Acquired Brain Injury 2017 Provincial Conference

Presented by OBIA and Participating Community Associations

Our Keynote Speakers

Kim_GorgensKim Gorgens, PhD., ABPP 
Identifying and Treating the TBI-related ‘Superfecta’ in Justice Settings 
Research suggests that between 55% and 97% of criminal offenders have a lifetime history of brain injury and nearly 80% of them also have significant mental illness and substance abuse. The rates of re-offense and re-arrest in this special population are even higher.  This keynote address will highlight the process and outcome of a novel state and nationwide collaboration between the Colorado Brain Injury Program, the University of Denver and 14 jails and problem-solving courts. This partnership reflects the translation of research into public good for the benefit of persons with TBI and the people that care for them and was recently featured in Newsweek magazine and NPR radio for those reasons.   Understanding the relationships between criminality, TBI, mental illness and substance abuse in this highest-risk, most vulnerable population is informing the development of programs that are sensitive to the complexity of these needs.  The most current data on prevalence, interventions, and outcomes will be highlighted.
(Download presentation)


Keith YeatesKeith Yeates, PhD., R.Psych., ABPP-CN 
The Role of the Family in Recovery from Pediatric TBI
Keith Owen Yeates, Ph.D., R.Psych., ABPP-CN, is the Ronald and Irene Ward Chair in Pediatric Brain Injury and Professor in the Departments of Psychology, Pediatrics, and Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Calgary, in Alberta, Canada. He serves as lead for the University’s Integrated Concussion Research Program, the Traumatic Brain Injury NeuroTeam at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, and the Behaviour and the Developing Brain theme at the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute. He has received >$10 million in grant funding from NIH, CIHR, and other agencies for his research, which focuses on the outcomes of childhood brain disorders, and has published over 190 peer-reviewed journal articles, 40 book chapters, and 5 edited or co-authored books. He has received a number of honors: Fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA); Canadian Association of Child Neurology John Tibbles Lecturer; Visiting Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society; Charles Matthew Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health; and the Arthur Benton Award from the International Neuropsychological Society. Dr. Yeates has served as President of the Society of Clinical Neuropsychology of the APA, President of the Association of Postdoctoral Programs in Clinical Neuropsychology, and Secretary of the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology. He is currently Incoming President of the International Neuropsychological Society.
(Download Presentation)


Sheila MacDonald Headshot 2 revSheila MacDonald, M.Cl.Sc., Reg. CASLPO
Managing Subtle but Significant Cognitive and Communication Deficits after ABI
Sheila MacDonald is a speech language pathologist with over 27 years of experience in assessing and treating individuals with acquired brain injury from acute care, through to community, and return to work and school. She is author of a standardized test of higher level cognitive-communication skills, the FAVRES, and has co-authored a treatment book, preferred practice guidelines, and other publications related to assessment, intervention, and evidence based practice in this population. Sheila has participated in community agency boards, provincial associations and government initiatives, and is currently a member of the Traumatic Brain Injury Evidence Based Practice Committee of the Academy of Neurological Communication Disorders. (Presentation available as a conference hand-out only)


Eve M. Valera, PhD.
The Hidden Victims of Repetitive Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs): Women Subjected to Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)

Dr. Valera is currently an Assistant Professor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and a Research Scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital. She has been working in the field of domestic violence for nearly 25 years, initially teaching a child abuse prevention program and then working with women’s shelters. In her program of research, Dr. Valera has examined the prevalence of partner-violence related traumatic brain injury (TBI) and its relationship to cognitive and psychological functioning. Most recently, using neuroimaging, she has provided the first mechanistic neural evidence of partner-violence related TBI. The findings from her research underscore the critical nature of understanding and raising awareness of TBIs in women subjected to IPV.


Angela Colantonio, PhD, OT Reg. (Ont.), FCAHS, FACRM
Intimate Partner Violence and Traumatic Brain Injury: A Canadian Perspective

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a result of intimate partner violence (IPV) is a significant health concern. This presentation will provide Canadian research on this topic including results of a survey of the IPV survivor support community in Toronto, Ontario, Canada to assess the degree of existing TBI-specific knowledge and relevant services available among these service providers. In addition, findings from a workshop bringing the world of brain injury and battered women together in the Canadian context will be shared. New knowledge mobilization initiatives regarding brain injury in the IPV context will be presented.



In addition to speakers comprised of nationally and internationally recognized leaders in the field of brain injury, there will be exhibitors sharing the latest information regarding services for individuals with brain injury and their families.

Combined with the welcoming reception Wednesday evening and cocktail reception preceding the sit-down dinner Thursday, attendees will have the best of both worlds with the combination of stimulating workshops and relaxed networking opportunities.