Pushor Mitchell/Brain Trust – BRAINX Conference. See videos of presenters.

On June 7, 2018 it was once again time for BRAIN<sup>X</sup> Symposium on Brain Injury in Kelowna. The event was held at Ramada hotel and Pushor Mitchell LLP was, as always, the Title Sponsor and a great supporter to this symposium. There were as many as 12 presentations this day, exploring a wide selection of issues: hockey and concussion; intimate partner violence; youth and mental health; homelessness; safety and prevention; employment; cognitive rehabilitation; neuropsychology; legal insights; caregiver support; Aboriginal culture; and stories of survival.

The event kicked off with greetings from Westbank First Nation Chief, Roxanne Lindley, followed by a presentation by Kerry Goulet & Keith Primeau on Hockey and Concussions. Kerry Goulet was present, while Keith Primeau joined the event via Skype. Both speakers are former professional hockey players, suffering from numerous concussions. The presentation opened up for many questions and comments and ended with standing ovations.  Mr. Goulet and Mr. Primeau are both involved in the organization StopConcussions, and the Westbank First Nation was pleased to receive a donation from this organization in the amount of $1,000, that should go towards bicycle helmets for the young ones. Please follow the link to see the full presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D37oKeHI7Qo

Next up was Dr. Harry Miller who is a Clinical Neuropsychologist at KGH/IHA. Dr. Miller talked about Neuropsychological Assessment – What, Why and When? Dr. Miller believes in developing an understanding of the person in the context of their abilities, challenges, and their ongoing provision of their care. To see this presentation, please go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wURUkaNUTwI

Dr. Kyleen Myrah & Martin Bell were talking about Ending Homelessness in Kelowna. They are both co-chair of the Journey Home Task Force. We all wish them success in their task to end homelessness and the link to this is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-OKKdGDCXk

After a short break, it was Janelle Breese Biagioni who took the stage. Ms. Biagioni is an author and also a grief & Loss Counsellor. She talked about her own experience of living with brain injuries in the family for many years. Her work includes A Change of Mind; One Family’s Journey through Brain Injury and Life Losses. All books are well worth reading and the link to her presentation is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVdVxAg0Fck

The President & COO of CONNECT Communities – Patti Flaherty named her presentation “Life Redesign: Real Life Stories Their Human Value”. The presentation reflected on the privilege of witnessing the unique journeys of people following a traumatic brain injury or stroke. The link to see this is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTQ1wHUq9rg

Before lunch was served, it was Maria Reed’s turn and she gave an interesting presentation about Aboriginal Culture and Brain injury. Ms. Reed is the Director of Community Services for Westbank First Nation. She introduced us to the Medicine Wheel and the meaning of it. Please go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cnix0x11zWc to find out more about this.

After a tasty Mexican inspired lunch, Karen Mason & Dr. Paul van Donkelaar presented their theme for the day called “Traumatic Brain Injury and Intimate Partner Violence”. Even though the title of this presentation is very serious, they presented it in a very relaxed way which showed their love for each other. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3mHcG9hchY

Melissa Feddersen held a presentation called Mental Health and Brain Injury for Youth. Ms. Feddersen is a community developer and health promoter and she talked about the importance of going to the root of the problem and to find out what caused the mental health problems.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_O33SkkG3Y

“Employment and Acquired Brain Injury” was next on the programme and that was presented by the Regional Manager for March the Dimes Canada – Sue McKinnon. Ms. McKinnon talked about going back to work following a brain injury. Her presentation can be seen at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfNN5D4ft08

Before last speaker was up, Shawn Mitton, from WorkSafeBC talked about “Brain Injury Prevention in the Workplace”. A well-spoken presentation with a subject close to us all. Watch it on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVl6Tph9WXY

Shanda Hill made all of us cry or at least sob. Her courageous life story about how to never give up and that you can do what ever you set your mind to, was a wonderful ending of a lovely day. Shanda Hill is a Super Athlete and an amazing and inspirational speaker. Please see the standing ovations presentation at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mv7uF5kdDOk

Courtesy of Pushor Mitchell LLP, the day finished off with wine, cheese, and mingling. Everyone was happy to make new connections but also to re-connect with old connections over a glass of wine.

Pushor Mitchell LLP would like to thank all the speakers and with a big thank you to Brain Trust Canada’s Magda Kapp, Mona Hennenfent, and Kathy Chambers for organizing this year’s symposium. And last but certainly not least we say thank you to AM1150 host Phil Johnson who did an amazing MC job throughout the day. We look forward to seeing you all again next year.

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