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TUE 1 NOV // 8:00 AM – 5:30 PM


Primary Content Focus: Health/disability policy, ethics, advocacy

Secondary Content Focus: Other (Cross-cutting: Brain Injury, Cognitive impairment, SCI, non-pt specific)

An ethics of care underpins a person-centered care (PCC) approach to rehabilitation services. What does this ethics of care look like? We will describe and critique ethical and relational approaches to care by explicating psycho-social, cultural, attitudinal, systemic and conceptual factors that can influence PCC, such as persons’ ability to exercise choices and participate in shared-decision-making. We will present a successful example of a system of care that promotes peer-supported self-directed care to explore organizational and contextual factors that facilitate PCC. Active learning tools will be used to promote awareness of these topics and facilitate learning from each other.


  1. Become aware of ethics and relational ethics in healthcare and rehabilitation
  2. Recognize strengths and limitations of current models of care and learn about alternatives
  3. Engage in discussions with leading experts to explore ways to affect organizational, clinical and conceptual changes in rehabilitation care


  • person-centered care
  • ethics of care
  • persons with disabilities



Christina PapadimitriouChristina Papadimitriou, PhD
Associate Professor, NIU

Christina Papadimitriou is Associate Professor at Northern Illinois University, College of Health and Human Science, School of Nursing and Health Studies. Christina received her PhD from Boston University, Department of Sociology (2000) and her post-doctoral training from Northwestern University, Institute of Healthcare Studies (2009) and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Center for Rehabilitation Outcomes Research (CROR). Christina is an active qualitative rehabilitation researcher who studies client-centeredness in SCI (NIDRR, H133F090053), peer-health navigation (NIDRR, HI33B140012), and peer mentoring among other topics.  She is methodological consultant in several SCI QUERI studies at the Hines Veteran Hospital. Research interests: Sociology of Disability; Clinical Encounters in Rehabilitation; Spinal Cord Injury and Rehabilitation Outcomes.


Julie GassawayJulie Gassaway, RN
Director Health and Wellness, Shepherd Center

Julie Gassaway is the Director of Health and Wellness and a senior clinical research scientist at the Virginia C. Crawford Research Institute at Shepherd Center in Atlanta, GA. Julie’s research interests revolve around improving the transition process from acute rehabilitation to home environments. Current efforts focus on patient centered care management and research for persons with disabilities. She serves as a co-investigator on a Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute grant in which she leads development and implementation efforts for the patient-owned engagement portal as well as a randomized clinical trial that demonstrated the value of peer mentorship to decrease reliance on the healthcare system and increase persons’ sense of self efficacy. Julie presents research findings at many national rehabilitation conferences, has authored over 60 peer-reviewed publications and serves as a reviewer and occasional guest editor for several rehabilitation journals.


Mike JonesMichael Jones, PhD, FACRM
Vice President, Research and Technology, CIO, Shepherd Center

Dr. Jones is Vice President, Research and Technology, at the Shepherd Center, and co-director of two Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers with partners Georgia Tech, Duke University, and Northeastern University.  A behavior analyst by training, Mike’s research interests address the design and management of programs and services that promote full inclusion of people with disabilities. His work includes applications of universal design, information and communication technology, and behavior management strategies to promote health, wellness, and community participation.


John Banja, PhD
Professor, Emory University Center for Ethics

I am a professor in the department of rehabilitation medicine at Emory University as well as a biomedical ethicist working at the Center for Ethics.  I teach courses in medical ethics, neuroethics and research ethics and have authored or co-authored over 200 publications.


Chris MacDonell Christine MacDonell, FACRM
Managing Director, Medical Rehabilitation and International Aging Services/Medical Rehabilitation, CARF International

Chris began her varied career in the health care industry as an occupational therapist after graduating from the University of Southern California. While in California, she became an administrator of a full rehabilitation continuum of care. Chris came to CARF in 1991. She has served as the Managing Director of Medical Rehabilitation and International Medical Rehabilitation and Aging Services during her time with CARF. Chris is a Fellow of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Chris has represented CARF at international, national, regional and local meetings to promote and interpret standards and the use of accreditation as a quality business and clinical strategy throughout the continuum of care.


Alisa Grigorovich
Research Associate, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute – University Health Network

Dr. Grigorovich is an inter-disciplinary health researcher with expertise in critical social theory and qualitative and quantitative methodologies. She has published in the area of ethics of care, dementia and chronic illness caregiving, vocational evaluation, and long term care. She is currently a Senior Research Associate at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and her current program of research focuses on ethics, dementia and long term care.


Kate LorigKate Lorig, RN, PhD
Emeritus, Stanford University School of Medicine, Division of Immunology and Rheumatology, Dept of Medicine


Pia KontosPia Kontos, PhD
Senior Scientist, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute – University Health Network

Dr. Kontos is a Senior Scientist at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute-UHN and Associate Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. Central to her program of research is the transformation of the culture of care so it is more humanistic and quality-enhancing for people living with cognitive impairment, family care partners, and health care practitioners. This has involved her development of a philosophy and approach to person-centred and relational care that emphasizes embodied selfhood (the importance of the body – its movements and gestures – for self-expression and interdependence). To implement this philosophy in practice, she draws on the arts for their emotive and expressive nature, specifically music, dance, and improvisational play to enrich the lives of people living with dementia. She also draws on research-based drama and film as novel approaches to bridge her philosophy of person-centred and relational care with practice in long-term care and rehabilitation settings, and to effect change at both a personal and organizational level.


Pete Anziano
Lead peer support liaison and instructional designer, SCI Peer Support Program, Shepherd Center

Mr. Anziano is the lead peer support liaison and instructional designer in the SCI peer support program at Shepherd Center. Pete was involved in a motorcycle accident in 2004 that resulted in a T-12 AIS A spinal injury. For the past 10 years, Pete has worked in acute, post-acute and community settings, sharing knowledge with people new to SCI or just looking for specific insight. Pete assists in Peer Support program development, oversees selection and training of other mentors, matches patients and family members with appropriate mentors, and plans/supports annual community events sponsored by the department. He also co-treats with nurse educators, therapists, and exercise specialists at Shepherd Center. He participants actively in research projects that involve patient-centered care and peer involvement. Pete also conducts presentations about life with disability at local universities for graduate and doctoral students preparing to enter careers as Occupational and Physical Therapists; most recently delivering the commencement address for the DPT program at Georgia State University.


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One full day of Instructional Courses: $199 // Three full days: $399

WORLD PASS (from $599) is the best value if you attend the CORE Conference and just one instructional course.
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*Although significant changes are not anticipated, all schedules, sessions, and presenters posted on this website are subject to change.