From the President

Dear Membership,

Sue Ann Sisto, PT, MA, PhD, FACRM

Sue Ann Sisto, PT, MA, PhD, FACRM

We are busy planning a very exiting conference for you that will include focused and diagnostic specific research and practice areas in seven tracks, including Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury, Stroke, Neurodegenerative Diseases, Pain, Cancer and Pediatric Rehabilitation.  Additionally, don’t miss the chance to choose between 23 instructional courses bookending the conference.

If you haven’t registered, there is still time.

Let me also welcome our new managing editor for the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Glenn Collins.  Congratulations and thank you to the editors-in-chief and the editorial board for the recent increase in our journal’s impact factor. This is the 10th increase in 11 years and the highest Impact Factor of all general Rehabilitation journals according to the 2013 Journal Citation Reports just released. With 17,931 lifetime citations, ARCHIVES is the most-cited journal in Rehabilitation and has the highest Eigenfactor in the category.

We look forward to seeing you in Toronto!!

Sue Ann Sisto





Sue Ann Sisto, PT, MA, PhD, FACRM
President, ACRM
Stony Brook University School of Health Technology and Management


Submitted by: Megan Mitchell, PhD, Chair-Elect of the ACRM Early Career Networking Group Early Career Networking Group While recently packing to move for the umpteenth time in a decade, I came across a college essay I wrote my senior year of high school. The topic: Where I saw myself when I was forty. The conclusion: I would be a pediatrician...
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Submitted by: Patricia C. Heyn, PhD, ACRM Neurodegenerative Diseases Networking Group Executive Committee Member; PM & R Department, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Denver, CO Sedentary behavior, defined by the College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association (2007 ACSM/AHA Panel Expert) as less than 30 minutes of accumulated moderate physical activity on most days of the week, increases the risk of many chronic...
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Submitted by: Ronald T. Seel, PhD, FACRM, Chair of the Evidence and Practice Committee and Director of Brain Injury Research at Shepherd Center, Atlanta, GA (more…)...
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Cancer Rehabilitation: A New Frontier for ACRM

Cancer Rehabilitation: A New Frontier for ACRM

Submitted by: Nicole L. Stout, DPT, LexicaMED LLC; Julie Silver, MD, Harvard Medical School; Vishwa Raj, MD, Carolinas Rehabilitation Hospital

In the fall of 2013, the Board of Governors approved the formation of a Cancer Rehabilitation Networking Group as a component of ACRM. This group will serve ACRM members by providing educational opportunities and networking activities related to cancer rehabilitation with consideration for functional, cognitive, and psychosocial issues for patients with cancer and cancer survivors. …


ACRM Community News

ACRM Call To Action

Health Policy Networking Group   The ACRM Health Policy Networking Group (HPNG) has been charged with using the current and future empirical rehabilitation research evidence to influence public policy. The HPNG is currently working on cataloging research evidence to validate the "value" (defined as cost/outcome) to make a case that if we are moving towards value based reimbursement, then...
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ACRM President, Dr. Sue Ann Sisto and the entire ACRM Board of Governors are pleased to welcome the newest members elected to the board in the spring election.  Stephanie Kolakowsky-Hayner, PhD, CBIST and Ron Seel, PhD, FACRM will serve as members-at-large and join the board in October during the ACRM 91st Annual Conference in Toronto. Dr. Kolakowsky-Hayner chairs the Early Career Development Course Task Force of...
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Outstanding Educational Opportunities at the ACRM 91ST ANNUAL CONFERENCE // Toronto

To be presented at the ACRM 91st Annual Conference: Progress in Rehabilitation Research 2014 Sheldon Berrol Memorial Chautauqua: A Call to Action for Health Disparities Join Us! Thursday, 9 October 2014 from 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM The Sheldon Berrol Chautauqua is the BI-ISIG special annual venue in which we address timely and sometimes controversial issues. Named to honor Dr. Shelly Berrol’s famous “Let’s talk” invitation to his...
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Walking with Robotic Exoskeletons: Is this a Step in the Right Direction for Improving Health and Fitness for Persons with Spinal Cord Injury?

Indego Exoskeleton demonstrated by Michael Gore, Shepherd Center patient

Shepherd Center patient, Michael Gore, demonstrates the Parker Hannifin Indego exoskeleton at the 2013 ACRM Annual Conference in Orlando.


Submitted By: Nicholas Evans, MHS, CES, HFS, Lead Clinical Exercise Specialist Beyond Therapy, Shepherd Center, Atlanta, GA and Chair, ACRM SCI-ISIG Fitness and Wellness Task Force

The 2014 Soccer World Cup opened with an impressive display of teamwork and technology. Researchers successfully developed and debuted a brain-machine interfaced lower extremity robotic exoskeleton in which the user, with lower extremity paralysis, was able to activate the device using brain signals and kick a soccer ball. During a time when researchers and clinicians are investing significant time and resources into understanding and minimizing the long term impact of physical deconditioning and altered cardiometabolic status on secondary health conditions following spinal cord injury (SCI), it is very fitting that this amazing technology was debuted on the world stage in an environment in which the user was participating in an exercise-related activity.

Although brain-machine interfaced technology for the lower extremities is still very much in its infancy, a number of other, more “user-friendly”, robotic exoskeleton devices have been developed and are being utilized by clinicians, researchers, and consumers across the globe. This emerging technology promises to afford people with SCI the opportunity to stand and walk in the home and community. The immediate benefits of robotic exoskeleton technology can be realized by assisting the user with the most basic of human functions – bipedal ambulation. Based on the optimized anatomical position of standing vertically and walking, and in some cases, combining movement with electrical stimulation, exoskeleton technology may also provide additional benefits beyond that of mobility.

As a consequence of transitioning from a seated to standing position, it is not beyond reason to think that health and fitness benefits such as increased energy expenditure, increased cardiopulmonary demand, improved peripheral blood flow and circulation, and enhanced muscular strength and endurance of the extremities and trunk musculature may also be realized by individuals with mobility impairments who may use these devices. In fact, over the past few years, studies investigating the potential utility and impact of exoskeleton walking on physical conditioning and cardiopulmonary fitness following SCI have begun to emerge.

Of course the effect of exoskeleton walking on health and fitness is not the only question that remains regarding the use of this technology.  Clinical trials investigating the safety and functionality of these devices are still underway. Nonetheless, development companies are working to improve the utility of their devices and investigators are beginning to answer questions related to the role of lower extremity exoskeleton walking on health and fitness outcomes following SCI. This is certainly a step in the right direction for persons with SCI, as alternative means of engaging in physical activity and exercise are always needed to ensure that the greatest number of people can have access to and participate in options that will get them up and moving.

The 2014 ACRM Annual Conference being held in Toronto, Canada in October will be a tremendous opportunity for attendees to learn more about lower extremity exoskeleton devices that are currently available for research and clinical use. Companies that have developed lower extremity robotic exoskeleton devices will have their products on display and the ACRM Program Committee has included conference content in robotic exoskeleton technology.

As we all look to the future of SCI rehabilitation, it is impossible to tell where this technology will go, but I cannot help but imagine what possibilities for physical activity and exercise participation might exist for persons with SCI when the World Cup commences in 2022.

Shepherd Center is an Institutional Member of ACRM

My First ACRM Mid-Year Meeting Experience

Submitted By: Janelle Anderson, MA, CCC-SLP, CBIS, Early Career Member; Mentis Neuro Rehabilitation, El Paso, TX As a practicing Speech-Language Pathologist in a post-acute neurorehabilitation setting, I was figuratively, like a kid in a candy shop, when the first edition ACRM Cognitive Rehabilitation Manual hit the stand. It quickly became my largest reference and practice standard; in addition to my first in-depth exposure to the collaborative...
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Congratulations to Winners of the 2014 ACRM Awards

Each year, it is the pleasure and great honor of the ACRM Awards Committee and Board of Governors to recognize those individuals most deserving of the prestigious ACRM Awards for excellence in the field of rehabilitation medicine. Please join them in congratulating this year’s winners.

Formal presentation of these awards will be made at the Henry B. Betts Awards Gala, 10 October 2014, during the ACRM...

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A Magical Experience through the Eyes of an ACRM Early Career Member

From the ACRM publication: REHABILITATION OUTLOOK // NOV/DEC 2013
Kimberly Hreha By Kimberly Hreha, MS, OTR/L, Stroke Clinical Research Coordinator, Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation Research, Occupational Therapist with Kessler Foundation, and doctoral student at Teachers College, Columbia University I was inspired to write this submission because the ACRM Annual Conference is my favorite conference and...
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