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Defining Moments in Brain Injury

October 9, 2019

Developed to meet the educational needs health care professionals, service providers, and individuals with brain injuries as well as their family members, the Defining Moments in Brain Injury conference brings people together to share information, techniques and strategies to shape the future of brain injury services provided in Maine. Download the full conference program or click here to register.

Who Should Attend

BIAA-Maine’s Conference is targeted to physicians, mental health care providers, nurses, care coordinators, case managers, social workers, speech language pathologists, educational professionals, and physical/occupational/recreational therapists, students, brain injury survivors and their families.

Conference Location

University of Southern Maine – Abromson Center
88 Bedford St
Portland, ME 04101

Educational Sessions

The BIAA-Maine Conference is a full day of educational programing which includes 16 sessions, divided into four tracks: Clinical/Allied Health, Survivor/Family, Therapies, and Resources. In addition to the four tracks, a fifth track, Concussion, is a full day program within itself, presented in two sections (Level 1 and Level 2). Attendees interested in attending the Concussion track should plan to only attend this track for the entire day.

To learn more about each session, take a look at the descriptions below.

Behavioral Management in Acute Traumatic Brain Injury

An overview of the principles and practice of managing behaviors in patients with traumatic brain injury, emphasizing both pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments.

Brain Injury Services of Maine

This presentation will provide an overview of MaineCare Brain Injury programs in Maine, eligibility for Brain Injury Services, and Other Related Conditions waiver and the services provided under these programs.

Concussion – Level 1 and 2

Level 1 is an excellent opportunity to learn about the multitude of new advances in the realm of concussion recognition and management. Even the mildest trauma can have lasting effects, especially if it occurs during the formative of middle school and high school years. Level 2 will cover the role of neurocognitive testing in concussion management.

Domestic Violence and Traumatic Brain Injury: What Providers Need to Know

This session will explore the intersection between domestic violence and traumatic brain injury. Participants will gain a better understanding of the scope of the problem, the importance of universal screening, and resources to help support survivors seeking safety.

Essential Oils and the Brain

What are essential oils and how they can support mood, emotions and brain health especially those with brain injury.

Finding Your New Normal: A Survivor and Family Panel

How do you define your new normal as a brain injury survivor or family member of someone with a brain injury? Hear from this panel of survivors and a family member as they share their stories and tips on how they found their new normal. This session is moderated by Life Coach and family member of a brain injury survivor, Ross Goldberg, CLC.

Getting the Most Out of Your Visits with Your Health Care Providers

It is often difficult for people who have suffered a brain injury to be able to get the most out of their meetings with their health care professionals. Often, the expectations and objectives of the care provider and the client are very different. How can the client prepare and strategize to get the most out of their meeting? How can the client steer the visit to make sure they get their concerns and questions addressed? We will role play and work on strategies to achieve these goals.

Group Interactive Structures Treatment (GIST): An Evidence-Based Social Competence Program Applied in a Community Based Setting

Presenters will discuss their experience in weekly group following the GIST curriculum. Developed by a social worker and speech therapist, GIST addresses cognitive, communicative and emotional/behavioral skills and components of social competence, combining a goal-oriented curriculum with interactive group process. Facilitator and participant perspectives, outcomes data, and experiential activities will be included.

Maine's Response to the Opioid Crisis: How will Brain-Injured Patients be Served?

This session will focus on Maine’s response to the Opioid crisis and its relationship to brain injury acquired as the result of an opioid overdose.

Navigating the Ambiguous Loss of Brain Injury: A Focus on Meaning and Spirituality

The focus of the presentation will be to identity ambiguous loss in the context of brain injury. The presenter will review research from the trauma literature as a foundation for understanding loss for the individual with brain injury. Spiritual interventions will be explored as an adjunctive treatment for brain injury in psychotherapy. Methods of spiritual resourcing will also be identified for case management and strength building.

Reaching for the Positives

Sustaining an illness or injury can be a difficult, lonely and unpleasant experience that lasts much longer than anyone thinks it should. While one person may “get the diagnosis,” the significant illness or injury is more of a family affair, impacting spouses, children, parents… the whole family. This presentation, from Positive Psychology, is an overview of strategies and techniques that endeavor to identify positive ways to address and cope with your injury while maintaining a positive outlook.

Rights and Resources in Navigating the Return to Work

Exploring employment post-injury is a crucial part of recovery. This panel will answer questions about resources available to assist in successful employment exploration, work incentives, employment supports, and legal rights concerns relating to negotiating reasonable accommodations, job modifications, disclosing health information, etc.

Special Needs Planning for Individuals with Disabilities

Special Needs Planning with Trusts and ABLE Accounts to Maximize Resources for Individuals with Disabilities and Protect Financial Eligibility for Means-Tested Public Benefits like SSI and MaineCare

Telepractice and Technology: Innovative Cognitive Rehabilitation for Brain Injury Survivors in Their Homes and Communities

Many brain injury survivors in the state of Maine do not receive cognitive rehabilitation due to rural geography, limited transportation, inclement weather, and a national shortage of speech-language pathologists. This presentation will introduce the innovative web-based telepractice technology and its unique therapy activities, which is currently being used by graduate student clinicians. This technology provides highly creative and functional cognitive rehabilitation services to brain injury survivors over computers in an interactive virtual environment.

Trends and Innovations in Assistive Technology

We all try to keep up with the constant changes in the “everyday” technologies in our lives. Keeping current with innovations in Assistive Technology (AT) designed or intended for people with disabilities can be particularly challenging. In this session we discuss some trends and new types of AT including “everyday” technologies that can impact the functional skills, independence and safety of people affected by brain injury. Resources on AT funding and how to review new technology will also be shared.

What is Neuro-Optometry and Photo-Light Therapy? How Can they Help Me?

Brain Injury from trauma, stroke, concussion or neurological disease can have lasting and permanent damage on our daily lives. Vision problems are often under emphasized and an important piece to recovery and rehabilitation. Neuro-optometry is a vital piece to the accurate assessment, treatment and recovery. This presentation will provide an overview of neuro-optometry and syntonics or optometric photo therapy.

Yoga and Meditation for TBI: Evidence, Innovations, and Ways Forward

Yoga has been shown to improve physical, cognitive, and psychosocial outcomes in a range of clinical populations, yet has not been used widely among the acquired brain injury population. This interactive presentation will describe the evidence-based benefits of yoga and meditation for rehabilitation from acquired brain injury and guide participants through examples of brain injury-friendly yoga and meditation practices.

Conference Fees: $135 for professionals, $60 for survivors, their friends and family members, and students. For information about scholarships, please contact Sarah Gaffney at

Click here to register.