monday, may 6, 2019 1:15 - 2:30 p.m.

Keynote: Tasha Schuh - A Story of true inspiration

After a tragic theater accident left Tasha paralyzed from the chest down, Tasha has discovered invaluable lessons that resonate with audiences of all demographics. Since 2007, she has been traveling across the country inspiring and challenging thousands of listeners to overcome and persevere, no matter what life throws at them.

Tasha is the former Ms. Wheelchair USA (2012-13), and received the National Rehabilitation Champion Award in 2012, having been nominated by the Mayo Clinic. She has twice been recognized by the Wisconsin State Legislature for her remarkable inspiration to others. In 2014, she received the Young Distinguished Alumni Award from Winona State University and in 2016 was awarded the Falconer Distinguished Service Award from the Wisconsin Governor’s Committee for people with Disabilities.

Click here for an IRSG Welcome Message from Tasha.


Monday, May 6, 2019 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.

Management of Upper Extremity Amputations to Maximize Outcomes

Panel Presenters: Patrick Prigge, CP, FAAOP (D), Arm Dynamics; Jennifer Peterson, MA, PT, Arm Dynamics; Brian Carlsen, MD, Reconstructive Microsurgeon, Mayo Clinic; Mark Gormley, Jr., MD, Physiatrist, Gillette Children’s

Upper Limb loss in the workplace represents a significant and catastrophic injury.  Managing this client is complex and requires attention to many details.  Too many patients are fit inappropriately, given devices they cannot use or aren’t trained to use them correctly. To prevent this, a team of upper limb specialists should be assembled early in the rehabilitation process to assess the patient and determine the best steps to achieve their goals.  Things to be considered are limb shape, the prosthetic options and specialized prosthetic training. Return to work, specific job training and work place evaluations, among other activities, also play a key role in helping the person to achieve optimum results. This panel represents leading experts involved in upper limb prosthetics rehabilitation and will present the approach that leads to the best possible outcomes for patients with upper limb loss.  Current and future trends in prosthetics rehabilitation will be discussed including population specific outcome measures, Targeted Muscle Reinnervation (TMR), Osseointegration, pattern recognition and advanced multi-articulating hands. 


tuesday, May 7, 2019 8:00 -9:00 a.m.

Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Identification and Management of Cardiometabolic Risk after SCI

Presenter: Mark S. Nash, Ph.D., FACSM

Paralyzed Veterans of America, in collaboration with the Consortium of SCI Medicine, has published their long-awaited clinical practice guidelines to help physicians and other providers in monitoring the ‘silent killer’ in veterans and others living with spinal cord injury.  While the guidelines were founded in recommendations for the general population, they include essential issues related to spinal cord injury.   As chair of the guideline panel, Dr. Mark Nash, guided this panel through the development process which spanned five years.  He will share with the audience the evidence and research examined during the development of the guidelines as well as how and why the Panel adopted the recommendations included in the guidelines. 


Tuesday, May 7, 2019 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.

Patient Driven Locomotor Training with HAL

Presenters:  Robert McIver, PT, DPT, NCS and Dr. Kerry Maher

Cyberdyne’s Hybrid Assisted Limb (HAL) is ground breaking technology in the field of rehabilitation. HAL is the only rehabilitation device that combines an Exoskeleton with real time biofeedback. This allows a patient to better understand how their legs now function after a neurologic injury. During this talk Exoskeleton technologies will be reviewed and a further discussion on the uniqueness of the HAL intervention and the results that have been seen so far with this new ground breaking technology.


tuesday, may 7, 2019 10:30 - 11:30 a.m

Advancing Best Practices in the Treatment of Patients with Disorders of Consciousness

Presenter:  Dr. Sunil Kothari


Tuesday, may 7, 2019 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.

Fighting the Opioid Epidemic in Rural Communities

Presenters: Dr. Kurt Devine and Dr. Heather Bell

The Morrison County Drug Task Force (Minnesota) and St. Gabriel’s Controlled Substance Care Team work collaboratively to reduce narcotics in their rural community. Using a team-based non-punitive approach, they evaluate each patient on chronic narcotics in the clinic and work to taper medications to safer doses for those truly needing the medication, taper off or stop those whom are abusing or diverting their medications, and monitor each patient and prescription. Drs. Devine and Bell work closely with community organizations and law enforcement to gain additional insight into their patients in efforts to keep the community safe and healthy. Their team-based program has substantially reduced narcotic prescribing and diversion. Their comprehensive program addresses the needs of addicted individuals in our clinic, ER, and in our community jail.

This presentation will outline the key components of Drs. Devine and Bell’s model and review the statistics and results associated with implementation which drew the attention of state and national agencies and leaders. They will outline their replication through Project ECHO and individual rural community mentoring.


tuesday, may 7, 2019 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.

Opioids, Medical Cannabis, and Pain Management

Panel Discussion: Dr. Beth Baker, Mark Pew, and Dr. Mitch Freeman

The opioid epidemic, started with their over-prescribing in the mid-1990’s, has ignited a variety of discussions around the country. For good reason much of that discussion is about the human tragedy that has come from dependence, addiction and death. However, there has also been a renewed discussion about how to best manage non-cancer chronic pain and the unrealistic expectation of pain eradication. That involves a return to common sense in using NSAIDs for acute pain and a variety of coping mechanisms to manage chronic pain. This has renewed the discussion of the #BioPsychoSocialSpiritual treatment model in addressing the whole-person. But it has also led to the momentum in the legalization and acceptance of marijuana as medicine, which in the minds of many and some state laws is seen as a reliable substitute for opioids. So which of these pathways is appropriate? Our panel will argue #AllOfTheAbove as we regain our focus on individualized treatment.


Wednesday, may 8, 2019 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.

Oh No! Now What? What to do When Mental Health Concerns Impact Medical Cases 

Presenter: Kate Harri, MA, LP

This presentation’s goal is how to make sense of claims with emerging mental health issues. The prevalence of mental health co-morbidity with medical conditions and its impact on recovery will be discussed. Identification of “yellow flags” seen with substance abuse and common signs of potential depression and anxiety will be included and how your role can be a key motivator in the process. 

By attending this session participants will: 1) Enhance knowledge of common mental health conditions that often develop with various medical conditions; 2) Know the potential signs of possible substance abuse or dependence; 3) Enrich communication skills: value of active listening, how and when to use motivational interviewing skills; 4) Identify the subtle (and not so subtle) things that get in the way of recovery.


wednesday, may 8, 2019 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Three Dimensional (3D) Printing: Advantages of Rapid Prototyping to Advance Rehabilitation Care and Outcomes

Presenter:  Judith Burnfield, PhD, PT

This presentation will describe three-dimensional (3D) printing approaches, also knows as additive manufacturing, with a special emphasis on innovative uses of 3D printing within the physical rehabilitation environment. Examples of 3D printed rehabilitation devices and tools will be discussed. Benefits and challenges of the approach will be described including strategies for integrating patient, clinician, and rehabilitation engineer expertise to facilities discovery of new treatment designs and therapeutic approaches to maximize rehabilitation care and outcomes.