A Magical Experience through the Eyes of an ACRM Early Career Member
By Kimberly Hreha, MS, OTR/L, Stroke Clinical Research Coordinator, Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation Research, Occupational Therapist with Kessler Foundation, and doctoral student at Teachers College, Columbia University
I was inspired to write this submission because the ACRM Annual Conference is my favorite conference and because I especially had a great time attending this year, in Orlando, Florida. As stated in the title, I could explain the conference as a “magical” experience just because we were in Disney World, the “happiest place on Earth!” However, to more suitably explain, I enjoyed attending (and have so for the past three years) because of:
- The extremely knowledgeable lecturers
- The multiple networking opportunities (which is important as an early career individual)
- How seamlessly the conference links research and the clinical world
During this particular conference, I spent much of my time with the Vision Task Force leaders of the Stroke Interdisciplinary Special Interest group (Stroke-ISIG). It was this collaboration that resulted in new friendships and additional opportunities for involvement in ACRM. Attending this year’s conference, I had expectations to comprehensively learn, but I did not anticipate leaving with a feeling of accomplishment, blessing, and excitement for the future direction of the task force.
For two years I have been involved in the Stroke-ISIG Vision Task Force. I joined because I have a passion for promoting evidence-based rehabilitation and this group was one effective catalyst to advance the field of stroke rehabilitation. Our group has been working on two specific projects: (1) Developing a conceptual model for vision rehabilitation and (2) Completing comprehensive literature reviews on assessments used for vision screening the acquired brain injury population.
Our goals are to publish our model and develop a clinician-friendly tool to assist with diagnosing vision-related deficits to improve the treatment of vision in a more comprehensive way. In order to meet one of our goals, the task force chairs decided what better time than now! Thus, in-between conference sessions, we spent many hours working on our collaborative paper. As aforementioned, because of this impromptu work, the conference became even more fulfilling for me.
Thus to conclude, I hope this submission expresses my extreme gratitude to this wonderful organization, again not only because of the exceptional conference that is planned each year, but for the opportunity to be affiliated with the ACRM community. I look forward to being involved in the organization for many years to come!