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Spring 2022 Edition

As we reach 2022, we look ahead to some exciting changes. We would like to dedicate this year’s Newsletter to Fofi Constantinidou, PhD, CCC-SLP, CBIS,FACRM, FASHA who will be stepping away from her role as the Founding Chair of our International Interdisciplinary Special Interest Group. As a Professor of Language Disorders and Clinical Neuropsychology, and the Director of the Center for Applied Neuroscience, Fofi has her work cut out for her; however, she has continuously made time to lead the success of ING, and now I-ISIG – amongst many other roles – within ACRM. During her time with ACRM, Fofi has made significant contributions beyond I-ISIG, as she is also a founding co-chair of the COVID-19 Task Force and a founding member of the Girls and Women Task Force in Brain Injury, of the ACRM. In addition, Fofi is ACRM’s first internationally appointed Member-At-Large on the Board of Governors.

Fofi has been a pivotal force in establishing an international representation among ACRM communities. She is the founder of the International Networking Group and spearheaded mostly on her own, the growth of our membership into a special interest group consisting of interdisciplinary specialists stemming from all five continents. She is a renowned researcher and educator in the fields of brain injury and neurological conditions and has lectured extensively across the world. A true ambassador of ACRM, she is forever fostering global collaborations to serve the needs of consumers, healthcare providers, and policy makers. Kristine Kingsley, her strong and colourful successor, attests that Fofi has been instrumental in getting her involved with I-ISIG, which has helped Kristine launch several exciting projects and create most valuable friendships; leading up to the statement that Fofi works incessantly and with vision – it will be a real challenge for Kristine to fill those shoes.

Fofi is charismatic; as members attest: “she seems to know everyone and is willing to help her colleagues connect and learn from each other. Fofi asks questions in a way that it can be arresting: she asks directly, gently, with enough emotion to display the importance of the question but without suggesting hints of anxious anticipation. If Fofi asks a question in a meeting, it gets addressed. I don’t know how she does it! I have learned from Fofi how to prioritize in order to move things forward. I appreciate the time Fofi has given me to mentor me as a newcomer to ACRM, then as a task force chair, and as a board member. And I love that we break into our other native tongue in the midst of conversation and at times forget we have done so in the presence of confused others who don’t know what we are talking about. Thank you Fofi for your leadership and friendship.”

Following an interview with Fofi, she stated that it is time for her to step down from her position as the I-ISIG chair, for it is time for someone else to take the lead in this effort toward globalization, and of course as it is in accordance to the time schedule of our bylaws; Fofi has always presented with due diligence, impressive organization and timely compliance. She feels excited to see how her successors further develops I-ISIG and she will continue to serve the international community, while simultaneously giving room to new leadership to set and reach their goals for the I-ISIG. She will also continue to contribute to ACRM in other ways including her position as Chair of the Bylaws, Policies and Procedures (since 2019) and Strategic Partnership (since 2017) Committees, and her role as the Secretary on the Board of Governors (since 2019), as well as her role in Executive Finance Committee under the Board of Governors.

We congratulate her as she moves into her other roles. Her work speaks volumes of the kind of person she is – determined, resourceful and result-oriented. We send our greatest appreciation and thanks to Fofi for being the driving force behind this group’s collaboration to meet our goals toward international collaboration, as well as, meeting our overarching goal of becoming an Interdisciplinary Special Interest Group!!

Along with our dearest Dr. Fofi Constantinidou, another extremely important asset to the I-ISIG is stepping down from her role in this group and ACRM as a whole. This beloved person is none other than, Chris MacDonell. Both Fofi and Chris are unique and transformative leaders at ACRM. They lead with integrity, generosity, and commitment. They are people of influence.

Chris MacDonell loves flowers and the beautiful colors of the Arizona skies. But Chris in not a homebody; she has travelled to every possible corner of the globe. Chris has been an ambassador of hope to millions of individuals with disabilities, and their healthcare providers. Her knowledge and expertise within the world of disability has provided us with invaluable insight on how to provide evidence-based, culturally competent care. She is not only an international exemplar in terms of her dedication and commitment to the work, but also as a leader in fostering a world of opportunity and inclusion to all- regardless of level of ability. Chris’ ability to articulate what is difficult in our work as researchers, administrators and practitioners –for example, how to become better at person-centered rehab care—while at the same time offering concrete ways to overcome difficulty have made her, for me, a role model.

Chris is loved by all and is an enthusiastic communicator which often results in educational takeaways, even when she is not taking the educator stage. I-ISIG members attest: “I would often choose to be in her presence so that I could watch how she communicates with various stakeholders: be it at the CARF booth, in panel discussions, instructional courses, or at dinner with colleagues. Sometimes, Chris and I would walk together in early morning during the in-person conferences during which I would learn about her vision, the projects she was engaged in, and all the people that I needed to meet later that day. And indeed, later that day, she made sure I met them! Ever the gregarious match maker, I interacted with some amazing rehabilitation professionals who would not know me if it weren’t for Chris. It is Chris’ leading from the heart that I have admired the most. Together with her ability to call it like it is. Chris has been a mentor to me since my first ACRM conference in 2008. I look to her for levity, strategy, honesty and integrity. Thank you, Chris, for all that you have done for the world of disability and rehabilitation. And thank you for being my friend.”

We will surely miss the strength and integrity she brings to the field.

As chair of the ING, now I-ISIG, Fofi has been such a force of nature. Our new ISIG status is largely attributable to her efforts and leadership. It’s going to be difficult to fill her shoes; however, with Fofi’s full support and poise, we are confident our new Chair, Kristine Kingsley can exceed all expectations! I’m excited to see what new directions our I-ISIG takes under Kristine’s leadership. We are more than thrilled to welcome Kristine Kingsley, PsyD, ABPP as the new Chair of the International Interdisciplinary Special Interest Group!

Kristine is a Board-Certified Rehabilitation Psychologist, the Founder and Clinical Director at the Institute of Cognitive and Emotional Wellness. She is a member of APA’s Commission on Accreditation (CoA) of doctoral, internship and postdoctoral training in psychology. She is also an adjunct faculty at Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University, as well as the Neuropsychological Testing Supervisor of Teachers College at Columbia University. Kristine has been serving on the executive committee of the ING as the chair of the Service Delivery Task Force, which is comprised of clinicians, researchers and administrators representing all five continents, who are frequently invited to present their work to audiences in North America, Europe, Asia and Oceania. This task force is designated to be a platform where an international network of providers and funders could learn about different service delivery models and spearhead new initiatives fostering evidence informed, cost-effective and culturally sensitive interventions. Kristine has served in ACRM since 2014, fulfilling various roles, including acting as the Communications Chair for the Brain Injury Interdisciplinary Special Interest Group. We look forward to the utilization of Kristine’s prior executive experience within ACRM in the further development of the I-ISIG and toward increasing our global outreach. We are excited and grateful to receive such a reputable candidate as our newly dedicated leader of the I-ISIG.

We are honoured to work with you, Kristine, in such a noble capacity.