• Stroke
  • Stroke


    Stroke ISIG Brochure

    Click to View Stroke ISIG Brochure

    Stroke remains one of the world’s leading causes of disability. What are you doing to promote best treatment and assessment for stroke?

    The mission of the STROKE ISIG is to bring together rehabilitation professionals from all disciplines to advance the field of stroke rehabilitation.

    Through its very active task forces, the STROKE ISIG provides networking opportunities for ACRM members and promotes evidence-based practices for rehabilitation professionals serving people with stroke.


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    This semi-annual newsletter of the ACRM STROKE-ISIG, reports the news, updates, progress, and opportunities that spring from the group's many task forces and dedicated members.


    “Internationally, the Stroke ISIG offers a venue unlike any other Chris MacDonellin the world. It brings together leaders in stroke rehabilitation and research in a collegial, collaborative, and interdisciplinary manner where exchanging ideas brings tremendous value to all who attend. This is an opportunity not to miss!”

    Chris MacDonell, FACRM
    Managing Director of Medical Rehabilitation
    CARF International





    It's new, it's fun, it's informative — join us!

    Virtual Happy Hours are webinars held via Google Hangout featuring expert speakers in all areas of stroke rehabilitation. This is an opportunity to learn from and interact with the best in our field!


    Janice Eng

    Janice Eng


    We are excited for you to join us on 17 May 2016 from 5:00-6:00 PM EDT! We are honored to have Janice Eng, PhD, BSc(PT/OT) as our virtual happy hour speaker, who will present: A telehealth method for improving upper extremity function after stroke. Follow the Stroke ISIG on twitter @ACRMStroke for more details and reminders about this exciting event!



    1. To join a STROKE ISIG Virtual Happy Hour, please RSVP to your email invitation. If you did not receive an invitation, please request one from the event administrator, Mark Kovic, including your name, email address and ACRM member number. You will receive the invitation the week of the Virtual Happy Hour.
    2. Fifteen minutes prior to the event, pull up the email invitation to join the Hangout. Click on the “Hangout” hyperlink just below the date and time. A screen with the Hangout logo will appear. Click on “Join Call” at the bottom of the screen.
    3. If this doesn’t work, please email Mark Kovic to be re-invited to the Hangout.

    Clinical Questions Answered at Stroke Twitter Event

    The Stroke ISIG invites you to participate in the new “Hot Topics” monthly Twitter event!

    At the beginning of each month, the ACRM Stroke ISIG will post clinical questions related to stroke rehabilitation on our Twitter page @ACRMStroke. All of our followers can then share their opinions, experiences and expertise. This is a fantastic opportunity to engage and share evidence-based tips and knowledge with your colleagues.

    The question will change monthly and is meant to stimulate discussion about topics of interest. Please share this opportunity with your colleagues!

    How to Participate in the STROKE ISIG

    1. ATTEND the ACRM Conference — with the MOST STROKE rehab programming in the WORLD
    2. Join STROKE ISIG meetings at the conference
    3. Participate in the STROKE ISIG task forces (easiest to do at the ACRM Conference)

    The work of the STROKE ISIG is accomplished through its task forces and the ACRM Annual Conference events.

    Participation in four very active task forces is open to all members of the STROKE ISIG and new members are welcome.

    All ACRM members and others thinking about joining the STROKE ISIG for the first time should contact any of the executive committee members or task force chairs (listed below) to make a meaningful difference in the field of Stroke rehabilitation. Membership is growing – don’t be left behind!


    Member Benefits

    • Participation in STROKE ISIG task forces
    • Receive STROKE MATTERS semi-annual newsletter
    • Opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration
    • Grow your professional network of colleagues, mentors, and funders
    • Gain recognition for your contributions to the field and to ACRM
    • Boost your CV with opportunities to take leadership roles in ACRM
    • Continuing education opportunities
    • Opportunity to plan educational courses for the ACRM Annual Conference
    • Collaborative research opportunities
    • Networking and engaging with STROKE rehabilitation colleagues who share your passion and  challenges
    • Increase opportunities to publish your work
    • Meet pioneers in the field, mentors, and potential research collaborators
    • Advance the field by helping to translate and disseminate cutting-edge research into clinical guidelines and practice
    • Experience outstanding peer-to-peer learning
    • Advance evidence-based clinical practices for improved outcomes


    Stroke ISIG Opportunities at the ACRM Annual Conference

    Why Present or Attend PIRR 2016 in Chicago?

    Heather Tanksley, MOT, OTR/L, Co-Communications Officer of the Stroke ISIG, asked clinician colleagues who participated in educational sessions at the 2015 ACRM Annual Conference, Progress in Rehabilitation Research (PIRR), to share insights about their experiences. You might be surprised by their answers!

    Marjorie Nicholas

    Marjorie Nicholas

    Respondent: 2015 ACRM Presenter, Marjorie Nicholas, PhD, CCC-SLP, MGH
    Institute of Health Professionals

    Q: What did you enjoy most about presenting at the ACRM conference this year?

    A: It was refreshing to present as an SLP to a wider range of professionals than we usually get to interact with. The questions people had were more interesting as a result.

    >>> Read More >>>


    Seeking ISIG Members with Expertise in Mild Stroke

    The Health and Wellness Task Force of the Stroke ISIG is working to improve rehabilitation after mild stroke through the development of a publication and conference submission. We are looking for interprofessional members of the ISIG with expertise in mild stroke, particularly in the areas of evaluation and treatment of cognition, healthy eating, physical activity, medication adherence, driving, return to work, mental health, and self efficacy to join our work group.

    If you are interested, please email Jaclyn Schwartz and include the following details.

    • Your area of expertise
    • Your availability to collaborate on a publication
    • Your availability to collaborate on an educational presentation at the 2016 ACRM Annual Conference

    The work group will begin meeting in January and will hopefully culminate with both written and conference products.


    2016 Cognitive Rehabilitation Training

    CLICK to2016 Cognitive Rehabilitation Training Locations



    Based on the ACRM Cognitive Rehabilitation Manual: Translating Evidence-Based Recommendations into Practice, this introductory course teaches step-by-step procedures for all evidence-based interventions for cognitive impairments. Manual included ($150 value).




    ACRM / National Stroke Association Award for Excellence in Post-Acute Stroke


    John Chae, MD

    Co-sponsored by the ACRM STROKE ISIG and the National Stroke Association, the Excellence in Post Acute Stroke Award is the only one of its kind in the field. Read More >

    The inaugural award recognized the outstanding work of John Chae, MD and his contributions to stroke rehabilitation. Dr. Chae presented the award lecture, Peripheral Nerve Stimulation for Hemiplegic Shoulder Pain #4408 on Thursday, 29 October 2015 during the ACRM 92nd Annual Conference in Dallas.



    2015 Poster Awards for Stroke

    Congratulations to the following winners of the 2015 STROKE ISIG poster awards. These posters will be presented at the ACRM 92nd Annual Conference in Dallas.


    The NIH Stroke Scale Lacks Validity in Chronic Hemiparetic Stroke #3433
    First author: Heather Tanksley Peters


    Treatment of Vascular Depression and Post Stroke Depression using Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: Systematic Review #3828
    First author: Spencer Thompson 


    Total therapy time and time by therapy discipline is associated with rehabilitation outcomes among stroke inpatient rehabilitation patients #4141
    First author: Margaret Anne DiVita

     “How does ACRM Help the Stroke Community?"

    Philip Morse, PhD, FACRM
    ABI Rehabilitation New Zealand


    Executive Committee

    Chair: Stephen Page, OTR/L, PhD, MS, FAHA, FACRM
    Chair-Elect:  Pam Roberts, PhD, OTR/L, SCFES, FAOTA, CPHQ, FNAP
    Past Chair: Phil Morse, PhD, FACRM
    Secretary: Kristen L. Mauk, PhD, DNP, RN, CRRN, GCNS-BC, GNP-BC, FAAN
    Membership Officer: Marc Kovic, PhD
    Co-Communications Officer: Sarah Wallace, PhD, CCC-SLP
    Co-Communications Officer: Heather Peters, MOT, OTR/L
    Early Career Officer:
    Kelly Anderson, OTR/L, PhD student
    Member-at-Large: Richard Zorowitz, MD
    Member-At-Large: Elaine L. Miller, PhD, RN, CRRN, FAAN, FAHA
    International  Networking Group Liaison (Ex-Officio): Prathap Raghavan, MD
    ACRM Staff Liaison: Terri Compos


    One of the most valuable benefits of ACRM membership is the opportunity to participate in the many interdisciplinary special interest groups and networking groups.  Not sure ACRM membership is right for you? Consider an ISIG Only membership.


    Print an ISIG ONLY Membership Application


    Task Forces

    The work of the STROKE ISIG is carried out by its task forces. Collaboration among task force members is accomplished throughout the year with regular conference calls and two face-to-face meetings per year. These are held during the ACRM Mid-Year Meeting in the spring and the ACRM Annual Conference in the fall.

    All of the task forces have made impressive strides in the past two years in preparing and publishing papers. Read on to learn about the specific projects undertaken by each group.



    CO-CHAIR:  Jacklyn Schwartz, PhD, OTR/L

    CO-CHAIR: Suzanne Perea Burns, MOT OTR/L

    Health management and maintenance is an important instrumental activity of daily living following stroke. Survivors must learn how to manage their condition and actively prevent future stroke or other disease. The goal of this group is to engage in activities promoting the health and wellbeing of persons after stroke. Topics of interest include, nutrition, physical activity, adherence, medication management, and mental health.


    For the 2016 ACRM Annual Conference, the Health and Wellness Task Force is submitting an instructional course on rehabilitation for persons with mild stroke. Many people do not receive rehabilitation after mild stroke, but the literature demonstrates that people in this population do experience deficits upon returning to the community, particularly in complex instrumental activities of daily living. The purpose of this instructional course is to describe best practices for persons with mild stroke in the areas of cognitive function, nutrition, physical activity, medication adherence, driving, return to work, and mental health.



    CO-CHAIRS: Kathy Kniepmann, OTD, MPH, OTR/L, and Cherie Lovelace

    Return to work and community reintegration post stroke are essential to optimize function and quality of life.  Stroke survivors are faced with major life changes as they deal with transition from acute care to rehab and returning home. Several areas require more attention to aid successful patient transition after the acute stroke:  Cognitive, behavioral and emotional changes impact family relationships and work capacity, yet may be neglected in stroke survivors.

    The goal of this task force is to improve life after stroke through assessing existing resources and developing materials, posters, presentations and publications to educate clinicians, caregivers and patients. We will address stroke survivor needs in order to build a stronger bridge from discharge after stroke acute care to rehab and return to family, work and life activities.  Join our active stroke group and help us enhance life after stroke!


    • Submit one conference proposal
    • Host one virtual Happy Hour
    • Compile group interest/ develop project ideas as basis for a publication
    • Draft and disseminate a roster of resources for clinicians and families about  Living Life After Stroke

    Please contact Kathy Kniepman if you are interested in participating.



    CO-CHAIR:  Marsha Neville, PhD, OT
    CO-CHAIR:  Susan Lin, OTR/L FAOTA

    The Movement Interventions Task Force is a dynamic group of neurorehabilitation researchers and clinicians representing a variety of disciplines from across the United States and Canada. A common interest among all members and the theme of this task force is movement after stroke.

    Movement-related deficits are the most common impairments exhibited after stroke, and in many cases, the most disabling. Yet, there remain few therapies that effectively target stroke motor impairments. Moreover, the therapeutic ingredients that most impact motor changes after stroke, and the ways in which movement-related variables change after stroke (i.e. speed, precision, strength, pacing), each remain poorly understood.

    We are a product-oriented group focusing on developing new knowledge about movement after stroke through development of presentations, papers, and other educational materials for patients, care partners, and professionals.


    • A recent publication suggesting appropriate operational definitions for intensity, duration, and frequency of stroke rehabilitation (Arch Phys Med Rehabil, 2012;93:1395-9).
    • Another manuscript is being drafted to provide clinicians with current evidence and guidelines for use of neuroprosthetic walking devices.
    • The group is preparing a conference symposium for the 2013 ACRM Annual Conference that will emphasize the importance of using standardized clinical assessments and assist clinicians in putting such tools to use in their settings.
    • Other planned products include fact sheets on post-stroke complementary and alternative medicine and secondary stroke prevention.

    Through the creation of these products, our goals are to improve stroke clinical practice, increase (and in some cases, establish) evidence related to motor impairment reduction after stroke, and influence public policy. For more information about the Movement Interventions Task Force contact Marsha Neville Smith.



    CO-CHAIRS: Kris Mauk, PhD, DNP, CRRN, GCNS-BC, GNP-BC and Elaine Miller, PhD, RN, CRRN, FAAN, FAHA

    The purpose of this group of nursing scholars and clinicians is to perform activities that support ACRM’s mission of enhancing the lives of individuals with disabilities through interdisciplinary rehabilitation research.



    CO-CHAIRS: John Ross Rizzo, MD and Kimberly Hreha, MS OTR/L OT, edD(c)

    The visual system is one of our most important senses. It enables us to gather and process information and determines how we will interact with our dynamic environment. Neurological diseases or insults can leave patients with some degree of visual, perceptual, and/or cognitive dysfunction. A neglected component in therapies to improve function is a clear understanding of eye-hand coordination even though harmonization between eye and hand movement is required for all functional activities.

    The mission of this task force is to understand how vision, visual motor, and visual perceptual training can be generalized to limb training to improve coordination and functional performance and develop the field of functional vision rehabilitation. Further, our task force will investigate the role of eye movements in eye-hand coordination and in the recovery of motor control in patients with stroke. We hope to stimulate research that will build a logical foundation to integrate the principles of eye-hand coordination into clinical practice to improve functional ability.

    The Vision Task Force is a group comprised of clinicians and researchers who are dedicated to elucidating these serious concerns. Aside from the development of functional vision rehabilitation for ocular ailments, our secondary goals involve promulgating information regarding the importance of visual deficits and the clinical situations where they may be prevalent, in addition to advocating for public policy to take a stronger stance on assisting those with vision impediments and allocating healthcare resources appropriately.


    • Submit one conference proposal
    • Submit one article and one fact sheet for publication in Archives of Physical Medicine
    • Build comprehensive roster for purpose of building collaborations amongst members
    • Host one VHH
    • Initiate communications with other Stroke ISIG Task Forces to identify collaborations


    One of the first projects that the Vision Task Force has focused on is developing a conceptual framework for vision. Colenbrander (2009) distinguishes between visual function and functional vision. The task force has taken these two concepts and built a conceptual framework for vision-centric healthcare. As our field progresses within the domains of ophthalmology, optometry, rehabilitation medicine, neurology, and neurosurgery, it behooves us to combine this burgeoning field of evidence-based medicine into reliable and valid diagnostic and treatment algorithms that can be utilized across clinical specialties.


    Goals of the STROKE ISIG

    • Development of products within the task forces
    • Grow the STROKE ISIG in number, depth, and breadth, including links to other professional groups interested in stroke rehabilitation

    Developing Stroke-Related Program Content

    A major focus of the STROKE ISIG is to promote more stroke-related content in the ACRM annual conference program. The 2012 Vancouver conference was a tremendous success in this area. We began the meeting with two great half-day pre-conference instructional courses, Innovations in Stroke Rehabilitation – Part 1 (Catherine Lang, Arlene Schmid, Robert Teasell, Lara Boyd) and Part 2 (Sarah Wallace, Deirdre Dawson, Pamela Roberts, Richard Riggs JR Rizzo).

    We also sponsored the inaugural Stroke Special Topics Session titled, “Translating Research into Clinical Practice,” featuring Janice Eng and colleagues discussing their GRASP program. This symposium is now an annual event dedicated to the presentation and discussion of integrated efforts to implementing research findings in real-world clinical practice.

    An extra bonus for the STROKE ISIG  during the Vancouver conference was the Deborah L. Wilkerson Early Career Award Winner presentation by Elizabeth Skidmore (“Closing the Gap: Early Intervention for Cognitive Disability after Stroke”).

    To learn more about membership and activities of the STROKE ISIG, contact the chair, Stephen Page, PhD, OTR/L FAHA, FACRM.

    Stroke ISIG Resources

    • The Member Guide to Product Development describes ACRM products, i.e., fact sheets, journal articles, manuals, and the procedure used by ACRM groups and committees to develop them. The guide includes a Product Development Worksheet and how to request a Product Review.