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BIAA Award Winners Recognized for Contributions to Research and Clinical Care

August 9, 2019

The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) has announced that Sougandhi (Samantha) L. Backhaus, Ph.D., has been named as the recipient of the 2019 Sheldon Berrol M.D. Clinical Service Award and Jennifer Ann Bogner, Ph.D., ABPP, FACRM, will receive the William Fields Caveness Award.

The Sheldon Berrol M.D. Clinical Service Award is presented each year to an individual who, through a long service career, has made outstanding contributions to improving the quality of care, professional training, and education in the field of brain injury.

Sougandhi “Samantha” L. Backhaus is a Clinical Neuropsychologist who is currently the associate director of the Outpatient Brain Injury Neuropsychology Services at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana (RHI). Her roles include providing clinical services to persons with brain injury and their family, as well as developing new programs to enhance patient outcomes. Specifically, she conducts neuropsychological examinations, leads the outpatient brain injury treatment team in facilitating rehabilitation care and treatment planning, and provides individual, couples, and group therapies.

Dr. Backhaus has developed evidenced-based treatments to help improve the long-term functioning of individuals with brain injuries and family members. Amongst these programs, she co-developed a 16-week, evidenced-based coping skills group intervention to improve self-efficacy, neurobehavioral, and psychological functions after brain injury. She also co-developed a couples program to help improve satisfaction, quality, and marital adjustment after brain injury.

Additionally, Dr. Backhaus works with an interdisciplinary treatment team in developing new programs utilizing evidence-based research models, including a Cognitive and Life Skills Training Intervention based on evidenced-based treatment models recommended by the American Congress of Rehabilitation (ACRM), as well as a Post-Traumatic Confusion Treatment program called ASE – Assessment, Support, and Education for persons in PTC).

The William Fields Caveness Award is presented by BIAA in recognition of an individual who, through research on both a national and international level, has made outstanding contributions to bettering the lives of people who have sustained brain injury. This year’s award winner, Jennifer Ann Bogner, Ph.D., ABPP, FACRM, is a professor at the Ohio State University Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PMR).

Dr. Bogner holds the Bert C. Wiley, M.D., Endowed Chair in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Her roles within the department of PMR include being vice-chair of research and academic affairs and being the director of the division of rehabilitation psychology. She also serves as associate editor for the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, as secretary for ACRM, and as immediate past-chair of the Brain Injury Interdisciplinary Special Interest Group of ACRM. She is the project director for the Ohio Regional TBI Model Systems and chairs the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research TBI Model Systems’ Strategic Planning Committee.

The overarching goal of her research has been to improve long-term outcomes after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Specific areas of research include the comparative effectiveness of rehabilitation interventions, prevention and treatment of substance misuse following TBI, evaluating the impact of lifetime exposure to TBI on quality of life, and the development and validation of measurement tools to support rehabilitation research and clinical practice. In light of the medical community’s history of taking an average of 17 years to implement research findings into practice, Dr. Bogner has taken an interest in improving our methods for dissemination and implementation and is currently one of the leaders of the Health Services Research Special Interest Group within the TBI Model Systems.

Dr. Bogner’s research has been guided by the priorities set by the Advisory Council of the Ohio Valley Center for Brain Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation (OVC). Founded more than 25 years ago by her collaborator, mentor, and friend, John Corrigan, Ph.D., the OVC Advisory Council has helped to ensure that research being conducted by OVC is relevant, important, and accessible to persons living with brain injury. The Advisory Council is comprised of persons living with brain injury, family members, and advocates with an interest in doing work that has a positive impact on the wider brain injury community.

The awards will be presented at the ACRM annual conference, which is being held November 5-8, 2019, in Chicago, Illinois.