Invitation to Cover
February 29, 2016

Penn Medicine's 2nd Mind Your Brain Conference Highlights the Road to Recovery for Traumatic Brain Injury Survivors

Keynote Speaker, Major Ben Richards, West Point graduate and Iraq War Veteran, to share his story of life after TBI

PHILADELPHIA – Traumatic brain injury (TBI), including concussion, is not just a major problem in contact sports, it is also more common than is reported in members of the military. Ben Richards, a West Point graduate and Iraq war veteran who will serve as the keynote speaker during Penn’s Mind Your Brain conference on Friday, suffered for years after his combat injury before he received a TBI diagnosis. After a car bomb destroyed his vehicle in 2007, Richards sustained a severe concussion that left him with headaches, fatigue, insomnia and memory loss until his condition was properly identified and treated. He has since become an outspoken voice for the many servicemen, like himself, who have suffered a TBI in combat. He has been profiled in the NY Times and 60 Minutes and will share his story with other brain injury survivors and their families at this year’s Mind Your Brain conference.

This one-day free event will also share research, insights, and therapies from the Philadelphia Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center’s polytrauma/TBI rehabilitation program, and tips for exercise after a neuromuscular injury from retired Army Major and founder of the Fighting Back program, Scott Dillman.  A survivor’s panel including Penn Medicine patients and a research panel featuring scientists, clinicians and neuroscience and brain injury thought leaders from Penn’s Center for Brain Injury and Repair will also be part of the day.


Smilow Center for Translational Research
3400 Civic Center Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19104


Friday, March 4, 2016, 8 A.M. to 3 P.M.

8:00 A.M.      Registration
9:00 am         M. Sean Grady, MD, chair of Neurosurgery
                Candace Gantt, TBI survivor and conference organizer
9:15               Keynote speaker:  Major Ben Richards
10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Breakout Sessions including:
                         Caring and Resilience Explored
                         Evaluating and Treating Veterans with TBI
                         Fitness after TBI
                         Surviving and Thriving after Injury
                         Strategize to Maximize (for optimal day-to-day functioning)
                         Concussion Treatment Options
1:00 p.m          Survivors Panel

2:00 pm           Recovery Research Panel

Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $5.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 18 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $373 million awarded in the 2015 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center -- which are recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report -- Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2015, Penn Medicine provided $253.3 million to benefit our community.


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