Skip to main content

Heading into the Future: 2023 Interprofessional Virtual Summit on Brain Injury

May 1–21, 2023

Virtual -

“Heading into the Future” is a virtual summit focused on current practice, trends, education and research on brain injury. The summit is focused on an interprofessional audience, including consumers with brain injuries, family members, caregivers, students, educators, clinical staff like therapists, social workers and psychologists, medical staff of nurses and physicans, administrators, and policy makers.

Pre-recorded sessions are 60 and 90 minutes, allowing summit attendees to watch the videos 24/7 at their convenience. Presenters will be available for live Q & A sessions that will be published for attendees in the event they would like to dialogue with the speakers. 

The keynote address will be given by Carole Starr, who sustained a brain injury in an auto accident in 1999. Hear this nationally recognized speaker share a humorous and inspirational speech on developing resiliency during times of adversity. A speaker LIVE Q & A will be held with Carole on May 16. 

Brain ConnecTR: Meeting the Psycho-Social-Educational Needs of a Complex Population During a Pandemic

Wednesday, May 17, 2023 at 7:00 PM–8:00 PM EDT
Session Length

90 minutes

Speaker Perspectives

Clinical staff: therapists, social workers, psychologists


This session will present information on a virtual group intervention for brain injury clients, created and implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This group is designed within a virtual format to promote socialization and continued brain injury education during a pandemic, while also minimizing social isolation imposed by quarantines. Group format, topics, implementation, safety considerations, and goals will be reviewed. Modifications and considerations to apply group format for other programs and client populations will also be shared.

Focus of Presentation

Intervention/treatment modality

Learning Outcomes

1.  Identify at least 3 topics or interventions with modifications for virtual presentation to facilitate initial or ongoing brain injury education to participants

2.  Identify 2 factors to be considered when creating a virtual space for BI participants to share their experiences and commonalities

3. Identify 3 technology and safety concerns to be considered prior to establishing a virtual program

Target Audience
Clinical staff: therapists, social workers, psychologists, etc.


Evelyn G. Mack, MSRS, CTRS, CBIS, James A. Haley Veterans Hospital
Biographical Statement

Evelyn Mack received a Bachelor's degree in Sociology and a Master's degree in Recreational Studies with an emphasis in Therapeutic Recreation from the University of Florida.  She has worked with multiple rehabilitation populations within the Veterans Administration for over 25 years.  She is currently a Supervisory Recreation Therapist and Certified Brain Injury Specialist.  Evelyn has witnessed the power of healthy recreation & leisure in transforming lives after injury and disability, and continues to feel passionate about the positive influence Recreation Therapists can have with their clients.  In her free time, Evelyn enjoys time with family, audiobooks, scrapbooking, games, and establishing herself as a wannabe runner.

Head Shot



Christopher Pokornicki, CTRS, James A. Haley Veterans Hospital
Biographical Statement

Chris Pokornicki received a Bachelor's degree in Therapeutic Recreation from Central Michigan University.  He has worked as a CTRS in the Polytrauma Transitional Rehabilitation Program for the last 3.5 years. Chris is a firm believer in the use of physical fitness and activities as a means of rebuilding confidence in participation of all recreational activities post-injury. In his free time, Chris enjoys working out early in the morning, playing video games with George, cooking, and playing tennis. 

Head Shot


George Serrano Martinez, M.A., James A. Haley Veterans Hospital
Biographical Statement

George Serrano Martinez received his Bachelor's Degree in Sociology with a focus on Women and Gender studies and his Master's Degree in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling from the University of South Florida. George served in the United States Navy for seven years as a Navy Hospital Corpsman working in family practice and later stationed with the United States Marine Corps were he deployed under Operation Enduring Freedom. Currently, George has worked for James A Haley Medical Center as a Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist for 3 years with the Polytrauma Transitional Rehabilitation Program, assisting veterans in employment, education and/or volunteer opportunities to continue community integration post discharge. As a veteran, he enjoys seeing his fellow veterans reintegrate to society and enjoy a positive quality of life. In his free time, George enjoys music, video games, reading and spending time with his children.

Head Shot