We look forward to seeing you at the ACRM Annual Conference:



For ALL healthcare professionals


Gerben DeJong served as ACRM President from 2005-2006.

Gerben DeJong, PhD, FACRM
Senior Fellow, MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital and Professor, Georgetown University School of Medicine

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Francie Schulwolf
Lead Instructor and Executive Coach, Sally Williamson & Associates

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Deborah Backus, PT, PhD, FACRM
Director of Multiple Sclerosis Research, Shepherd Center

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Sarah L. Batts, MBA Executive Director, Shepherd Center Foundation

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Alex Seblatnigg, CAVS, Director of Volunteer Service and Internal Engagement Shepherd Center

Leadership Development Course  TC 6

DAY: Saturday 25 April 2020

TIME: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

FORMAT: Didactic presentation & hands-on workshop

TOPIC AREAS: Leadership




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<<< “This course was created to empower the ACRM and rehabilitation medicine researchers and evidence-based practitioners to be the voices to move the field forward.” —Pamela Roberts, PhD, OTR/L, SCFES, FAOTA, CPHQ, FNAP, FACRM, ACRM President, Cedars-Sinai


ACRM Leadership Development Course is for everyone in healthcare. 8 CME/CEUs


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“Anyone who wants to learn how to be a more authentic, dynamic and effective leader in rehabilitation medicine needs to be at this course.” —Deborah Backus, PT, PhD, FACRM, ACRM Past President, Shepherd Center >>>


All rehabilitation healthcare providers, researchers, and adminstrators who are eager to enhance their communication and leadership skills.



The field of rehabilitation is at a critical point, requiring strong leadership to substantiate and promote its role in facilitating recovery and health in people with disability.

Meaningful leadership requires people who can influence others toward a common mission and goal. The best leaders are those who know and effectively leverage their leadership style to promote change and innovation, who utilize best practices for leadership, and who are inclusive of all people, from all related backgrounds, regardless of gender, race or ethnicity.

This inaugural course is designed to help rehabilitation and research professionals begin to develop leadership skills necessary to advance and build the leadership capacity in rehabilitation medicine and research. The focus of this first course is to help individuals develop the confidence and assertiveness necessary to achieve greater personal success, significantly contribute to the goals of ACRM and ultimately to the field of rehabilitation medicine and research.


Keynote presenter, Gerben DeJong, PhD, FACRM, will kick-off the course with a presentation titled, The Essential Leadership Trait that No One Talks About. Ask people what they think is the one leadership trait most essential for effective leadership. You will get as many answers as people you ask. But there is one quality or trait that is rarely, if ever, on anyone’s list and yet Dr. DeJong believes it is foundational. His presentation will outline why leaders with this trait are especially effective and how people missing this trait are the kind of people for whom you do not want to work.

He will contrast leaders with and without this foundational trait and illustrate why those without this essential trait are—or can be, immensely destructive, often unethical, and should be avoided at all costs. This trait underpins all that we do in rehabilitation practice and research. Wishing he had learned this earlier in his career, Dr. DeJong wants to pass along insights on how this essential trait can enhance your career, your leadership style, and your sense of professional fulfillment.  Curious?

Next, Alex Seblatnigg and Sarah Batts from Shepherd Center will lead participants to examine their own strength as a leader and define their leadership style for authentic leadership. Topics include:

  • Leadership strength inventory
  • Leadership style inventory
  • Leading with character and compassion


The afternoon workshop, led by Francie Schulwolf from Sally Williamson & Associates, will focus on developing strong, confident communicators and leaders in rehabilitation medicine. It starts with your personal brand and evaluating how people experience you in a business setting. Francie will introduce participants to the foundational skills of personal presence and the choices executives make that can influence impressions. Through group exercises, Francie will cover the three C’s of style: Confidence, Commitment & Connection and help participants explore new choices that strengthen visibility and impact in any business setting.

Get inspired to define your brand and develop executive presence. With honest and warm style, this session will be a safe and comfortable environment in which to learn and grow.


Deborah Backus, PT, PhD, FACRM
Director of Multiple Sclerosis Research, Shepherd Center
ACRM Past President

Gerben DeJong, PhD, FACRM
Keynote presenter
Senior Fellow for Health Policy & Post-acute Care, MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital
Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Georgetown University School of Medicine
Senior partner of DeltaMed Partners
Fellow and past president of ACRM (2006-2007)

Francie Schulwolf
Workshop presenter
Lead Instructor and Executive Coach, Sally Williamson & Associates
SW&A is a communications consulting firm and works with Fortune 500 companies to develop leaders at all levels and to strengthen communication influence and impact across an organization.

Alex Seblatnigg, CAVS
Workshop presenter
Director of Volunteer Services & Internal Engagemen
Shepherd Center

Sarah L. Batts, MBA
Workshop presenter
Executive Director
Shepherd Center Foundation


  1. Discuss the need for strong leadership to advance rehabilitation medicine
  2. Identify their leadership strengths and define their leadership style
  3. Begin to identify ways to use their style to influence change and innovation in rehabilitation medicine and research
  4. Describe ways to leverage their leadership style for more effective communication with diverse partners, collaborators, employees, and stakeholders


Registration includes CME/CEUs for the following disciplines:

  • Case Managers (CCMC)
  • Disability Management Specialists (CDMS)
  • Healthcare Executives (ACHE)
  • Nurses (ANCC)
  • Occupational Therapists (AOTA)
  • Physical Therapists (FSBPT-24 states)
  • Physicians (ACCME-CME)
  • Psychologists (APA Division 22)
  • Rehabilitation Counselors (CRCC)
  • Social Workers (NASW)
  • Speech Therapists (ASHA)


  • 8 hours of live instruction
  • Continuing education credit processing
  • Access to presentation slides (if provided by presenters)
  • ACRM non-members receive introductory 6-month membership


The rates for this 8-hour course are as low as $169 for members and $219 for non-members — and that includes CME/CEU processing.

Check here for specials offers for non-members >>>

See rates for all ACRM Spring Meeting courses >>


This mid-year event is host to the ACRM Training Institute, providing exciting opportunities for in-depth, evidence-based training for rehabilitation clinicians and researchers seeking CME/CEUs. Choose between half-day, full-day, and 2-day courses and earn a Certificate of Attendance and/or up to 16 hours of Continuing Education credit in your choice of 11 disciplines.

The ACRM Spring Meeting is also a venue for networking and collaborating within ACRM’s interdisciplinary community groups and committees. Come find your tribe, contribute to the field, and become a member of the vibrant ACRM community. These groups are the heart of ACRM working to IMPROVE LIVES through rehabilitation research.

All attendees are invited to participate in ACRM community group meetings free of charge. It’s a great time to introduce yourself and work with ACRM members face-to-face in a casual, inclusive, and inspiring setting. Meetings are still being scheduled, but you can see the community group meeting agenda here.

ACRM Training Institute provides 2 days of Continuing Education with CME/CEUs




The Hilton Atlanta is the optimum headquarters with superb on-site amenities.

  • SAVE TIME — stay right in the ACTION to maximize efficiency and networking opportunities
  • SAVE MONEY — book your room through ACRM for the lowest rates available
  • CONVENIENCE — you are only an elevator ride away from everything ACRM
    • Within an 8-block radius of renowned attractions, restaurants, and venues
    • Closest hotel to I-75/85 Connector
    • Close proximity to Peachtree Center MARTA via sky-bridge
  • HEALTH CLUB — stay fit in the hotel gym, featuring Interactive Precor®, and enjoy the rooftop basketball court, tennis court and running track with city views
    • Nikolai’s Roof – modern, contemporary dining with panoramic views of the Atlanta skyline
    • Southern Elements – traditional southern cuisine with a contemporary twist
    • Marketplace – 24-hour quick-serve café
    • Trader Vic’s – Atlanta’s only Tiki bar featuring island-style cuisine and a tropical ambiance
  • HILTON HONORS CLUB — join the Hilton Honors through the ACRM Fast Track to GOLD program and get EXTRA points and member benefits including digital check-in
  • GET THE HILTON HONORS AP >> TIP it’s really handy!