2008-09 Program
Program Details
History of Interface

October 15th, 2008
Traumatic Brain Injury:  The "Signature Injury" on Many of Our Doorsteps
Sandy McCarthy,  M.A. ,  AACBIS , Director of the Colorado Traumatic Brain Injury Program 
Judy Dettmer, Statewide TBI Consultant
Kevin Pettit, Ph.D.

Interface Host: Bill Semple, LCSW

About the Presentation:
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is much more common than many of us realize.  Recent news of TBI as the "signature injury" of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has increased our familiarity with this injury. Yet, there are many more persons affected by a TBI in this country than all the persons with AIDS, breast cancer, Multiple Sclerosis and spinal cord injuries combined. From shaken baby syndrome, sports-related injuries, automobile accidents to falls taken by the elderly, traumatic brain injuries range from mild to severe, and affect each individual in unique ways. This presentation will offer some perspectives on the causes and symptoms of TBI, as well as resources available for those with a TBI and their family members. The panel will also cover some of the co-occurring disorders that can present with a TBI such as depression and substance abuse.  Finally, one presenter will share his personal perspective of how a severe TBI changed his life from one of a physics professor to that of a theology graduate student  advocating for full inclusion of differently-abled persons within communities of faith.  Program attendees will learn more about this "signature injury" found on many of our doorsteps.
About the Presenters:
Sandy McCarthy, M.A., AACBIS, is the Director of the Colorado Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Program, a program that provides research and education grants related to TBI, and services to those affected by a traumatic brain injury.   Sandy brings 25 years of leadership, facilitation, mediation and coaching experience to her work, including 19 years in the public sector directing transportation and human services divisions. Sandy holds degrees in Psychology, English, and Geography.  She is a graduate of four nationally recognized coaches training organizations and the Denver Community Leadership Forum and is certified as a brain injury specialist. 

Although managing a TBI Program for the state is a relatively new arena for Sandy's professional life, she has been surprised and inspired by the deep levels of passion, dedication and commitment found in Colorado's small but effervescent TBI community.  Here, there are people volunteering their energy to make a difference in this "signature injury" of the current wars that can be found in everyone's 'back yards.

Judy Dettmer, Statewide TBI Consultant
Judy Dettmer is currently the Statewide TBI consultant through the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Judy has worked with individuals with brain injury for the past 18 years.  She has provided support for adults and youth in the community, home, school and vocational environments. In addition, Judy has assisted with capacity building efforts in Colorado School Districts and other agencies to better serve individuals with brain injury. She has presented at numerous local, state, national and international conferences. She has served as the chair for the Traumatic Brain Injury Trust Fund Board of Directors and Past President of the Brain Injury Association of Colorado Board of Directors. She is currently completing her Masters degree in Social Work.
Kevin Pettit, Ph.D. Kevin Pettit was born in Boulder, CO where he grew up, attended high school, and lives presently.  He attained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in physics at Carleton College in 1989 and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana in 1995.  After working at the IBM Almaden Research Center for one year as a post-doctoral researcher, he began teaching physics at his alma mater Carleton College. 

In October of 1998, Dr. Pettit suffered a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).  After two-weeks in a coma, and a month stay in the ICU at Hennepin County Hospital, he began rehabilitation at Craig Hospital in Denver, CO.  He was released from Craig Hospital after five months of inpatient stay and began teaching and researching again hoping to restart his career teaching and researching physics.  When he and others decided that his prospects of physics were somewhat dimmer than he had hoped for, he applied to and was accepted at the Iliff School of Theology.  He currently studies there to attain a Master of Arts in Specialized Ministry which he will use to help him work with faith communities to aid them as they open up their church door and welcome into fellowship those people who are differently-abled, like Dr. Pettit is.  He feels that this is the best vocational use of his abilities and his experience.

Additional Resources:

Download powerpoint from this presentation <HERE>

Here's a listing of web information on traumatic brain injury for survivors and those interested in learning about it:
Basic TBI Information
http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/tbi/tbibook.pdf:  A short book containing facts regarding TBI and concussion.
http://www.headinjury.com/ashesord.htm:  A very useful guide from the Brain Injury Resource Center. 
http://www.biausa.org:  The national office of the Brain Injury Association of the USA.
http://www.biausa.org/factsheets.htm:  Fact sheets regarding TBI.
Local, State, and National Organizations for TBI:
http://www.BIAColorado.org:  The Brain Injury Association of Colorado homepage that lists information on camps, support groups, etc. for TBI survivors.
www.tbicolorado.org or www.cdhs.state.co.us/tbi: The Colorado Traumatic Brain Injury Trust Fund, part of the Colorado Department of Human Services, with information on applications, client services, and education and research grants related to TBI.
http://www.bisociety.org/links.cfm:  This site includes information on the recovery process for all acquired brain injuries.
Books about TBI:
http://www.drdiane.com:  A doctor’s website on TBI.
http://www.claudiaosborn.com:  A memoir written by a doctor who is a TBI survivor.
http://www.xlibris.com:  A publisher that sells the survival memoir "Rambling Down Life's Road... with a brain injury" by Kevin Pettit.
Local Hospitals for TBI Recovery: 
http://www.craighospital.com:  Craig Hospital specializes and brain injury and spinal cord injuries.
http://www.bch.org/rehabilitation-services/neurotrauma-(brain-injury).aspx:  Recovery unit in a local Boulder Hospital.
http://mayoresearch.mayo.edu/mayo/research/psych/traumatic_brain_injury.cfm:  Information about the Mayo Clinic's Traumatic Brain Injury Model System.
http://www.mchb.hrsa.gov/programs/tbi.htm:  Information from the HRSA Maternal and Child Health Bureau, administrators of the Federal TBI Program.
For Survivors:
http://tbihome.org: TBI Home is a peer support website for people living with brain injury, their families and friends.
http://www.neuroskills.com:  TBI Resource Guide is a central source of information, services and products relating to traumatic brain injury, brain injury recovery, and post-acute rehabilitation.
http://www.tbicommunity.org:  A website from Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on community integration of persons with TBI.
http://www.getrealresults.com/tenmyths.html:  Interesting look at TEN MYTHS OF "RECOVERY".
http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/mediate.htm:  A link to the Department of Justice that covers mediation between an employer and a person who is disabled while working.
http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/adahom1.htm:  Information regarding the ADA.
For Professionals: 
http://www.aacbis.net:  Website for The American Academy for the Certification of Brain Injury Specialists (AACBIS) that offers a voluntary national certification program for both entry-level staff and experienced professionals working in brain injury services.

Back to 2008-09 Interface Program...