Experts focus on helping children adapt to school and adulthood

For immediate release: April 10, 2007

GALVESTON, Texas - Internationally renowned experts in brain trauma will convene April 25-27 for the seventh annual Galveston Brain Injury Conference at Moody Gardens.

This invitational event is sponsored by the Center for Rehabilitation Sciences and the School of Allied Health Sciences at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston in collaboration with the Transitional Learning Center at Galveston which provides rehabilitation for those who have suffered an acute brain injury.

"Despite the fact that annually over 200,000 Americans become disabled from a traumatic brain injury, it is an ‘orphan' disease - largely ignored by the public and the medical field," says Dr. Brent Masel, TLC president.

The 2007 conference will focus on best practices and clinical applications involving pediatric traumatic brain injury. The conference will be facilitated by Roberta DePompei, a past recipient of the Robert L. Moody Prize and an expert in pediatric brain injury, recognized for her research and development of clinical techniques for cognitive-communication and school reintegration issues for youth.

During the conference, John Corrigan will receive the 2007 Robert L. Moody Prize for Distinguished Initiatives in Brain Injury Research and Rehabilitation. Corrigan, project director for the Ohio Regional Traumatic Brain Injury Model System, is a professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Ohio State University and director of the Ohio Valley Center for Brain Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation.

Corrigan directs the TBI Network, a program providing community-based services for substance abuse after brain injury. Corrigan has received local and national awards for his service and research in the field, including the Brain Injury Association of America's William Fields Caveness Award.

Corrigan will join about 45 of the nation's top educators and physicians at the conference, said Elizabeth Protas, acting dean of the UTMB School of Allied Health Sciences.

"Children with traumatic brain injury present the medical community with a wide range of challenges, and we're excited about reconvening the world's premier experts in rehabilitation to discuss ways to meet those special challenges," Protas said. Six of those experts will present their research at the conference and the proceedings will be published in the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation in 2008. In its January issue, Brain Injury Professional published a summary of the proceedings of the 2006 conference.

DePompei said the conference will focus on neuropsychological and neurophysical issues, development, assessment and outcome, and helping children with TBI transition into schools and into adulthood. "We will not be discussing what ‘needs to' or what ‘ought to' be done," she said. "We will be discussing best practices that presently exist and how to further innovative research and clinical agendas." 

"Pediatric and adolescent TBI is the orphan of the orphan - their needs are left unmet by the medical field, insurance industry and the school systems," Masel said. "I am delighted that the Galveston Brain Injury Conference can be the venue to bring together the very best in this field, and serve as a catalyst to address the issues of this forgotten population."

Nominations for the 2008 Robert L. Moody Prize are due by Nov. 15. More information on the prize, the corresponding conferences, and past and present recipients are available at:
The University of Texas Medical Branch
Public Affairs Office
301 University Boulevard, Suite 3.102
Galveston, Texas 77555-0144