Amy hosts a podcast series dedicated to traumatic brain injury (TBI) awareness. Created by survivors for survivors. In this series you will hear from survivors, caregivers, medical professionals, and others!
Our goal is to continue to bring more awareness to TBI, as well as help educate and unite fellow TBI survivors.
Feel free to listen through the archived shows below! We are always looking for guests, so drop us a line: AmyZellmerTBI@gmail.com
HealthSouth is one of the nation’s largest providers of post-acute healthcare services, offering both facility-based and home-based post-acute services in 34 states and Puerto Rico through its network of inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, home health agencies, and hospice agencies.
You can also subscribe and listen to these podcasts on iTunes. Please consider leaving a 5-star review for us on there as well 🙂
I was interviewed by Cavin Balaster & Alek Hess of the Adventures in Brain Injury podcast series. We had a great hour-long chat about finding the road back to normal.
Join Amy Zellmer as she talks about Setting Positive Intention for the New Year, and how to have an “Attitude of Gratitude” as you move into the new year. Understand that traumatic brain injury (TBI) doesn’t have to hold you back, and that your attitude determines your happiness and recovery efforts.
free gratitude worksheet: http://bit.ly/1kqfVFI
Join host Amy Zellmer as she chats with Jami Benz, mother to Braden.
Braden is a gifted child who is diligent about wearing a helmet on the family’s ATV. Jami was unaware of the dangers lurking on her son’s soccer field. She hopes to educate parents, coaches and referees about the dangers of head injuries on (and off) the field and how a helmet doesn’t necessarily protect the brain from a concussion.
Join host Amy Zellmer as she chats with Lauren Stermer Holdaway & Devin Breedon
Certain neurological conditions, including stroke, brain injury, and Parkinson’s disease, cause muscles in the head and neck to have decreased strength, range of motion, coordination and/or speed, which can result in dysphagia, the medical term for difficulty or discomfort when swallowing. While it is a common post-stroke symptom, the severity of dysphagia can range from minimal to profound impairments, and may require the temporary or permanent placement of a feeding tube.
This treatment team includes a speech-language pathologist (SLP) and a nutritionist who work together to create a proper nutrition plan.
SLP: Lauren Stermer Holdaway, SLP at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Ocala received her bachelor’s degree from Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio in 2006 and then went on to earn her master’s degree in speech-language pathology from the University of Montevallo in 2011. She has since worked in a variety of settings including inpatient rehabilitation, acute care, outpatient rehabilitation and skilled nursing. She currently works with adolescents and adults suffering from speech, language, cognitive, voice and swallowing disorders.
Nutritionist: Devin Breedon, RDN, LD, is a registered dietitian at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Ocala. Devin graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in dietetics and completed a dietetic internship at Texas A&M-Kingsville. He has been providing nutritional counseling in hospital and outpatient settings for six years, specializing in geriatric and rehabilitative nutrition. Devin also works with a population that has extensive medical comorbidities including diabetes, heart disease and kidney disease. Devin is a member of the academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Florida Academy of Nutrition.
Join host Amy Zellmer as she chats with Dr. Deborah Zelinksy.
Deborah Zelinsky, O.D., F.N.O.R.A., F.C.O.V.D. graduated from the Illinois College of Optometry in 1985 and founded the Mind-Eye Connection in 1993. She has spent the past thirty years developing methods for assessment of brain function with emphasis on the often untested linkage between eyes and ears. Certification in the use of those methods is beginning in 2017. Customized eyeglasses can be used to stabilize dysfunctional eye/ear connections, enhancing learning and language abilities. When visual and auditory pathways are not solidly interacting, reading and spelling abilities suffer, as do social skills.
Dr. Zelinsky’s cutting edge research in retinal circuitry and three patents in novel usages of retinal stimulation have been described in neuro-optometric rehabilitation publications and optometric courses worldwide. Currently she is a reviewer for the Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JOVE) and has been a scientific grant reviewer for the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program several times. In 2013, she was presented with the Founding Father’s Award from NORA (NeuroOptometric Rehabilitation Association) and is an active member of the World Brain Mapping Foundation and the Society for Neuroscience.
Her books include “Open your Eyes and Listen” and “An Insight to Vision”. Along with Donalee Markus, Ph.D (designsforstrongminds.com), Dr. Zelinsky is featured in the 2015 book “The Ghost in My Brain: How a Concussion Stole My Life and the New Science of Brain Plasticity Brought it Back” by Dr. Clark Elliott (www.clarkelliott.com). She is also cited in the afterword of Norman Doidge’s 2015 New York Times Best Seller, “The Brain’s Way of Healing.” Her work is endorsed by the World Brain Mapping Association, and it will be featured in a chapter in, “The Advanced Textbook of Neurophotonics” due out in April, 2017.
Join host Amy Zellmer as she chats with Dr. Michael Lewis.
Michael is an expert on nutritional and nonpharmaceutical interventions for brain health, particularly the prevention, management, and rehabilitation of concussions and traumatic brain injury (TBI) and omega-3 fatty acids.
In 2012 upon retiring as a Colonel after a distinguished 31 year career in the U.S. Army, he founded the nonprofit Brain Health Education and Research Institute. His pioneering work in the military and since has helped thousands of people around the world and he is regularly featured in the media, radio, podcasts, webinars, scientific conferences, and television including CNN’s Sanjay Gupta MD show.
Dr. Lewis is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and Tulane University School of Medicine. Dr. Lewis is board-certified and a Fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine and American College of Nutrition. He completed post-graduate training at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Johns Hopkins University, and Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. Dr. Lewis is a consultant to the U.S. Army and Navy as well as several organizations and companies around the world, and a founding member of the Pop Warner Youth Football Medical Advisory Board. He is in private practice in Potomac, MD, and is the author of the recent Amazon #1 Hot Seller book, When Brains Collide: What every athlete and parent should know about the prevention and treatment of concussions and head injuries.
In early 2013, Sam was a passenger in a car that was hit by an impaired driver, and from that moment her life changed forever. Suffering from several injuries, including a brain injury, Sam was unable to return to a career that she loved very much. Through months of healing, reflection and support, Sam was able to focus on the gifts that she still had to offer the world, and through this transition, Grounded Roots Wellness was born.
Sam Black is the Executive Director of Grounded Roots Wellness Inc., a space dedicated to healing the mind, body and soul. Sam is a Certified Psychic Medium and Wellness Coach, Trainer and Speaker. She has a passion for helping others find the little gems inside and empowering others to shine their light!
Join host Amy Zellmer as she chats with Becky Henry about self-care and mindfulness for TBI survivors and caregivers.
Becky Henry inspires people to reclaim joy.
In 2003, Becky created Hope Network, LLC inspiring families living with eating disorders to let go of pain and suffering and get their lives back. She is the National Award Winning author of Just Tell Her To Stop: Family Stories of Eating Disorders. (Infinite Hope Publishing).
Becky is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) and Associate Certified Coach (ACC) designated by the International Coach Federation (ICF).
Becky Henry’s HOPE Network, LLC is changing the way caregivers are supported while care-giving. Through education, coaching and a community of support, hopelessness and helplessness are replaced with HOPE.
She will share self-care and mindful tools such as:
- Meditation – including a hands on one
- DBT Skills (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) – for mindfulness and distress tolerance
- Laughter Yoga
- Joyful Movement – ie- walking, yoga, slow dancing, tai chi, stretching
- Stop – Notice, Breathe and choose
- Eat and sleep regularly
- Notice distress
This episode is brought to you by MFNC Brain Rehabilitation
Join host Amy Zellmer as she chats with Penny Eissenberg of Health South.
While driving may be second nature to most, it is a privilege that requires sharp physical, visual and mental skills. As we age, tasks that once seemed simple can require increased focus, practice and dexterity.
Medical conditions that may affect driving skills include stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, traumatic brain injury or arthritis. These conditions may affect vision, memory, attention and the ability to problem solve and act quickly, which are both necessary skills to remain safe on the road.
With physical rehabilitation, older drivers, or those who have suffered an injury, can practice the movements and skills needed to travel safely, such as getting in and out of the car or reacting to unexpected hazards on the road.
Since maintaining mobility is one of the most important aspects of preserving independence, older drivers can greatly benefit from participating in these activities.
During the week of December 5-9, 2016, the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) will recognize Older Driver Safety Awareness Week to promote the understanding that mobility and transportation are crucial to keeping older adults active in their communities.
Penny Eissenberg is the director of therapy operations at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Virginia and has special interest and expertise in driver rehabilitation. Penny personally directs all aspects of the driver rehabilitation program including evaluation of cognition, vision, visual-perceptual skills and physical abilities. Penny also performs on-road assessments of driver competency, trains in the use of adaptive equipment and develops driving re-entry plans.
This episode is brought to you by MFNC Brain Rehabilitation
Join Amy as she reflects on this past year, and all of the wonderful advocacy work she has been able to do … as well as the fantastic TBI survivors she has met!
This episode is brought to you by MFNC Brain Rehabilitation
Join host Amy Zellmer as she chats with former NFL wife, Cyndy Feasel, about the NFL, CTE, and her late husband, Grant Feasel, who played for six years with the Seatle Seahawks. Feasel died on Sunday, July 15, 2012, in Ft. Worth, TX. He was 52. He was found to have stage 3 CTE in his brain — a result of repetitive head trauma from playing football.
Cyndy will share some of her memories, as well as talk about her soon-to-be-released book “After the Cheering Stops: An NFL Wife’s Story of Concussions, Loss, and the Faith that Saw Her Through“ Former NFL wife Cyndy Feasel tells the tragic story of her family’s journey into chaos and darkness resulting from the damage her husband suffered due to football-related concussions and head trauma—and the faith that saved her.
Cyndy Feasel was married for twenty-nine years to NFL lineman Grant Feasel, who was discovered after his death to have developed CTE—a progressive degenerative brain disease—from the concussions he received playing football. An art teacher in Fort Worth, Texas, Cyndy is committed to raising awareness of CTE and the dangers of repetitive head injury.
Cyndy’s website: www.afterthecheeringstops.com
You can purchase Cyndy’s book on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2eAmuYg
This episode is brought to you by MFNC Brain Rehabilitation
As an influential advocate for brain health, Ben served as the national spokesperson for the American Academy of Neurology and currently sits on the prestigious board of the American Brain Foundation. Ben was given the AAN’s most esteemed honor, the Public Leadership in Neurology Award, in 2014. Also at that time, Ben released a music video for his song “You Will Always Be My Girls,” written as a love letter to his wife and daughters with the goal of emotionally connecting people to the importance of their memories. The video has impacted the lives of many, garnering over 1.3 million YouTube views to date.
Ben can now add “author” to his résumé, with the release of his new book Counting the Days While My Mind Slips Away, published by Simon & Schuster. The book is the first memoir from a former NFL player who left the game as a result of concussions. It takes the reader on a heart-felt journey through the ups and downs of Ben’s life with faith, family, and football. Ben has a message of hope that has reached a nation-wide audience, inspiring people to value every moment to its fullest.
Read Amy’s Huffington Post article about Ben and his book: www.huff.to/2bcotf5
This episode is brought to you by MFNC Brain Rehabilitation
Join host Amy Zellmer as she chats with TBI survivor, Adam Pepiton.
Adam Pepiton, a graduate of Cesar Chavez High School, was living a full life as a college student studying Criminal Justice, working for Kmart and spending time with family and friends. Then on September 5th, 2010 his life changed forever. When leaving a friend’s house after a party, he was the victim of a drive-by shooting in which he was shot in the head. The bullet entered on the left side and lodged in the skull on the right side. This type of injury (transverse) has less than a 1% survival rate, so Adam surviving was a true miracle. Adam is diagnosed as a quadriplegic due to the brain injury. This means he has feeling throughout his body but can’t control his legs, trunk, has diminished use of right arm and limited usage of his left arm/hand.
Adam is currently taking college classes and volunteers for the American Red Cross handling the volunteer applications and processes, along with starting his Youtube channel.
Join host Amy Zellmer as she chats with former Miss Oregon & TBI survivor, Ali Wallace.
Ali is former Miss Oregon 2015 and Traumatic Brain injury survivor and advocate. In 2010, Ali became the first female founding member of Brain Champions, a national organization focused on raising the standards of care in youth sports. Ali later became involved with ThinkFirst Oregon, where she traveled to schools throughout Oregon educating students on the seriousness of traumatic brain injuries and sharing her story. During her year of service, Ali traveled throughout Oregon, Washington, California, and Arizona, sharing her traumatic brain injury story, and inspiring, and educating others. Although Ali is no longer Miss Oregon, she continues her advocacy on the national level for this serious invisible injury, through organizations like Brain Champions, ThinkFirst Oregon, and many others alike.
Join host Amy Zellmer as she chats with Speech Therapist, Richard DuBose.
Richard has has 11 years of experience working directly with a primarily TBI population. Richard came about his calling to work with traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients in a very personal way. During his junior year of college at the University of South Alabama, his father was in a car accident on the way to work and sustained a TBI. Through this experience and his fascination with cognition and how the brain works, he became interested in treating adults and adolescents with TBI. His first job out of college was working with a brain injury program in Greenville, South Carolina, where he worked with patients in an inpatient and outpatient setting. He also spent a couple of years working in a skilled nursing facility, but found his way back into the rehabilitation setting in his current position at AnMed Rehabilitation Hospital, a rehabilitation hospital in the HealthSouth network.
He’s presented on topics of cognition, behavior and “brain games” and serves as the facilitator of the Anderson/Oconee/Pickens brain injury support group. Helping those who’ve acquired brain injuries has become a family affair as Richard’s wife of three years, a physical therapist, shares his passion of helping this particular patient population.
Join host Amy Zellmer as she chats with EmilyFiocchi, a yoga specialist and physical therapy assistant at HealthSouth Geisinger Rehabilitation Hospital and hatha yoga instructor.
Emily Fiocchi is a physical therapist assistant at HealthSouth Geisinger Rehabilitation Hospital and certified Hatha Yoga Instructor. As a clinician for the last 25 years, she has treated patients in inpatient and acute care rehabilitation, neurologic and orthopedic outpatient clinics. To keep herself healthy, physically and emotionally in a demanding career, Emily turned to Yoga. She experienced the benefits of a weekly practice and wanted her patients to experience the same. Once certified, in June 2000, through the Himalayan Institute in Honesdale, Emily began to use Yoga techniques as a compliment in the treatment of outpatients who suffer with chronic pain or fatigue, fibromyalgia and/or with high anxiety and depression. Recently, she became a part of a multidisciplinary team of health professionals who provide monthly education and follow up physical therapy treatment of patients living with chronic pain. Her focus is teaching the stress management aspects (deep breathing, meditation and relaxation) of Yoga and her passion is to create a bridge between traditional and holistic therapy. Emily lives in Danville, Pennsylvania, and teaches at her home in a sunroom Yoga studio.
SchaOn specializes in relaxation & de-stressing therapies, as well as working with individuals with chronic ‘hard-to-resolve’ issues. He has completed extensive training in Esogetics Holistic Medicine and Kirlian Energy Emission Analysis, completed various levels of training in BodyTalk Access, Access Consciousness “the Bars”, Complex Homeopathy and Ayurvedic Medicine.
Additionally, SchaOn is a regular guest speaker on the topic of Esogetics Colorpuncture at Anoka-Ramsey Community College for their Nursing and Holistic Health Degree programs, and from 2013-2015 was an Instructor at Normandale College teaching classes on Holistic Health & Wellness. In 2014, he was invited and held workshops for the State of Minnesota’s Department of Administration on the topic of “Natural Stress Release for the Busy Professional” during their “Stress Quest Week”.
Experienced Yoga Educator, Author, inspiring Life Coach and Business Entrepreneur, Laura Erdman-Luntz has over 20 years experience in the fitness and wellness industries. She uniquely blends her Life Coaching knowledge and vast experience with Yoga to create programs, classes and workshops that truly do bring mind and body together for positive change, inspiring people to live their most authentic life. She incorporates New Thought ideas into classes and programs on positive living, manifesting and changing subconscious beliefs. Her Yoga training began in 1988 and began teaching in 1992. She has taught over 500 workshops, over 15,000 hours of yoga classes, coached hundreds of clients and has trained dozens of yoga teachers at the beginner and advanced level.
Join Amy Zellmer as she chats with Dr. Richard Senelick about finding the right doctor for your child when they suffer a concussion.
Richard C. Senelick M.D. is a physician specializing in both neurology and the subspecialty of neurorehabilitation. He received his undergraduate and medical school training at the University of Illinois in Chicago and his residency in neurology at the University of Utah. He has lived in San Antonio, Texas for over 40 years where he has served as the Medical Director of HealthSouth RIOSA, The Rehabilitation Institute of San Antonio, since its inception in 1988. He is also the Editor in Chief of HealthSouth Press, the publishing arm of one the nation’s largest rehabilitation hospital systems. He is an associate clinical professor in the Department of Neurology at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.
Amongst his many books and publications, he has authored Living with Stroke: A Guide for Patients and Families, Living with Brain Injury: A Guide for Families, The Spinal Cord Injury Handbook, and Beyond Please and Thank You: The Disability Awareness Handbook. Dr. Senelick has also produced a number of educational DVDs on both Stroke and Traumatic Brain Injury.
Join Amy Zellmer as she chats with TBI Survivor and author, Mike Strand, about the art and magic of writing a book.
Mike has seen brain injury not only through his own experience, but through listening to numerous experiences from those who’s stories have entered his mind and touched his heart as he participated in, and then facilitated numerous support groups. We all share a common experience in our own way, and Mike has a natural gift with words that allows him to express the many frustrations and emotions in clear language, often with humor.
Mike began writing for the MN Brain Injury Alliance’s newsletter, which is what led him down the path of writing not one, but THREE books on his brain injury experiences.
In this podcast we will talk about: publishing options, journaling versus book writing, understanding the craft, and much more! Order Mike’s book HERE.
Join Amy Zellmer as she chats with speech therapist, Rachel Katz M.S., CCC-SLP, about what Aphasia and how to communicate with patients who suffer from it.
Aphasia, which is most often the result of a traumatic brain injury or stroke, doesn’t affect intelligence, so it is not hard to understand the very real struggle of the patients experiencing it. In fact, a 2010 study on the impact of 60 different diseases and 15 conditions on quality of life for more than 66,000 people found that aphasia has the largest negative impact on quality of life, more than cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
Rachel is a Speech Team Leader at HealthSouth Sunrise Rehabilitation Hospital (HSSRH) specializing in aphasia, motor speech disorders, dysphagia, and cognitive rehabilitation. Her experience is with a wide variety of diagnoses, including primary stroke and brain injury patients in an acute inpatient rehabilitation setting. She is a member of the American Speech Language and Hearing Association and received the ACE award for advanced continuing education in her field.
She has an advanced specialty certification in Vital Stim/NMES, Modified Barium Swallow Impairment Profile, Lee Silverman Voice Treatment, Deep Pharyngeal Neuromuscular Stimulation and Lessac-Madsen Resonant Voice Therapy. She is a co-chair of the Joint Commission Disease Specific Stroke Program at HealthSouth Sunrise. She co-developed the Evidence-Based Cognitive Evaluation and Treatment corporate course and is a corporate clinical educator in the area of cognition. Rachel initiated and facilitates the Aphasia Community Group at HSSRH to provide education and support for people with aphasia and their family members and caregivers.
Join Amy Zellmer as she chats with Sandeep Vaishnavi, MD, PhD. about Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and his recent book “The Traumatized Brain”
– Director, Neuropsychiatric Clinic, Carolina Partners
– Neuropsychiatrist, Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center, Duke Medicine
– Clinical Associate, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke Medicine
Purchase his book: “The Traumatized Brain” on AMAZON
Join Amy Zellmer as she chats with with Kristen Schreier, MA, CCC-SLP about caregiver support.
“It is hard to be a patient with a brain injury, but it is harder to be a caregiver, “says Kristen Schreier, MA, CCC-SLP, speech pathologist at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Toms River.“You cannot expect yourself to be able to take care of someone if you are not well yourself, or at the top of your game.”
Kristen has been a speech pathologist with HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Toms River, New Jersey since 2007. Kristen received her master’s degree from The College of New Jersey. She is a Certified Brain Injury Specialist and is the hospital’s program champion for the brain injury program. In January 2016, Kristen became a facilitator to train other healthcare professionals to obtain brain injury specialist certifications. She also works with Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey as an adjunct professor and clinic supervisor. Kristen is dedicated to educating patients, families, and other clinicians about brain injury diagnoses, recovery, and the necessity of therapy.
Join Amy Zellmer as she chats with James Heuer about TBI patient’s legal rights.
Personal injury matters when it affects your life. That is the driving philosophy of James A Heuer, Jr, principal attorney at Heuer Fisher, P.A. James “Jim” is knowns to his friends and colleagues as “Heuer the Lawyer” (pronounced “hoyer”). He himself has experienced a TBI and can relate to his clients who are going through this invisible struggle.
Join Amy Zellmer as she interviews TBI survivor Stephanie Freeman from Georgia about the “power of never giving up.” Stephanie shares how she received a TBI from a car accident 22 years ago and was told she would never be able to walk again. Hear how she overcame those odds and is now an active runner, including finishing the Boston Marathon in 2014.
Stephanie is the founder of www.shareyourstrong.org a 501C3 non profit whose mission is: “to bring awareness to brain trauma and encourage and inspire the lives of people who have been affected by this silent epidemic.” Both Stephanie and myself are volunteers for the Brain Injury Association of America’s Advisory Council (BIAAC) and continue to be loud and proud advocates for all brain injury survivors!
Join Amy Zellmer as she interviews TBI survivor Paul Bosworth about Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) and how it helped his recovery. Paul is located in Louisiana and has founded BBQ4TBI.org in which he raises money for the Brain Injury Alliance. Paul and Amy are both volunteers for the Brain Injury Association of America’s Advisory Council.
Join Amy Zellmer as she chats with Anne Forrest from Austin, TX. Anne is an 18 year TBI survivor from an auto accident. She was a Ph.D. living in Washington DC when her world was turned upside down by a TBI. She will talk about Neuroplasticity and how the brain can continue to recover, even years later. Anne and Amy are both volunteers for the Brain Injury Association of America’s Advisory Council.