On March 22, 2018, New Vitae Wellness Foundation in partnership with Action Recovery Brain Injury Services commemorated Brain Injury Awareness Month by welcoming guest speakers Briana Scurry and Frances Musto, PsyD, to detail recovery interventions and advocacy methods that assist individuals with brain injury. The training offered a review of the current best practices for treatment, and offered a first-hand look at the process of recovery from brain injury.
Briana Scurry, a two-time United States Gold-Medal winning Olympian and brain injury advocate, spoke about her early life, identifying her dream to participate in the 1996 Olympics. Her dedication and athletic ability resulted in a college scholarship and finally landed her a position in the NCAA semifinals in women’s soccer. Her talent resulted in two Olympic gold medals before transitioning to a professional team where she sustained a head injury during a game in 2010. Ms. Scurry reported a number of emotional, cognitive, and physical health challenges as a result of her injury. She also experienced a sense of disillusionment after multiple doctors informed her that she would get better in time and that there was no evidence of any additional injury. Finally, a top physician in brain injury recognized her occipital nerve damage, resulting in surgery and a recovery period that led Ms. Scurry to become an advocate for women who have experienced concussions or other brain injuries. Ms. Scurry offered insight into the process of recovery and ideas to offer support, particularly as individuals experience the emotional and cognitive challenges that can occur following a brain injury.
Following Ms. Scurry’s inspiring discussion, Dr. Frances Musto offered best practices regarding assessment and treatment following a brain injury. Following a review of the function of the four lobes of the brain, Dr. Musto provided an overview of the types of brain injury symptoms, including affective, behavioral, cognitive, and physical concerns. Dr. Musto utilized each type of symptom to discuss assessment practices and interventions associated with each. Additionally, the conversation included a full overview of functional behavioral assessments, including the steps required to identify the problem, collect and analyze data, and implement and evaluate a behavior plan. A thorough example was reviewed in order to put all of the information into context and apply these concepts.
Overall, the training offered participants the opportunity to learn more about the impact of brain injury and ways to best support individuals who have experienced concussion or more significant injuries. The morning’s conversation helped to commemorate Brain Injury Awareness Month. New Vitae Wellness Foundation and New Vitae Wellness and Recovery wish to thank Briana Scurry and Dr. Frances Musto for their expertise and counsel!