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Pre-Conference Instructional Course

Tour The World-Renowned

Available FREE to ALL ACRM attendees >> 


ACRM Pre-Conference Instructional Course #302250


PART 1: TUES 24 OCT // 1:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Hilton Atlanta

Reception & Shepherd Center Tour to follow 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
at Shepherd Center (own transportation required)
2020 Peachtree Rd NW, Atlanta, GA

PART 2: WED 25 OCT // 8:30 AM – 2:30 PM
Hilton Atlanta

Primary Content Focus: Neurodegenerative Disease (e.g. MS, Parkinson’s disease)

Secondary Content Focus: Clinical Practice (assessment, diagnosis, treatment, knowledge translation/EBP, implementation science, program development)


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Questions?  Click to call or register by phone:  +1.866.405.3489

This instructional course (PART 1 to be held at the Shepherd Center) will present information related to the pathophysiology of MS and an integrated, comprehensive model of care that incorporates a wellness approach to the management of MS.

A combination of lecture and case study discussion will demonstrate the integration of evidence for the comprehensive management of symptoms and functional impairment in people with MS. PART 1 will culminate with a tour of Shepherd Center and reception at the Shepherd Center.


  • CME / CEUs


PART 1 = $149.50
PART 2 = $149.50

Both parts of this course are included in the WORLD PASS from $799 member student


  1. Describe the pathophysiology of MS and relate to the potential for medical and rehabilitation intervention
  2. Define a comprehensive approach to management of clients with MS
  3. Describe a wellness approach to management of MS symptoms across the lifespan
  4. Discuss current research in MS and elaborate upon key issues being addressed in rehabilitation research
  5. Discuss the importance of integrating standardized clinical outcome assessment across the lifespan for management of MS


Deborah Backus, PT, PhD, FACRM
Shepherd Center

Anneke Bender, PT, MSCS, RYT200
Shepherd Center

Anna Berry, PT, DPT
Shepherd Center

Blake Burdett, BS
Shepherd Center

Emily Cade, MS, CRC, CCM, CLCP
Shepherd Center

Sherrill Loring, MD
Shepherd Center

Jonathan Melbourn
Shepherd Center

Bonnie Schaude
Shepherd Center

Ben Thrower, MD
Shepherd Center

Tracy Walker, WOCN, FNP-C
Shepherd Center


Deborah Backus

Deborah Backus, PT, PhD is Director of Multiple Sclerosis Research at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Backus is an experienced physical therapist, educator, and researcher dedicated to improving functional and health outcomes for people with neurological injury or disease, specifically multiple sclerosis (MS) and spinal cord injury (SCI). She received her BS in Physical Therapy in 1986, and her PhD in neuroscience in 2004. As part of the Eula C.and Andrew C. Carlos MS Rehabilitation and Wellness Program at Shepherd Center, Dr. Backus’ research efforts are focused on the assessment of the needs for people at varying stages of MS, and the evaluation of rehabilitation and exercise interventions that may be beneficial to people with MS. Her clinical experience combined with her research interests has fueled a passion for facilitating the translation of evidence into clinical practice, including influencing clinicians in practice, payers for reimbursement of evidence-based interventions, and policy makers related to health policy. Dr. Backus has presented both nationally and internationally, and has also published related to this work.

Anneke Bender, PT, MSCS, RYT200, is a physical therapist in the Eula C. & Andrew C. Carlos MS Rehabilitation and Wellness Program, a program that provides comprehensive MS treatment across the continuum of care. She is a certified specialist in MS, and recently co-authored a study looking at the impact of massage therapy on fatigue, pain and spasticity in people living with multiple sclerosis. She has helped to develop a community-based program providing instruction in yoga for those living with neurological disabilities, and is a committed advocate for wellness opportunities for this population beyond the traditional scope of treatment.

Anna Berry, PT, DPT, is the manager of the multiple sclerosis rehabilitation and wellness program at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a physical therapist and educator with 7 years of working with patients with neurological conditions, 5 of which have been spent working solely with patients living with multiple sclerosis. After completing her doctorate in physical therapy, she completed a research fellowship at the Shepherd Center under Dr. Deborah Backus investigating the neurobehavioral outcomes of visually-guided, repeated movement training in individuals with chronic tetraplegia. She has presented to people living with MS about wellness, physical activity, and navigating healthcare as it relates to all therapy disciplines. She has taught neuro rehab and modalities for PTA students and has served as a mentor for several DPT students. Her undergraduate degree is in psychology and she has a doctorate in physical therapy. Her dream is for everyone living with MS to thrive as a result of quality comprehensive medical care that is easily accessible to them.

Guy J. Buckle, MD, MPH, is Director of Neuroimaging Research at the Andrew C. Carlos MS Institute at Shepherd Center in Atlanta, GA. Dr. Buckle recently joined the Shepherd Center after nearly 20 years serving as Director of Clinical Care at Partners Multiple Sclerosis Center Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, where he also served as Assistant Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. He received his medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine, where he also earned his Masters in Public Health degree, with a concentration in infectious diseases. Dr. Buckle completed his residency in neurology at the Harvard Longwood Neurological Training Program, where he was also selected as Chief Resident. He completed his fellowship in neuroimmunology at Harvard Medical School with support from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the National Institutes of Health. His primary research interests include neuroimmunology and neuroimaging of central nervous system demyelinating disease. Dr. Buckle’s work has been published in a broad range of peer-reviewed journals, including Annals of Neurology, Journal of Immunology, Journal of Infectious Diseases, Journal of Neuroimaging, Neurology, Science Translational Medicine, and Nature Medicine. He is a member of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Society of Neuroimaging and serves on the Clinical Advisory Committee, National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Board of Governors of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC).

Blake Burdett is a Clinical Exercise Physiologist that serves as Program Coordinator for The Eula C. and Andrew C. Carlos MS Wellness Program at Shepherd Center. Mr. Burdett is experienced in designing and implementing novel programming for people with MS. Mr. Burdett contributes to numerous research publications at Shepherd Center in the categories of health and wellness outcomes and FES cycling for people with MS.

Emily Cade is the director of Shepherd Center Outpatient Services, which includes the Andrew C. Carlos Multiple Sclerosis Institute, Shepherd Spine & Pain Institute, Multi-Specialty Clinic, Urology Clinic, Wound Clinic, and Medical Imaging Services. She was previously the program manager of the Andrew C. Carlos Multiple Sclerosis Institute at Shepherd Center, and before that was a case manager at Shepherd and North Fulton Regional Hospital in Atlanta. Cade earned a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from Mississippi State University. She holds certifications as a case manager, rehabilitation counselor, life care planner, and lean six sigma black belt. Cade has been an active member of the MS community, speaking to various groups on topics ranging from case management strategies to vocational disability issues. In 2009, she was awarded the NMSS GA chapter Medical Provider Volunteer of the Year Award. She is a frequent speaker at the Consortium of MS Centers International annual meeting and has authored articles for MS FOCUS magazine.

Julie Huerbin is an occupational therapist in the Eula C & Andrew C Carlos MS Rehabilitation and Wellness Program at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, GA. Ms. Huerbin also is a certified yoga instructor and teaches adaptive yoga specific to patients with neurologic conditions. In addition, she has worked in upper extremity clinic for SCI and has extensive experience in fabrication of various UE orthotics.

Sherrill Loring is a neurologist at the Andrew C. Carlos Multiple Sclerosis Institute at Shepherd Center. She earned her medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina. She then completed an internship and residency at the Medical College of Georgia, where she was later a clinical assistant professor of neurology. Dr. Loring also worked as the chief of neurology at University Hospital in Augusta, GA, and later directed the MS Clinic at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC, before taking the position at the University of Florida. She is a member of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Medical Association.

Jonathan Melbourn is a physical therapist and Multiple Sclerosis Research Fellow at Shepherd Center in Atlanta, GA. Jonathan splits his time between providing rehabilitation exclusively to people with multiple sclerosis and researching rehabilitation interventions specifically for people with multiple sclerosis. His current research project examines the effectiveness of an 8-week long body-weight supported gait training intervention for people with moderate to severe multiple sclerosis.

Ben Thrower, MD, is Medical Director of the MS Institute at Shepherd Center in Atlanta, GA, where he works exclusively with individuals with multiple sclerosis. He is also a Clinical Instructor of Neurology at Emory University and participates actively in clinical research. Dr. Thrower earned his medical degree from the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville. He completed both his internal medicine internship and neurology residency at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in San Antonio. Prior to his current position, he served as Medical Director of the Holy Family MS Center in Spokane, WA. In Spokane, he was the Chair of the Inland Northwest Chapter of the National MS Society. Dr. Thrower has received the Norm Cohn Hope Chest Award by the National MS Society, recognizing his work with the MS community. He serves on the board of directors of the Georgia Chapter of the National MS Society and has served on the board for the Consortium of MS Centers. Dr. Thrower was the first physician to be inducted into the NMSS Volunteer Hall of Fame. He also serves as a clinical instructor of neurology at Emory University.

Tracy Walker, WOCN, FNP-C, is the MS Clinical Outcomes Specialist in the MS Institute at the Shepherd Center. She has been with Shepherd Center since 1994 and specializes in treating patients with neurological conditions. She is a certified family nurse practitioner, a wound ostomy continence nurse, as well as a Georgia registered nurse. Walker received a bachelor’s of science in nursing from the Medical College of Georgia. She also earned a certification in enterostomal therapy nursing at Emory University and a master’s of science in nursing at Georgia State University. Walker is actively involved in the MS community and frequently speaks on MS issues. Most notably, she has spoken on behalf of the MS Consortium of MS Institutes. Walker has been instrumental in design and implementation of a novel model of care at the Shepherd Center. She has presented nationally for the MS Foundation, the National MS Society, and others.

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Questions?  Click To Call or Register By Phone:  +1.866.405.3489

ACRM Annual ConferenceProgress in Rehabilitation Research (PIRR#2017)

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