Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pacific Coast Brain Injury Conference 2012

The Pacific Coast Brain Injury Conference Feb 15-17, 2012,, opened last night at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre.  It's the first time I've attended this conference and the first night's speaker, Val Lougheed,  made the whole conference worth it.  Patti Flaherty  and Geoff Sing Chairs of the Pacific Coast Brain Injury Conference and Society are to be complimented on all their work on behalf of brain injury survivors but especially for the organization this insightful conference. It's theme is "Real People with Real Lives: It Takes a Village.  Val Lougheed, herself is a social worker and president of the Northern Lights organization, involved in rehabilitation and care.  She suffered a brain injury as a result of a near fatal car crash.  Today she tells her personal story with modesty and incredible humor coupling the very human message with a wealth of data regarding the advances in treatment in all the dimensions of the car of trauma patients. Hearing her story was so uplifting as her story mirrors so many of the patients I see who face her struggles. The conference is itself a celebration of the very fact that professions are listening and the tremendous scientific advances in this field are being brought forward despite lingering beaurocratic obstacles from jurassic days.
The conference addresses Concussions in Sports, Neuroplasticity, MRI and Recovery, Brain Injury Associations, Head Injury and Addiction (Dr. Gabor Mate)  and swell as Navigating through the Complexities of Life and Brain Injury.
Poster presentations were especially interesting as they spanned the realm of neurological advances, military medicine findings, brain infections, self help groups, and  meditation and community gardening projects.
The conference is well attended.  Looking about at the range of skills and backgrounds represented it was obvious that a whole 'village' of care was required to help each individual survivor. Medicine, Psychiatry, Neurology, Psychology, Occupational Therapy, Rehabilitation medicine, Rehavilitation services, Kinesiology. Chiropractors, Social Workers,  Lawyers, Nurses, Pastoral Care Workers, and the list goes on.  This conference goes along way to addressing the need for "village' work even beyond the socalled' team approach.

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