May 23, 2013

Idaho Brain Injury Summit Reaches Out to Veterans, Parents

Crapo is opening speaker at the Pocatello event on Tuesday

Pocatello - Many Idahoans may be suffering from undiagnosed traumatic brain injuries resulting from battlefield conflicts, high school sports injuries, automobile accidents and even incidents where seniors have fallen down.  Given the growing magnitude of these injuries, Idaho Senator Mike Crapo is joining with the Idaho Doctors Hospital, the Aegis Research Institute at Bingham Memorial Hospital, the Institute of Rural Health at Idaho State University and many Idaho physicians to launch the Idaho Traumatic Brain Injury Summit.  The Summit will be held Tuesday, May 28, 2013, on the campus of Idaho State University.


According to physicians at the Idaho Doctors Hospital in Blackfoot, statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that traumatic brain injury (TBI) is at near-epidemic proportions in the United States.  Despite the prevalence of TBI, there remains a critical need for improved diagnosis and treatment in order to increase survival rates and improve quality of life for TBI patients.  The CDC reports that TBI is a contributing factor in nearly one-third of all injury-related deaths in the U.S. 


This is Idaho's first major forum on TBI injuries and treatment.  In November 2012, the Aegis Research Institute at Bingham Memorial Hospital announced it has been selected to participate in the National Brain Injury Rescue and Rehabilitation Study.  The study, conducted by the International Hyperbaric Medical Association, is focused on the use of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in treating TBI.  Other interested Idahoans will also be in attendance, representing the diversity of those impacted by TBI.  Twin Falls Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Wiley Dobbs, is expected to attend, as is Ms. Pamela Dowd.  Ms. Dowd's daughter, Brenna, lost her life following her TBI, prompting Ms. Dowd to travel through 21 states to raise awareness about the severity of such injuries.


News Conference to open Idaho Traumatic Brain Injury Summit:


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

9:30 AM Mountain Time

Rotunda, Stephens Performing Arts Center

Idaho State University

1002 Sam Nixon




Among the other local experts speaking at the Traumatic Brain Injury Summit:



  • Mary Himmler, MD, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialist at Fort Hood, will present information on TBI among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and the typical recovery and treatment process.  Previously, she treated soldiers with TBI at Walter Reed Medical Center.
  • Lt. Col. Mary Kelly, Transition Assistance Advisor at the Joint Forces Personnel Readiness Center in Boise, will discuss the transition from military to civilian life for TBI survivors.
  • Judge Rick Carnaroli, Idaho's Presiding Justice over the Veterans' Treatment Court from the 6 thDistrict, will discuss TBI issues relating to Idaho's criminal justice system.
  • Russ Spearman, Director of the ISU Institute of Rural Health's Traumatic Brain Injury Network, will address Idaho-based needs and potential solutions available through public health and health policy systems.
  • Dr. Wiley Dobbs, Superintendent of Twin Falls School District, will present information on TBI as it relates to middle and high school sports injuries.
  • Dr. Bernadette Howlett, Director of the Aegis Research Institute, will present an overview of TBI and its epidemiology.
  • Jim Jones, a Vietnam veteran and study volunteer, will discuss treatment and recovery options related to TBI and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
  • Barb Fox, who received a TBI in a car accident, will discuss her treatment and recovery from both TBI and PTSD as a civilian.
  • Pamela Dowd will focus on family involvement and health insurance issues related to TBI, from her personal experience through the death of her daughter, Brenna, from complications of a TBI  She is the author of "Condemned to Die -- Ask Me How, Tell Me Why", and the founder of both the Brenna's Hope Foundation and the website,
  • Jeff Hampsten, owner of Idaho Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine, will speak about research on the efficacy of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy as a treatment for TBI.