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Annual Conference

The Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania hosted the Eighteenth Annual Conference on June 24-26, 2018 at the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square in Lancaster, PA.

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this inspiring event with the theme Confronting the Challenges of Today for a Stronger Tomorrow. The conference program featured four outstanding and dynamic keynote sessions, as well as three concurrent educational tracks. More than 350 attendees, including a wide variety of rehabilitation professionals, family members, and survivors, and 40 exhibitors attended.

View or Download materials about each presentation using Dropbox here.

Sunday's Keynote Speakers were Dr. Grace Dammann and Filmmaker, Mark Lipman

Mark Lipman

Dr. Dammann

Dr. Grace Dammann narrowly survived a head-on crash on the Golden Gate Bridge in 2008.  She was left with 17 broken bones, 3 brain bleeds and massive internal injuries.  After spending 13 months in rehab facilities, she returned home to the Buddhist Community where she had lived for twenty-years.  Dr. Dammann described her journey of recovery and her eventual return to medial practice as the Director of Pain Clinic at Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco.  Mark Lipman has worked as a documentary filmmaker for over thirty-five years, exploring a wide range of subjects.  He produced the feature documentary on Grace's recovery.  Mark shared his experiences following Grace on this incredible journey.

A documentary about Dr. Dammann's recovery State of Grace was shown on Sunday evening.


Monday's Keynote Speaker was JJ Virgin, Author. 

JJ Virgin, Author

On September 10, 2012, JJ Virgin's 16 year old son, Grant, was hit by a car while crossing the street in his neighborhood and left for dead.  The doctors recommended that she let him die, but instead, JJ overruled them and fought for her son.  In this talk she shared how she was able to stay mentally strong and physically healthy during the months Grant was in the hospital and the mindset behind her 110% recovery approach for her son.




Tuesday morning's Plenary Speaker was Dr. Brian Greenwald.

Dr. Greenwald compared the commonly used Ranchos Los Amigos Scales to the changes seen at a brain level as recovery occurs after moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).  The assessment and the differential diagnosis were reviewed.  Agitation was differentiated from aggression.  Current concepts of non-pharmacologic treatment early on after TBI were addressed.  Risk and benefits of pharmacologic treatment for targeted agitation, aggression and irritability were reviewed.

Tuesday afternoon's Keynote Speaker was Ajani "AJ" Murray and Cynthia McFadden.

Ajani "AJ" Murray

"AJ" is a professional disabled actor represented by KMR Talent, North Hollywood, California.  His breakout feature documentary film, Becoming Bulletproof, opened several doors for this aspiring actor who has since played roles in several films. Bardo Blues (2015), Take a Look at This Heart (2018), and The Homecoming (post-production).

Each keynote has a fascinating biography and you can read more about each speaker by clicking here.