Sending Earth love 💚🌍 today and every day! Happy Earth Day 2019!
The 2019 Washington State TBI Conference has come to a conclusion. What a terrific experience it was!
First, we felt a warm welcome to city of Spokane. Thank you for being a super city!
Second, the day kicked off with some morning greetings, door prizes and fun, which then launched into an important morning session with Dr. Todd Wylie on vision therapy and brain injury.
Dr. Wylie expressed the science, symptoms, strategies, treatments and tips on vision therapy and vision issues. It was an interesting discussion with a question and answer session. Read all about Dr. Wylie’s story, here.
Participants were able to take a break, visit and explore the exhibits continued from day one of the conference. Morning breakout sessions after the break included advice and support, assistive technology, brain injury in the corrections system, domestic violence, how to start and maintain a brain injury support group, yoga, art, and massage.
Lunch was shared with important conversation around the parties receiving final approval for settlement to reform Washington’s forensic mental health system (Trueblood Lawsuit Settlement). Read about this critical work, here.
The collective group of conference goers shared a warm tribute to the late Tommy Manning, Washington State brain injury advocate, activist, and supporter. As a survivor himself, he made an enormous impact on the support of other survivors. Learn all about Tommy’s story in a tribute from BEST Executive Director, Gloria Kraegel.
Former legislator, Dennis Flannigan , advocate Darci Ladwig, and Dianella Clark, of the Washington State Traumatic Brain Injury Council and a brain injury survivor and advocate, gave a rousing, hopeful and inspirational group panel on advocacy and activism.
The advice given by all three? Here is the common thread:
- Talk to your legislators about brain injury. Practice talking to them. Don’t be afraid to speak to them-you are the expert in your brain injury.
- Legislators want to hear from you and hear your story.
- Keep contacting legislators.
- Organize people power. The more people that share their story, the better.
After this inspirational session, conference participants had other fantastic offerings of eight different work shops, from sports concussions, screening for TBIs, yoga and more.
Of course, there was more visiting, new friends, old friends, and warm embraces.
Thank you superheroes, for an amazing conference experience.
Please enjoy this video of our favorite pictures.
The 2019 Washington State TBI Conference in Spokane, Washington April 15-16, 2019, is a wrap!
Here are some of our favorite pictures in video to mark the event. We will be sharing additional recaps and more soon. Stay tuned!
Many thanks to the real-life superheroes of the brain injury community. You are truly the BEST!
The first afternoon of the 2019 Washington State TBI Conference in Spokane, Washington, was a wonderful combination of sharing, caring, important conversations, resources, and information.
The exhibit hall was the site of participant registration and a variety of exhibitors who shared a wide variety of resources. Organizations included the Brain Energy Support Team (BEST), HeadStrong, Northwest Brain Injury Symposium, TBI Council/Alta, Disability Rights Washington, Spokane Veteran’s Center, Employment Security Office, Wallingford Support Group, St. Luke’s Rehab Institute, Disability Action Center, Brain Injury Alliance of Washington, Brain Injury Alliance of Spokane, the Aging and Long Term Care of Washington, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The keynote speaker to kick off the conference was Dr. Cheryle Sullivan and her presentation, “Resilience and Advocacy–The Journey Together.” Dr. Sullivan shared her journey in three parts: as a doctor, a caregiver for multiple family members with brain injury and brain-related medical conditions, and finally as a brain injury survivor herself.
Dr. Sullivan endured six traumatic brain injuries over her lifetime, with the most challenging impact with a ski accident in 2002.
The physician was met becoming a patient, along with a loss of independence, struggles at work, memory issues, mental health and emotional struggles and more.
Navigating the medical system was not easy.
Over time, Dr. Sullivan was able to met the right medical team, specialists, therapies and support groups after enduring so much for so long.
Her message was that of not giving up, to keep going, and finding emotional support, a critical part of the recovery process. Over her journey, she became more hopeful, inspired and a thirst for learning more.
Dr. Sullivan is the author of “The Brain Injury Survival Kit” and a contributor to “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Recovering from Traumatic Brain Injuries: 101 Stories of Hope, Healing and Hard Work.” She is also a presenter and speaker.
After the keynote speaker, breakout sessions occurred covering various topics such as art as therapy, TBI 101, how to transition to independence and suicide prevention.
For one of the breakout sessions, BEST Executive Director Gloria Kraegel and Stacy Chay, LICSWA, MHP from Eastern Washington University, gave a joint presentation on suicide prevention.
Both Kraegel and Shay presented powerful conversation, statistics, information about stigmas about suicide, strategies and a wealth of resources on traumatic brain injury, suicide and suicide prevention.
In the coming days on the BEST website blog, we will be sharing additional, in-depth information on this critical topic in a separate post.
After the break sessions, conference participants had the opportunity to ask questions, mingle and visit with others.
Looking forward to tomorrow’s experience! Thank you to all of the participants that made this first day special.
The Brain Energy Support Team (BEST) is heading eastbound with our excitement, support and love in tow for the 2019 Washington State TBI Conference April 15-16th in Spokane, Washington.
We are looking forward to seeing old friends, making new friends and celebrating the real-life superheroes from Washington State! 💚
We will be adding recaps, photos, information and more in this space and on the BEST social media platforms.
Looking forward to sharing our care soon. Stay tuned, BEST friends! 😉
Work will be displayed in Tacoma Art Museum’s TAM Local: Community Art Space for the Superhero show from October 16, 2019 to December 26, 2019.
We will have an opening reception Thursday, October 17, 2019 in the TAM Community Art Space.
In celebration of this upcoming event, we will be featuring a BEST Artist Spotlight monthly series on the BEST website blog to share just a few of our BEST artists.
The articles will be featured until our opening reception event.
In this series, we’ll share the thoughts and inspirations of BEST artists who have embraced art on their life’s journey.
Here is our first spotlight and interview.
Diane’s Connection to BEST: Diane serves as the BEST Creative Consultant for Arts and Education and the BEST Gratitude Specialist.
Diane’s Connections to Art: Local paper and multimedia artist who is the creator and owner of Heartfelt Tidbits of Creativity, a handcrafted greeting card and gift business.
Diane’s Favorite Art to Create: “I love multimedia pieces—that’s what I really like. I love to work with beads, shells, sea glass and paint. I also like to add different things, like charms or words, and intermingle them all together.”
Theme of Diane’s Art: “Gratitude and encouragement, for sure. Heartfelt Tidbits of Creativity was founded on art that speaks from the heart.”
Why Art is Special to Diane: “I’ve always been just drawn to artists. It’s so exciting to put my full heart onto a canvas or a piece of art.”
Diane’s Favorite Superhero Characteristics: “A superhero lives a life of gratitude. Whatever they are doing, they are thankful. They have courage that encompasses so many things. Superheroes are also encouraging of others. Encouragement can change someone’s day or life. And kindness. Kindness is huge!”
To learn more about the community art installation program, the Tacoma Art Museum (TAM), and how you can participate as a local BEST artist, please click here.