I attended the ABI Network Conference in Toronto over the Thanksgiving holiday. The conference theme was: Brain Injury and Beyond: Looking Back, Thinking Forward. The conference was extremely well-organized and filled with valuable presentations throughout the two days. The conference organizers scheduled keynote speakers each day to highlight the theme and stress specific aspects of brain injury for survivors, family and professionals.
The conference began on Thursday morning with Donna Ouchterlony, MD addressing the history and future of neurorehabilitation in Toronto and Jane Gillett, MD speaking about the state of the art now and in the near future. Ms. Karlene Nation, a Toronto television celebrity, spoke about her recovery from a near fatal pituitary tumor. Ms. Nation brought humor and insight into the issues of her recovery and brought a powerful focus on the need for information about injury and recovery.
On Friday, Marcel Dijkers, Ph.D., from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, spoke on the importance of using subjective and objective measures to effectively examine the rehabilitation and outcome processes. Later that day, Charles Tater, MD, Ph.D., a noted Ontario neurosurgeon spoke about the prevention of brain injuries among athletes. Mr. Nick Kypreos, a former National Hockey League player and now Hockey Analyst for a Toronto network, spoke about his personal experiences with a sports related brain injury.
The ABI Network conferences manages to bring together speakers from all aspects of brain injury rehabilitation from acute medical rehabilitation to community. This year’s venue included topics which included: addiction, visual problems, complex care, mental health problems and the special needs of children with ABI.
I felt honored to be able to contribute my presentation on Rehab Outside of the Box: Lifespan Considerations for Individuals with Brain Injury to the conference. The ABI Network sponsors a conference every other year in Toronto. This year’s offering was an exceptional opportunity to learn from a wonderful conference faculty.