General Sessions and Keynotes

Get ready to get inspired when you experience our keynotes and general sessions. All attendees will have access to all sessions on-demand until February 10th, 2022, so you can take advantage of all sessions at the conference and gain more than 60 CNE credits. View the full schedule of conference events.

Keynote—Diversity of Thought: Preventing Blind Spots in the Workplace

Wednesday, November 10, 9:30–10:30 am CT | Presented by Amelie Karam

In today’s climate, now more than ever, it is key for organizations to highlight the importance of diversity. However, depending on the location and type of organization, diversity can look different for all.

This talk will shed light on the concept of diversity of thought while explaining how to create open communication within the workplace and offering tips on hiring differing viewpoints. No matter the age, title, or tenure, every employee in the office has lived a life that makes their perspective unique and useful to creating a well-rounded workforce. The audience will leave with clear takeaways on how to create a flourishing and well-rounded workplace for all. Diversity of thought touches so many personally and professionally. Better understanding diversity of thought can be used for your organization’s advantage. In order to have a thriving workplace for all, employees need to bring their unique viewpoint to the table.

karamAbout Amelie Karam

After studying at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Richmond University in London, and finishing her degree in Performance and Film Studies from Loyola University in New Orleans, Amelie Karam recognized that people in her Gen Y age group, known as “Millennials,” view the world differently than do previous generations. The great divide between Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y piqued Amelie’s interest. Amelie is passionate about bridging generational gaps. She speaks and consults both nationally and internationally about how organizations can better work together to attract and retain the Millennial generation to ultimately bridge generational gaps. Through her Millennial perspective and rich research, along with her background in theatre, film, health, and wellness, Amelie brings an entertaining and informative voice to this important and highly sought-after topic of bridging generational gaps. Past Clients and Conferences Include: CONAREC- Brazil, Office of the Attorney General of Texas, CarMax, FitBit Health Solutions The Governance Institute, Modern Healthcare, Becker’s Hospital Review, American Board of Medical Specialties, Nursing Management Congress, Geisinger Health Plan, Dignity Health, Healthcare Association for New York State, Southeast Louisiana VA, RWJ Barnabas Health, Spartanburg Regional Health System, CHRISTUS Spohn, CHRISTUS Physician Group, CHRISTUS Southwest Louisiana, AWHONN, HR Morning, Corizon Health, Progressive Healthcare, Southern California EMS Leadership Training, Sheppard Pratt Health System, US Acute Care Solutions, Murer Group, Tennessee Health Information Management Association, Greater New Orleans Inc., National Masonry Association, Eastern District Bench Bar, Tennessee Bankers Association, Belmont University, Texarkana College, HIDglobal, Coastal Alabama Business Chamber, Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance, Wilbur Smith Rotary, and more.

Keynote—Compassion at Work: Preventing Burnout in Healthcare

Friday, November 12, 1:30–2:30 pm CT | Presented by Gary Hsin and Jane Chun

The evidence is compelling. Compassion has been shown to improve many dimensions of healthcare, including patient health outcomes, patient satisfaction, clinician well-being, team well-being, and quality and process of care. While compassion is an inherent quality we all have as human beings, it is an orientation and skill that can be cultivated and strengthened so that it becomes the default place from which we approach and respond to any situation, rain or shine.

While burnout has been increasingly acknowledged as a growing crisis in healthcare, the pandemic has exponentially increased the sources of stress for healthcare professionals. In this context, the skills to manage stress, calm the nervous system, and process emotions such as anxiety, fear, anger, and grief are all the more important. As experts in compassion-based interventions, our goal is to care for those who care for us and others. Specifically, we will share with attendees the tools and skills to care for their own well-being.

About Gary Hsin 

Gary is a hospice and palliative care physician. He is the Chief of Palliative Medicine at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, and Clinical Professor of Medicine (affiliated) at Stanford University School of Medicine. Compassion connects and sustains his interests in medical education, palliative care, and global health by focusing on our common humanity. In teaching compassion cultivation to health care providers he has seen how compassion cultivation can deepen one’s commitment and resilience in work and life.


About Jane Chun

Jane works at the intersection of inner states of being and organizational and systems change. As Program Director and Content Specialist at the Compassion Institute, she oversees and designs initiatives in healthcare and social change. Jane is also a Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) facilitator. She has facilitated inner inquiry journeys at organizations including the Task Force for Global Health, California Primary Care Association (CPCA), UCSD Health Sciences, UN Development Programme (UNDP), Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University Business School, NYU Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, among others. She holds a PhD from the University of Oxford in Clinical Medicine with an International Development focus, and an MA from American University in International Peace and Conflict Resolution. Jane has experienced burnout as a humanitarian and international development professional working in the UN. It is her strong belief that it is possible to do the work of service and caring for others while embodying self and collective care within organizations, and loves walking this path with partners who also believe in this vision.

Panel Discussion—Common Concerns of Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury: Issues and Experiences

Wednesday, November 10, 2:45–3:45 pm CT | Margaret Swantko, Cissi Wimberly Oloomi, Fargo Khoury, Ryner Gebauer

Attend this panel discussion where a diverse array of speakers will discuss issues and experiences with SCI.

By attending this session, participants will be able to 
  • Describe the anatomy and pathophysicology, course, description and interventions, and mangement of Autonomic Dysreflexia (AD)
  • Discuss four causes of breakdown of skin integrity
  • Discuss the pathophysioogy, assessment and management techniques for neurogenic bladder. Describe the anatomy, pathophysiology of neurogenic bowel dysfunction, assessment and management techniques.

swantkoAbout Margaret Swantko

Margaret has spent the last 25 years in the pharmaceutical industry with most of her career at AstraZeneca as a National Sales Trainer and several positions in Specialty Sales. Most recently, Margaret has been overseeing the sales and education division for Quest Healthcare where she interacts with national thought leaders, develops and implements training materials, and develops educational in-services for the Quest Healthcare sales team.

oloomiAbout Cissi Wimberly Oloomi

Cissi Wimberly Oloomi has over 40 years in various settings of the specialty of neuroscience and rehabilitation nursing, including Neuro ICU, acute care, rehabilitation and skilled nursing and most recently OUtpatient and inpatient care of the spinal cord injured (SCI patient). Cissi received Her BSN, her master's degree as a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), and a post-graduate certificate as a Family Nurse Practitioner ( FNP) from Texas Women's University, Houston. She recently retired as an SCI service line Clinical Nurse Specialist and Nurse Practitioner at a VA Spinal Cord Injury Center. She is now doing clinical and education consulting. She has certification in rehabilitation nursing (CRRN) and neuroscience nursing (CNRN and served two terms on the ABMM certification board.. She is a member of the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses (AANN), Association of Rehabilitation Nurses (ARN), and the Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals (ASCIP) where she served on the ASCIP nursing board for numerous terms. She is a published author & also a co-editor of chapters in the AANN neuroscience nursing core curriculum 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th editions. She has presented numerous times at the national and local levels on various neuroscience topics. She presented internationally in Opatija Croatia at the World Federation of Neuroscience Nurses in 2017.

khouryAbout Fargo Khoury

He completed his PM&R residency training at Loma Linda University Medical Center. He has spent the First 8+ years working in an inpatient rehabilitation center setting where he saw numerous post-stroke, TBI, multi-trauma, and SCI patients. Presentations & Posters Presentations and Posters DVT Prophylaxis in Rehabilitation Presented at Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital Neurology Case Conference Post-Traumatic Amnesia Presented at Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital Neurology Case Conference Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome Presented at Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital Neurology Case Conference Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome in a Spastic Quadriplegic: A Case Report Presented at the 2011 Association of Academic Physiatrists Annual Meeting, April 12-16, 2011, Phoenix, Arizona, United States Action Myoclonus Following Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting: A Case Report Presented at the 2012 Association of Academic Physiatrists Annual Meeting, February 28th-March 3rd, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Abstracts & Posters in Press William Waring, Fargo Khoury, Timothy Fenske. Palliative Rehabilitation for Myelopathies due to Metastatic Cancer. Research Projects 2011-2014 The Effect of Power-Mobility on Body Weight.

gebauerAbout Ryner Gebauer

Ryan Gebauer is a C3/4 complete tetraplegic; he was injured as a result of jumping out of a tree into a canal 26 years ago at 16 years old. Graduated Florida Atlantic University with a Masters in Business Administration. Founding member of the largest SCI support group in Florida, Spinal Cord Injury Support Group of South Florida. Ryan has been working with Alliance Labs as the National Community Relations Advocate since 2014.

Health Policy: Advocating for the Value and Role of Rehabilitation Nurses for Better Patient Outcomes

Thursday, November 11, 12:45–1:45 pm | Presented by Jeremy Scott, MA; Michele Cournan, DNP RN CRRN ANP-BC FNP; and Becca Branum

Attend this session to learn more about the state of healthcare policy as it relates to rehabilitation nursing.

jeremy scottAbout Jeremy Scott

Jeremy Scott is a Vice President at CRD Associates, where he focuses on health care policy and representing the interests of nonprofit, advocacy and health organizations. Jeremy works with clients, to establish and strengthen relationships with elected officials and federal agencies, develop and implement innovative government relations and advocacy programs, craft effective grassroots campaigns, establish coalitions and third-party stakeholder partnerships, and affect the outcomes of appropriations measures, authorizing legislation and federal regulatory actions. Jeremy is particularly skilled in creating innovative messaging, tactics, and materials in support of his clients’ policy goals. He helps his clients by bringing traditional and nontraditional partners to the table in support of common goals, fostering relationships with members of Congress and their staff, and collaborating with the administration and federal agencies. Jeremy has a BA degree in History and Political Science from Malone University and a MA degree in Government from the Johns Hopkins University.

michelle cournanAbout Michele Cournan

Michele Cournan, DNP RN ANP-BC FNP CRRN, has been a rehabilitation nurse for over 20 years with experience in acute rehabilitation and academia. She is currently the Director of Process Improvement at Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital, an acute free-standing rehabilitation facility in Schenectady, New York. She is also adjunct faculty member at Excelsior College, a part-time faculty at Walden University and has a private business as a legal nurse consultant. She has published several articles and delivered many presentations nationally over the past 15 years. Most recently Michele has presented a series of webinars nationally on Covid and its impact on rehabilitation. Michele is currently the Past-President of the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses.

Founder’s Address: Reflections of a Late Career Rehab Nurse

Thursday, November 11, 12:45–1:45 pm CT | Pamela Larsen, PhD MS RN

At each stage of career development, early-, mid-, and late-career, there are opportunities for personal and professional growth. However, external factors often influence what path is taken. This presentation follows the career path of the presenter describing how different opportunities, including joining ARN in 1985, shaped her career path. With a career focused on psychosocial care, she discusses mindful communication and presence as the foundation of psychosocial care of rehab patients and their families.

larsenAbout Pamela Larsen

Dr. Larsen is the Editor-in-Chief of Rehabilitation Nursing. She has been an ARN member since 1985 and was certified as a CRRN from 1986-2011. Pam retired as Professor Emerita from the University of Wyoming School of Nursing in 2013. Throughout most of her career, she was a faculty member, and nursing education dean/director. She is the editor of Lubkin's Chronic Illness: Impact and Intervention (editions 4 through 11) and Finding a Way through Cancer, Dying and Widowhood, a memoir chronicling the lived experience of her husband's cancer, his death, and her first year of widowhood.

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feature about

2023 Annual Conference

Presented both virtually and in-person at the Rhode Island Providence Convention Center in Providence, Rhode Island, we look forward to sharing more information with you about the speakers, presentations, and more.

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