI Research, Training & Outcome Center for his years of pioneering work in bringing community services to people with brain injury. He was the man behind the creation and implementation of Resource Facilitation through Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation to help people with brain injury return-to-work. It was also under his leadership that RHI achieved a nation-leading 70% success rate.


John Whyte featured in NR Times

John Whyte imageCongratulations to ACRM Fellow, John Whyte, MD, PhD, FACRM, who was recently featured in an NR Times article discussing the scourge of the ‘black box’ of rehabilitation, which has been described as our inability to characterize treatments in a systematic fashion across diagnoses, settings, and disciplines, so as to identify and disseminate the active ingredients of those treatments.” Whyte has been a key participant for over a decade in developing a new approach to treatment classification and measurement in rehabilitation and is now chair of the ACRM Rehabilitation Treatment Specification Task Force that continues to promote their implementation. Dr. Whyte and colleagues will present a two-part symposium on the topic during the ACRM Conference in Chicago on 7 November. Read More >>


Please congratulate fellow ACRM BI-ISIG members, Sougandhi (Samantha) L. Backhaus, PhD and Jennifer A. Bogner, PhD, ABPP, FACRM on their prestigious Brain Injury Association of America awards. Presentation of these awards will be made during the ACRM Annual Conference in Chicago, 5-8 November 2019.

William Fields Caveness Award Winner

The William Fields Caveness Award is presented in recognition of an individual who, through research on both a national and international level, has made outstanding contributions to bettering the lives of people who have sustained brain injury. This year’s award winner, Jennifer A. Bogner, PhD, ABPP, FACRM, is a professor at the Ohio State University Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PMR).

Dr. Bogner holds the Bert C. Wiley, M.D., Endowed Chair in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Her roles within the department of PMR include being vice-chair of research and academic affairs and being the director of the division of rehabilitation psychology. She also serves as associate editor for the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, as secretary for ACRM, and as immediate past-chair of the Brain Injury Interdisciplinary Special Interest Group of ACRM. She is the project director for the Ohio Regional TBI Model Systems and chairs the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research TBI Model Systems’ Strategic Planning Committee.

The overarching goal of her research has been to improve long-term outcomes after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Specific areas of research include the comparative effectiveness of rehabilitation interventions, prevention and treatment of substance misuse following TBI, evaluating the impact of lifetime exposure to TBI on quality of life, and the development and validation of measurement tools to support rehabilitation research and clinical practice. In light of the medical community’s history of taking an average of 17 years to implement research findings into practice, Dr. Bogner has taken an interest in improving our methods for dissemination and implementation and is currently one of the leaders of the Health Services Research Special Interest Group within the TBI Model Systems.

Dr. Bogner’s research has been guided by the priorities set by the Advisory Council of the Ohio Valley Center for Brain Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation (OVC). Founded more than 25 years ago by her collaborator, mentor, and friend, John Corrigan, Ph.D., the OVC Advisory Council has helped to ensure that research being conducted by OVC is relevant, important, and accessible to persons living with brain injury. The Advisory Council is comprised of persons living with brain injury, family members, and advocates with an interest in doing work that has a positive impact on the wider brain injury community.

Sheldon Berrol, MD Clinical Service Award Winner

Samantha Backhaus imageThe Sheldon Berrol MD Clinical Service Award is presented each year to an individual who, through a long service career, has made outstanding contributions to improving the quality of care, professional training, and education in the field of brain injury. The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) announced that the 2019 award recipient is Sougandhi (Samantha) L. Backhaus, PhD.

Sougandhi “Samantha” L. Backhaus is a Clinical Neuropsychologist who is currently the associate director of the Outpatient Brain Injury Neuropsychology Services at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana (RHI). Her roles include providing clinical services to persons with brain injury and their family, as well as developing new programs to enhance patient outcomes. Specifically, she conducts neuropsychological examinations, leads the outpatient brain injury treatment team in facilitating rehabilitation care and treatment planning, and provides individual, couples, and group therapies.

Dr. Backhaus has developed evidenced-based treatments to help improve the long-term functioning of individuals with brain injuries and family members. Amongst these programs, she co-developed a 16-week, evidenced-based coping skills group intervention to improve self-efficacy, neurobehavioral, and psychological functions after brain injury. She also co-developed a couples program to help improve satisfaction, quality, and marital adjustment after brain injury.

Additionally, Dr. Backhaus works with an interdisciplinary treatment team in developing new programs utilizing evidence-based research models, including a Cognitive and Life Skills Training Intervention based on evidenced-based treatment models recommended by the American Congress of Rehabilitation (ACRM), as well as a Post-Traumatic Confusion Treatment program called ASE – Assessment, Support, and Education for persons in PTC).

ACRM Disorders of Consciousness Practice Guideline

New Practice Guideline on Disorders of Consciousness

For people in a coma, vegetative state or with limited consciousness, an early and accurate diagnosis could mean a better chance for recovery in the first three months, according to a new guideline developed by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) and the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). The guideline, “Practice guideline update recommendations summary: Disorders of consciousness” posted in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation on August 8, 2018 and is freely available. View the Guideline, Systematic Review and Summaries >>

BI-ISIG on Twitter

Connect with the Brain Injury ISIG on Twitter

Follow, heart your fave posts, retweet and show your support for #TBI #RehabResearch.

Connect on Twitter @ACRMBrainInjur1 >>

See all BI-ISIG social media platforms >>