Education at your fingertips.
BIANJ hosts a series of webinars throughout the year and maintains a library relevant to survivors, caregivers, service providers, and everyone in between. View the list below to register for upcoming webinars, or view past presentations. If you’re in need of further assistance, please give our helpline a call at 1-800-669-4323.
Post COVID: Long Hauler Symptoms & Rehabilitation
October 12, 2023 12:00 PM
Presented by Gabrielle Rapisarda, MS, CCC-SLP, CBIS and Gabrielle Fregeau, PT, DPT
This webinar highlights a novel group of individuals who emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic- those who experienced relatively mild cases of acute COVID-19 but now present with Long COVID, a puzzling and debilitating set of symptoms. This session reviews the emerging evidence for diagnosing and treating patients with Long COVID and discusses how clinicians are in a unique position to maximize patient outcomes. The session strives to increase clinicians’ confidence in their ability to facilitate managing patients’ symptoms and to work as part of a multidisciplinary team. This session highlights a patient’s experience with COVID-19 and its aftermath and what clinicians have learned in treating this population.
· Describe symptoms of LONG COVID
· Identify key interdisciplinary team members to help optimize patient outcomes
· Recognize the typical symptoms associated with Post-COVID-19 syndrome and implement evaluation and treatment approaches
· Incorporate the patient perspective into service delivery by reviewing a case study
About the Presenters
Gabrielle Rapisarda, M.S., CCC-SLP, CBIS is a respected speech-language pathologist knowledgeable in cognitive communication disorders resulting from traumatic brain injuries and other neurological conditions. She is a member of the American Speech and Hearing Association and is certified as a brain injury specialist by the Brain Injury Association of America. She graduated Summa Cum Laude and was awarded a master’s degree in Communication Disorders from William Paterson University in 2016. She completed her medical internship at an outpatient children’s hospital, where she discovered her passion for working with patients who have sustained brain injuries. Prior to joining Bancroft NeuroRehab in 2022, she was the primary speech-language pathologist in the children’s hospital’s NeuroRehab Unit, evaluating, diagnosing and treating communication and oral motor disorders in pediatric patients who have sustained a traumatic or acquired brain injury.
Gabrielle Fregeau, PT, DPT graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation Science. She received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Arcadia University in 2020 after completing a six-month clinical rotation at Bancroft. Gabby has experience working in home health, assisted living, and orthopedics, but she has a passion for treating patients with neurological conditions. She became LSVT Certified in December 2021 to improve her treatment for people with Parkinson’s Disease, and she continues to seek out education opportunities in order to enhance her skills as a clinician and provide better care for her patients.
Medicaid TBI Services in NJ: Accessibility, Eligibility, Legal Rights
Presented by Michael Brower and Melissa Zeidler
October 31, 2023 at 12:00pm
Individuals with TBIs and their supporters should know about TBI-specific services available through NJ’s Medicaid program and about their rights to access those services. Disability Rights NJ attorneys will review Medicaid and MLTSS eligibility, including clinical eligibility. The presentation will include an overview of Medicaid TBI services available under MLTSS, the steps to appeal a denial of clinical eligibility for MLTSS, and how to address a managed care denial, reduction, or termination of specific TBI-related services.
Michael Brower serves as the Legal Director at Disability Rights NJ, the private non-profit agency designated as the Protection and Advocacy system for people with disabilities in the state of New Jersey. He has worked as an attorney there since 2016, and has represented clients and worked on systemic issues affecting individuals with I/DD, brain injuries, physical disabilities, and mental health conditions. Before joining Disability Rights NJ, Michael represented people struggling with medical and consumer debt in NJ and PA. Michael received an undergraduate degree in history from The College of New Jersey in 2009 and his law degree from Rutgers Law School in Camden in 2012.
Melissa Zeidler is the Managing Attorney of the Community Inclusion team at Disability Rights NJ. She started her legal career as a staff attorney at Nassau Suffolk Law Service in Long Island, NY representing clients with low-incomes and cancer diagnoses. She then moved to the Urban Justice Center’s Mental Health Project in New York City representing clients with low-incomes in seeking federal disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. She supervised a team doing similar work at Brooklyn Legal Services before joining Disability Rights NJ. She holds a BA in Psychology from SUNY Binghamton and a JD from the Pennsylvania State University, Dickinson School of Law. Melissa is licensed to practice law in New York and New Jersey, and is admitted in the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York.
Assessing the Use and Implementation of the Love Your Brain Yoga Program for Brain Injury Survivors and Caregivers
Presented by Kristina Lagzdins
November 16, 2023 at 12:00pm
Research has found that yoga has many benefits, especially for brain injury survivors. In this webinar, we will:
- Introduce the Love Your Brain Foundation and programs offered
- Discuss the implementation of the program across the continuum of care in various therapy settings
- Review subjective and objective benefits of the clinical affiliate program among staff and clients
Kristina Lagzdins, PT, DPT, NCS
Kristina currently works at the Hackensack Meridian JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute Center for Brain Injuries which includes: inpatient rehabilitation, specialized subacute and the outpatient cognitive program. Kristina graduated from Thomas Jefferson University with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2011 and became a Board Certified Neurological Clinical Specialist in 2018. Kristina had a lead role in starting the clinical affiliate program offered by “Love Your Brain” at JFK’s Center for Brain Injuries and continues to oversee the program across all three settings. Kristina is a teaching assistant at Rutgers University for the physical therapy students where she facilitates and leads lab assignments for the “Neurological Physical Therapy ” class and provides the guest lecture on brain injury. She is a clinical instructor for physical therapy students and a mentor of the Neurologic Residency program offered at HMH-JFK/JRI.
TBI/ABI Representation in Television and Film: Fact vs Fiction
December 7, 2023 at 12pm
Presented by Nicole C. Peniston, PsyD
This presentation will discuss the portrayal of Traumatic Brain Injury and Acquired Brain Injury and rehabilitation/recovery from those injuries in television and film. We will look at how these portrayals have evolved over the years, misconceptions that continue to be perpetuated, authentic representation, and the role that media plays in education and literacy about these important topics. Finally, we will discuss the impact that media portrayal has on the TBI/ABI community, and what can be improved upon to further understanding about injury, treatment, and rehabilitation for the general public.
· Identify outdated and incorrect media references to TBI/ABI.
· Identify authentic representation of TBI/ABI treatment and rehabilitation/recovery.
· Provide references to movies and television shows that may provide helpful psychoeducation for those in the TBI/ABI community.
About Nicole Peniston, PsyD
Nicole C. Peniston, PsyD is a Rehabilitation Psychologist with Bancroft NeuroRehab, working with residents, day program patients, and outpatients in Plainsboro, NJ. She graduated from Widener University’s Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology in 2015 and has worked with children and adults to address coping with Autism Spectrum Disorder, depression, anxiety, trauma, workplace stress, and adjustment to injury and/or medical status. Dr. Peniston has always had a strong interest in the way psychological and neurological issues are portrayed in the media; for example, her undergraduate dissertation focused on dissociative identity disorder in the media vs. clinical practice. In her treatment, she enjoys referencing books, podcasts, television, movies, and other forms of media to help patients feel appropriately represented, and to help educate family members about their loved ones’ experiences.
Untangling the Complex Relationship between Suicide and Traumatic Brain Injury
Presented by Matthew Peters, MD
February 13, 2024 at 12:00pm
Research shows that there is a relationship between suicide and traumatic brain injury, but what exactly is the relationship and how do we understand it? In this webinar, we will:
- – Identify the relationship between history of TBI and future risk of suicide attempt.
- – Examine TBI rates and presentation in suicide attempt survivors.
- – Consider future directions on this topic.
About Matthew Peters, MD
Dr. Peters is an Associate Professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He holds dual appointments in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Department of Neurology. He completed his medical school training, psychiatry residency, and neuropsychiatry fellowship at Hopkins before joining the faculty. He is the Director of Clinical Services for Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, as well as the medical director of the Johns Hopkins Healthcare Solutions Balance program, the Telepsychiatry and Telebehavioral Health Programs at Hopkins, and Rose Health.
An active clinician, teacher, and researcher, Dr. Peters sees patients in the Acquired Brain Injury Clinic and Memory and Alzheimer’s Treatment Center at Johns Hopkins Bayview. He has been internationally recognized for his research work and has received research funding from the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, and National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center. His research focuses on cognitive and other neuropsychiatric symptoms following traumatic brain injury with a specific focus on traumatic brain injury in older adults and neuro-imaging-based biomarkers.