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Despite the harsh impact of COVID-19, the International Networking Group has attempted to tackle these challenges by continuing online meetings and by creating a COVID-19 Ad Hoc Work Group whose goal is to address needs of the international rehabilitation community during this time. Our goal has been to push forward (i) creating a depository of helpful material and links, relevant to the international community, and (ii) identifying how to address mental health needs in this time of crisis and continue to provide services to those in need throughout the pandemic. The Ad Hoc Work Group is working diligently to bring forth a position paper regarding Raising Awareness on the Immediate and Long Term effects of COVID in Rehabilitation Medicine.

Furthermore, ACRM has hosted a series of live, free webinars with experts from the Telehealth industry to provide information regarding the use of technology in the rehabilitation services and research during the COVID-19 pandemic. View all recorded webinars here.

Similarly, previously recorded webinars are free and readily available 24/7 in the ACRM Video/Webinar Library. The International Networking Group has also contributed to these efforts, with its members either introducing knowledgeable speakers, or presenting relevant material themselves. More specifically, Dr. Fengyi Kuo, a Refugee Empowerment Task Force member has shared her knowledge and experience on psychological support during the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the ACRM Pandemic Webinar Series.

In addition, Melina Longoni Di Giusto, MD, presented her view on the rehabilitation services of Latin America during the COVID-19 Pandemic, with a specific focus on special populations.

Another contribution of the ING members to the ACRM Pandemic Seminar was that of Dr. Suzana Jelčić Jakšić, with her presentation on the use of tele-practice for speech-language pathologist, by sharing the lessons learned from Europe.

Refugee Empowerment Task Force members, Dr. Tiago Jesus and Sureshkumar Kamalakannan are working with colleagues within the ACRM ING on an exciting research project called “Multiple layers of vulnerability – people with disabilities and other social disadvantages during the COVID-19 pandemic: Scoping review and thematic analysis.” The project is aimed at rapidly synthesizing and analyzing pre-existing information on COVID-19 to guide action items, advocacy efforts and decision-making for people with disabilities.

Finally, this year’s International Networking Group’s Brucker award winner, Dr. Dina Brooks, is an expert in respiratory issues who can bring a very contemporary perspective on COVID-19, with her speech in the Brucker Symposium that will be held on 22 October 2020 from 4:45 pm – 6:00 pm EST. This and all other recorded conference content will be accessible to registered attendees through 30 June 2021. If readers want to see her own personal and professional experience keep on reading (Interview Section).

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